Buddhabong's Top 5: Cheap Eats in New York's Chinatown

Vanessa's Dumpling House

Address: 118 Eldridge St.
Website: n/a

Strapped for scratch, hungry, and craving dumplings? Look no further than Vanessa's, the best bang for the buck.

The fried pork chive dumplings are semi-greasy, hand-made, and potbelly-plump. The burnt edges provide a light crunch when you bite down, unleashing all that flavor. And get this: a single dollar gets you four dumplings. Pow.

Inside the boiled shrimp dumplings, you'll find five-to-six mini shrimps compacted together with ginger and scallions. Because they're boiled, the dumplings remain tender and delicate. $4 gets you eight.

To complete my trip, I ordered the pork sesame pancake sandwich and the duck pancake sandwich. The sesame pork sandwich is filling, packed with chopped pork pieces, carrots, and scallions.

The sesame duck sandwich contains hunks of soft boneless duck covered with hoasin sauce, carrots, and cucumber. The sesame bun is sweet and oily—think of a Vietnamese bánh mì shaped like a slice of pizza. The duck could've used more sauce, but at two bucks a sandwich, there's really no reason to complain.

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