chinese (35)
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PaTea Brown sugar oolong milk tea with boba: I really love living in NYC, but one thing that was missing for me was a mom-and-pop super-asian bubble tea shop, the kind that has an overwhelming number of flavors that isn’t a major chain like Gong Cha or Coco. Those types of shops are omnipresent in the Bay Area, but not so much here. However, that gap has now been filled by PaTea, a very small bubble tea shop a few blocks away from Union Square. There, they have the “chubby” bucket-sized bubble tea cups in a variety of milk and fruit te... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 boba tea milk oolong sugar brown patea asian chinese milktea drinks bubbletea nyc recommended
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Kuang Chuan Oolong Tea: I spent some time this summer looking for the best asian grocery store to buy bottled tea in Chinatown and ended up wandering into a handful of different small shops. To be honest, I don’t recall exactly which one this drink was from, but this bottle of oolong tea was decent - slightly roasted flavor, unsweetened, and thirst quenching. It wasn’t good enough for me to seek out again, though. 3.0/5.0

3.0 oolong kuangchuan chinese tea drinks
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Golden Steamer Lotus bun: My coworkers may think I was joking when I said I was going to try every bun from Chinese bao shop Golden Steamer, but let me assure you that I’m going to do my best. This lotus bun was a more traditional option, with a thick and sweet lotus seed paste filling and standard steamed white bun that is denser than other options at The Little Italy bakery. Not as good as the other buns I’ve had, but still, at under $1, it’s hard to complain. 3.0/5.0

3.0 bun lotus goldensteamer nyc chinese bao
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Golden Steamer Pumpkin Bun: Golden Steamer epitomizes what I love about NYC. It’s a hole-in-the-wall, cash-only bao shop right off of Canal St on Mott in Chinatown, with sweet and savory offerings all around $1 each. The sizable buns can easily be a meal on its own, offering an incredible value. This lightly sweetened pumpkin bun has a eggy flavor and starchy, creamy layers of pumpkin paste towards the center. The bread is more dense than their white buns used in their savory baos (reviews forthcoming) but the bread st... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 bun pumpkin goldensteamer bao steamed chinese bakery nyc cheap recommended
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Arctic Ocean Orange soda: Arctic Ocean is a Chinese orange soda that has a neon-yellow color similar to Lemon Gatorade. It’s slightly less sweet than Sunkist or Fanta but has a similar underlying citrus flavor, though milder. It tastes more like tangerine to me than your typical orange soda. As you may expect, its ingredients are just high fructose corn syrup, orange juice, sugar, and water. A decent level of carbonation, with smaller bubbles than Coke soft drinks. Overall, not anything particularly out of the ordinary. 3.0/5.0

3.0 soda orange arcticocean citrus chinese drinks
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Golden Gate Bakery Sesame Ball: A dim sum classic, fried glutinous rice balls filled with red bean and tossed in toasted sesame seeds are a rare treat often worth the calories. Instead of choosing the default eggtart at San Francisco Chinatown’s Golden Gate Bakery, I selected their take on the sesame ball, seemingly transmogrified to twice its normal size. Barely fitting in my palm, the ball still had the same thin glutinous rice shell you expect but with double the amount of red bean paste inside. As the red bean paste is... (read more) 2.0/5.0

2.0 ball sesame goldengatebakery sanfrancisco chinese glutinous redbean