Food & Drink

David's Mai Lai Wah

Chinatown institution catering to the late-night crowd

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Photo by Albert Lee
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Overview

The familiar green-tiled awning occupies the very most central corner in Chinatown, the technicolor neon signs outside and in the window welcoming guests into David’s Mai Lai Wah with the promise of cocktails, noodles and “the best food in town.”

Hong Kong native David Chan opened his no-nonsense eatery in 1982, introducing generations of Philadelphians to dumplings and noodle dishes.

Revered for its salt and pepper wings strewn with sliced chile peppers (of which David’s sells 100 orders a day) and its luxuriantly late hours (it stays open 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. every night), David’s manages to stay relevant in a passionate food city without ever having to change a thing.

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