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Dining2/22/17
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The Ultimate Chinatown Dumpling Crawl

We hit the streets to uncover the hidden gems of NYC's Chinatown, according to an expert

When someone offers to tour you around one of Manhattan's best culinary neighborhoods, you say yes—especially when that neighborhood is Chinatown and the someone is the New York state senator who has represented the historic district for nearly a decade.

On a recent Sunday morning, we followed the very generous Senator Squadron to some of his current favorite dumpling spots, and got some buns and noodles while we were at it.

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Sure, Nom Wah Tea Parlor is excellent, and Joe's Shanghai makes some of the city's best soup dumplings, but Senator Squadron revealed some lesser-known gems—the places he's discovered after working with the community for so many years. Not only was his first campaign office in the narrow streets of Chinatown, but his first election party and rehearsal dinner were, too. After making our eyes pop as he led us into the basement of a mall on East Broadway, Squadron didn't need to do any more convincing. It was time to pay close attention to all the treasures that don't have regular lines down the block.

Squadron's list may always be evolving (RIP, Prosperity Dumpling), but you can count on the fact that he'll always be up to date. Here are five of some of the best places for dumplings (and buns and noodles) in NYC's Chinatown right now.

Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle: Known for its hand-pulled noodles, this storefront hole-in-the-wall also offers some of the city's top dumplings. Get one order of the fried and one of the steamed.

② Fu Zhou Wei Zhong Wei: Tucked away in the basement of the East Broadway Mall, this haunt is your secret hideaway for Fukanese BBQ and pork buns. Just make sure to order the sesame noodles, too.

③ Hop Sing: This Chinatown classic specializes in all things dim sum. It's what Squadron likes to call the perfect power breakfast, and we couldn't agree more. Grab a box of baked pork buns on your way out.

④ Deluxe Food Market: Don't let this spot's massive grocery store digs overwhelm you. You're here for one thing only: dumplings. (But if you do some light shopping on your way out, we won't blame you; you can find practically anything you could ever want here.)

⑤ Golden Steamer: What would a crawl be without some kind of sweet ending? For killer dessert, go with the sweet pumpkin buns. Mark our words: You'll be returning for breakfast as soon as you can.

Watch the video to follow in our footsteps for one epic crawl, and use this map as your guide.