The best Asian places in New York City

Did you know New York City has the largest Chinese population of any city outside of Asia, enumerating 779,269 individuals as of 2013? With dozens of Bead shops in Midtown, Asian Restaurants, Chinese Toko’s and Shops spread over Manhattan, the Chinese people form a big community in New York City.

Chinatown, a must see when visiting New York City, is a neighborhood in Manhattan that is home to the largest enclave of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere. With an estimated population of 90,000 to 100,000 people, Manhattan’s Chinatown is also one of the oldest ethnic Chinese enclaves outside of Asia. Contrary to the Chinese Toko’s which are real traditional places, are Asian Restaurants trendy hotspots where celebrities are spotted from time to time. But what are the best Asian places in New York City?


  1. Spice Market
  2. Buddakan
  3. Tao Downtown


#1 Spice Market
“Now in its 10th year, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ever-“trendy” Southeast Asian offers “inventive” haute street food and “different” cocktails in an “exotic” Meatpacking “fantasy place” setting complete with “special” private rooms downstairs; “deafening noise” and “steep prices” to the contrary, most report an “overall great time” here.” (Quote: Zagat 2015)

When visiting this place it feels like traveling to South East Asia while visiting New York City. The Spice Market is found in the cobblestone streets of the old Meat packing district, on the corner of 13th and 9th. The Spice Market was the birth child of Phil Suarez, Chef Jean-George Vongerichten and designer Jacque Garcia. It was the first step in the renaissance of Meat Packing.  The lofty ceilings and rustic beams from the old building work beautifully with South East-Asian decor brought in from Malaysia, Indonesia and India. Chef Jean-George Vongerichten creates a menu that is inspired by a multitude of spices and cuisines from the South East, and this is executed beautifully by Chef de Cuisine, Anthony Ricco.

Once seated, the friendly staff presents you with Indian fried tortillas, a spicy dipping sauce and an extensive drink menu highlighting the Asian inspired cocktails. The tasting menu is outstanding, creative Asian food combined with a wine pairing. You can also choose for the a la cart menu, which consists of appetizers, seafood, salads, meats, noodles, vegetables etc. The Spice Market is a wonderful experience for the senses.

Recommendation:   Spice Market Chef’s Choice
Price:                          $100 per person
Address:                     Meatpacking District | 403 W. 13th St. (9th Ave.)


#2 Buddakan
“Beautiful folks” are lured by the “lavish” setting and “Sex and the City style” of Stephen Starr’s Chelsea “crowd-pleaser”, but this “mega”-scene follows through with “absolutely delicious” Asian fare dispatched by an “accommodating”, “model”-like crew; sure, the pricing’s “high” and the volume “loud”, but if you’re in the mood for “pomp and circumstance”, look no further. (Quote: Zagat 2015)

Buddakan is a beautiful and sexy restaurant. Loud music, a bit like a club inside with a huge dining room on the underground level. The SATC fans will recognize the setting of the rehearsal party of Mister Big and Carrie immediately. The dining area is divided from the bar so you can have easy conversations and drinks. The atmosphere is pretty spectacular, a place to see and be seen for sure. The quality of the food, its presentation, and the decor of the restaurant, are the reasons why you’re paying a premium to dine at this restaurant.

Recommendation:   Tuna tartare spring rolls, rock shrimp, the Peking duck salad
Price:                          $100 per person
Address:                     Chelsea | 75 Ninth Ave. (bet. 15th & 16th Sts.)

Schermafbeelding 2015-03-22 om 09.33.12

#3 Tao Downtown
Equal parts “club and restaurant”, this “cavernous” downtowner stands out with its “energizing” vibe and “impressive” décor centered on a “massive Buddha”, not to mention its “solid”, “pricey” Pan-Asian fare; service is smooth too, if
“occasionally snooty”, but the “people-watching” is unparalleled – putting the “wow” in Tao. (Quote: Zagat 2015)

Designed by Rockwell, TAO Downtown offers a distinct sense of arrival and discovery and is the first TAO venue where guests descend into a multi-level space. The subterranean restaurant is intended to look and feel as if it has been there for decades and only unearthed recently to reveal the artifacts within. Upon arrival, guests immediately encounter a long corridor with a dragon scale patterned screen and Chinese calligraphy murals mounted on weathered brick walls. The food is perfect, but almost an unimportant feature of this restaurant. It’s a great place in the center of Meatpacking to have diner or to drink a cocktail. TAO, an unforgettable experience!

Recommendation:   Salmon tartare, lamb chop, crispy rice tune, peking duck
Price:                          $80 per person
Address:                     Meatpacking District | 92 Ninth Avenue

Creative Asian Restaurants are a favorite fixation of hip New York diners. Discover the best Asian Restaurants while visiting New York City and don’t forget to make a reservation in advance! Enjoy your diner.