Chinese New Year in NYC: Celebrate the Year of the Rooster at parades and feasts

The celebrate the Year of the Rooster in NYC, is the  largest Chinese population of any city outside of Asia.

Though the Lunar New Year begins on Jan. 28, parties, special menus and events will continue through early February.

Head to these restaurants, cultural centers and festivals to ring in the New Year.

Chinese New Year dinner at MaLa Project

To celebrate the New Year, this East Village hotpot restaurant is serving up some special dishes — including chicken feet, eggplant with roasted garlic, braised beef heart (pictured) and MaLa duck neck — in addition to the restaurant’s unique dry pot menu. (122 First Ave., 212-353-8880, malaproject.nyc)

Lunar New Year celebration at The Bronx Museum of the Arts (Jan. 14)

The Bronx Museum of the Arts is teaming up with the New York Chinese Culture Center for a Lunar New Year celebration filled with authentic music and folk dances, the Lion Dance and more. Head to the museum before the 3 p.m. performances to learn traditional calligraphy and paper cutting techniques. (1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, 2-4 p.m., free, eventbrite.com)

Lunar New Year celebration with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company (Jan. 22)

The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts is hosting dancers and acrobats from the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company for a show celebrating the Year of the Rooster. Expect vibrant costumes and traditional dances throughout the performance. (Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, 2900 Campus Rd., Brooklyn, 3-5 p.m., $25, brooklyncenter.org)

Kings County Imperial prix-fixe meal (Jan. 27)

Celebrate the Year of the Rooster at this Williamsburg restaurant, which will have a $55 prix-fixe menu on the first night of the Lunar New Year. The menu includes a specialty cocktail and dishes like shrimp and pork shumai (pictured) and beef short rib. (20 Skillman Ave., Brooklyn, 5:30-11 p.m., kingscoimperial.com)

Vietnamese Lunar New Year prix fixe at Chao Chao (Jan. 28)

The Vietnamese restaurant is hosting a four-course, prix-fixe meal in celebration of the Lunar New Year — for $45. The meal will feature multiple options for each course, including spring rolls (pictured), five-spice-braised crispy pork and banana sticky rice pudding. Pair your food with a New Year-themed cocktail, like the sake lychee lunar martini, featuring Junmai sake and dry vermouth. (171 Ave. A, Manhattan, 6 p.m. to midnight, chaochaonyc.com)

Dim sum at The Beatrice Inn (Jan. 28)

Head to chef Angie Mar’s eatery for a dim sum brunch to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The menu will include classic dishes like duck shumai, prawn dumplings, lamb belly buns and more. (285 W. 12th St., Manhattan, for reservations, call 917-566-7400, thebeatriceinn.com)

Buddakan Dim Sum Brunch (Jan. 29)

This annual event is the one time a year that Buddakan is open for brunch. The dim sum party begins with a traditional red tea service followed by live Luen Hing lion dancers, cocktails and lots of dim sum. Red envelopes will be presented after the meal, and a select few will award complimentary drinks and tastes. (75 Ninth Ave., Manhattan, noon-2:30 p.m., call for reservations, 212-989-6699, buddakannyc.com)

New Year’s Day Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival (Jan. 28)

The Better Chinatown Society is ringing in the new year with its free annual firecracker ceremony. Firecrackers are said to ward off evil spirits and unfriendliness. The festival will also feature traditional food and dance performances. (Sara D. Roosevelt Park, East Houston and Chrystie streets, Manhattan, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m., betterchinatown.com)

Chinese New Year Festival at the China Institute (Feb. 4)

 This annual festival is great for families and includes both free programming and ticketed workshops. Check out performances for free, and grab a ticket for a dumpling-making class, among others. (40 Rector St., 2nd floor, Manhattan, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., $10 to $20, chinainstitute.org)

Lunar New Year parade and festival (Feb. 5)

Celebrate the year of the rooster with Chinatown’s annual Lunar New Year parade. Expect performances, traditional costumes and more at the parade, which will be followed by a street festival featuring food vendors and more. (Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Grand and Chrystie streets, noon to 4:30 p.m., betterchinatown.com)

Lunar New Year at Flushing Town Hall (Jan. 28, Feb. 17)

Flushing Town Hall is hosting a variety of events to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The third annual Chinese New Year temple bazaar (pictured) takes place Jan. 28, and features performances, crafts and food. Flushing Town Hall is also hosting a Lunar New Year shadow puppet slam, hosting performances from Chinese Theatre Works, on Feb. 17. For more information, visit flushingtownhall.org/events.

La Chine special Chinese New Year menu

This new upscale Chinese restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria is serving special dishes during the Lunar New Year, including barbecue duck  and fried freshwater eel. 540 Lexington Ave., 212-872-4913, lachinenyc.com

Where to find dumplings in NYC for Chinese New Year

Yunnan BBQ

My first stop will be at this great Chinese spot on the Lower East Side. From Feb. 10-12, it will be serving a special New Year’s menu, which, of course, features dumplings. These ones will be stuffed with ground Northern Tiger pork and chives with chinkiang black vinegar and some chili oil for a kick. 79 Clinton St., 212-253-2527, yunnanbbq.com

 

Pig and Khao

Next will be one of my favorite spots from Leah Cohen. On Feb. 10, the chef is partnering with Joshua Li Walker of Xiao Bao Biscuit in Charleston, South Carolina, for a special Lunar New Year menu that features a Sichuan-style pork dumpling served in a pork fat sauce (!) with crushed nuts and kohlrabi. 68 Clinton St., 212-920-4485, pigandkhao.com

 

Vandal

This new restaurant from chef Chris Santos will be my next stop. His dumplings are definitely not traditional, but I assume eating them can’t hurt my chances. The dumplings are made from lobster and sweet potato and infused with flavors of coconut and lemongrass. They’re served in a spoon for easy eating. 199 Bowery, 212-400-0199, vandalnewyork.com

 

Buddakan

On Feb. 14, I’ll be heading to Buddakan for the ultimate dumpling feast — its annual dim sum brunch. In honor of the New Year, the restaurant will be serving three types of dumplings: ones with sweet soy, green apple and jalapeno, one stuffed with foie gras and chicken and the last, a vegetarian variety with edamame. 75 Ninth Ave., 212-989-6699, buddakannyc.com

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