JP’s Food Adventures: The Best of Eldridge Street

JP on the prowl in Chinatown. Photos by Cynthia Lamb.

Editor’s note: Today we’re excited to introduce a new columnist. JP Bowersock is a Lower East Side resident, a professional musician and a genius in the kitchen.  In “JP’s Food Adventures,” he’ll be introducing us to some of his favorite neighborhood food finds — including places to buy amazing cooking ingredients and great, affordable restaurants off the beaten path.   Here’s his first column…

Six years ago my wife and I were facing a move from our beloved East Village apartment. She asked if I’d be willing to consider any other neighborhoods, as we were looking to buy in a skyrocketing market. Chinatown was my answer. She was thinking LES, and Seward Park Cooperative proved a perfect compromise for us. I get to spend a fair bit of my free time food shopping and eating out in Chinatown, and she gets the benefit of this without having to live next door to a fish market (which still doesn’t seem like a terrible idea to me).

Our neighborhood boasts an embarrassment of riches when it comes to superb (often very inexpensive) Chinese food. An adventurous eater can find great eats for pocket change. As a musician whose income varies wildly, I like knowing about such places; if I haven‘t had a fat gig or royalty check in a while a tasty, handmade $5 meal holds some appeal. A preference for hole in the wall joints over posh ones seals the deal (sometimes to my wife’s chagrin). Eldridge Street is a goldmine for such places, in the form of dumpling and noodle shops. Some sport lines out the door during peak hours, as word has gotten out among food nerds.

Let’s take a virtual walk down Eldridge St, and I’ll point out some favorites:

Sheng Wang

At this spartan, subterranean spot, handmade wheat noodles are served with a choice of 20 or so toppings (chopped pork bones, duck, ox tail, etc). For English only speakers, ordering here is a bit of a challenge. Some think the fish ball soup is unrivaled.

27 Eldridge, near Canal


Open daily 7am-10pm

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