Column: Six best Chinatown eats to try on your next trip


Quillan Anderson

The China Trade Gate is a paifang archway standing at the Beach Street entrance to Boston’s Chinatown. The gate was gifted to the city by the government of Taiwan in 1982.

Cynthia Chen, news correspondent

One of the best things about Boston is Chinatown, the heart of Asian American cuisine and culture in New England. The restaurants and markets offer a plethora of options — Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese. Chinatown’s got it all. Here are the six best (and most underrated) eats from Chinatown everyone should try. 


  1. Egg tarts from Ho Yuen Bakery 

Located at 54 Beach St., along the main strip, Ho Yuen Bakery is a spot you don’t want to miss. The Chinese bakery features traditional baked goods, such as mooncakes, sesame buns and egg tarts, plus savory lunch dishes, like baos and sticky rice. With warm, flaky crusts and creamy, silky centers, their egg tarts are the crème de la crème— even the Yelp reviews say so. 


  1. Bánh mì from Banh Mi Huong Que 

A true hole-in-the-wall shop, Banh Mi Huong Que is located at 696 Washington St. near the entrance of Chinatown. If you don’t pay attention to store signs, you could easily miss the best banh mi joint in all of Chinatown. Banh Mi Huong Que offers a diverse selection of Vietnamese delicacies, such as spring rolls, vermicelli bowls and coffee, but their banh mi is the main star. The crunchy crust from a fresh baguette in combination with salty Vietnamese ham, tangy pickled carrots and sweet and creamy mayo creates the perfect sandwich. 


  1. Tea eggs from Taiwan Bakery

It’s hard to find traditional Taiwanese finger foods in America, but Taiwan Bakery is a home away from home. The bakery serves traditional Taiwanese sweets & desserts, as well as savory snack foods like sticky rice, or zongzi, and tea eggs. Tea eggs are hard boiled eggs marinated in tea, soy sauce and spices, and they taste like hard cooked eggs, only with a salty, lightly spiced flavor. To try something new, be sure to check out Taiwan Bakery and their delicious tea eggs. 


  1. Taro sago from Great Taste Bakery 

For those with a sweet tooth, Great Taste Bakery has just what you need. Located at 63 Beach St., the bakery offers a variety of baked goods and sweet treats, the best and most underrated being their taro sago. Taro sago is a Chinese dessert made with creamy coconut milk, tender taro and chewy sago pearls, and it is hard to find in Boston. Placed in the refrigerators near the side of the store, the dessert can be easily missed, so be sure to grab a pint or two on the next visit. 


  1. Shrimp rice noodle rolls from Hei La Moon

Hei La Moon is a crowd-favorite dim sum place, featuring traditional-style carts that bring dishes to each table. You can’t miss their shrimp rice noodle rolls, which consist of light rice noodles, or cheung fun, wrapped around whole shrimps and doused in a sweet soy sauce. Though most dim sum places carry this dish, Hei La Moon does it best, and it’s definitely worth a visit. 


  1. Pineapple bun from Corner Cafe Bakery

A classic treat for any Chinatown visit is a pineapple bun, and Corner Cafe Bakery has some of the best. Popular in Hong Kong and common in Chinatowns worldwide, this pastry is a fluffy, milk bread-based bun topped with a crackly cookie topping. Despite the name, the buns do not contain any pineapples, but refer to the look of the topping. The ones from Corner Cafe Bakery are flaky on the outside and soft on the inside, and they are sure to satisfy every craving. 


Whether you’re a Boston native or a passing traveler, these are some of the best eats from Chinatown that nobody should miss.