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Where are the best dumplings in Brooklyn's Chinatown?

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I've got two dollars left to my name. I'd like to spend my remaining two dollars on dumplings. Where should I go?

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  1. the dumpling store on 47th St (48th? - its an eastbound street) just east of 8th Ave is pretty darn good, tho my favorite thing there is the big sesame/scallion pancake with sliced, spiced meat - it might be more than $2. There are a couple other dumpling places in the nabe - one over on 7th in the 50s, another fairly close to the one I am talking about but this one has always satisfied us.

    5 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      It's definitely on 48th St., I got some last night.
      they wern't my favorite dumplings though, they seemed too doughy and the fillings too simplistic and condiments thin and watery.
      I wish I had noticed the sesame/scallion pancake with sliced meat. We sampled the reg. scallion pancake which I liked better than the dumplings.
      The guys were cooking away in the summer heat, no A/C, I was impressed.

      1. re: Ida Red

        there is one place Northern Dumplings, on 48th St just WEST of 8th and the other,on 47th, just EAST of 8th on 47th with a Chinese name. The 47th st. one is the one Ive been to, many times. Ive never actually been to Northern Dumplings, but now that Ive seen the actual store, not just the sign I'll check it out.

        1. re: jen kalb

          I'm sorry I can't remember the name of this place. If it was in English it would have stuck in my head, but I believe the name was in Chinese and there was no advertising on the bag.
          It was definitely on 48th, just south/east of the Ave., but now I'm only 80% certain that it was 8th Ave., there's a slight chance it was 7th Ave.
          I want to distinguish here because this place was not that great.

          1. re: Ida Red

            The place I go, Rai Feng Du. is on the 47th just off the SE corner. Street runs west to east. It has about 3-4 tables on the right as you enter, with a plexiglass barrier dividing off the kitchen, on the left. Room in back where workers sit and make the dumplings. They offer no sauce with dumpling orders there - you can make your own with soy, vinegar and chile sauce.

            Dumplings are better eaten there than takeout (isnt this always true with dumplings?) they sell many kinds in frozen bags. Minimal english. Id like to

            1. re: Ida Red

              Responding to jen kalb's post here as there is no reply button on her post. I am pretty sure that the place described by Jen Kalb and Ida Red is the same one. It is on 48th Street which is where I thought it was. I just checked on Google Maps which indicates that 48th Street runs from west to east, so it matches Jen's description. Hope this help clear things up.

      2. Northern China Dumpling, 49th St. @ 8th Ave. (775A 49th St.). If you like scallion pancakes instead, I believe a big one is only $1.

        1. The other place Jen Kalb is thinking of is Family Dumpling on 7th Ave around 58th. Truly great handmade before your eyes pork dumplings and vegetable dumplings, steamed or fried. Also an outrageous scallion pancake--incredibly rich, light and feathery, all at once. I've had several excellent bowls of noodles, too, but don't know what to recommend since the owner seems to make something different every time I've been in. The dumplings are also available frozen (a bag of about 25 or 30 for $5 or so).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Amy Mintzer

            I wouldn't know which are The Best 'cause I have not tried many BUT
            I love the frozen fry-at-home dumplings at Family Dumpling, pork or shrimp.
            (Pork is most delicious.)
            But the vegetable ones we got (to eat in the car on the way home with our frozen)
            were NOT very good -- bland, doughy, and cabbagey. And I happen to like cabbage. They were larger than the pork ones. I was surprised that they weren't good.
            Their dipping sauce is not as good as one you can make at home either.

            But I try to have a bag of their frozen pork-chive dumplings in my freezer at all times.

          2. Thanks, guys! My last few dollars were well spent on dumplings and a scallion pancake (Family Dumplings and Northern China Dumplings, respectively). I can't wait to scrape together a few more buckaroos and try the other places mentioned! --worm

            1 Reply
            1. re: worm

              For my 2 cents, I think the best (steamed, pork with scallion) dumplings to be had are at Northern China Dumpling Co but I'm not too crazy about the scallion pancake there, cheap as it is.

              Meanwhile, family dumpling makes a ridiculously delicious scallion pancake (and they do it up with the cabbage and carrots (and beef if you like) inside like they do at Eldridge street. BUT I have to say that, in my opinion, the (steamed pork with leek) dumplings there are not as good as Northern China's (though it is fun to watch what appears to be an actual three-person family making dumplings together, which makes me kind of nostalgic for my childhood kitchen.)

              I've never tried the dumplings at Rai Feng Du but am looking forward to some more comparison tasting this coming weekend.

            2. I want to ask you all some macro-level questions:

              As a Manhattanite (East Village) who's somewhat familiar with Flushing but unfamiliar with Brooklyn's Chinatown, are any of these places so good that they'd be worth the trip? If so, which? Is there decent access via the subway, and if so, what line(s)? Any idea how long the trip might take, roughly?

              1. Pan, thanks for your continuing flow of excellent chow information. As for Brooklyn Chinatown, the Vietnamese scene is worth a trip to the neighborhood. Thanh Da and Ba Xuyen for sandwiches and the other place (not Gia Lam but next to it) for relatively elaborate Viet cooking. The Nyonya is supposedly better than the one on Grand St. And also, I think the Chinese bakery scene is the best in NYC. There is so much competition...I like Dragon Bay, but there are many I haven't tried.

                From the East Village, take the N train from Union Square to 8th Avenue in Brooklyn. Once you exit the station, turn left onto 8th Avenue. You can also take the D train from B'way-Lafayette to 9th Avenue in Brooklyn and follow the grid system to 43rd Street and 8th Avenue where the Asian neighborhood begins. Both trips should take about 30 minutes. It's a cute little area, too. If you walk west about 10 minutes you'll be in the Mexican part of Sunset Park, and if you go east to 13th Avenue, you'll be in the largest Hasidic neighborhood in the world.

                3 Replies
                1. re: PAL

                  Thanks, PAL. Good elaborate Vietnamese food is something that seems to be pretty lacking in Manhattan, so I'd love the name of that place whenever someone finds it. How do you think Thanh Da and Ba Xuyen compare to Banh Mi Saigon Bakery on Mott St.?

                  1. re: Pan

                    I used to swear by Saigon Banh Mi when it was under the Manhattan Bridge. I now swear by Ba Xuyen on 43rd and 8th (I like to call it the Pork Authority) Get a #1 (BTW - has anyone noticed the increasing standardization of banh mi menus? #1 is always the combo, #4 is always the meatball, etc.) and a fruit/veggie shake. The avocado shake is amazing, and makes perfect sense once you taste it. Then again, if I loaded up a blender with as much sugar, cream and ice as they do, I could add fish heads and the thing would still be totally f-n' awesome.

                  2. re: PAL

                    fyi, The Nyonya in Sunset Park was exceedingly disappointing when we visited a few weeks ago. If there are any things they are actually good at it would be worth knowing.

                  3. Does anyone know what happened to the North Mei Shing Dumpling House which used to be at 49th and 8th Ave? They are closed and there is no indication of what happened. Are they gone or have they moved?