Philly Chinatown, where dreams do come true.
Some of my foodie girlfriends and I went on a Chinatown eating excursion. We had a meet up, to “Eat Up.” And damn, did I eat like a horse.
We went to Spice C, Dim Sum Garden, and T-Swirl Crepe. We intended to go to Bonchon for Korean fried chicken, however the extensive wait was a deterrent. Needless to say, Bonchon is next up on my list!
#1) Spice C: I have been frequenting Spice C for a few years now. They have an extensive menu. Soups, hand drawn noodles, Szechuan hot pots, dumplings, wings, veggie dishes, rice dishes, stir fry, seafood, etc. My two favorite things include the Szechuan soup with hand drawn noodles, as well as the fried pork dumplings.
Let’s talk about the Szechuan soup for a minute. This sh*t is AMAZING. It is hands down, the best soup I have EVER had in my life. That says a lot. The flavors are so complex. You can choose their regular soup base, or their Szechuan spicy base. Chicken or beef. I always go for the beef broth. You choose your level of heat (mild, medium or hot). Get the medium Szechuan for that added kick, it won’t overpower the meal. If you think you can handle the heat, opt for the hot. Definitely have some tissues in hand. You may sweat, you may even cry.
I highly recommend the hand drawn noodles. They also offer shaved noodles. Everything is made to order, and you can watch them pull the noodles in the back of the restaurant through a large glass window. Next, choose your add-in. Usually a protein. I always opt for the steamed pork dumplings. Because I can’t get enough of the fried ones. There are a myriad of other options. Beef, brisket, seafood, veggies, wonton, lamb, etc. The soup comes topped with cilantro, mushrooms and scallions. Go here, you won’t regret it. Tip- the restaurant is cash only!! Most of the restaurants are, so come prepared. And wear loose, comfortable clothing, lol.
#2) Dim Sum Garden: This was the first time I have been here, and I am so glad that we went. There is always a long wait to get in, but we sat immediately. We came on the earlier side. When we left, the line was out the door. This was my first time trying authentic Dim Sum. I am totally obsessed.
We ordered fried cheese dumplings, steamed chicken dumplings, fried pork dumplings, and Shanghai steamed pork soup dumplings. The Shanghai steamed pork soup dumplings were hands down my favorite item. A pillow of goodness, filled with delicious broth and pork. I could just eat these and be so satisfied. I ordered my first of two Taro bubble teas as well. It was really great.
This is another cash only restaurant. My recommendation would be to come here early to avoid a long wait.
#3) T-swirl Crepe: What a great place for dessert. Despite this being a chain, they do it right. We all ordered delicious dessert crepes. This is where I ordered my second Taro bubble tea. They have many sweet and savory crepe options. This is definitely a creative, and portable way to eat. This is a great option for grab and go.
The crepes are gluten free, and made with rice flour!
Chinatown has some fantastic murals. It’s a bustling area, and I highly recommend you make a day out of it. Go get some fresh groceries. A bite to eat. We had a blast and you will too!
My mom does competitive cooking. She has made so many wonderful foodie friends. I have been just as fortunate, and look forward to meeting many more along the way. We came together for our first “Eat Up,” and we intend to continue the tradition.
I have linked all of our groups Instagram profiles below. Follow for some food and local inspo!
As for the murals, check those out below.
Comment below if you have a favorite restaurant in Chinatown Philly, a favorite dish, or know of a picture perfect mural.