Nom Wah Tea Parlor
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New York's first dim sum house opened in 1920 on a rough crook of gang-riddled Doyers Street. But the bakery and tea shop, at least, had a sweet reputation: Its almond cookies and moon cakes were legendary. Over its near century in business, ownership of the parlor has remained among the restaurant family to preserve its traditions. Back in 2010, the stalwart was refreshed with a new interior (vintage lamps, framed archival photographs) and remodeled menu showcasing made-to-order plates rather than dim sum en masse.
Nom Wah is completely unlike the chaotic banquet halls that dominate Chinatown's dim sum scene. Instead, the dining room is much more charming and welcoming, from the checkered tablecloths over Art Deco tables to the couples huddled beneath old posters of a glam Chinese movie star. The food, too, stands apart; the dim sum here tastes fresher and is more affordable than the competition. Try the ultra-fluffy oversize roasted-pork bun, the flaky fried crepe egg roll and the tender stuffed eggplant filled with a spiced shrimp-and-squid mixture. Plus, it keeps the small plates coming long after other dim sum joints have closed their doors.
13 Doyers St
|Cross street:||between Bowery and Pell St|
|Transport:||Subway: J, Z, N, Q, R, 6 to Canal St|
|Price:||Average dim sum item: $5. AmEx, Disc, MC, V|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thu, Sun 10:30am-9pm; Fri-Sat 10:30am-10pm|
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