Where to Get the Best Dim Sum in Chinatown, NYC
Wondering where to get the best dim sum in Chinatown, NYC?
As the largest Chinatown in the U.S., and home to the largest Chinese population in the western hemisphere, Manhattan’s Chinatown is the answer. This colorful, cramped neighborhood consists of two square miles of shops, markets and restaurants dishing up some the best dim sum in Chinatown, NYC to visitors and residents alike.
In some ways, dim sum is Chinatown’s most distinctive product. Consisting of small dishes requiring extraordinary skill to make, anyone can appreciate a tradition like yum cha (otherwise known as going to dim sum), but knowing where to go for dim sum in Chinatown is the key to a successful dim sum experience.
By using this list of 16 places serving up real-deal dim sum as a guide, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying some of the best dim sum in Chinatown, NYC.
1. Nom Wah Tea Parlor
There is no shortage of fantastic dim sum hiding around every corner and on every stop of a food tour in NYC. But for the best of the best, this is a must-try. Established in 1920, Nom Wah Tea Parlor is the oldest dim sum haunt in New York City and a go-to for dim sum in Chinatown, NYC. With no carts, dim sum is checked off on a pad by the customer, and a waiter delivers the order. Nom Wah has all the classics, but some of the must-try dishes include the original “OG” egg roll, shrimp and snow pea leaf dumplings, turnip cakes and roast pork bun.
Nom Wah Tea Parlor | 13 Doyers St., New York, NY 10013 | $
2. Dim Sum Go Go
This wildly popular, no-frills dim sum joint serves up authentic Cantonese fare and some of the best dim sum in Chinatown, NYC. With so many great options on the menu at Dim Sum Go Go, you’ll want to avoid tough decisions and order the dim sum platter — an artful array of 10 of the best dumplings in NYC, including both meat and vegetarian options wrapped in house-made crystal skin or wheat flour wrappers.
Dim Sum Go Go | 5 E. Broadway, New York, NY 10038 | $$
3. Royal Seafood
Even in the city’s dim sum center, Royal Seafood stands out as some of the best dim sum in Chinatown, NYC. With its traditional decor, this dim sum restaurant has impeccably mixed the classic and the modern for decades. The carts speed back and forth dispensing some of the best braised tripe in town, and the mini custard pies, fresh tofu, short ribs, shrimp rice noodle rolls and pea shoot dumplings are also top notch.
Royal Seafood | 103 Mott St., New York, NY 10013 | $$
Since 1998, Ping’s has been turning out some of the best dim sum in Chinatown, NYC. It’s cash-only, but now there’s an ATM in the bodega at the end of the block. With an extensive menu of traditional dim sum, fresh seafood specialties and a full menu of Hong Kong-style dishes, a visit to Ping’s promises to be a new adventure every time.
Ping’s | 22 Mott St., New York, NY 10013 | $$
5. Golden Unicorn
Since 1989, this upscale restaurant serving dim sum in Chinatown, NYC has offered Cantonese dining at its glitziest. Hostesses marshal brunch-goers via elevators to one of two distinctly extravagant floors: the first, displaying classic Chinese pomp with bold reds and golds; the second, all recessed lighting and damask drapes. Once seated at Golden Unicorn, you’ll enjoy a broad range of dim sum, including spare ribs, siu mai, vegetarian crystal dumplings and more.
Golden Unicorn | 18 E. Broadway, New York, NY 10002 | $$
6. Jing Fong
Jing Fong has cemented its place as a go-to spot for dim sum in Chinatown, NYC. Your senses will be overtaken by the sights and smells of fresh dumpling-filled steam baskets whizzing past you on carts among a décor that feels appropriately traditional with red tableclothes and chairs and bright lighting.
Jing Fong | 202 Centre St., New York, NY 10013 | $$
7. Deluxe Green Bo
This cash-only hole-in-the-wall is a must for dim sum in Chinatown, NYC. Deluxe Green Bo is more than just a dim sum joint, but the esteemed eatery has dedicated a section of its menu to the art of Shanghai dim sum. Selections include hot and spicy wontons with rich peanut sauce and hot chili oil, crisp scallion pancakes, pork and crab soup dumplings, and more.
Deluxe Green Bo | 66 Bayard St., New York, NY 10013 | $
8. Buddha Bodai
Buddha Bodai is a kosher and vegetarian spot for dim sum in Chinatown, NYC committed to achieving and maintaining the delicate flavors of China's deep culinary history. Since 2004, they’ve proven the dim sum experience can transcend any sort of diet restriction with flying colors. As far as the best dim sum in NYC goes, prepare to be amazed at how authentic the vegan BBQ pork bao tastes.
Buddha Bodai | 5 Mott St., New York, NY 10013 | $
9. Joe’s Shanghai
Joe’s Shanghai has been serving some of the best dim sum in Chinatown, NYC since 1995. Diners here are greeted with menus and a dish of black vinegar dipping sauce, as it’s practically a given that you’ll be ordering their famous pork and crab soup dumplings here. You'll find it's worth waiting in line for a table in the simply adorned space, which also makes the cut for some of the best dumplings in NYC.
Joe’s Shanghai | 46 Bowery, New York, NY 10013 | $$
10. Vegetarian Dim Sum House
This vegetarian haven is one of the best places to get dim sum in Chinatown, NYC. On the menu at Vegetarian Dim Sum House, you'll find an assortment of palate-pleasing mock-meat dishes including crispy sesame "chicken" made with fried bean curd skin and Peking "spare ribs" made with yams smothered in peppery sauce. The fresh fruit shakes here are a great way to end your meal — try the kiwi, a fan favorite.
Vegetarian Dim Sum House | 24 Pell St., New York, NY 10013 | $
11. Shanghai Asian Cuisine
Shanghai Asian Cuisine is a family-run dim dum restaurant that has been serving dim sum in Chinatown, NYC since 2008. Manned by Mr. Sammy Kwok, a chef from Hong Kong traditionally trained in Shanghainese cuisine, Shanghai Asian Cuisine offers a cozy dining space where locals and visitors can enjoy authentic dim sum in the heart of Chinatown.
Shanghai Asian Cuisine | 14 Elizabeth St., New York, NY 10013 | $
12. 456 New Shanghai
The original owner’s grandson is currently at the helm of 456 New Shanghai, a 1963-vintage Chinatown eatery which has long been a go-to for top-notch dim sum in Chinatown, NYC. Both tourists and locals come here for the steamed juicy buns with pork and crab meat, fried tiny buns (which aren’t so tiny after all) and other affordably-priced Shanghai-style dim sum.
456 New Shanghai | 69 Mott St., New York, NY 10013 | $
13. Shanghai 21
Shanghai 21 is known for serving up some of the best dim sum in Chinatown, NYC. This eatery offers all the classics as well as a beyond-the-basics dim sum menu. Be sure to try the black truffle soup dumplings with pork, steamed watercress and shrimp dumplings, sweet red bean pancakes, sesame rice balls in wine soup and old-style lo mein with scallion sauce.
Shanghai 21 | 21 Mott St., New York, NY 10013 | $
14. Mee Sum Café
This overlooked Chinatown tea shop dates back to the 1960s. Mee Sum Café is an old-school spot for inexpensive dim sum in Chinatown, NYC where diners can either sit at a counter or a few tables in the back of the parlor, or simply grab a leaf-wrapped bundle of sticky rice, known as joong, to go. You’ll want to try the wonton soup while you’re here, too.
Mee Sum Café | 26 Pell St., New York, NY 10013 | $
15. Tim Ho Wan
The world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant — Tim Ho Wan — isn’t exactly in Chinatown, but its East Village location is close enough. And it definitely deserves a spot on any list referencing the best dim sum in NYC. With dozens of dim sum plates available, there’s no wrong choice, but the delicate and perfectly constructed har gow, as well as steamed dumplings with shrimp and chives, are the must-try items.
Tim Ho Wan | Multiple Locations, NYC | $$
Quite possibly the best version of brunch that exists, dim sum in Chinatown, NYC has proven to satisfy cravings for both good food and good company. Whether you’re a traditionalist or a modernist, a vegan or a carnivore, you can check eating dim sum in Chinatown, NYC off your bucket list at any of these places or by booking a food tour in NYC!
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