Did you know New York City has nine Chinatowns? There's something special about the Manhattan Chinatown. Maybe because it's one of the oldest and largest Chinese ethnic communities. It used to be highly populated with only Cantonese speakers, but over time, even Chinatown became a melting pot of its own. Now there are many different chinese languages being spoken and immigrants from all over the country.
The surplus of chinese restaurants can make it confusing deciding which one to pick for a meal.
Wo Hop, located at 17 Mott Street in Manhattan's Chinatown has been dubbed my go-to recommendation. It was established in 1938 and it's one of the only restaurants in the neighborhood that still makes old fashioned chop suey, the oldest dish invented for American Chinese cuisine to impress the middle class Americans. The dish was later rejected for not being "authentic Chinese from China". There are two locations for Wo Hop; upstairs and downstairs. This review is about the basement location. Both locations are pretty much the same; the basement is more rustic and the street-level put in a little more effort with the decor. There is also almost never a line for the street-level restaurant so feel free to take a table there to avoid the hassle. The menu is the same.
The menu at Wo Hop is extremely, extremely affordable, plentiful, and DELICIOUS. I went to the restaurant with my uncle and boyfriend and we had no idea that the servings would be so big too!
What to Order:
Honestly, go crazy and order everything, but this is what we ordered:
Spring Rolls so big cutting them in half equals the size of the normal rolls you typically see.
Roasted Duck Chow Mei Fun: If you are a big fan of thin noodles, then the Chow Mei Fun is the way to go. I'm a sucker for chinese roast duck. You can't come to chinatown and not order the duck.
General Tso's Chicken: When my uncle comes to visit, he's never really picky about where he wants to eat, but this time he was clear that he wanted a nice plate of authentic, hot, General Tso's Chicken. I think I exceeded his expectations with Wo Hop.
Beef and Broccoli actually served with equal amounts of both.
Steamed dumplings (but I might have eaten them before taking a photo)
The restaurant is small and the staff wants you to eat, drink, take your pics and go. There is always a line around dinner time so they need a quick turnover. They are very polite, in my opinion, and entertained our antics for a little. Our waiter in particular was cracking jokes with us and engaging while we experienced a little difficulty choosing items from their vast menu.
The restaurant is CASH ONLY, however, they do have an ATM on site but it's best to prepare ahead of time and avoid the fees.
Our meal came out to around $60, including the food and three beers, so well reasonable and lots of leftovers for the next day.
I definitely plan to return to Wo Hop again. They stay open very late so after a night out in Nolita, SoHo, L.E.S. it's a great place to stop before heading home!
Photos from Wo Hop's street-level restaurant