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Famous Sichuan

While Flushing is still the place to go for the best Chinese food in New York City, those for whom the hour-long subway ride on the 7 is simply out of the question on most nights can now get their mapo tofu fix right in Manhattan. While the masses queue out the door at Joe’s Shanghai across the street, Famous Sichuan offers real-deal Sichuanese food such as cold sliced beef tendon in chili sauce, braised fish fillet with napa cabbage and roasted chili, and the most delicious cumin lamb this side of the East River. The relative newcomer to Pell St. also has phenomenal hot pot (which can easily be vegetarian), in case you’ve had one too many cases of fire gut from Grand Sichuan. The wait staff is friendly and incredibly helpful for those unfamiliar with southwestern Chinese cuisine, so don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be squeamish — ox tongue is much tastier than it sounds.