One Dollar Congee on Forsyth Street in Chinatown


At seven o’clock in the morning, Chinatown is almost peaceful–the streets just waking up, a sparse crowd of workers rolling up grates and sweeping the sidewalk. But breakfast joints and bakeries are doing brisk business doling out morning meals to people hurrying to work or school.

Walk by this small storefront with no English name on Forsyth between Hester and Grand, and you’ll notice that the place is packed. This morning, two small, pouting schoolgirls with enormous pink backpacks were spooning up congee while arguing with their mother. (An interaction understandable in any language.) The other tables were occupied with single diners–older men, women in suits–all bent over bowls of the rice porridge, plus small bowls of toppings like peanuts, century eggs, and bean curd.

A generous bowl of the thick, warm congee made from glutinous rice is only a dollar. You can point at the toppings you’d like. The friendly female proprietor is agreeable to sign-language communication.

688 Forsyth Street