Where to Eat this Lunar New Year

Traditionally, the Lunar New Year is a celebration of unity—a time when family and friends partake in traditions (like feasting on dumplings and sticky rice balls) to bring good fortune into the new year. Photo courtesy of Tang Hot Pot.

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, celebrates the start of the new year and the arrival of spring. Traditionally, it is a celebration of unity—a time when family and friends gather to honor ancestors and deities. Together, loved ones, whether near or far-flung, partake in traditions (like feasting on dumplings and sticky rice balls) to bring good fortune into the new year. The Year of the Pig officially begins on February 5, and the festivities continue through February 19.

Here, a few restaurants around Manhattan that are ringing in the Lunar New Year by offering dishes that unite culinary tradition and inventiveness.

Photo courtesy of MáLà Project.

MáLà Project
East Village 122 1st Ave.
Midtown 41 W. 46th St.

MáLà Project, which was started by Amelie Jang and Meng Ai, has a year-round mission to “bring unaltered, most original Chinese dishes to New York,” so you can rest assured knowing that their “15 Days of Celebration” menu for the New Year won’t disappoint. Throughout February 5–19, the East Village location is rotating their offerings every day to bring you dishes like Corn Congee and Turnip Beef Soup, and the Midtown location is featuring a refreshing cocktail with yuzu and cherry liquor.

Photo courtesy of Little Alley.

Little Alley
Midtown East
550 3rd Ave.

If you’re craving Shanghainese flavors, Little Alley is the place to go. Chef Yuchun Cheung was born and raised in Shanghai. Coming from a lineage of restaurateurs and chefs, he honors tradition and comforting flavors of his home country by spotlighting the culinary traditions used in everyday kitchens. From January 31–February 10, Little Alley is showcasing Dungeness Crab with Salted Duck Egg, Cheese Baked Lobster, Sweet and Sour Pork with Pineapple.

Photo courtesy of Tang Hot Pot.

Tang Hotpot
135 Bowery

Sichuan hot pot is a simmering and comforting broth in which diners can cook fresh ingredients at the table and then enjoy with mouthwatering dipping sauces. The communal experience of hot pot is ideal for a New Year’s outing with close-knit friends or your large fam. During the evenings of February 4–5, Tang Hot Pot has a Chinese New Year Prix Fixe ($65 per person). Appetizers include Garlic Pork Wrapped Okra and Steamed Honey Lotus Root. For the hot pot, diners can select ingredients like Prime Rib Eye, Tiger Prawns, Chinese Yam, Rainbow Dumplings and more. Yes, there’s even dessert! You can opt for Rice Ball in Sweet Fermented Rice Wine or Sticky Rice Dumplings Filled with Black Sesame.

Photo courtesy of Hunan Slurp.

Hunan Slurp
East Village
112 1st Ave.

In honor of the Year of the Pig, Hunan Slurp, a contemporary Chinese eatery in the East Village that opened last May, is offering succulent and savory dishes like Mao’s Braised Pork and Pepper Stir Fried with Berkshire Pork Topped with Pan-Fried Egg.

Photo courtesy of Atlas Kitchen.

Atlas Kitchen
Upper West Side
258 W. 109th St.

From February 5–21, Atlas Kitchen, an Upper West Side newcomer, is doing a creative Chinese New Year collab with artist Qui Anxiong, whose artwork The Classics of Mountains and Seas is also the main inspiration behind the restaurant’s ambience. The menu will include inventive dishes such as Coral Lobster with Salted Duck Egg, Two Pepper with Braised Goose Intestine, Foie Gras Udon with Fried Dough, Grilled Quail with Cumin, and Jinhua Ham Wrapped Sticky Rice with Osmanthus Syrup.

Photo credit: Emmeline Zhao

Little Tong
East Village 177 1st Ave.

The East Villagestar Little Tong does not disappoint with their three special dishes. Go there for Truffle Sangjimudu (crispy pork soup dumplings with truffles), Char Siu Baby Back Ribs (heritage Duroc pork ribs marinated in Cantonese rose sorghum liquor, tahini, peanut sauce, Japanese raw sugar and fermented tofu that’s a specialty in China’s Zhejiang province) and Wild Mushroom and Sausage Mixian (mixian rice noodles with chanterelle, pioppino and nebrodini mushrooms, Chinese sausage and smoked pancetta topped with sunchoke chips and edible flowers).