Wah Fung #1 Fast Food Inc. is a mouthful of a name, just like the heaps of roast meats and rice you’ll soon be shoveling into your gullet. Here here you’ll find one of the best cheap eats in Chinatown, one of the very few remaining neighborhoods in Manhattan where meal deals are still a dime a dozen.
Wah Fung specializes in Char Siu, Cantonese barbecued pork, and other roasted meats like duck and chicken. You can’t walk more than a block in Chinatown without passing a window full of red, glistening roast pork hanging from hooks and whole ducks staring at you with their lifeless, delicious eyes. But it’s difficult to know where you’ll actually find the best of these ubiquitous Chinese staples.
Wah Fung is simple and essentially does roast meats, fish balls and a couple buns. Choose from roast pork, duck, or chicken, or a combination. Get it small or large over rice or noodles, with Chinese cabbage, or buy meat by the weight. Ask for the delicious green onion relish, or just enjoy it as is. Watch the meat man hack the pork into perfect strips, and marvel at how much meat he keeps piling into your metal takeout container.
Everything is super cheap at Wah Fung, but the best deal is their small pork over rice with vegetable for $3.75. It’s easily over a pound of food, and not just rice: they generously pile the pork. If you’re craving an even belly-bursting-er amount of food, you can get a large pork n’ duck over rice for a measly 6 bucks.
The roast pork is delicious. It’s a little fatty, has a smoky, sweet char, and despite being crispy at the edges, the meat remains remarkably moist. There’s no seating, so bring your meal to the park across the street or back home. Don’t be surprised if you end up dropping a couple pieces of pork since they jam pack your container with as much food as it can fit.
Is Wah Fung really the #1 fast food in Chinatown? There’s too many restaurants, takeout joints, and food carts to truly know. But you’ll be hard pressed to find Chinese roast meats at this price point and quality at all the other Char Siu restaurants around.
Wah Fung is located at 79 Chrystie Street. They close at 7pm, so make it a lunch or late afternoon meal spot. Cash only, and don’t be surprised if you have to wait for a bit on an ever-present small line.