The (temporary) closing of Prosperity Dumpling on Eldridge street has thrown the world of bottom dollar dining into chaos. On the one hand, the aerial photograph of workers making those tasty dumplings in a Chinatown alley aside rats and trash is pretty gross. On the other hand, there is the lurching thought: “Where else can we get 50 frozen dumplings for $9 or 4 perfectly fried/steamed dumplings for $1???” We don’t want to know what goes on in a dollar dumpling kitchen, so we’ve never asked. And so here we are.
But have no fear. You may recall that in previous years, we sent intrepid columnist Luke Kingma to Chinatown several times a week for his column Sunday in Chinatown. He’s provided us here with a guide to 7 alternative dollar dumplings to tide you over until Prosperity Dumpling reopens.
1. Vanessa’s Dumplings, Eldridge Street
118 Eldridge Street
New York, NY 10002 [Map]
Perhaps the most well-known of the dollar dumpling spots outside of Prosperity is Vanessa’s, whose popularity has allowed it to sprout multiple locations around New York City: on 14th Street in the East Village and on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg. It’s also just a few blocks north of Prosperity, so you won’t need to completely break your current dumpling routine.
Pros: Unlike the other ‘restaurants’ on the list, Vanessa’s is actually a restaurant. It’s the kind of place you can take your non-adventurous friends without forfeiting your dinner recommendation privileges. It’s also very busy, which means your dumplings will always be fresh and hot.
Cons: Because it’s so busy, you’ll rarely find a table, and even if you do, you’ll likely need to weaponize your small plastic fork to keep it. Also, don’t expect the same Chinatown prices at 14th Street or Bedford Avenue, 4 dumplings will cost you at least $1.50 or more.