photo credit: Emily Schindler


Nom Wah Tea Parlor

ChineseDim Sum


$$$$Perfect For:Unique Dining ExperienceClassic Establishment
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We suspect that the perpetual line outside of Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Chinatown has more to do with its history than the actual dumplings inside. Nom Wah has been open since the 1920’s and claims to be the city’s first dim sum restaurant. But despite it being the first, you won’t find the classic dim sum experience here that you’ll get at a place like Jing Fong (where the line is also much, much longer). There are no big banquet tables and pushcarts. Instead, Nom Wah has a super casual diner feel with chrome barstools and waiters skirting around red booths. 

Compared to the rest of your dim sum options in Chinatown, the food at Nom Wah is average. They could turn up the flavor, and a couple plates will inevitably be a bit overcooked. But there aren’t too many other places in the city where you can eat soup dumplings in a retro diner that doubles as a historical landmark. Nom Wah is worth going to with a small group at least once. If you want to skip the line, recruit three or more people so you can make a reservation. Bring cash—the only card they take is American Express.

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Suggested Reading

Nom Wah Nolita interior with brick walls, a neon sign, and high top counter seating

Nom Wah Nolita

A fast casual outpost of the classic Chinatown dim spot Nom Wah Tea Parlor, come here for good, quick dumplings.

Jing Fong image

The rebooted Jing Fong in Chinatown is a much smaller dim sum restaurant than before, but it's still great for a group meal.

Ping’s image

Ping’s is a cash-only dim sum spot in Chinatown with a lot seafood on the menu.

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