My go-to spot for an inexpensive and fresh lunch is Lao Bei Fang Dumpling House on Whitney Avenue in Elmhurst. For $2.25, I order fresh pork and chives friend dumplings and a wonton soup.
"It's really good, fresh, homemade and amazingly cheap," said Johnny You, 31, chef's assistant/expediter at David Burke & Donatella Restaurant on the east side of Manhattan. "I don't know how they survive. The hand-drawn noodles are the best I've ever tasted."
Teenagers come on their way home from school or after hanging out at Broadway Park to eat along the wrap-around bar or the single communal table. Mothers stop by with young children and take orders to-go. I have never seen the shop empty, and during peak times, there is a line out the door. The items on the menu are limited to dumplings, buns and soup.
Lao Bei Fang Dumpling House
80 Whitney Avenue
Elmhurst, NY 11373
Open seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.