New York City, New York, USA

A Breakfast In Chinatown Under $5


5:54 PM Being a tourist in NYC first, I was madly confused about the food offer and what place is the coolest to hang out and eat.
I went with Instagram straight...let influencers infleunce me — so silly. Silly because 80% because of the tips were bullshit.
I decided to explore this world by myself.

Some of my co-workers are Asian and I heard a lot about their special sweet buns and 'desserts'. Being in NYC, I realized that I am in a mecca of cultures and melting pots. Damn, so many Asians. Maybe this is the right moment and time to dive into this Chinese world, exploring their perfect treats.
I researched for good Chinese bakeries and luckily I was living close enough to all of them so I would take romantic morning walks to explore every single one.
I didn't know that I would fall heavily in love with them.

My first experience was at Taipan bakery straight on Canal Street — where else? (It's like a main street straight in the middle of Chinatown). I went there with 10$ and hoped to find something eatable... I came out with 8$ and a taro bun. My heart just dropped into my pants. The taro bun is still one of the coolest things I ever ate!!

I couldn't believe the bakeries' offers are sooo huge and so cheap.
I was intrigued and continued testing Chinese bakery after bakery.

I still couldn't believe what delicious treats I was eating and discovering. Meanwhile my pockets were still full of cash and I found the most delicious way to save money.

Going to Starbucks or certain breakfast spots can be super expensive. I am definitely into the idea of treating myself and of course I buy myself a coffee at Starbucks here and then, but during vacation time I just can't spend my money like crazy. I have to watch what I am getting and if there are places where I can save a little bit, I'm definitely in. 

I did not continue exploring Chinatown, because it's so cheap, I just fell in love with their baking goods and enjoyed this culinary wonderland that brought me so much joy. 

After almost a week of diverse buns and pastries, I went home, telling everyone what cool and crazy things I enjoyed. This was an experience I knew I could only make in New York which made me enjoy this trip even harder. Those are memories I will never forget and I'm glad to share this with you now - why not? 

I'm always looking for cool hang out spots online and people still don't speak about bakeries and great things coming from Chinatown. How come? 
I guess this must be my job then. 

I am so excited to share this with you and I hope for your next (or first) NYC trip you will enjoy some treats Downtown. If you want to save some bucks, go to Chinatown. If you want to eat things you might not get at home, go to Chinatown. If you want to see authentic New York bakeries which aren't too crowded, go to Chinatown. 

Facts over facts. 

Let's talk some examples to keep you hungry. 
In the pictures you see a lot of bread. Fluffy dough and sexiness! What is all of that? It's basically a small selection which you can get at almost every Chinese bakery. Besides of bubble tea and coffee, you will find a huge selection from sweet buns like taro, milk, sweet potato, pineapple, and matcha, and also savory buns which are filled with pork, shrimps, and anything that makes your breakfast complete. French pastry can often also be found between rice balls and egg tarts. Cakes, desserts, there is so much to choose from - I know everyone will find a special treat. 
And again, don't worry about your wallet! You can choose two rich things and still feel like you didn't spend amounts of money. 


What do I recommend? 

Fay Da Bakery for lemon curd puff pastry. This is so amazing! Sour and sweet at the same time! It's under $3 and you can't even finish this huge thing! 

Taipan Bakery got the sexiest selection of egg tarts. One egg tart is $2 and the selection is something you will dream about forever! My favorites are the matcha and papaya egg tart! 

Kam Hing Coffee Shop - do you remember my post about the fluffiest cakes? Sponge cakes for $0.75... this is heaven and just too good to be true. Spend all your leftover money there - why not? 

Kam Boat Bakery for their sesame rice balls. They are only $1 and such a funny experience! Crunchy and sweet! Not super filling. but I loved trying these since I always wanted to eat them! 

Simply Bakery for their delicious ube bread! Make this experience and try things which you don't eat on a daily basis! Egg custard buns are available for $1,10 - something I will always buy at Simply Bakery! 

*I also bought this delicious walnut tangerine bread and I'm not sure if it was at Kam Boat Bakery... but this was a heavenly symbiosis! Creations like this can be only found in Chinatown! 


I love breakfasts like this. 
Of course there are better and healthier options out there, but I want to show you that no one has to be scared of Chinese culture and their food. 
There is more to discover than dumplings and fried noodles. 
You don't have to go to the places I recommend (again: there's more), but a walk through Chinatown is so worth it! 
An unforgettable food experience you will tell your kid's kids.