Lee’s Restaurant: When You’re Tired of Italian


Lee’s Restaurant is a great alternative for Fordham students who are looking for a cuisine besides Italian. (Courtesy of Kari White/The Fordham Ram)

When you think of food outside Fordham, I’m assuming many of you think of Arthur Ave., the Little Italy of the Bronx. While the neighborhood outside of campus is known most for its Italian restaurants and numerous bakeries, there are some lesser known restaurants right outside the Fordham gates. One of my favorites is undoubtedly Lee’s Restaurant, a small Chinese takeout place, located at 626 E. 187th St. It’s located across from Gong Cha with a large red and white sign out front, so you can’t miss it. Open morning until night, Lee’s Chinese food has been a consistent spot for all of us who need a late dinner, perfect for a quick meal at a reasonable price. 

When you walk in, you’re greeted with bright light and good smells. The place is small, so unfortunately there’s no room for sitting and eating, but your meal is quickly prepared and you can wait inside and out of the cold until it’s ready. The kitchen and main space are in the same area, so you’ll be right there smelling your food being made a mere feet away. To your left is a giant mirrored wall (note for all those who want a laid back date night, checking your hair in the mirror here is a major life saver), and to your right is a window where Mr. Lee and his employees ask for your order and make the meals. With the Fordham bug and the ever-looming COVID-19 in the air, the clear wall separating the employees from the rest of the restaurant helps to ease our fears and theirs of possible contagions. It is a perfect place to get a warm meal as the colder weather approaches, and you can figure out your order easily with all the menus laid out and easy to find. The menu has a large array of foods for good prices, most things being between $6-12. It’s like your local Chinese restaurant back home, with that same promise of your favorite comfort food. 

Like most other college students relying on financial aid, I need a place to eat that isn’t going to cost me $30. Lee’s Chinese Food has great prices for all us broke students, with plates of chicken, broccoli and rice all for under $10. I have never gone and been told they’ve run out of a certain product either, so rest assured they’ll probably have your General Tso’s right on time. The food is also consistently good, Google Reviews giving a 4.3 out of 5, so don’t worry, no day-old rice here. As you can see, most of the reviews are not from Fordham students, but I think that just shows how beloved the restaurant is to the Bronx community. This is also an encouragement for you to go and bump up the reviews yourself. Give your honest opinion and contribute to the community’s growing reviews. The atmosphere is very welcoming with pleasantries and friendliness all around, and the employees are very polite and you’ll find yourself in a better mood because of it. There aren’t a lot of workers there so you’ll see familiar faces the more you go. The restaurant is homey enough that Mr. Lee will even remember recurring customers, so it is a very happy surprise when you walk in and see that familiar smiling face greeting you. 

I’ve gone a couple of times, so I can say with confidence the Chicken Lo Mein is hard to beat. The sticky white rice is always a nice touch, but for all those eating healthy I guess I recommend the brown rice too. The egg rolls are perfect after a long day when you just need something fried and crunchy. After a long day of classes, noodles are just what I need to sit back and relax while watching my favorite fall shows, so I’m guessing the same can be said for a lot of you. Go and support your favorite local Chinese restaurant and walk over to Lee’s. Just remember to ask for a couple of those fortune cookies before you go, and enjoy your meal.