The axis of Chinatown is slowly shifting to less expensive Flushing in the borough of Queens, and many longtime businesses didn’t survive the severe economic fallout of 9/11 (the World Trade Center was not far away). But the area still bustles with businesses catering to Chinese and tourists alike. Here are a few places to shop for Asian food, household goods, and knick-knacks.
Hong Kong Supermarket is the largest Asian supermarket in Manhattan. Upstairs you’ll find a wide selection of sauces, beverages from all over Asia, and frozen dumplings. Downstairs, the aisles are lined with snacks, dried goods, herbs, and a small selection of bowls, woks, and steamers. It helps to speak Cantonese, and it can get extremely crowded on weekends when management gives out free food samples. Some complain the ringing-up process at checkout is often dodgy, so pay attention as prices are keyed in.
Be prepared to spend a couple of hours at Yunhong Chopsticks Shop, a palace dedicated to the utensils. You’ll find them in materials like mahogany, ebony and sterling silver. Pick up colorful plastic sets for everyday use or buy a beautiful pair for gifts or special occasions. With over 200 different styles, you’ll have plenty to choose from, and while you’re there you’ll learn that it’s Chinese tradition and belief that giving chopsticks spreads happiness.
Kam Man Food Products is a bustling food and home goods store that’s a fun place to roam. It’s great for Asian sauces and candy, as well as cookware, dishes, and chopsticks.