Prosperity Dumpling-Chinatown-Closure-Close-Dollar Dumplings-Chinatown-NYC

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 ChinatownHe’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

Vanessa's Dumpling House-Chinatown-14th Street-Bedford Avenue-Brooklyn-East Village-Dollar Dumplings-NYC

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.

2. Fried Dumpling, Mosco Street 

Fried Dumpling-Chinatown-Dollar Dumplings-NYC

106 Mosco Street
New York, NY 10013 [Map]

Nestled in a small alley between Mott Street and Mulberry Street right off the main drag is Fried Dumpling, the most creatively named spot on our list. The space is cramped and starkly lit, so Prosperity patrons will feel right at home.

Pros: It’s right in the center of old Chinatown, where any other dumpling dish you’ll find will be four to five times the price. But here, Fried Dumpling still manages to keep them at $1 (again, we don’t want to know).

Cons: As Foursquare and Yelp reviews suggest, its dumpling chefs can be a bit hostile to customers. They also mix the most watered down dumpling sauce in Chinatown… dangerous business if we have something to say about it.

3. Tasty Dumpling, Mulberry Street

42 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10013 [Map]

Originally, we had shamed Tasty Dumpling a bit for missing the dollar dumpling cut by a quarter, but $1.25 for 5 dumplings in 2015 still ain’t bad, especially considering most dollar dumpling spots only give you 4 anyway.

Pros: Tasty Dumpling have recently undergone a renovation, so the space is a lot cleaner and more breathable than most dumpling spots in town.

Cons: Tasty Dumpling comes in (close) second for most watered down sauces in Chinatown. It’s just one of many corners we wish weren’t cut, because we just love dumpling sauce so much.

4. Jin Mei Dumpling, Henry Street

Jin Mei Dumplings-Dollar Dumplings-Chinatown-NYC

25B Henry Street
New York, NY 10002 [Map]

Hidden on a quiet street in the deep south of Chinatown, Jin Mei is a welcome relief from the uncontrolled chaos around Canal Street.

Pros: Jin Mei is the least busy spot on the list. You’ll have your dumplings thirty seconds after you walk in the door, and you’ll be eating them at your own table in another fifteen.

Cons: Because there’s never a line out the door, your steamy dumplings risk basking in the fryer for a while before you eat them. The street surrounding Jin Mei is also a bit barren, so there’s not much to take in besides pork and chives.

5. Super Taste [Chinatown]

Super Taste Dumplings-Chinatown-Dollar Dumplings-NYCSteamed Dumplings at Super Taste ($3)

26 Eldridge Street
New York, NY  10002 [Map]

Perched on an unassuming block between Canal and Division Street, Super Taste is best known for its cheap noodle soups. But there are dumplings here, too, so keep your eyes on the prize.

Pros: The real highlight here is the dumpling sauce. Don’t bother with the pre-mixed stuff on your table. You’ll receive a small container of their specialty sauce – the most perfect blend of soy sauce, garlic, and vinegar you’ll ever find – to help wash your dumplings down.

Cons: Super Taste serves the most ‘expensive’ dumplings on the list at 10 for $3. That’s 3.33 dumplings per dollar if you’re doing the math, but the big difference is that they’re steamed, so it’s hard to even count it against them.

6. Kai Feng Fu, Sunset Park

4801 8th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11220 [Map]

We haven’t forgotten about you Brooklyn. Unsurprisingly, your best shot at dollar dumplings can be found in Sunset Park, where they stand tall with the best of Chinatown.

Pros: You don’t have to take the subway into Manhattan. What more could you want, Brooklynites?

Cons: I’ve found from personal experience that it’s hard to convince other people to trek out to Sunset Park, especially for dumplings. So, you may be eating alone. (That, or I’ve got the wrong kinds of friends.)

7. Tianjin Homemade Dumplings, Main Street, Flushing

Steamed Dumplings at Tianjin Homemade Dumplings, (12 for $4)

4128 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355 [Map]

Tianjin Homemade Dumplings is located in the main hallway of the Golden Mall in Flushing, our absolute favorite subterranean food court in the city (though The New World Mall’s is pretty great too). For the wary, you can at least see with your own eyes the dumplings being made in front of you.

Pros: Tianjin boasts the greatest selection of dumpling flavors and ingredients on the whole list by a long shot. The pork dumplings with dill and the lamb dumplings with green squash are especially interesting. These are probably the best dumplings in New York right now.

Cons: The secret is out on The Golden Mall, and prices are rising as a result. Tianjin’s full menu was once full of “$4 for 12” dumpling deals, but those days are mostly over. Still, you’ll walk out far south of $10, so don’t let it deter you.