Have you ever felt rushed, not having enough time to grab a quick lunch and running late for work? Have you complained about the poor quality of bento box or poke bowl? For young white-collar workers and students in New York City, the most challenging part can be deciding what to get. Finding a decent, satisfying lunch may be more difficult than you expect, even in the Big Apple. To make your next lunch out worth your while, we have compiled a comprehensive list of simple, convenient and delicious Chinese fast food to enjoy in NYC.
1 Junzi Kitchen
This modern, stylish and cozy restaurant makes quick and delicious Chinese food. They serve northern Chinese-style noodles daily - with a funkier, more indulgent Afterhour menu on the weekends. They have locations near NYU, Columbia, Yale, and Bryant Park.
My favorite meal is their classic tomato pork dish, with knife noodles, tomato and egg sauce, braised pork hock, Chinese cauliflower, pickled daikon, and cilantro. YUM!
2 Xi’an Famous Food
Xi’an Famous Food is finally getting the fame it deserves. Its claim to fame: the first restaurant to bring the undiscovered cuisine of Xi’an to the United States.
Now, they have expanded. They have multiple locations across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Its a family business and the owners hope to “reintroduce the world to the unique cuisine of their hometown: liangpi ‘cold skin’ noodles, lamb pao mo soup and wide hand-pulled ‘biang biang’ noodles, all in its most authentic form.”
3 Peppercorn Kitchen
Committed to serving “mouth-watering Sichuan flavors with fresh ingredients and family recipes,” Peppercorn Kitchen in Greenwich Village provides authentic Sichuan cuisine. Their spicy wonton has brought me instant comfort on chilly NYC winter evenings.
It's one of my favorite "anxiety relief" foods. When I eat their delicious, spicy broth, all my school anxiety immediately melts away.
4 Mala Project
During an interview with my friend Melissa Shan, a cofounder of Mala Project said that this innovative restaurant is ambitiously creating an unforgettable experience for customers with and without Chinese roots. Indeed, in addition to the classic dry pot, Mala Project has a “variety of satisfying Chinese home-cooking dishes... offered to solve nostalgia for the homesick.”
My personal favorite dish is the short rib with sour plums, as well as sticky rice stuffed lotus root.