It’s Christmas Eve. That means that all over the world families are gathering together around dinner tables to celebrate.
But here in New York, we have our own tradition: Eating at a Chinese restaurant.
In the beloved tradition of eating Chinese food on Christmas, we’ve found the best Chinese restaurants in Manhattan.
Don't let the silly name fool you: Big Wong is a favourite among fans of classic small-plate, Hong Kong-style fare. It's a bit of a dive, but worth it for the congee (a rice porridge served with a variety of meats and sides).
There are several branches of the local Grand Sichuan chain, but the one on St. Marks Place is arguably the best one in the city.
The menu of traditional Sichuan dishes is so extensive that you may have trouble choosing.
90 3rd Ave.
The beloved Philadelphia restaurant chain opened its first outpost in New York's East Village last year, and it's already a favourite with New Yorkers. Items on the menu are scored 1-10 based on spiciness, with 10 topping out at mouth-scorching.
Order the famed dan dan noodle appetizer, and follow it up with a hot pot or one of the dozen or so other options on the entree section of the menu.
Hot Kitchen serves spicy Sichuan cuisine in a low-key spot in the East Village. The menu features lots of seafood dishes, like soft-shell crab and steamed whole fish with hot bean sauce.
Dishes are served family-style, so this place is best for groups.
If you're looking for an authentic dim sum experience, there's no better spot than Chinatown's Jing Fong, a massive banquet hall where servers wheel carts filled with various delicacies around the tables.
The Hong Kong-style eatery is great for groups, and serves more than 100 varieties of dim sum.
A meal here will leave your mouth scorched -- but in a good way.
Legend serves extra spicy but delicious Szechuan classics like Dan Dan Noodles and Sichuan Spicy Ma Po Tofu with black beans. Order the Sichuan cucumbers to cool the fire in your mouth.
Mr. Chow turns Chinese food into fine dining. The dining room is elegant, service is excellent, and the food is superb -- but you'll pay for the experience.
There are two locations in Manhattan -- in Tribeca and Midtown East -- but both are trendy.
Nancy Lee's Pig Heaven serves both Taiwanese and American-style Chinese food in a kitschy setting. The menu and decor are eclectic, but the food is always delicious.
Reserve in advance as this place gets booked up early -- and order the pork ribs, a house special.
RedFarm is a creative, high-end Chinese restaurant that serves innovative Chinese dishes presented in a very whimsical, playful manner.
Check out, for example, the Pac-Man ghost dumplings with the sesame seed eyes or the Katz's pastrami egg roll.
There are two locations in Manhattan: in the West Village and Upper West Side.
While every New Yorker has his or her favourite spot, Chinatown's Royal Seafood is our pick for the best Dim Sum in the city.
They have all sorts of dumplings and delicious Dim Sum bites, but the lobster is one of the best things on the menu.
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