From shumai and gyoza to soup buns and pork buns, Cantonese cuisine has taken New York City by storm. Typically enjoyed as bite-sized portions, and traditionally served in small steamer baskets, it’s often associated with tea time.
Here’s the skinny on dumpling mania—check out this curated list of the five tastiest spots for dim sum and some of the best dumplings in NYC:
Nom Wah Tea Parlor
A dainty tea shop in 1920, Nom Wah is now the home to some of the most authentic Cantonese dishes in the city, which explains the longer weekend waits. The sinful bite-sized delights, along with tasty cocktails, tea, and the quaint vintage atmosphere should make up for it. The parlor’s claims to fame are the giant plate-sized almond cookies, roasted-pork buns that explode in your mouth, and fried sesame balls with a signature lotus paste.
Offering over 100 varieties of dim sum bites, Jing Fong has been serving its patrons for more than 30 years. Ascend giant elevators and walk in to a sprawling dining room decorated with pushcarts and classic red and gold accents. Expect to enjoy exceptional traditional fare like a succulent shrimp shumai with glass noodles, and ground pork with shrimp wrapped in a big black mushroom case. Along with updated dumplings and buns, the restaurant’s surprisingly modern touches include Champagne drink specials, complete with fresh fruit puree mixers.
Since opening in 2011, RedFarm has been a Big Apple fan-favorite and is regarded as having the best dumplings in NYC. The whitewashed “urban barn” interior really brings new meaning to “farm to table.” To taste some of the best dumplings in NYC, sample the mind-blowing Pac-Man dumplings and the shrimp-and–snow-pea-leaf dumplings. Dining here is a decadent experience guaranteed to tempt the taste buds.
Looking for something kosher, vegan, gluten-free . . . and delicious? Look no further than this Chinatown favorite. Buddha Bodai has been serving magnificent vegetarian meals since its inception in 2004, and is committed to achieving (and maintaining) the delicate flavors of China’s deep culinary history. All dishes contain meat substitutes without sacrificing any of the traditional Cantonese flavors. Stop in and try the sweet sticky rice ball with coconut, or some ribs in a black bean sauce. This little spot truly has something for everyone—and for every kind of food restriction.
Since 2000, Dim Sum Go Go has been enthralling and delighting patrons with its signature stuffed mushroom dumplings . . . although there are 24 varieties to try. Sampler platters offer one-of-each selections for those who can’t choose (or aren’t sure how to). There is even a pumpkin dumpling for the hipsters who just can’t get enough of the orange fruit. You’ll definitely have to plan a second visit.