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Sample platter at Dim Sum Go Go
Photograph: Whitney LawsonSample platter at Dim Sum Go Go

The best dim sum in NYC

Feast on the best dim sum in NYC at these spots offering soup dumplings, egg tarts, steam buns and more

Written by
Time Out New York contributors
&
Bao Ong
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How much fun is dim sum? Rather than settling on just one appetizer and main dish, you can get your fill by choosing from a plethora of expertly-crafted, bite-sized delicacies of all shapes and flavors, presented for your perusal on carts rolled right up to your table. The best dim sum in NYC ranges from traditional — featuring soup dumplings and pork buns — to modern takes featuring the likes of pastrami egg rolls. We even have an outpost of the most inexpensive Michelin-starred restaurant in the world.

Best enjoyed with friends, NYC’s best dim sum restaurants offer an opportunity to sample and share a wide range of Chinese cuisine. These dim sum spots rank among the best Chinese restaurants in NYC too. From old-school Chinatown restaurants to flashy Flushing outposts, you can try a little of this and a little of that, whatever catches your eye as the carts roll by.

For dim sum fanatics, some of these spots offer takeout and delivery, but trust us — you want to check out these restaurants in person for the full dim sum experience.

RECOMMENDED: Find more of the best restaurants in NYC

Best dim sum in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

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 the in-demand Pastrami Egg Roll.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Flushing
  • price 1 of 4

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. 

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Sunset Park
  • price 1 of 4
Most restaurants don’t list Seasoned Soy Sauce Duck Tongue among their usual brunch repertoire. Tuck into some unusual dim sum in Sunset Park. With more than 150 menu items, there’s a body part for everyone. Takeout is also available in case you want some of that sea cucumber and fish maw on the run.
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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Two Bridges
  • price 1 of 4

Having dropped into the midst of Chatham Square’s hustle in 2000, this mod spot is starting to show its age. But the streamlined selection of healthy, slightly Westernized dishes still reels in regulars and steamer-cart-phobic tourists. Sampler platters offer one-of-each selections for those who can’t choose (or aren’t sure how to).

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Chinatown
  • price 2 of 4

In the dark dining room, European tourists on the hunt for Chinese food on Mott Street tightly hug tables next to fine-fare-seeking regulars and sample staples like pork shumai. For a bit more flair, order the unabashedly hot chili peppers (jian niang qing jiao). The pan-fried water-chestnut cake (ma tai gou) is a lightly sweet refresher, with cool, crisp chunks of the star ingredient.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Chinatown
  • price 1 of 4

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Dyker Heights
  • price 1 of 4

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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Chinatown
  • price 2 of 4

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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Chinatown
  • price 1 of 4

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. 

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Chinatown
  • price 1 of 4

There’s no weekend lull at the office tower housing this ’90s-era dim sum standby. Hostesses marshal brunchers, 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. On both levels, bilingual cart handlers gregariously promote their steamers above the din of gossipy catch-up sessions. The selection sticks to a tried-and-true set of standard bearers.

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