It's Chinese New Year, New Yorkers! Time to ring in the Year of the Monkey, which won't come back around until 2028.
Get ready to see plenty of lions, monkeys, and dragons dancing through the streets of New York City, and through Chinatown in particular.
Apart from firecrackers and parading animals, New Yorkers celebrating the occasion are preparing to eat delicious Chinese cuisine.
The New York Times reports that Stephen Li, a partner of the Great N.Y. Noodletown, believed that "Sunday will most likely be the busiest days of the year in Chinatown." We're pretty sure that between Super Bowl Sunday and the observation of the eve of the Lunar New Year, Mr. Li was probably right.
But why is Chinese New Year so important? It's the day in which people traditionally honor gods and ancestors, and that their actions on this day will determine their luck for the rest of the new year.
Beyond anything else, it's a celebration of family, and the best way to celebrate family, is around food.
Here are some of the best places to eat your way into the Chinese New Year:
1. Lao Di Fang (28 Forsyth Street)
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What better way to celebrate Chinese New Year than to eat some hand pulled noodles? This small, family owned restaurant is also perfect for your budget.
If you're looking for authentic cuisine and the perfect spot to take in Chinatown's festivities, Lao Di Fang is it.
2. Yunnan BBQ (79 Clinton Street)
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If you're looking for an upscale spot to celebrate, head on over to Clinton Street for a five-course tasting menu ($48 per person), or just order from their regular menu.
However, they will be closed on Monday to celebrate the New Year, but their special menu will be served February 10th to February 12th.
3. King's County Imperial (20 Skillman Avenue - Brooklyn)
johannabarr gotta get down on friday
Looking to celebrate family? Head over to Brooklyn on February 8th for a four-course family-style meal for $55 a person.
You can look forward to dishes like seafood-stuffed spring rolls, lobster yee mein made with Maine lobster, crispy tea-smoked half duck, savory eight jewel shrimp and dried bean curd, and a selection of desserts. We're on board. If you're not, you can simply order from their regular menu. Killjoy.
4. 21 Shanghai House (21 Division Street)
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This spot is perfect for anyone who wants an authentic meal that will please an Americanized palate. The steamed pork buns are out of this world, and you get 8 pieces for only $5.95.
Make sure to also order the Shanghai rice cakes. They're lightly fried but entirely delicious. It's a great spot to go with a crowd, or even order take out, because we can guarantee you that Chinatown will be crowded this weekend.
5. Fung Tu (22 Orchard Street)
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If you're a lover of more Americanized-Chinese cuisine, you'll love the week-long specials running from February 8th to February 13th in celebration of the Lunar New Year.
He'll have specials like a scallop-stuffed wantons in a mushroom celery broth. However, we really love their "Braised Char Siu Beef Short Ribs with Broccoli Rabe and Koshihikari Rice," from their regular menu.[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]