Fresh Favorites at Chinatown Bakeries

As Manhattan’s ever-shifting Chinatown creeps north and east, it leaves a trail of bao and buns. A current hound favorite is one of the neighborhood’s newer bakeries, Double Crispy on Grand Street. houdipuffy passes on the pastry counter in back and homes in on the goods displayed on the west side of the shop—especially the raisin and lemon twist roll.

On East Broadway, Sun Light Bakery has fed the recent obsessions of christinag123. Vanilla sponge cake rolls, roast pork buns, and ham-and-cheese buns. Nice apple buns, too, plus a wide selection of tapioca teas and fresh juices. To christina, Sun Light outshines the neighboring Golden Carriage. But Sweatshirt Guy (who’s also a Golden Carriage guy) puts in a word for custard buns and exceptionally good coffee at this mini-chain outlet.

A few blocks west, Greg reports exceptional roast pork buns—without onions or lumps of fat, if that’s your preference—at King Wah. (Also recommended here: raisin bread, butter bread, and impossibly light sponge cake.) Another worthy pork bun lurks behind the counter at the recently renovated Canal Seafood Restaurant. Both steamed and baked varieties are good, boasting a tasty and not overly sweet filling, says bigjeff. Lucky King is the current steamed-bun hangout of wleatherette. And two perennial favorites for pork buns, the dinerish Chatham Restaurant and Mei Lai Wah, continue to deliver the goods, aided by high traffic that ensures freshness.

Some longtime hound hangouts remain competitive, including Golden Dragon Boat and Dragon Land. At the latter, check out fried sesame balls, vegetable-filled puff pastries, and red bean-filled bolo bao (look for the crumbly, egg-glazed “pineapple” topping). May May, long celebrated for its zong zi (seasoned sticky rice with meat and vegetables in banana leaf), also serves up amazingly good lotus seed pie, says Peter Cherches, as well as sweet, restorative lemon-ginger cider.

Among the local bakery empires, Foodaholic finds Fay Da the most consistent. Look for irresistible rice balls—in mango, coconut, taro, or green tea-red bean flavors—near the register, urges NancyC. bluehensfan has a soft spot for the Switzerland bun, a braided sweet bread iced in zigzags and swirls.

Tai Pan also has its partisans, including lutkie, who favors its buns and hot, sweet tea. SunnysideUp is partial to the triple-decker tea sandwiches: ham, tomato and sliced egg with light, sweet mayonnaise on white bread—”very British but somehow very Chinatown.”

Double Crispy Bakery [Chinatown]
230 Grand St., between Bowery and Elizabeth St., Manhattan
212-966-6929
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Sun Light Bakery [Chinatown]
160 E. Broadway, near Rutgers St., Manhattan
212-608-8899
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Golden Carriage Bakery [Chinatown]
162 E. Broadway, at Rutgers St., Manhattan
212-732-9871
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Golden Carriage Bakery [Chinatown]
79 Chrystie St., between Hester and Grand, Manhattan
212-226-2272
Locater

Golden Carriage Bakery [Chinatown]
15 Catherine St., between E. Broadway and Henry, Manhattan
212-267-2933
Locater

Golden Carriage Bakery [Chinatown]
153 Centre St., between Canal and Walker, Manhattan
212-219-8824
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King Wah Bakery [Chinatown]
25 E. Broadway, between Catherine and Market Sts., Manhattan
212-513-7107
Locater

Canal Seafood Restaurant [Chinatown]
266 Canal St., between Lafayette St. and Broadway, Manhattan
212-274-1535
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Lucky King Bakery [Chinatown]
280 Grand St., between Eldridge and Forsythe, Manhattan
212-219-8434
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Chatham Restaurant [Chinatown]
9 Chatham Sq., between E. Broadway and Doyers St., Manhattan
212-267-0220
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Mei Lai Wah Coffee House [Chinatown]
64 Bayard St., between Elizabeth and Mott, Manhattan
212-925-5435
Locater

Golden Dragon Boat Cafe and Bakery [Chinatown]
111 Bowery, between Hester and Grand Sts., Manhattan
212-274-1822
Locater

Dragon Land Bakery [Chinatown]
125 Walker St., at Baxter, Manhattan
212-219-2012
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May May Gourmet Chinese Bakery [Chinatown]
35 Pell St., between Mott and Doyers, Manhattan
212-267-0733
Locater

Fay Da Bakery [Chinatown]
83 Mott St., at Canal, Manhattan
212-791-3884
Locater

Fay Da Bakery [Chinatown]
191 Centre St., between Howard and Canal, Manhattan
212-966-8943
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Fay Da Bakery [Chinatown]
82 Elizabeth St., between Grand and Hester, Manhattan
212-966-8206
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Fay Da Bakery [Flushing]
135-16 Roosevelt Ave., between Prince and Main Sts., Flushing, Queens
718-961-7898
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Fay Da Bakery [Flushing]
4160 Main St., between Sanford and Maple Aves., Flushing, Queens
718-886-4568
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Fay Da Bakery [Flushing]
3711 Main St., between 37th and 38th Aves., Flushing, Queens
718-888-9890
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Fay Da Bakery [Elmhurst]
8612 Justice Ave., Elmhurst, Queens
718-205-5835
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Fay Da Bakery [Flushing]
formerly Le Petit Pain
4615 Kissena Blvd., near Holly Ave., Flushing, Queens
718-353-0730
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Tai Pan Bakery [Chinatown]
194 Canal St., between Mott and Mulberry, Manhattan
212-732-2222
Locater

Tai Pan Bakery [Flushing]
3725 Main St., between 37th and 38th Aves., Flushing, Queens
718-461-8668
Locater

Tai Pan Bakery [Flushing]
4205B Main St., between Maple and Franklin Aves., Flushing, Queens
718-460-8787
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Board Links: Favorite Chinatown bakery?
Best Baked Pork Buns?

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