Finding the Best $1 Dumplings in NYC
Back at it again with another
This past fall, Prosperity Dumpling, a famous $1 dumpling spot in Chinatown, was shut down because it failed its health inspection. It was my absolute favorite spot for fried dumplings. You got 4 for $1! That's an unbeatable price. Most importantly, they didn't skimp out on the meat or the crispness. Every dumpling experience should be just like Prosperity.
I know some of you guys are thinking, "They shouldn't be serving out of an unclean restaurant!" I agree with you. However, to my knowledge, there has never been an incident when someone has gotten sick from their food. The way I see it is:
cooked food = dead bacteria = edible
Prosperity Dumpling will be reopening at a new location. In the meantime, I had to find another $1 dumpling spot in Manhattan to fill my Prosperity void. This is my criteria: crispness, freshness, meatiness. So the hunt begins...
WORST TO BEST FRIED DUMPLING SPOTS IN CHINATOWN
1. Fried Dumpling - 106 Mosco St. - 5 for $1
This place wasn't featured in this Foodventure and I'm glad it wasn't. Not only are the workers rude but the dumplings suck. I don't care if you get 5 for $1. Those 5 dumplings are soggy, not fresh, and lacking meat.
Crispness = -5/10 (yes, that's a negative)
Freshness = -10/10
Meatiness = 0/10
2. Jin Mei Dumpling - 25 Henry St - 5 for $1
This place resembled Prosperity so I had some hope. But even nostalgia couldn't save this place from a bad review. I wasn't able to eat more than two. I paid $1 to eat dumpling wrapper.
Crispness = 0/10
Freshness = 0/10
Meatiness = -10/10
3. Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle and Dumpling - 10 for $3
There was waiting time involved - something I'm not used. I wasn't mad about it because that meant the dumplings were newly cooked. While I was waiting, I noticed the cook pulling and kneading dough. I was sold after that. Handmade dough, cooked-to-order dumplings, lots of seating, sauces galore (they had real soy sauce), and an option to order their yummy-looking soups. This place was it. My order came out and I was more than ready to dig in. The first thing that stood out to me was how crunchy and fresh the chives were. I literally finished the first plate in 2 minutes and I was ready to order another one.
Crispness = 6.5/10
Freshness = 10/10
Meatiness = 9/10
4. Tasty Dumplings - 42 Mulberry St. - 5 for $1.25
When I saw the server take the dumplings out of a warmer on the stove, I instantly became iffy about this place. To my surprise, I was wrong! The first bite was so crispy and the pork filling was delicious. You got 5 per serving, however, these dumplings are still smaller than Prosperity. But, I think most places have smaller dumplings than Prosperity. They do have more seating space here - something I appreciate. I ended up going here another time and I got a batch of dumplings that were freshly cooked. That batch was amazing!
Crispness = 9/10
Freshness = 8.5/10
Meatiness = 8.5/10
LET'S BREAK IT DOWN
Tasty Dumpling gets the win. It is definitely a close second to Prosperity. Some other things to point out about Tasty is that: 1) Fast service 2) Closer to the main part of Chinatown 3) Cleaner and more seating 4) Better taste. I really do enjoy the options of sauces, freshness, and meatiness that came with Lam Zhou but they lacked the crispy factor. Overall, Tasty Dumplings and Lam Zhou is a good filler option if you are craving $1 dumplings. They might not be Prosperity Dumplings, but they do the job. Prosperity lovers will just have to wait until they reopen again.
Note To Self: You eat wayyyy too many fried dumplings.Take a break.