Cheap Eats 2010: China Bistro

100 great places that offer great food at low prices.

Why go: The dumplings. The Chinese name out front translates as Mama’s Dumplings, and the hot, bundled purses—freshly made by Mama—are the stuff of cravings. The neighborhood has more handsomely appointed places than this cramped cafe, but few satisfy as deeply.

What to get: Cold noodles with sesame-peanut sauce; chive-and-shrimp dumplings; beef-and-celery dumplings; hearty beef noodle soup.

Best for: Quick, simple, and wonderfully nourishing lunches and dinners.

Insider tip: Getting a table at prime time can mean a wait of half an hour or more, especially on weekends. Go early or for a late lunch; Mama serves straight through.

>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here       

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