Cheap Eats: The Joy of Chinatown Dumplings

“Cheap Eats” is my post-series on cheap restaurants and prepared food options in New York. I recommend cooking your own food most of the time, but every once in a while it is nice to indulge and you don’t have to pay through the nose to do so. I plan to review many of the cheap options I find on various websites and will let you know if they are as good and as cheap as advertised. If you have a suggestion for a place to review, feel free to let me know through my contact page.

My first stop in this series is an old favorite of mine: Prosperity Dumpling. I heard about this dumpling shop years ago and thought that $1 for a serving of dumplings in New York City was too good to be true. I hopped off the B/D train at Grand St. and worked my way southeast to 46 Eldridge Street (map here). I proceeded to walk right by Prosperity Dumpling and, after some confusion when I realized I was too far south, backtracked and was greeted with this storefront:

Prosperity Dumpling Storefront
Not the most glamorous facade. But I have always been a function-over-form type of guy.

I walked inside. Well, more accurately, I proceeded to open the door and find that there wasn’t enough room for me to step into the building. The place is quite small. But don’t worry, the claustrophobia is temporary and the anticipation of delicious dumplings will take over.

I recommend the Chives and Pork Dumplings. You get 4 for $1! What a deal. Since my first trip to Prosperity Dumpling, I have discovered the Sesame Pancake ($1) and the Sesame Pancake with Pork and Vegetables ($2).

Pork & Chive Dumplings
Always hot and delicious!

 

Sesame Pancake with Pork and Vegetables
I accidentally ordered Pork & Vegetable Sesame Pancake while trying to order the regular. It was an extra dollar, but SO good.

I recommend taking the food to-go as I am sure you can find a much more spacious place to eat (there is a park 1 block west). BUT WAIT! Before you go, make sure to grab some of the sauce they have on the counters. Put that on your dumplings and then you are allowed to leave. As far as the taste of the food, well, it’s amazing. Take note, this is not the healthiest option out there. The Sesame Pancake in particular is a little greasy, so I wouldn’t recommend eating here all the time, but it is a truly satisfying lunch for $2/$3.

But wait, there’s more! Recently, I started purchasing Prosperity Dumpling’s 50-pack of frozen dumplings to make at home, sold at the very same location. The total price for the frozen pack is $9. They are extremely easy to prepare at home. And, depending on your preparation style, they can be slightly healthier (not fried up in oil).

Frozen Dumplings
Just throw these in your freezer and cook a few whenever you get that dumpling craving!

I should note that there are other dumpling places in Chinatown that are just as cheap. I haven’t tried the others because I am so satisfied with Prosperity Dumpling, but if any of you have dumpling experiences that you would like to share, feel free to mention them in the comments!


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14 thoughts on “Cheap Eats: The Joy of Chinatown Dumplings

  1. The Jackal December 20, 2013 at 9:50 am

    GREAT POST! CAN’T WAIT TO GO!

    – JACKAL

  2. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply December 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Being Chinese and living in NYC…well Queens, I have been to Chinatown often…though I don’t really venture there much anymore. I have to say, you really get bang for your buck when you eat there! Went to dim sum recently and I think the bill came out to $120 after tip for 13 people! Never been to this dumpling spot…usually go to Noodletown or Big Wong…might have to check it out if I’m in the area.

    • Mr NYBudget December 23, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      It’s a great deal indeed. Although, one are of the city I haven’t explored is actually Flushing out in Queens. I have heard that there are amazing Chinese food options out there. It’s definitely on my list.
      Mr NYBudget recently posted: Cheap Eats: The Joy of Chinatown DumplingsMy Profile

  3. Connie @ Savvy With Saving December 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    I love Chinatown – amazing food for cheap. And you can find fresh groceries for half the price of regular supermarkets. I’ve been meaning to check out prosperity dumpling….definitely will go the next time I’m in the area.

    • Mr NYBudget December 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      One of my goals for 2014 is to learn more about Chinatown groceries as well!

  4. David December 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    That is why every time I go to Chinatown I bring a smaller amount of cash with me, but never a credit card.
    I feel that Chinese food is both tasty, cheap, and filling; however, I still refuse to eat at McDonald’s.

  5. Financial Samurai December 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I’ll check it out next time!

    I went to Joe’s Shanghai and was very disappointed this time. Nothing beats Din Tai Fung in Taipei!
    Financial Samurai recently posted: If You Can Make It In Hawaii You Can Make It AnywhereMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget December 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      Well, I can’t comment on the authenticity. And it certainly isn’t the healthiest option. But man, they are delicious in my book!

  6. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life December 27, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    As a vegetarian I’m always worried there’s going to be some mystery meat slipped into my dumplings. Spent too much time working in China 😉
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted: 2013: Looking BackMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget December 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Great call – no idea if the cooking oils they use are veggie-friendly either!

  7. Danny January 3, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Great post! My wife opened my eyes to the not only the restaurants in the Chinatown area, but how inexpensive the produce/dumplings/meats are as well around Mott and Elizabeth (near Canal St, but not past Hester St). They are significantly higher quality, and cheaper, then going to a Trader Joe’s, which is my usually “go to” place for groceries. I’m not usually on that side of Canal, where Prosperity Dumplings is, but will need to check this place out in the future. Thanks for the heads up!

    • Mr NYBudget January 3, 2014 at 10:08 am

      I can’t wait to get started exploring the markets in Chinatown as well! Hope you enjoy Prosperity Dumpling!

  8. NZ Muse January 15, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Mmmm. We only ate in Chinatown NYC once but that was one very random and very good value meal. In Auckland you can get a plate of about 20 dumplings but it’ll cost you at least $10, sometimes more like $14.

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