Best dim sum in NYC
Given Doyers Street’s notoriously grisly gang wars in the early 20th century, it’s a surprise that the original owners of Nom Wah decided to set up a dainty tea shop there in 1920, turning out reputation-making moon cakes. Today, the biggest fight on the block is the weekend wait for Nom Wah—now the oldest dim sum parlor in the city.
The Hong Kong–born dim sum parlor—notable not only for its exceptional pork buns but also for being the world’s most inexpensive Michelin-starred restaurant—is in New York. At the East Village outpost, the chain’s first in America, diners can find standbys like those baked BBQ pork buns, pan-fried turnip cakes and steamed rice rolls.
The London flagship of this luxe Cantonese chain, which includes seven locations worldwide, was the first Chinese restaurant to achieve Michelin-star status. At this 11,000-square-foot outpost, diners can find the original's signature plates, like cripsy silver cod and stir-fry black-pepper rib eye with merlot.
The appeal of this dim sum innovator doesn’t seem to have dulled since its smash opening in 2011. The hand of serial Chinese restaurateur Ed Schoenfeld is evident in the whitewashed and gingham-ed “urban barn” interior, which is neatly themed to complement the farm-to-table twists on traditional bites, like Katz's Pastrami Egg Roll.
The wait for a table can extend into hours at this Sunset Park hall, and once seated, it’s jostle or be jostled in the hangarlike dining room. Steamer carts move fast, and snap decisions usually result in fortuitous discoveries of flour dumplings stuffed with pork, peanuts and mushrooms and braised bean-curd-skin rolls with a thick coating of sweetened soy sauce.
This Flushing mainstay is famed for its soup dumplings; each purse-shaped morsel contains a meatball surrounded by broth. An order of eight crab or pork dumplings is a steal at under $7.
If you're meat-free, then head to this kosher and vegetarian Chinese restaurant with plant-based dim sum, like a vegetarian meat bun, sweet and sticky rice sesame balls and vegetarian shrimp dumplings.
A gilded and chandeliered palace, this Flushing staple is a proud prototype of dim sum grandeur, but when the crowds swell on weekend mornings, every available cranny (including some that possibly double as supply closets) is put to use. A contrast with the stuffy finery, the dumpling options trundling by on carts are refreshingly elemental.
This modern dim sum spot in Chinatown has more than 30 options, including the noteworthy crystal shrimp dumpling in soup and really freakin' cute custard buns.
Even in the city’s dim sum center, Royal Seafood stands out from its neon-ceilinged, cart-toting neighbors. While classics like chicken feet, turnip cake, short ribs and a host of deep-fried dishes lure the brunch-hour rush, it’s the off-the-menu lobster that garners rave reviews well into the evening. Meals are served family-style at large communal tables, so look for it on your neighbor’s plate before ordering your own.