BEST DIM SUM IN NYC

Gather Together to Share a Dish at the Best Dim Sum in NYC

 

There’s a reason dim sum is such a popular choice, but it can be a bit overwhelming to find the best dim sum in NYC when you’re faced with so many different options. Dim sum lovers probably know that the the name translates roughly into “touch the heart,” which is exactly what most of these little bite-sized servings do in the dim sum eateries.

While most of the time dim sum is used as a brunch-type meal served alongside tea, there’s never a bad time to enjoy the best dim sum in NYC, especially when some of the locations stay open until midnight. The dim sum trend began in the early 20th century, and we’ll even introduce you to one of the original dim sum eateries in this post. We’ve compiled some of the absolute must-haves for dim sum lovers in New York City, and we’re totally sure you’d love to share some small plates with us at any of the following locations.

Best Dim Sum in NYC #1: East Harbor Seafood Palace

Let Your Eyes Choose For You

  • Must Try: Roast Pigeon, Sautéed Chinese Broccoli Rabe
  • Neighborhood: Sunset Park

If you walk by the East Harbor Seafood Palace, don’t let the size of the crowd intimidate you. There’s a reason so many people come here when they’re looking for the best dim sum in NYC, and one taste of shrimp dumplings offers all the proof you need as to why. Although you can look through a menu to help you decide on what to feast on, your eyes can also help you order as waiters pushing carts zoom past and give you a visual of your options. Sometimes, that might actually make your decisions a little bit easier if you’re finding yourself a little overwhelmed.

In fact, deciding on what to eat without going too overboard will probably be your biggest hurdle here, outside of the wait time for a table. Should you get the Geoduck? Roast pigeon? Sautéed Chinese broccoli rabe? Or, what’s on that tray over there? Oh, sure, I’ll just have some of everything! You know you’ve hit the jackpot with the best dim sum in NYC if everything on the menu is too good to pass up. This is one of the largest dim sum restaurants in the New York City game, so lovers of the option would be remiss to ignore it.

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Best Dim Sum in NYC #2: Golden Unicorn

Experience One of NYC’s Five Best Restaurants 

  • Must Try: Siu Mai with Shrimp, Egg Tarts
  • Neighborhood: Chinatown

Elegant and upscale might be more of your flavor when you’re searching for the best dim sum in NYC, and if that sounds like you, check out the Golden Unicorn. The ambience with the classic deep red mixed with dazzling gold coloring, the incredible food, and the attentive service also landed the Golden Unicorn the title of one of NYC’s Five Best Restaurants as named by the Food and Wine Magazine. No big deal, considering they’re the only Chinese restaurant to have landed a spot there.

Another reason Golden Unicorn provides some of the best dim sum in NYC is due to its size. As dim sum is popular, so are the restaurants to enjoy them, and the Golden Unicorn is conveniently spread over many floors in an office building. That being said, the earlier you arrive, the closer you are to the kitchen, and the fresher your food is when it hits the table. The general mood here is also approachable and consistent, so you can expect very similar experiences each time. 

Best Dim Sum in NYC #3:  Royal Seafood

Keep it Classic With an “I’ll Have That” Finger Point 

  • Must Try: Assorted Goose Feet, Veel Chop
  • Neighborhood: Chinatown

Royal Seafood is a great place in Chinatown to check out if you’re looking for the best dim sum in NYC. It’s set up in one large, carpeted room full of big, round tables. It’s also highly affordable, with the average full meal hardly costing more than $12 per person. This is a classic dim sum restaurant that’s basic, straight to the point, and offers many different “yes please” options.

Like many other locations that offer up the best dim sum in NYC options, your wandering eyes can place the order for you as much as the menu descriptions can. As the tables here are roomy and communal, you can easily have a look at what your neighbor is eating right next door and simply place an order of, “I’ll have that,” with a finger point. Most people would also agree to take advantage of the items on the cart while they’re available — sometimes it can take a minute (or sixty) before they come back around again.

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best dim sum in nyc

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Best Dim Sum in NYC #4: Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Visit Chinatown’s Oldest and Longest Running Restaurant

  • Must Try: Fried Shrimp Balls, Rice Roll with Fried Dough
  • Neighborhood(s): Chinatown (Original), NoLita

You can’t get some of the best dim sum in NYC if you don’t go to the oldest continuously running restaurant in Chinatown, and that would land you right on the front doorstep of Nom Wah’s Tea Parlor. Originally opened back in the 1920’s as a bakery and tea parlor, Nom Wah’s has traveled far on its journey, even expanding to a location as far out as Philadelphia. 

Apart from the expansion in locations, the original tea parlor hasn’t physically changed too much throughout the years. It’s become something of an institution and maintains its vintage looks with valuable, delicious food. You won’t, however, see any carts with rushed servers running around here, and some of the options can be a little pricier than other establishments that also offer up some of the best dim sum in NYC.

Best Dim Sum in NYC #5: Pacificana

Grab Yourself a Doughy Cloud of Delight

  • Must Try: Eggplant Stuffed with Shrimp Har Gow, Mantou
  • Neighborhood: Sunset Park

Hunters for the best dim sum in NYC should also check out Brooklyn’s Pacificana restaurant. They offer modern interpretations of classic Chinese cuisine with some incredible dishes you may find yourself craving days later. They’ve been in the game since 2004, and were one of the first top-quality Cantonese options in Sunset Park. A recent revamp has also lifted it a shade on the elegance, but the prices, too, have raised a tad with the remodel.

The increase in prices, however, reflect in the taste of the food. If you pop back a nice, plump eggplant stuffed with shrimp har gow and cheese-flavored orange yam, you won’t question why it’s included among the best dim sum in NYC. We’re also super huge fans of the Mantou with condensed milk. Those little, doughy clouds of delight are easily the best desserts on the menu. The large dining room can also accommodate hundreds comfortably and (sometimes) helps keep the wait list down.

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Best Dim Sum in NYC #6: Jing Fong

Check Out the Largest Banquet Hall (after COVID)

  • Must Try: Bean Curd Pork Roll, Durian Pastry Puffs
  • Neighborhood(s): Chinatown (original), Upper West Side

Another sleek, classy option for the best dim sum in NYC brings us to none other than Jing Fong. Established back in 1978 in a Chinatown that hadn’t firmly found its footing just yet, the original founders ended up needing additional help to keep the restaurant afloat. Once some new ownership came to help in the late 80’s, Jing Fong became a top spot for dim sum and banquet halls.

In 1993, the restaurant then moved to its current location at 20 Elizabeth Street that takes up over 20,000 square feet. That’s enough for 800 seats, and ever since its expansion, it has unquestionably held onto its title as one of the best dim sum in NYC options. The restaurant underwent another renovation back in 2014, and it almost feels like they do dim sum the way it’s supposed to be done. You might even love the banquet hall enough to book a wedding or special event there!

Best Dim Sum in NYC #7: Go Go

Take Your Dim Sum on the Go 

  • Must Try: Duck Dumplings, Pork Roast Pie
  • Neighborhood: Chinatown

The name says it all, and Dim Sum Go Go holds its spot as some of the best dim sum in NYC because of its come early, leave happy attitude, as well as its top-notch quality. The dim sum is always freshly made as you order, so you won’t see a trolley rolling around in here, either. They like to keep their focus on the quality first, and the ingredients are chosen daily by the chefs to ensure the best experience possible.

Anyone familiar with any of the best dim sum in NYC restaurants know that actual business is always a factor to keep in mind. The busier it is, the more likely the food will be worth it. If business holds any credit, the fact that Dim Sum Go Go is always packed wall to wall should go to show how on top their food game is. Another perk is that Dim Sum Go Go also takes reservations, which makes it easier to ensure a spot to enjoy the succulent duck dumplings or the perfectly baked roast pork pie. 

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Best Dim Sum in NYC #8: Asian Jewels

Sneak Yourself a Little Midnight Snack

  • Must Try: Dungeness Crab, Jellyfish with Black Vinegar
  • Neighborhood: Flushing

When in Queens, have a taste of the best dim sum in NYC over at Asian Jewels Seafood Restaurant. Also praised for their consistency, they offer some highly authentic Cantonese cooking. They’ve held on to their location at 39th Avenue for a long time, and the sweeping dining room is worth paying a visit just to see. You might not always see the dim sum cart running around, so sometimes, the earlier the better. However, if you want to avoid some of the crowd, there’s never a bad time to grab their signature Dungeness crab that’s steamed, stir-fried, and served with Japanese eggplant and garlic.

Be aware of the potential for overcrowding on the weekends in the morning, which is always expected when it comes to dim sum. However, with Asian Jewels offering an evening service running until midnight every night, you can enjoy the best dim sum in NYC long after your bedtime and well into the midnight snack territory. We know we’d allow a few extra calories for some pork and shrimp crystal dumplings right before bed every once in a while.

Best Dim Sum in NYC #9: The Bao 

Get Literally the Best Soup Dumplings Ever

  • Must Try: Long Bao Soup Dumplings, Dan Dan Noodles
  • Neighborhood: East Village

The Bao restaurant might not a straight up dim sum restaurant, but it still serves some of the best dim sum in NYC. Eaters should also take note that they’ve got some exquisite Shanghai-style Xiao long bao soup dumplings, and the speed of service still makes it constantly feel like a dim sum experience. The atmosphere here is chic, and the offerings remain creative while staying close to the classic recipes we all know and love. 

Outside of the soup dumplings, fans of the restaurant also can’t get enough of the Dan Dan noodles. We know we’re not the only ones who think the grilled cauliflower is an absolute must-have, either. If you’re still asking us, we have to say the Kung Fu Xiao long bao is reason enough to land them on the list for the best dim sum in NYC. Then again, it’s also hard to pass up the Mapo tofu or the scallion pancake with sliced beef, so take our advice with a grain of salt and just try everything on the menu. It’s fine. 

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Best Dim Sum in NYC #10: Red Farm

Taste Farm-to-Table Fresh

  • Must Try: Shrimp and Snow Pea Leaf Dumplings, Scallion Pancake with Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • Neighborhood(s): West Village (Original), Upper West Side

Not only does Red Farm produce some of the best dim sum in NYC, you can also pay them a visit if you’re ever out in London. That’s quite a feat for dim sum master chef Joe Ng, alongside Chinese food expert Ed Schoenfeld. The main goal at Red Farm is to bring sustainability to modern and inventive Chinese food, and the tastes and flavors brought along by the dim sum offerings show just how much time and effort is put into each dish!

It also doesn’t hurt that they brought in restaurant designer Jun Aisaki to embolden the farm-to-table vision in the 1828 townhouse that’s used as the dining room. The classic farmhouse feel only highlights the menu options that offer some of the best dim sum in NYC. We never pass up an opportunity to enjoy some crunchy vegetable and peanut or shrimp and snow pea leaf dumplings, but we also venture onto the mains portion of the menu more often than we care to admit. Regardless of what you choose, the freshness is evident in every bite with anything you get from Red Farm.

 

We totally get it if you still have a hard time trying to figure out just where to find the absolute best dim sum in NYC, but trust us — it’s hard to pick just one! No matter where you go, even if it’s a place off our list, you’re bound to have a one-of-a kind I’m sum experience you wouldn’t find anywhere else. 

You don’t have to take our word for it, either! Have a look around for yourself, and be sure to let us know your choice for the best dim sum in NYC down in our comments!

 

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