Boston’s Chinatown may not get the publicity or attention of its bigger city siblings like New York or San Francisco and, while it’s not that big, it can more than hold its own, I think, especially for food.
If you have adventurous eaters, it can also be a great place to take the kids for some cheap eats and some exposure to other cultures (sometimes a little difficult. Even if they don’t like it, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. And it might expand their pallets beyond chicken nuggets and mac ’n cheese.
Here are three places to eat in Boston’s Chinatown that we’ve recently taken the kids to that they’ve enjoyed.
52 Beach St., Boston, MA
Given the name it shouldn’t be a surprise that this place is known for its dumplings. More specifically, their “juicy” dumplings (sometimes known on soup dumplings). Juicy dumplings are pork dumplings filled with a flavorful broth. Carefully poke a hole or bite off a corner to release the juice onto the spoon, slurp out the soup, and then gobble down the rest of the pastry in a single bite.
The regular dumplings are also good, along with the steamed buns. The buns are made up of a slightly sweet bread, a little crisp on one-side and filled with a variety of pungent fillings. Add some traditional scallion pancakes and the kids (and me) were very happy.
If you like spice or want to challenge your palette, I can also recommend the fiery Szechuan-style fish soup. I ordered the regular size and was taken aback by the huge bowl that arrived filled with white fish chiles, Sichuan peppercorns, and cabbage. I can’t imagine the XL size. The regular was more than enough to share with 2 or even 3 people.
One word of warning, the restaurant is tight on space and very popular. You’ll often find a line running up the block. It moves pretty quickly but you’ll often face a wait. You’ll have better luck, especially with fidgety kids if you try to hit it up at off-peak hours.
31 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA
If the Dumpling House stretched your kid’s adventurous side a little too far, after dumplings, you can always walk down half a block and get some dessert at the cream puff chain Beard Papa’s. The strange name aside, this little shop serving up fresh filled cream puffs with a variety of flavors is always a crowd pleaser with the kids and something that we can’t easily find outside the city.
67 Beach St, Boston, MA
If you want to stay the more traditional route, or just find yourself needing a snack, you can head across the street to Hing Shing Pastry for a variety of pastries, many for just a dollar or less, including coconut buns, almond cookies, ham and egg breakfast sandwiches, or sesame balls and donuts.
If you are visiting Boston, don’t overlook its Chinatown. It’s near the train station, Fort Point, and theatre district. Plus, a short walk (now made easier on the Greenway) to the Aquarium and Fanueil Hall. Don’t automatically head to the North End (also great) give one of Boston’s other ethnic enclaves a shot. Even with kids in tow.