14 Best Chinese Hotpot Restaurants In NYC, Ranked

Chinese hotpot is all about choice and variety. The basic procedure remains mostly the same: diners cook ingredients themselves at their table in a communal soup pot, not unlike fondue, but with a bubbling and often-spicy broth. From there, your options are endless with a variety of regional hotpot styles drawn from diverse origins, customizable spice levels, and a range of soup bases to choose from. 

Many hotpot restaurants even have dividers in the pot so you can sample at least two different broths. You get to choose ingredients to cook in the soup like thinly-sliced meats, seafood, vegetables, and tofu, and mix your own custom dipping sauce at the restaurant's sauce bar. When the soup comes to a boil, it's up to you to mix and match ingredients, broth, and dipping sauce to your liking. 

Thanks to New York's large Chinese communities, Chinese hotpot restaurants can be found all over the city but mainly in areas such as Flushing, Queens, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Choosing a place for hotpot can be daunting without some prior knowledge. This is our guide to the best hotpot restaurants in NYC, from bottom to top.

14. 99 Favor Taste

With two locations in Sunset Park, plus an additional four in Flushing, the Lower East Side, and Staten Island, 99 Favor Taste has more outposts in NYC than any other hotpot chain, making it the most-accessible option on the list. A particularly good choice for large parties, with private rooms for 10-30 people, your meal at 99 Favor Taste is free on or within three days of your birthday. 

The large menu features a wide assortment of meats and vegetables and six soup bases (you can choose two or three), including some unique Korean-influenced options, like a kimchi soup base and Korean barbecue grilled at your table. The fact that it has barbecue as well as hotpot is one of 99 Favor Taste's major selling points. For around $30, 99 Favor Taste offers all-you-can-eat hotpot, barbecue, or their most unique specialty, a combo of both, in contrast to some other chains that charge differently for one or the other.

13. Dolar Shop

Dolar Shop has a location in Flushing and opened a second location in 2020 in the East Village, on 11th Street and 3rd Avenue. Two features give this chain a unique approach to hotpot: one is the focus on higher-end ingredients like wagyu beef and top-notch seafood, making it pricier to eat here than at some of the other restaurants on the list. Dolar Shop's other unique feature is that the soup is served in individual pots warmed by fixed burners at your table, rather than a central communal soup pot.

If you want a cheaper, more casual hotpot experience, or if you want to try multiple soups during your meal, Dolar Shop is not your best option. It's a great choice for diners who prefer their own personal soup and a single choice of broth. You'll still get the sense of customization from the varied soup ingredients and sauces. Signature menu items include a long-simmered "silver broth" made with chicken and pork bones, and shrimp pate; cook spoonfuls in your soup to make shrimp meatballs.

12. BeiJing Hot Pot

Located in Flushing, BeiJing Hot Pot is one of the few in the NYC area that specializes in Beijing-style hotpot, which is cooked in a distinctive round metal pot with a volcano-like column in the center. Instead of the explosive flavors and fatty richness of Chongqing and Sichuan soup bases, Beijing-style hotpot traditionally uses a light, delicate broth minimally seasoned with ingredients like ginger and scallion. At this restaurant, you'll find both types of broth available, making BeiJing Hot Pot a good choice if you prefer a light, non-spicy hotpot or want to have both spicy and mild options.

Influenced by the sheep-herding nomads of northern regions like Manchuria and Mongolia, lamb is the classic meat for Beijing-style hotpot. Rather than the broth as in other styles of soup, here you can add more flavor to your chosen soup ingredients with creamy sesame sauce and bites of pungent pickled garlic.

11. Da Long Yi

With locations in Manhattan's Chinatown and in Long Island City, Queens, Da Long Yi offers a classic Sichuan-style hotpot experience with your choice of one or two soup bases. Go for one spicy and one mild, not only because the soup base here is especially spicy, but so that you get a variety of flavors to give your palate a break.

Some hotpot restaurants specialize in all-you-can-eat smorgasbords, but if you're looking for lighter fare, you might be interested in Da Long Yi's value platter for two ($63), which features assorted vegetables plus your choice of two kinds of meat and one kind each of meatballs, mushrooms, tofu, and noodles. Da Long Yi is also a good choice if you want to drink something with your hotpot, as the menu has an especially large selection of Western and East Asian beverage options, including soft drinks, beer, liquor and wine.

10. Hometown Hotpot & BBQ

One thing that sets Manhattan Chinatown's Hometown Hotpot & BBQ apart from the other restaurants on this list is the Malaysian influences in its menu. The eight available soup bases for hotpot include Southeast Asian-inspired tom yum and curry soups, while the beverage menu includes Malaysian iced coffee and tea and various tropical fruit juices. Hometown is also known for its stuffed vegetable specials, such as okra and lotus root.

As you can guess from the name, Hometown offers hotpot as well as barbecue. If you get the barbecue and hotpot combo, barbecue will be served in the center of the table with smaller individual hotpots for each guest, though the more typical large shared hotpot is also available. The restaurant's large size makes it a good choice for groups, though diners should be aware that dinner here is pricier than some other options on this list ($38 per person for all-you-can-eat hotpot, $42 for barbecue, or $48 for both).

9. Happy Lamb

Previously known as Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot, Happy Lamb is a large Chinese chain with over 100 restaurants in several countries. A former outpost in Manhattan's Chinatown has now closed, but you can still go to Flushing for Happy Lamb's signature broth. Happy Lamb offers six different soup base options but a maximum of two soups per table, fewer than at some other hotpot restaurants. 

The original soup is this restaurant's specialty: a milky lamb-based bone marrow broth that's mild enough to sip by itself. This makes Happy Lamb a great choice for diners who can't handle spicy or who simply prefer a lighter soup without the greasiness of spicy hotpot styles.

Happy Lamb offers all the typical hotpot ingredients of other restaurants, and the sliced lamb, naturally, is a must-try. For $30 per person, 90 minutes of all-you-can-eat is available for meat only, Monday through Friday from 12 to 9:30 p.m.

8. Laojie

Open until 2 a.m., Laojie is a fun and energetic choice for late-night dining. You'll find this restaurant's original NYC location in Sunset Park, but in 2022, a second Laojie opened in Manhattan on Bowery Street, in the same place where a Happy Lamb used to be. Laojie's retro atmosphere features decor inspired by 1970s China and a particular emphasis on music; the Brooklyn location offers karaoke and allows guests to choose music to play in the restaurant.

Laojie's menu is fairly standard hotpot fare, with platters of seafood, meat, and vegetables, and six different kinds of soup base to choose from. Barbecue is also available, and you can order all-you-can-eat hotpot, barbecue, or both. Your meal comes with a milk pudding dessert, and the all-you-can-eat price is reduced for children or if you belong to the restaurant's membership program. Other weekly specials and limited deals are announced on the restaurant's Instagram page.

7. Zhang Liang Spicy Hotpot

You might not know it from the name alone, but Zhang Liang Spicy Hotpot serves a different type of hotpot than most of the other restaurants on this list. Instead of the large communal soup cooked at the table, the specialty here is malatang: soup with a broth that's rich and spicy but still light enough to drink, made to order from the diner's chosen ingredients and served in individual bowls. You can also have your ingredients stir-fried in spicy sauce without broth, a preparation style called dry pot.

Zhang Liang has both table service and self-service options. You can sit at a table and order from a server, either a custom assortment of ingredients or, if the options are too overwhelming, one of several pre-set assortments from the menu. Then, simply choose soup or dry pot and your preferred level of heat. For an even more customized experience, grab a tray and bowl and use tongs to pick your choice of tofu, fish balls, meat, and vegetables from the refrigerator. You'll bring these raw ingredients directly to the counter, where you'll choose malatang or dry pot and pay by weight. With locations in both Flushing and Manhattan, Zhang Liang is a great option for parties who prefer not to share one soup, but it's also ideal for when you're eating alone but craving the flavors of hotpot.

6. Xiao Long Kan

The latest of several famous hotpot chains to have opened a Flushing location in recent years, Xiao Long Kan (also spelled Shoo Loong Kan) focuses specifically on Sichuan-style hotpot, and they're especially known for their tongue-numbing Sichuan pepper broth. Like Xiang Hotpot, Xiao Long Kan is located inside a mall: the massive, recently-opened Tangram. The traditional decor and elaborate cutouts on the walls and doors also recall Xiang Hotpot, but with a brighter atmosphere.

Soup, sauce, and ingredient offerings are fairly standard, with some specials like beef tripes, different kinds of meatballs, and duck blood jelly soaked in milk.  Xiao Long Kan doesn't have an all-you-can-eat option, so just order ingredients as desired. Don't miss the restaurant's own brand of sesame oil, packages of which are available at your table. Enjoy it as a dipping sauce to cut the spiciness of the meat on its own, with minced garlic, or mixed with other ingredients from the sauce bar.

5. Hou Yi Hot Pot

A small, casual restaurant in the Lower East Side, Hou Yi Hotpot isn't much to look at, but the generosity of their all-you-can-eat deal is hard to beat. For around $40 per person, you get 100 minutes of unlimited hotpot, non-alcoholic beverages, and ice cream, with the drinks and ice cream being self-serve. Many hotpot restaurants provide diners with a complimentary single serving of ice cream or another dessert at the end of the meal, but at Hou Yi, you scoop it yourself from tubs in a freezer, choosing from around a dozen flavors.

There's also a particularly large range of soup bases available here (10). Sauce and ingredient options are standard, but the quantity and variety of drinks and desserts is what earns Hou Yi a place on this list. It's a good choice for a casual dining experience with a smaller group, especially if you have a sweet tooth.

4. Liuyishou

All-you-can-eat at Liuyishou is $32, making it one of the more affordable AYCE hotpot options in NYC. Liuyishou also stands out from its competitors for its whimsical approach to branding. As you walk in, you'll be greeted by a statue of Niu Niu ("Cow Cow"), the restaurant chain's smiling, bowtie-wearing cow mascot. Soup base comes in the form of a statue of Niu Niu sculpted from orangey spice-infused tallow. Your server makes the soup by submerging the cow in a jacuzzi of hot broth, like the bear-shaped "teddy bear hotpot" sold at other chains. Meat arrives with similar flair, arranged elegantly around the soup pot, piled into a pyramid, or dangling like clothes on a laundry line.

Originating in Chongqing, the city sometimes considered China's hotpot capital, Liuyishou is a major chain with over 1300 locations worldwide, but the only NYC location is in Flushing. The 10 soup bases include unique seasonal options like coconut chicken soup, a non-spicy hotpot from the tropical island of Hainan, and ingredient and sauce options that may include other unique specials, such as a chicken skewer combo with different sauces. Of the restaurants on this list, Liuyishou is probably the most comparable to another NYC restaurant called Haidilao, but has fewer customization options.

3. Chongqing Lao Zao

Chongqing Lao Zao means "Old Chongqing Stove," after the Chinese city with its own widely-popular hotpot style. As you might expect, Chongqing-style hotpot is the specialty here, made with butter or beef tallow and plenty of chili and Sichuan pepper, but a smaller range of spices than the similar Sichuan style. 

The rich, fiery broth of Chongqing hotpot is considered especially perfect for cooking strongly-flavored organ meats like tripe. A divider with nine square sections laid over the bubbling soup pot is not for different soup bases, as at some other establishments, but to keep your meats and vegetables separated and easy to retrieve. This is especially useful for ingredients with different cooking times.

Located in downtown Flushing, Chongqing Lao Zao features old-fashioned decor meant to recall a rustic Chinese country village and a variety of sauce options to pair with your hotpot. As with most of the other restaurants on the list, wait times for a table can be long during peak hours, so reservations are recommended.

2. Haidilao

A major chain with over 900 outposts in 11 countries, Haidilao has a special reputation for customer service and the extras that it offers customers. As you wait for your table, you can enjoy free snacks and tea and play games and puzzles in the waiting room. There's even entertainment on the menu: when you order the signature "dancing noodle," a server comes to your table and does tricks with stretchy hand-pulled noodle dough before dropping it into your soup.

Ordering at Haidilao is especially easy: just tap what you want on an iPad screen and a server will confirm your choices before putting in your order. Choose up to four soup bases, and help yourself to complimentary sides and desserts at the sauce bar, like seaweed salad, sesame balls, and red bean porridge. 

In a restaurant with so many options, it's not surprising that Haidilao is also known for its customizable menu hacks. You can order any of your four soup compartments filled with plain water and add seasonings from the sauce bar like chicken powder, soy sauce, and garlic to make your own soup base. Haidilao encourages these DIY soup recipes and restaurant hacks by posting some of them on the wall by the sauce bar. After your meal, your server will bring you a complimentary cone of soft-serve ice cream; for one favorite menu hack, mix it into the red bean porridge.

1. Xiang Hotpot

Also called Spice World, Spicy World or Xiang Tian Xia, Xiang Hotpot has one location in Sunset Park and another inside Flushing's New World Mall, which provides an especially memorable aesthetic experience. Take the escalator to the mall's second floor and follow the telltale scent of chilies until you reach what looks like a garden grotto illuminated with lanterns. Inside the large, ornate dining room, you'll eat amid artificial trees and stone carvings as vintage Chinese cartoons play on wall-mounted screens. You might even catch a live performer in a Chinese opera costume doing magic tricks like bian lian ("face-changing"), switching masks with a wave of his hand.

The atmosphere and decor make this restaurant special, but the food itself is a solid choice for classic Sichuan/Chongqing-style spicy hotpot, with up to two soup bases per table (non-spicy options include tomato and mushroom). Teddy bear hotpot is a signature menu item and should not be missed. As at many other hotpot restaurants, servers provide aprons for mess-free dining and bags to store your coat. And if you don't want the powerful aroma of hotpot clinging to your clothes, you can stop by a cleaning booth on your way out for a spritz of lemony mist.