Hi guys! We’re the Dumpling Gang: Three hungry ladies eating their way through New York City (and beyond), one dumpling at a time—and sharing our experiences with the food world.
Chances are you’ve found your way here from our Instagram page and are hungry for more insight. So many amazing looking choices, so little time… right? Where should you begin?
Here’s a little guide to get you started on your own dumpling odyssey: 10 of our go-to spots to take a time out from the bustle of New York and transport your taste buds to the other side of the world!
Foie Gras Soup Dumpling
One of our favorite go-to spots, located in the East Village, Carma East not only offers cool vibes (with its famous “let the lights dim sum” neon sign) and delicious baijiu cocktails, but it also has some of the best and most creative dim sum in town. For us, the standout is the foie gras soup dumplings with a succulent, buttery flavor in with savory pork broth; other highlights are the dragonfruit-colored hot pink har gow, and truffle soup dumplings.
Rice and Gold
Lobster and Scallop Har Gow + Candied Pork Bun
Rice and Gold, located in the 50 Bowery Hotel, is the newest edition to the Three Kings Restaurant Group founded by Top Chef alum Dale Talde, restaurateur Dave Massoni and cocktail king John Bush. Rice and Gold showcases a menu of reimagined dim sum and Asian fusion dishes such as pho soup dumplings and jerk Peking-style duck. We highly recommended trying the lobster and scallop har gow in squid wrappers and a leek americane sauce. It combines the soul-warming delight of a bowl of lobster bisque with delicious seafood-packed dumplings. For brunch we suggest the candied pork buns, sweet and savory and baked to perfection with tender barbecued pork inside.
Nom Wah Tea Parlor
A bona fide New York institution, Nom Wah has been delighting dumpling fans with dim sum since 1920. Located on quirky Doyers Street in the heart of Chinatown—once known as “The Bloody Angle” due to the frequent violent confrontations between the Tong Gangs there in the early part of the 20th century—the restaurant’s menu is definitely on par with its historical standing. Ordering is done from a checklist, and while all of the options are certainly worth exploring, our favorite is the classic shrimp shumai: steamed to perfection, juicy and delicious.
Nom Wah doesn’t take reservations, so expect to wait for a table during popular dining hours—but the wait is definitely worth it. Its combination of old-city atmosphere, classic cuisine, and historical significance make this one of New York’s seminal eateries. For those just interested in the food, Nom Wah has recently opened two other locations: Nom Wah NoLIta, a fast-casual version with a great happy hour ($3 beer or wine with each dim sum purchase); and Nom Wah Kuai at the Canal Street Market, a fast grab-and-go version.
Bacon, Egg and Cheese Dumpling
Named to Adam Platt’s list of where to eat 2018 in New York Magazine, Pinch specializes in soup dumplings and cocktails and blends more traditional Asian styles with New York City classics. For the former, try the shiitake truffle steamed dumpling; for the latter, Pinch serves up a twist on a Jewish staple, inside-out matzah ball soup dumplings. Go for brunch, and get the quintessential NYC breakfast, Chinese style: bacon, egg and cheese dumplings!
Xi’an Famous Foods
Xi’an famous foods is a fast-causal chain opened by Chinese native Jason Wang and his father in 2005. Xi’an serves authentic northwestern Chinese dishes ranging from hand-pulled noodles to spicy cumin lamb burgers. This spot has been featured on many well known food blogs, magazines and TV shows including Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations (🙌🏼🙌🏼). After this unexpected visit from Bourdain in 2009, Wang decided to transform their tiny mall food court stand in Queens to a chain that now has 12 locations across the city. Obviously, we go there for the spicy and sour dumplings, which come in lamb or spinach. Both can be served in sauce or soup. Go for the vegan spinach dumplings and you will not be disappointed!
Shanghai Asian Manor
Truffle Soup Dumpling
A traditional Chinatown eatery with an expansive menu full of dim sum and noodle dishes, Shanghai Asian Manor stands out on Mott Street with its large soup dumpling sculpture that hangs above the entrance. This adornment is fitting, as the restaurant’s standout item is its truffle soup dumplings. Thin skinned and packed with salty pork broth, these delicacies have just the right amount of savory truffle flavor, and are served with black vinegar and fresh ginger strips. Another can’t-miss item is the spicy, juicy Szechuan wontons. If there’s a wait for a table, you can head a few blocks over to Shanghai Asian Cuisine, which is operated by the same owners and has a similarly scrumptious truffle soup dumpling dish of its own.
Mimi Cheng’s was founded by two sisters on a quest to carry on the tradition of their mother’s original Taiwanese recipes. Every dumpling made at Mimi Cheng’s is hand-wrapped and contains only organic, locally sourced ingredients. What makes this place so special, however, is its monthly Chef Series. Each month they team up with one of their favorite New York City chefs to collaborate on a special dumpling. Some of the highlights from this year were the braised short rib with lemon walnut pesto (chef Missy Robbins from Lilia Restaurante), the Emmy burger with carmelized onions, aged grafton white cheddar cheese and served with a special sauce (chef Emily Peterson from Emily), which was so loved by fans that it was extended for an extra month. And each November, there’s the Thanksgiving Special with roasted turkey, stuffing and gravy served with cranberry sauce.
Pork and Shrimp Dumplings With Oyster Sauce
Located on the lower level of the building that houses Shanghai Asian Manor, this 24-hour, BYOB spot serves traditional Cantonese fare and has also been paid a visit by Anthony Bourdain. This old-school establishment opened in 1968 and hasn’t changed much in the ensuing years—its wood-paneled walls and non-native English-speaking patronage transports you to a different place and time. Great for a late-night snack, Hop Kee’s juicy, oyster sauce-slathered pork and shrimp dumplings are extra hefty to satisfy even the most intense alco-munchies. For the Mandarin literate, there’s a secret menu with more adventurous options.
Boiled or Fried Pork and Chive Dumpling
Lam Zhou handmade noodle and dumpling is an OG chinatown favorite. This bare-bones, hole-in-the-wall joint caused a commotion in the dumpling enthusiast community last year when ownership suddenly shuttered its East Broadway shop; thankfully, it was only a temporary hiatus! Lam Zhou reopened at 40 Bowery in October with a larger storefront but the same great dumplings. These are known as some of the best pork and chive dumplings in New York City, they are just $4 for heaping styrofoam plate of steamed or fried deliciousness.
Edamame and Parmasean Dumplings with Citrus Truffle Oil
A newer establishment in the East Village, Thursday Kitchen is one of those rare eateries where everything on the menu is out-of-this-world delectable and also affordable—you just can’t go wrong. Since it doesn’t take reservations you should expect to wait, and while you do, you can sip on one the specialty “Adult Capri Sun” soju cocktails. Once seated, you’ll likely have a hard time deciding from all of the mouthwatering menu choices; its culinary style infuses French and Spanish flair into traditional Korean small-plate dishes, resulting in creations like truffle mac and cheese with clams, gnocchi with Korean chili pepper sauce, and kimchi paella. Obviously, our favorite choice is the edamame dumplings with citrus truffle sauce and parmesan cheese. Light and fluffy, they touch on all the right flavor profiles, with a nice hit of acid that takes the cheesy goodness up a notch and leaves you wishing you ordered an extra plate.