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New York City restaurants serving top notch dim sum.

  • p

Atlanta chowhound looking for the best new york city dim sum, in Chinatown or midtown only.

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  1. ping's 22 mott st. chinatown

    3 Replies
    1. re: meb903

      Jing Fong on Elizabeth.

      Oriental Garden on Elizabeth.

      1. re: fara
        foodie for life

        I second Ji Fong

        1. re: foodie for life

          I third Jing Fong, if that verb can be allowed for a moment.

    2. If you want an upscale place, Shun Lee has very good dimsum, though a lot more expensive than the places in chinatown. In Chinatown, HSF, Sweet Tart, Golden Unicorn are all good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: devil

        I recently had a good experience at Golden Unicorn as well.

      2. WONGS on Mullberyy Street

        1 Reply
        1. re: J

          Chatham Square at 9 Chatham Square in Chinatown is fantastic (we just got back from 6 weeks in Hong Kong and other places we used to love paled in comparison). Baked pork dumpling (red) is wonderful.

        2. I'm gonna have to echo the reccomendations for Jing Fong. Not only do they make standout versions of traditional dim sum, they continue to amaze me by offering such items as fried pear-shape dumplings,complete with stem.

          Keepon smokin',
          Joey Deckle

          1 Reply
          1. re: Joey Deckle

            I agree with Joey Deckle. The two of us have been really on top of the dim sum scene in NY for decades. Jing Fong has really picked up and if you catch some of their special dishes they are great.

            Having been to several of the dim sum halls in Hong Kong I feel that Jing Fong is as close to that experience as you can get in NY.

          2. If you are looking for a large scale banquet style Dim Sum hall in Chinatown... I think Jing Fong is the best. As for small scale Dim Sim house, I like HSF. Outside of Chinatown... that's a different story.

            eGustibus Food Blog [http://www.egustibus.com]

            2 Replies
            1. re: zGustibus

              i agree...jing fong is a little pricier i think but it is a nice space and very good dim sum. my family has been going to HSF since the 80's or something so there is some emotional attachment for me. but it's a solid dim sum location

              1. re: hugglyj

                Jing Fong is pricier? Pricier than what? It was always pretty cheap. I guess the priciness must be something new, since I haven't been back to Jing Fong in a couple of years or more.

            2. I'd recommend the Jing Fong in Flushing over the Chinatown location. The one in Chinatown runs out of food too quickly! Ping's has a lot of different type of Dim Sum dishes, but they do not have the carts.

              5 Replies
              1. re: teresa

                Carts are a must, right? Does anybody here disagree? I feel like ordering Dim Sum off a menu totally defeats the purpose!

                Where is the Jin Fong in Flusing?


                1. re: zGustibus

                  Respectfully I have to disagree with teresa's opinion. The name of the sibling restaurant to Jing Fong in Manhattan is Gum Fung in Flushing. I was at Gum Fung today and it in no way is as good as Jing Fong. I have been to both many times the past few months and while Gum Fung is very good, Jing Fong has really picked up the ball as best NYC dim sum. Also I have to mention that I have never seen Jing Fong run out of food.

                  1. re: JMF

                    Well, the one in Flushing used to be called Gum Fong, but the owner sold it and now it's part of the Jin Fong clan. I think the most important thing about dimsum is getting there before 1pm. The two times I've been to dimsum in Chinatown, it's been after 1pm and they do not even have the shrimp dumplings (hargow). I was very sad. When I do go to the Flushing branch, I am always there by 11am so it's an entirely different ballgame. Maybe one day my friends and I won't just decide to go to dimsum for lunch, we'll plan it and make it to Chinatown before 12 pm. I'm sure there will be a lot of food then!

                    By the way, here is the address for the Flushing branch:

                    13628 39th Ave, Flushing, 11354
                    It is right off Main Street across the street from the big municipal parking lot. Enjoy! :)

                  2. re: zGustibus

                    Actually while historically in this country carts have been equated with authentic dim sum and off the menu dim sum was associated with inauthentic touristy places, the pendulum is swinging. With menu dim sum all the rage in Vancouver (dim sum carts are virtually obsolete there), and also more common in Hong Kong, a lot of us have to re-think the subject. There are several reasons why dim sum off the menu may not be a bad idea. The food is fresher and you're not limited to whatever is rolling around on the floor. Also, from the restaurant's point of view they can accommodate more diners since the tables can be placed closer together, with cart sized aisles being unnecessary. Indeed, in the Los Angeles area now, most of the new high quality dim sum restaurants use the menu system.

                    1. re: zGustibus

                      "Carts are a must, right? Does anybody here disagree? I feel like ordering Dim Sum off a menu totally defeats the purpose!"

                      totally agree. that's part of my problem with chinatown brasserie. but it sounds like i need to try jing fong asap.

                  3. So far, in my experiences in the city, it seems that the better and more "authentic" dim sum places all have carts.

                    That said, in Hong Kong, dim sum places with menus are perfectly acceptable and we heard that many prefer to eat just-prepared food.

                    1. We also really like 88 Palace, in the core of one of the Mahattan Bridge supports-- it's got great carts as well as a line of line chefs cooking authentic specialties. Great stuff.


                      NYCnosh: http://nycnosh.com

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Nosher

                        I second Nosher's recommendation of Triple 8 Palace. It's a cool location and has some very good dimsum carts. Go early to try to beat the rush.

                      2. when HSF started the dim sum craze back in the late 70s they carried trays, not carts. Dim Sum Go Go and Pings, both places that people esteem, do not have carts. I think that hot, glistening freshness of the dishes is key and that by allowing the places to keep stuff out on the floor for longer, carts have a bad effect on this and you have to be alert to the condition of the dishes to avoid disappointment

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jen kalb

                          We were just at Ping's and they had some carts.

                          1. re: Hott Roti

                            Which one? Hester and Orchard or Walker St. or both?

                          2. i think Ping has carts, but earlier and they end up sort of killing them. Jing Fong has been a 5 year favorite of mine, but you HAVE to go early. before 1, to get all the variety and different dishes. Ping's is a bit more delicate, but much more expensive. my bills there have been double compared to other locales. if you get to c-town too late, i'd revert to dim sum go go on east broadway. no carts, but you can order whatever you want, and they have like 18 different dumplings. including sharks fin soup dumpling.

                            1. I think I have higher standards for dim sum than many of you. Granted that I haven't tried every one of the Manhattan places mentioned above, but though I like Jing Fong, Golden Unicorn, and Grand Harmony, I think they're just OK and nowhere near as good as dim sum I've had in LA, let alone Hong Kong, Guangzhou, or Malaysia. The best dim sum I've had in the Five Boroughs was at World Tong in Bensonhurst, and I've also had better dim sum in Flushing at East and Prince Seafood Restaurant than I've ever had in Manhattan. I've been hearing about other places in Flushing that sound like they bear investigating.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: Pan

                                Agree with you since for any city with both urban and suburban Chinatowns, the food in the urban Chinatown, whether New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Portland, Seattle or wherever, is going to be noticeably inferior to the suburban Chinatown for various reasons. I think this discussion thread was limited to Manhattan Chinatown due to the poster's geographic limitations.

                                1. re: Pan

                                  I live in Flushing and East is pretty good. But the best wontons alone can be found in a little place on Prince Street just off Roosevelt Avenue near 41st Road...its call White Bear and the sign outside may still say Ice Cream...it has seating for only 8 people so its mostly carry out...but they sit there all day long making wontons in front of you. You can have them in soup, or with hot sauce...they have many noodle dishes as well. While not dim sum...its worth a try.

                                  1. re: Pan

                                    Heard that the World Tong dim sum chef recently left for China Brasserie however, which should make it a contender if true ...

                                    1. re: Pan

                                      given the difference in asian population between here and LA, it's obvious that the most decent NY restaurant is going to be subpar in comparison with a west coast venue. i think comparing NY restaurants to Hong Kong and Guangzhou is totally superfluous. of course dim sum, which is from asia, is better in asia than NY. this is a manhattan board and people are suggesting decent places in NY, not the world. i do agree that east in flushing is quite good, but again, this is the manhattan board. i think it's presumptious for you to say you have "higher standards for dim sum than many of you (us)".

                                      1. re: jungirl

                                        Maybe, and sorry if I come across as presumptuous, but my main point is that there is unlikely to be any "top notch" dim sum in Manhattan - unless perhaps at China Brasserie (which I haven't tried yet). Would you disagree?

                                      2. re: Pan

                                        I haven't had any good dim sum in Manhattan in a while. Grand Harmony & Golden Unicorn are just so average. I used to really like Tai Hong Lau on Mott (a no cart place), but it really went downhill after 9/11. But I don't think World Tong is all that great either. The only thing I thought was great there was the durian tarts. Other people have told me it's their favorite dim sum in NYC, so I guess I have to give it another try.

                                        1. re: Pan

                                          Pan, I don't think you were being presumptuous. I second your recommendations of East and Prince. As for the popular Jing Fong, I'd stay away after my last visit. Unsanitary (filthy, smelly sidewalk; dirty floors inside), ungracious service, and mediocre, salty dim sum. A non-dim sum item, fried beef noodles, was greasy & heavy—just disgusting! The best dim sum in the world is still in HK.

                                          1. re: pinkylechat

                                            Kuala Lumpur also has wonderful dim sum. But unfortunately, that knowledge doesn't help New Yorkers. Anyway, since last year, when I made the post you've replied to, I've had a fantastic dim sum meal at Chinatown Brasserie and a few very good dim sum meals at Dim Sum Go Go, which is mentioned downthread. I've been to DSGG more recently and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it for dim sum.

                                        2. Chinatown Brasserie on Laffayette and Great Jones.

                                          1. Golden Bridge on Bowery, a block or 2 away from NY Noodletown. It's on the second floor--huge; no Caucasians; carts; great dim sum. Also, Mandarin Court on Mott Street--smaller, and very good dim sum.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: nansue

                                              I went to Golden Bridge with a friend on Presidents' Day, and most of the dim sum was cold. It was a very cold day, but that's no excuse. Perhaps in warm weather, it's better than Jing Fong et al., but if you go in cold weather, look out! Also, they charge extra (was it twice or half again as much?) on weekends and holidays, making it no bargain.

                                              I haven't been to Mandarin Court recently, but a few years ago, when I went a few times, it seemed on about the same level as the big eating halls (Jing Fong, Grand Harmony), but with smaller selection. However, it's been a while and perhaps the place has gotten better. It was certainly acceptable back then.

                                              Hmm...no Caucasians. So I should stay away? :-P

                                              1. re: nansue

                                                I like Mandarin Court. As an aside, once went on Sunday morning and greeted the hostess, who had goten to know me by sight...I said, "Well it's Sunday morning, time for dim sum"
                                                Her reply: "oh no, not me, sunday is bagel and nova", and she reached under the hostess stand and produced a munched on lox and bagel!

                                                1. re: howboy

                                                  I had dim sum for lunch at Mandarin Court today (Tues), arriving at about 12:45. About 2/3 of the tables were occupied; there was no problem getting a seat at a table by myself. About 1/3 of the parties were all or mostly Asian, including a few groups that appeared to be multigenerational families, as well as a group of men in police (or court officer?) uniforms. People continued to arrive the whole time I was there.

                                                  I think the staff brought out about 20 dishes on carts over the course of the hour that I was there. Some customers were also ordering other dishes from the menu.

                                                  The dishes tended to come out in groups, so that there would be a flurry of filled carts for a few minutes, followed by 10 minutes of not much activity. Some of the dishes arrived straight from the kitchen steaming-hot, while others had been sitting around for a while (notably, some otherwise delicious pan-fried dumplings). The food was good, but not in the same league as at 88 Palace or one of the Flushing restaurants.

                                                  The service could be improved. For example, I'd much rather be told "a pork dumpling" or a "chicken dumpling" rather than just a "meat dumpling" (on a cart of pork dumplings and vegetable dumplings). Also, the waiter never brought the $1.75 change left from my bill. This wouldn't matter much in a restaurant where there is only one waiter per table and the waiter can keep the change as part of the tip. But in a restaurant with multiple waitstaff attending to each table, I wonder whether this particular waiter was pocketing money that should have been shared among all of the staff.

                                                  1. re: racer x

                                                    "Meat" means pork by default in Chinese restaurants.

                                                    1. re: Pan

                                                      Fair enough (but their menu also lists beef dumplings).

                                                      1. re: racer x

                                                        Unlike English where there are separate single words for different types of meat (pork, beef, mutton, etc), Chinese uses two characters for each type of meat: "Pork" is "pig meat," "beef" is "cow meat," etc. As such, it's more economical to use just one character. And in days of yore, pork was the most common type of edible meat there was, at least for Southern China (mutton, etc., was considered overly gamey to sensitive Southern palates and you wouldn't want to eat the family tractor--which was what cows were considered since Chinese didn't drink much milk after being weaned, aside from it being an additive to coffee or tea).

                                              2. Thanks nansue. I was racking my brain trying to remember Mandarin, um, Palace? Gate? Yes, Court. 69 Mott Street is the address, I believe, and we've been going there for years (tho not recently because we moved to Queens and Flushing is closer...). Great dim sum and a nice variety too, even after the brunch rush.

                                                1. On a recent visit to NYC and thanks to NYC Chowhounds, we really enjoyed Jing Fong. As for the carts: unless you really know your Dim Sum menus or the Cantonese or Mandarian dialects - the carts are half the fun. You know..."well that looks good" or "hey is that a chicken foot?" or " I like the steamed ones the best!", etc.

                                                  1. I'd really like to try Jing Fong and I'm really curious as why the advice to get there early. I won't be able to make it for lunch, had more of a late dinner in mind.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: RedVelvet

                                                      I've heard that Jing Fong has excellent dinner, though I've never had dinner there, myself. The advice to get there early is for dim sum. If you want dinner, by all means go for dinner, but don't expect dim sum.

                                                      1. re: RedVelvet

                                                        The reason you have to get there early is because the earlier you go, the larger the selection is, and the fresher the food is. Dim Sum is very labor intensive, and they only make a certain amount of food for the day. So, as the day goes on, things run out and there are less carts, and less selection, and the things that are left are truly the "leftovers".

                                                        If you'd like Dim Sum late in the day, you have to go to a place where you order off a menu (even though that takes away most of the fun)


                                                      2. pings@ mott st's awesome, heard a lot of good things about golden unicorn

                                                        1. Chinatown Brasserie, Lafayette and Great Jones streets

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: lovefood

                                                            dim sum go go-east bway and the bowery. yummy, and also great for vegetarians!

                                                            1. re: ainslie

                                                              dim sum a go go has good quality . but no carts. 30 pell street is the place to try, they change names alot it used to be Hong Gung but i have no idea of the new name,, lots of carts ,at nite they cater alot of chinese weddings and have karaoke

                                                            2. re: lovefood

                                                              oh please, no! Chinatown Brasserie is so average and so expensive for what it is. When I was there, I felt like I was in some weird version of Disneyland China.

                                                            3. Vegetarian dim sum house is my favorite or Dim Sum a Go Go for the meat eaters!

                                                              1. Hmm...everytime I've been to Hong Kong (my parents live there), we've only ordered from a menu. Yet again, most of the time, we're also the only Americans in the restaurant. Might just be for us.

                                                                Anywho...I've been to Mandarin Court...I like it...but one time I had a great experience and the next time...not so good. I'm going again tomorrow. Hopefully, it'll be good. 2 out of 3 ain't bad, right? Has anyone else been here?

                                                                1. Sorry to revive an old post, but what is the best place to go lately for dim sum? I usually head to Golden Unicorn, which is good, but not great. I've been to Jing Fong, but the company was terrible (sad, but true) and we were seated on a horrible platform so we couldn't pick up any dishes.

                                                                  I'm planning on going on Sunday for my birthday with about 5 people...should I try Jing Fong again? Triple 8 Palace? Someplace else?

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: caphill2320

                                                                    I would also like to know this, as well as learn the best time to go on a weekend to avoid the worst of the crowds and insure that all the slections are still available..

                                                                    How is Dim Sum Go Go these days?

                                                                    1. re: erica

                                                                      I've been wondering the same thing. Where in Manhattan to find great dim sum without the chaos of weekend crowds, and without having to take out a second mortgage (a la Chinatown Brasserie)?

                                                                      I know the OP was looking for places only in Chinatown or Midtown, but for those considering the UES's Shanghai Pavilion (3rd ave & 78th), although you can avoid the crowds there, if you're looking for a really good meal, you're better off heading downtown or to Flushing. On a recent visit, a customer at another table sent one of his fried seafood dishes back because he said it tasted funny. I've had good turnip cakes there, but they always seem to arrive to the table on the cold side (warm & greasy is acceptable; cold & greasy is not).

                                                                      1. re: racer x

                                                                        I too am wondering where to get authentic dim sum. I usually go to chance in brooklyn (i know, shamefully unauthentic, but so yummy!)

                                                                      2. re: erica

                                                                        Dim Sum Go Go is fine these days. Go and check it out.

                                                                        1. re: erica

                                                                          Had lunch at Dim Sum Go Go this afternoon, following recommendations from this board. I confess it was the first time I've been back since they first opened some years back, since I've usually been satisfied with Golden Unicorn, which is just across the street.

                                                                          Based on my meal today, I cannot recommend Dim Sum Go Go. The steamed dumpling wrappers disintegrated when I tried to pick them up. The turnip cakes were the blandest I've ever tasted (not enough flavor to justify the calories or the cost). Portions sizes of the dumplings were small for the price. The waiter did some creative calculating (unless they charge separately for the tea) at the end of the meal.

                                                                      3. Does anyone know which of these places does catering?

                                                                        1. I went to Jing Fong a few weeks ago and it was good, but not great - same problem with most U.S. chinese food - the wrappings are too thick. Also, certain dishes are hard to find - i.e., Ha Gao/ Cha Siu Bao took me 1.5 hours to get some.

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Boss77

                                                                            I have a question about Jin Fong, HSF. Oriental Garden etc:

                                                                            Do they serve dim sum on weekdays? And, on Sundays what would be the best time to arrive? What time do they begin serving sim sum?

                                                                            1. re: erica

                                                                              Not sure about Oriental Garden but I think Jin Fong and HSF serve dimsum on weekdays. You can try to arrive around 10 or 10:30 AM on Sundays to avoid crowds. If you arrive around 12 Noon there are probably lines already. Since Dim Sum is typically a breakfast/brunch food, Dim Sum restaurants usually start serving food around 9 or 10 AM (sometimes earlier). According to Citysearch, Jing Fong opens at 9:30 AM while HSF and Oriental Garden open at 8:30 AM but you should call to confirm just in case they change their hours.

                                                                              1. re: bearmi

                                                                                I know Grand Harmony serves Dim Sum every day of the week. Always a good Chinese crowd there. I went to Dim Sum Go Go once some years ago and thought it was terrible. Maybe it has improved? I myself do not like the overly large places like Jing Fong.

                                                                                1. re: scoopG

                                                                                  I went to Jade Asian Restaurant in Flushing the former Gum Fong. The dim sum there is by far the best in NY right now. The place has been remodeled and it is clean and spacious inside. There is a your classics like chicken feet and pork dumplings but there is a lot of new innovative dishes where you don't see in other places. Everything is cooked perfectly and it is a must try. On weekdays most of the dishes are only 2 dollars. It looks very high end and tastes very high end. Get there early on the weekends because it gets pretty crowded.

                                                                                  1. re: suprakent

                                                                                    I went to Jing Fong a while back and it was OK. It took forever to find some of my favorites (ha gow, etc.). I also went to a place that is litterally a couple of doors to the right (if you're looking at the entrance) which was pretty good and the staff kept bringing me all the good stuff.