Chinese New Year: Where to Ring in the Year of the Dog

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with parades and lion dances, of course, but also with some of the best dim sum and Cantonese food in NYC.

According to the lunar calendar, the 2018 Chinese New Year (kicking off February 16) marks the Year of the Dog. Festivities will take place all over town, but if you want to celebrate the right way, here is our list of the best restaurants, parades, and ceremonies in Chinatown and beyond. Kung hei fat choi!


Málà Project
This hip East Village eatery will be offering new dishes just in time for the holiday, including eggplant with roasted garlic; sticky rice stuffed with lotus root; braised beef heart; and more. The atmosphere is modern and low-key, but the food is 100 percent authentic. Come here with friends if you’d prefer to skip the pageantry (and crowds) of Chinatown. 122 First Avenue (between East 7th and 8th Streets), East Village

Chinese new year nyc 2018

Golden Unicorn
Dim sum at this high-energy Chinatown mainstay is and should be a tradition for all New Yorkers. The large dining room is filled with busy servers pushing steaming dim sum carts, peddling their dumplings around the circular tables. Try as many as you can, but don’t miss the steamed pork siu mai, steamed roasted pork buns, and baked lotus puffs. 18 East Broadway (between Catherine and Market Streets), Chinatown

Joe’s Shanghai
A Chinatown institution for years, Joe’s Shanghai has a fun, bustling environment and—more important—some of the most mouthwatering soup dumplings in the city. The kitchen here also deserves special recognition for its spicy Szechuan–style sliced beef and crispy jumbo prawns. Joe’s is a great spot for groups, but be prepared to wait, especially during the new year celebrations. It’s worth it! 9 Pell Street (between Doyers and Elizabeth Streets), Chinatown

Chinese new year nyc 2018

Amazing 66
Though the decor at this standard-seeming classic Chinese restaurant won’t make you ooh and ahh, the top-notch Cantonese food it serves lives up to the name. If you go with a group (and you should; most dishes are served family style and the portions are generous), order the Peking duck for the table. 66 Mott Street (between Bayard and Canal Streets), Chinatown

Buddakan will be offering a spectacular Chinese New Year brunch with dishes from its delicious à la carte menu—order the king crab and lobster shumai with red pepper and yuzu; the foie gras and chicken dumplings in lemongrass consommé; and the carrot dumplings with shiitake mushrooms and scallions—along with a traditional tea service and lion dancers75 Ninth Avenue (between West 15th and 16th Streets), Chelsea

Chinese new year nyc 2018

Jing Fong
Another popular dim sum hall. Our strategy is to check out the wait times both here and at Golden Unicorn (they’re five minutes apart) and go for the shortest. Neither spot will disappoint. Just save room for dessert at Jing Fong; the egg tarts are a must-try. 20 Elizabeth Street (between Canal and Bayard Streets), Chinatown

Chinese Tuxedo
A hot spot for traditional Cantonese fare, Chinese Tuxedo (said to be housed in a former Chinese opera house) is a worthy destination to celebrate the new year. For $95 a head, you and your fellow brunchmates can indulge in 10 of the restaurant’s best dishes, including shrimp and wood ear mushroom shumai, along with unlimited White Peach Bellinis and the Bloody Angle, a twist on the Bloody Mary. 5 Doyers Street (between Bowery and Pell Street), Chinatown

Chinese new year nyc 2018
High-end Cantonese at Chinese Tuxedo.

Mr. Fong’s
Head to this hip dive under the Manhattan Bridge for Chinese New Year cocktails (we’ll be sipping the salted plum old-fashioned) and light bites. Nothing soaks up booze better than Mr. F’s take on the pork bun, made with steamed bacon, pickles, mayo, and sriracha on a potato roll. 40 Market Street (between Madison and Henry Streets), Chinatown


Chinese New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival
Go early to grab a spot at Sara D. Roosevelt Park for the Lunar New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival, something every New Yorker should experience at least once. Firecrackers will start at noon. February 16, 11 a.m.–3:30 p.m.; Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Grand and Chrystie Streets, Chinatown

19th Annual New York City Lunar Chinese New Year Parade and Festival
The streets of Chinatown come alive with dancing and music during the annual New Year Parade on February 25. There will be Chinese music, costumes, traditional dancing, and, of course, the classic bobbing-and-weaving lion dancers. The parade is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. February 25, 1–4 p.m.; parade kicks off at the corner of Mott and Canal Streets in Manhattan

China Institute
Ring in the Year of the Dog with the entire clan at this family-friendly event, jam-packed with cooking classes, arts and crafts, live music, and performances. The day will start out with a lion dance and dumpling-making workshops. February 25, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.; 100 Washington Street (between Carlisle and Rector Streets), Financial District

Fully immerse yourself in Chinatown vibes during the Year of the Dog. Let our experience advisers help! Read about NYC’s vibrant Chinatowns in Manhattan and Queens in The Guide.