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Dumpling House, Chinatown

118 Eldridge Street
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 625 8008's insider take:

Hardly a restaurant, this sliver of space in the part of Chinatown that bleeds into the Lower East Side makes and sells fabulous dumplings. These little parcels are notable not only for their impossibly crisp bottoms and luscious pork-and-chive filling but also for their unbeatable price-to-tastiness ratio: Five cost just $1. Compared with that deal, a triangular slice of puffy, golden sesame pancake split horizontally and laid with preserved beef, pickled carrots, and cilantro sprigs seems like a splurge at a buck fifty. The decor is not just no-frills but virtually nonexistent, so hunker down at one of a half dozen stools at the counter in the back if you must. Or better still, lug your cheap feast a block west to the park.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.