Chinese New Year Parade NYC: Route Guide and Tips
The Chinese New Year Parade in NYC is one of the highlights of the cities cultural calendar, and this year it falls on Friday, February 16th. The best way to celebrate is by heading to the Chinese New Year Parade, where the streets are filled with colourful floats, energetic dance performances, explosive firecrackers and mouth-watering smells.
If you’re lucky enough to be in NYC for Chinese New Year, trying to decide what to do can be overwhelming. But don’t worry – YOTEL has got you covered! From catching the best of the parade to eating as much Chinese food as you possibly can, we have routed out the best guide to get the most out of Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year Parade NYC: Route Guide
9:00 AM: Breakfast at M Star Cafe (19 Division Street, NYC, NY 10002)
After waking up at YOTEL NYC for the Chinese New Year Parade (where else?), head straight to M Star Cafe to sample the best of their traditional Hong Kong breakfast menu. Hong Kong is a frenetic, fast-paced society, and this is reflected in M Star Café’s, NYC menu: most of these quick dishes are available to go, so if it’s a nice day grab your order and enjoy it while exploring Chinatown.
Chinatown, NYC (Photo via Daniel X. O'Neil)
11:30 AM: Brunch at Jing Fong (20 Elizabeth Street, NYC, NY 10013)
You’ll have worked up an appetite after an hour or two, so head to Chinatown’s Jing Fong for brunch – it’s gets very busy by noon so try to get there by 11:30 am if you want a table, especially on the day of the NYC Chinese New Year Parade. Jing Fong serves up some of the best dim sum in the city, so enjoy a few dishes and a cup of traditional tea to keep you going during the parade.
Steamed Shrimp Dumplings at Jing Fong (Photo via JingFongNY)
12:30 PM: Chinese New Year Parade NYC
The NYC Chinese New Year parade kicks off at 1:00 pm, so arrive by 12:30 pm to ensure you don’t miss a trick. Assembling on Mott and Hester, the Chinese New Year route heads south down to Canal Street to Chatham Square, then goes up to East Broadway towards the Manhattan Bridge, and finishes off on Eldridge and Forsyth Streets. The best viewing locations are on East Broadway or Grand Street and Sara Roosevelt Park.
The Lion Dance, Chinese New Year Parade (Photo via Wiroj)
5:00 PM: Early dinner at Buddha Bodai (5 Mott Street, NYC, NY 10013)
The NYC Chinese New Year parade will be over by 4:30pm, so take a break from the route and warm yourself up with a light early dinner. It’s a New Year, so in the spirit of well-meaning resolutions head to vegan restaurant Buddha Bodai Kosher Vegetarian. Here you can enjoy an insanely delicious selection of food (trust us, you won’t even notice it’s vegan) and do a good thing for animals and the environment at the same time. Win-win.
Veg. Meat Bun at Buddha Bodai (Photo via Buddha Bodai)
6:00 PM: Tea at Nom Wah Tea Parlor (13 Doyers Street, NYC, NY 10013)
Perk yourself up by popping into Nom Wah Tea Parlor and enjoying a cup of Chinese tea - a must in New York during the day of the Chinese New Year Parade. Located on Doyers Street, you can appreciate some history as you sip: this area was nicknamed the “Bloody Angle” due to the street’s sharp corner and the fighting gangs who took advantage of this. However, once Nom Wah Tea Parlor opened its doors in 1920, the violence significantly decreased. The power of tea and dim sum!
Exterior of Nom Wah Tea Parlor (Photo via Nom Wah)
8:00 PM: Dinner at Xi’an Famous Foods (45 Bayard Street, New York, NY 10013)
Even if you’re not hungry yet, head to Xi’an Famous Foods for around 8:30 PM; this small restaurant has limited seating, so you may have to wait for a table - probably take a while during the day of the NYC Chinese New Year Parade. It’ll all be worth it once you dig into these authentic and delicious Northern Chinese dishes. The most popular item on the menu is the spicy cumin lamb hand-ripped noodles (the Xi’an culture believes lamb warms the body, so it’s perfect for a chilly NYC winter), but there are plenty of great veggie options too!
Lamb Noodle Soup at Xi’an Famous Foods (Photo via Chinkerfly)
9:00 PM: Dessert at 10 Below (10 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013)
Yes, we know you’re probably full to burst at this point, but it’s not over just yet! Treat yourself to a light and chilly dessert at 10 Below, where you can sample one of the first Thai-style ice cream rolls to appear in Chinatown. The liquid ice cream is poured onto a cold plate at minus 10 degrees, and then rolled into cylindrical spirals. Now this is a seriously Instagram-able dessert, perfect to rounding off your foodie experience during the NYC Chinese New Year Parade.
Rolled Ice Cream (Photo via 10 Below Ice Cream Facebook)
10:00 PM: Head back to YOTEL NYC
You’ve had a long day at the Chinese New Year Parade, so head back to YOTEL NYC to put your feet up. If you’re not tired yet, socialise with some drink and food on the covered Rooftop Bar, where you’ll get amazing views of any New Year fireworks.
YOTEL Rooftop Bar (Photo via YOTEL)
YOTEL Chinese New Year Parade Route NYC Insider Tips
If it’s a cold day, wear a pair of earmuffs. Not only will they keep you warm from the NYC winter, but they’ll also help cancel out some of the noise from the startlingly loud firecrackers that will be going off during the Chinese New Year Parade.
During the Chinese New Year Parade, traditional lion dancers will be playing drums and performing at store entrances for good luck along the route. If you want to enjoy some good luck of your own – as well as show your appreciation for the dancers – then invest in a few traditional red envelopes to hand out; the best and most intricate ones can be found at Good Field Trading Company on Mott St.
Traditional Red Envelopes (Photo via Upupa4me)
If you’re in NYC for Chinese New Year, YOTEL New York is the perfect base to make the most of the festivities. Check out our cosy cabins and check availability before we book up!