Mission Chinese (171 E Broadway)
Definitely go—it’s a take on the typical fast-food Chinese places that have buffets (hence the pizza and some non-Chinese items) but the food is AMAZING. They only just started taking reservations but people line up starting when it opens. It also has a sister restaurant called Mission Cantina that always switches up what it does, but it’s mainly known for cheap huge burritos.
Royal Seafood (103 Mott St)
This is one of the BEST dim sum places, and very authentic. EXTREMELY cheap. It has good regular food as well but the dim sum is the highlight. You just walk in and will likely be seated with strangers at a big round table.
Joe’s Shanghai (9 Pell St)
Soup dumpling mecca. They have arguably the best ones. Doesn’t take reservations so there’s usually a line and you may sit with strangers, but it moves quickly. The fried rice and string beans are also some of the best dishes. Super cheap. Cash only.