Cheap Eats: Vanessa's Dumpling in LES

Vanessa's Dumpling
118 Eldridge Street New York, NY 10002

Two Saturdays ago, Will and I went to a Lunar New Year's dinner on my Dad's side of the family in Chinatown. After my Culinary 1 class, I was hungry, but didn't want a heavy lunch otherwise I wouldn't be able to eat dinner so we were thinking of where we could possibly eat that was cheap, but also not heavy and all of a sudden Vanessa's Dumpling popped into my head.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Vanessa's Dumpling, it's basically a hidden gem in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and it's just one of those food places that's really famous for one and one item only and in this particular establishment - it's dumplings (my favorite)!

There aren't a lot of seats available in Vanessa's and if you can avoid using their restroom (not in the best condition). Basically, you order and pay first and on your receipt there is a ticket number. When one of the workers calls out your number, your order is ready to be picked up and devoured!

$10.00 for all this good stuff!
Okay, so I usually don't save the receipts of when I go out to eat, but I decided to take a picture of this receipt for you so you can see just how cheap it is to eat at Vanessa's.

Will and I ordered two fried pork and cabbage dumplings ($2.00 per box for a total of eight dumplings), a honey green tea to share, and two sesame pancake - Peking duck sandwich. How much for all of this deliciousness? $10.00 baby! I couldn't believe it, but then again it ain't my first time eating here.

Honey Green Tea
The Honey Green Tea wasn't too special and lacked green tea flavor.

Fried Cabbage & Pork dumplings
So this is one of  the main reasons why we decided to stop in at Vanessa's Dumpling for lunch. So, typically the fried dumplings are sold with four in a box for $1.00, but because we each got 8 dumplings, it was $2.00 for a box of eight dumplings.

The dumplings were hot, juicy, and delicious! It's been a really long time since I had Vanessa's Dumplings and oh man, it was awesome. Nice meatiness inside the dumpling! My only little complaint is that it wasn't crispy enough on the bottom.

Sesame Pancake Peking Duck sandwich
Will ordered the sesame pancake - Peking Duck sandwich for me to try and also because he was afraid we wouldn't be full. He's tried it and according to him, this is the best sesame pancake sandwich ever.

I actually liked the sandwich a lot, but again I wished it was more crispier and a little more Hoisin sauce would have been great. The duck was really moist and delicious! Will was right about everything about this sandwich.

Vanessa's Dumpling has another location in Union Square on 3rd Avenue and 14th Street in New York City. Prices may be a little more expensive compared to the original one in Chinatown and they also serve sushi and Teriyaki dishes which I find a little weird.

I hope this review opened your eyes to that even in a big,busy, and expensive city like New York, there's still cheap and delicious food you can enjoy and savor.

Tip: You don't need to pay tips at Vanessa's Dumpling.


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