February 27, 2023
Most cities have their own Chinatown, a place to explore Asian cuisine within an authentic community. Growing up in NYC, I visited Chinatown almost weekly, exploring new foods each week and documenting them with my best friend Sara. Our favorite food was Xiaolongbao, and we went to 20 different places in the city throughout our adolescence, exploring what the city has to offer for the best soup dumplings. However, we decided to journey 45 minutes out of Manhattan’s Chinatown to Flushing, Queens, where another Chinatown resides.
Flushing is vastly different from Manhattan. There are far less tourists, there is much more ground to cover, with the food being much less in cost. It’s the perfect spot for foodies like me and Sara to thrive and explore new cuisines. We spent a total of 8 hours here, spending all of our money on goodies and treats, all while being guided by Tik Toks reviews.
We started at this dumpling stand outside. I didn’t catch its name, but I would know exactly where to find it when I go back. These dumplings were incredible. I got the pork and chive dumplings, with a sauce on the side. They were steaming and they were cheap. Sara got mushroom and bok choy buns. Both of these snacks were flavorful and unique, and again, so cheap. For NYC, one of the most expensive cities in the world, anything cheap and good is basically 1gold.
On our way to our next destination, we stopped at an arcade store for Sara to attempt to win a plushie. She failed. But we got some truffle fries in the meantime so it wasn’t a complete loss.
We then ventured out to White Bear, a place all foodies rave about. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the restaurant, and got discouraged after looking around. Plus… we were a little full from the dumpling stand and avoided being mad at ourselves for not trying the most raved place.
We set back out onto the streets, exploring the scenery around us until we felt hungry again. Sara stopped at the famous Rainbow Bakery, where she got a watermelon cake loaf. It looked delicious but I don’t like sweets.
After more walking we finished at the ultimate destination: Witch Toppoki. This was a place I saw on Tik Tok only recently, since it was fairly new. Regardless of the fact that there were little reviews since it was new, the food didn’t disappoint. It pretty much was one of the most fun and interactive restaurants I’ve ever been to. Walking in, we’re immediately taken to our table with a hot stove in the middle of us. We are instructed to go to the buffet and craft our own toppoki meal. We make a sauce in one bowl, then have the toppings in the other. There were endless options and it was basically my idea of Heaven. We filled our bowls with plain rice cakes, bok choy, cabbage, green onions, cheese, udon noodles, and eggs. And of course, we made our sauce extra spicy. We cooked it in between us and devoured it in minutes. It was probably one of my favorite dining experiences of my life.
Flushing, Queens has a unique Chinatown that is definitely overlooked compared to the Manhattan one. I made the best decision to venture out from the bustling downtown city in order to get better and cheaper food. I highly recommend visiting Flushing if you are a foodie and love cheap eats!