So many restaurants... it's easy to stick to your faves and pass the rest by. Here are a few, never mentioned on Chowhound, that you might have passed by. All are in the most touristy part of Chinatown, though all are patronized by a predominantly Chinese crowd. None is a contender for best in the nabe... but if you placed any one of them in any American city between NY and California, they'd be the best in 500 miles. Here they are, from south to north.
Lucky 11 11 Mott This used to be a Taiwanese place, but new owners added on some Shanghainese and a few Cantonese dishes. You can have a great Taiwanese chicken-basil casserole accompanied by Shanghainese dishes such as intestines in brown sauce. I havent been there this year, and on my last visit the quality had gone a bit downhill. I'm hoping that that's temporary, this was one of my faves.
Sing Wong, 13 Mott I like their casseroles, e.g. grouper, lightly breaded, with mushrooms and tofu in a lovely brown sauce. Havent been this year.
Danny Ng Pell St My first time at this old Cantonese standby tonight. I ordered pork belly with preserved veg from the Chinese menu. I've had better... but, judging from the procession of elaborate, elegant fish and seafood dishes that went to the other tables, the kitchen has too.
Mr Tang 50 Mott St. Yes it looks like a tourist trap, but you can get good Cantonese stuff if you stay clear of the tourist fare.
Asian Cafe 51 Bayard I love this place. Yes they offer weird stuff to entice a younger, American born Chinese crowd, like spaghetti with ham, chicken and corn, but they do the traditional stuff really well... I like the casseroles. The service, which when they opened was like something from the three stooges, has vastly improved. Always crowded.
Dragon, 200 Centre. A new place just north of Canal. I've been once, had the stewed chicken casserole, and it was very good though not the best I've had. (I cant remember the full name.)
Does anyone know any others? I've omitted those known on this board, such as New Big Wang at 1 Elizabeth, Cantoon Garden, and East Ocean.