I have eaten at the Canal Bakery Cafe multiple times. It is in the heart of busy Chinatown, in lower Manhattan. It is always crowded, but worth the wait. Take-out and dine-in is available, as long as you don't mind sharing the lone table with any and everyone. or, you can stand at the two foot wide counter, which faces the street so you can ogle the non-stop movement of Chinatown as it passes by outside. Food, served in Styrofoam containers is inexpensive (my small container, absolutely BRIMMING with lo mein and vegetables, cost $1.75, a large container is $3.50 and could feed 3+ people)) and filling. Don't expect topnotch food or fanciness; you are given a your food in a bag, along with a plastic fork and napkin. "Locals" eat here all of the time, so that says something about the value. The pastries and cakes are incredibly colorful, fresh, and eye-catching. Sodas, and other cold drinks are available. So, take a break from shopping, walking and people watching and stop in for a soft, spongy lemon jelly roll, or a steaming and filling meal, or both!
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