8 of the Best Spots for Chinese New Year Snacks

New Year, New Snacks

Happy Chinese New Year! With the rise of the new moon on Saturday, January 25, we enter the Year of the Rat—and boy are we hungry. We’re constantly roaming America’s Chinatowns in search of tasty treats to include on our Munch Around Chinatown Scavenger Hunts. Here are 8 of our favorite can’t-miss snack spots in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, to help you ring in the new year.

Tiger Sugar

Not content with just its Insta-fame, this Taiwanese boba shop is taking New York and now Downtown L.A. by sugary storm. Their sweeter-than-sweet concoctions of milk, cream, and tapioca pearls are streaked with instantly recognizable “tiger stripes” of brown sugar syrup. (instagram.com/tigersugar.usa, locations in NYC and L.A.)

Phoenix Bakery

The oldest and largest bakery in L.A.’s Chinatown, Phoenix Bakery is perhaps best known for strawberry whipped cream cakes. But the green tea mochi are a perfect on-the-go treat. (phoenixbakeryinc.com, 969 N. Broadway, L.A.)

Golden Gate Bakery

Deep in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown, this place is a classic. Your tastebuds will fall in love with the egg custard tarts. Since Golden Gate Bakery has no website of its own—but does have some unpredictable hours—fans have taken it upon themselves to let the world know when “GGB” is open. (1029 Grant Ave., San Francisco)

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

The oldest Tea Parlor in the city, Nom Wah is famous for its delicious dim sum and almond cookies. It was renovated pretty recently, but only lightly, so it’s still evocative of 1920s Chinatown. (nomwah.com, 13 Doyers St., N.Y.)

Chinatown Square

It’s hard to know where to start in this Philadelphia food hall—and once you do, you won’t want to stop! Above all, though, our hearts—and taste buds—belong to the soft-shell crab, duck spring rolls, and delicious pillowy bao buns of Bao Bar. (chinatownsq.com, 1016 Race St., Philadelphia)

Mei Li Wah Bakery

A hole-in-the-wall coffee shop, this NYC favorite is a mecca for lovers of the $1 roast pork bun. The fast-paced ordering of Cantonese-speaking locals on the go can leave newbies a little intimidated, but that’s part of the fun—and the buns really are worth it. (meiliwah.com, 64 Bayard St., N.Y.)

Eastern Bakery

At San Francisco Chinatown’s oldest bakery, everyone from tourists to U.S. presidents go out of their way to nab some of their famous moon cakes—round pastries filled with rich, creamy bean paste. (easternbakery.com, 720 Grant Ave., San Francisco)

Soft Swerve

The name says its all: Soft Swerve’s specialty is their fun new takes on soft-serve ice cream. Popular flavors include HK Milk Tea, Frozen Hot Chocolate, and our favorite, a swirl of Ube Purple Yam and Thai Green Tea. (softswervenyc.com, locations include 85B Allen St., N.Y.)

Lead image by Paulo Evangelista on Unsplash