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The 6 Best NYC Restaurants For Dim Sum

It's funny—after a weekend of hard living, or even a period of austerity in the diet, dim sum manages to feel both purifying and indulgent. Communal, selective, savory, sweet, smoky—it all adds up to a soul-gratifying eating experience. Start here to plumb New York's dim sum treasures. By Anna Van Lenten.

Buddha Bodai

Dim Sum
(credit: PATRICK LIN/AFP/Getty Images)

5 Mott St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 566-8388

Time and again, Buddha's super, taste-saturated vegetarian dim sum gratifies the meat tooth as well as the veg. Noteworthy items include pan-fried dumplings, watercress dumplings, House Congee, tofu skin with veggies, sticky sweet rice balls with peanuts. tapioca sweet dumplings, jellyfish, "beef" rice roll, and the turnip cakes. Buddha is also certified Kosher.

East Harbor Seafood Palace

Dim Sum
(credit: Stock Photo/Clipart)

714 65th Street
Queens, NY 11385
(718) 765-0098

Choice menu items here make you wonder why you don't have dim sum for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Steamed seafood dumplings and shrimp dumplings could be lived on for weeks. The rice noodle-wrapped donut, fried taro dumplings, turnip cakes, and stuffed eggplant with fish cake are rapturous.

Golden Steamer

Golden Steamer
(credit: China Photos/Getty Images)

143A Mott Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 226-1886

This dim sum bakery really lands its baos (buns) right; their ample size does not sacrifice fluff and taste. The egg custard bun will tug at the heart of anyone who's spent time in Hong Kong. The filling in the BBQ roast pork bun is saucy and good, and both the pumpkin and coconuts baos are great.

Golden Unicorn

(credit: Golden Unicorn)

18 East Broadway
New York, NY 10002
(212) 941-0911
Reviews & more info

The dim sum here must be getting the cook's golden touch. Steamed shrimp dumplings are so savory and tender, they practically melt in your mouth. The deep fried taro cake is a must, and the chicken with sticky rice is fabulous. Ask for sweet soy sauce along with the regular for adding extra dimension to the dishes.

Jing Fong

(credit: Jing Fong)

20 Elizabeth Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 964-5256
Reviews & more info

Some may say there's better dim sum in Chinatown, but we love Jing Fong both for the food and the overall experience. You arrive at the foot of two large escalators. After milling about with the Sunday morning crowd trying to get a table for brunch, you ride up and are admitted to the massive dining room. Be prepared to feel overwhelmed: it feels large enough to land a small plane safely (actually there's room for more than 120 tables). Radio-wielding hosts direct traffic and get you seated at a communal table, and then pushcarts full of savory dim sum start rolling past. It can get a bit frenetic trying to compete for the choices you want, but we think it's all part of the fun. Once you start flagging down the fantastic food you'll taste why the massive room is packed with weekend brunch-goers. The sticky rice is divine, the shrimp in rice noodle is drippy and delicious.

Ocean Jewel Seafood Restaurant

Dim Sum
(credit: Stock Photo/Clipart)

13330 39th Avenue
Queens, NY 11363
(718) 359-8600

Many menu items deserve vigorous pointing out: lightly fried calamari with garlic and pepper pieces, Banana Leaf/Lotus Leaf wrapped sticky rice, egg custard tarts with flaky crusts and custard filling, and the wondrous, savory-not-sweet Za Liang—rice dough Chinese donut with oyster sauce on the side.

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