Nom Wah Tea Parlor- Dim Sum and then Some

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Pants at a Glance
  • scene: Old school soda fountain place with lots of character and not a lot of frills; red and white check table cloths begging to get dirty with dumpling juice
  • sip: Lots of different types of tea; beer, soda...
  • savor: Every single thing you can fit in your face
  • sit: With a large group so you can share a lot of food; with your significant other or sibling after a long night out to soak up your sauced sins
  • spend: $
  • address: 13 Doyers Street (At Bowery)
  • phone number: (212) 962-6047
  • website:

When the Pants were in Hong Kong, we were so excited to go for traditional dim sum.  There is nothing we love more than delicious little gifts of flavor wrapped up as dumplings. We asked our concierge to reserve us a spot at their recommended restaurant at a manageable 1pm, on a Sunday, as to not interrupt our beauty sleep.  Imagine our shock and awe when we were informed that it is best to visit before 11 am for the most authentic experience.  Blurry-eyed and hungry, we headed out for our dim sum experience, and were the only tourists there; we nodded and smiled and guessed when the woman came by with the dumplings steamers, and had a truly remarkable morning.

In our NYC, my favorite place for dim sum is Nom Wah Tea Parlor, which is actually the oldest dim sum restaurant in NYC, dating back to 1920.  A recent revamp hides any evidence of its age, but the charm remains. On weekends,   I suggest arriving by 1130 to beat the rush and avoid a wait.  You will most likely be seated and out the door before you can order that beer you need (how am I supposed to wait until NOON on a sunday?!). Num Wah has an old school soda fountain place kind of vibe; ladies with carts are replaced by a menu, with pictures, and any language issues are eliminated because customers fill out their own order sheets.  The food arrives as it is ready, fresh and hot, not gummy or slightly gelatinized from sitting in a steamer too long.   Every single thing you pick will be delicious, from old stand-bys to more adventurous choices.  My personal favorite is the pork bun- a fluffy white package containing sweet chunks of pork that is best eaten like a sandwich, or by ripping pieces off.  I almost don’t want to share it.  Pork and shrimp dumplings, just shrimp dumplings, shrimp in noodles (they are IN the noodles!), egg rolls, pan fried noodles…you can not go wrong; there is also every sauce you could need on the table for you already, to personalize your taste journey.  You will leave there ready to tackle Sunday (or find a spot for that much needed beer) feeling full and not greasy.  Tell only your closest friends, the Pants hate waiting on line…

P.S. If you take a taxi, we suggest going to Bowery and Doyers, and then just walking on Doyers to the bend, you will see it…

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