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The Science Survey

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The Science Survey

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The Science Survey

The Best Dim Sum Restaurants in New York City

Exploring the delectable variance of the Cantonese classic in the iconic melting pot of New York City.
The wooden containers hold the treasures of delectable dim sum. (Photo Credit: kofookoo.de / Unsplash)

Dozens of round, wooden containers crowd the table. The waiter, an elderly Chinese woman, lifts off the lids and quickly drizzles soy sauce over select dishes, before stamping the bill on the table to record the plates ordered. The smell of warm, savory foods wafts in the air, intermingling with the laughter and chatter. The restaurant is decorated to appear like a traditional Chinese palace, as if you were having tea and brunch with an emperor in ancient China. 

Before you get carried away, allow me to preface: Chinese people are loud. The restaurant is filled to the brim with chatter. Asian aunties pour out lively conversation as sons pour chrysanthemum tea for their mothers. The expansive dim sum hall is brightly lit by ornate overhead chandeliers. Waiters neatly dressed in uniform vests skillfully change tablecloths and lazy susan roundtables, quickly clearing the table of utensils and undressing the tablecloths stained with tea from the prior guest – don’t worry, the stain will wash right off. It is quite the spectacle. 

This is not Panda Express or your standard takeout Chinese food in foldable, paper oyster pails. This is a dim sum brunch. If you have never tasted the flavorful cuisine and the subtle chaos of the extravaganza, you are missing out. From warm baos filled with savory char-siu pork meat to thick slices of delectable cheong fun rice noodles, the aromatic scents permeate the air and pirouette around the round tables. 

Dim sum is native Cantonese cuisine, so it follows that the best dim sum restaurants are generally located in the neighborhoods home to large Cantonese populations such as Manhattan’s Chinatown or Sunset Park in Brooklyn. The food is served in smaller portions, because the intent is to order multiple dishes and share amongst the table. A typical dim sum dish would include around three buns or a small dish of marinated chicken feet, serving as appetizers that are meant to be shared. 

Towards the tail of the meal, it is customary to order a large dish of noodles or rice, once again, to be shared amongst the table. Virtually none of the plethora of dishes are meant to be served in individual portions. The small appetizer dishes give a taste of each, not meant to be overindulgent, and the large communal plate of noodles and rice are meant to be savored together. For many cultures, the food is reflective of its values and traditions, and dim sum is the perfect example of such. 


380 Amsterdam Avenue
(corner of 78th St. and Amsterdam Ave.)
New York, NY 10024 

202 Centre Street
New York, NY 10013 

Any Chinatown native who has lived in the neighborhood in the past ten years can attest to the iconic legacy of Jing Fong.

Established in 1978, Jing Fong is an integral fabric of Chinatown’s history. Jing Fong is more than a restaurant, at its height, Jing Fong was a banquet hall, wedding venue, and beloved neighborhood gathering place. The large dining hall once seated an impressive 800 people at capacity. Dim sum is a multifaceted dining experience, but above all, it is a social event, and Jing Fong is certainly no exception to this fact.

During the COVID-19  pandemic, however, the restaurant’s revenue was in decline, as sales plummeted to 85%. Regular patrons stopped dining out as fears of the pandemic loomed large. For comparison, prior to the restaurant’s closure, Jing Fong welcomed an estimated 10,000 customers every week.

The Chinatown gem was forced to shut down due to rent conflicts during the pandemic.

However, not even a global pandemic could stop the Chinatown sensation. After reopening, Jing Fong is back in two locations: Chinatown and the Upper West Side. 

Jing Fong serves all of the regular dim sum favorites. Highlights from the menu include the spare ribs, shrimp siu-mai, Lo Mai Gai (glutinous rice with meat and fillings wrapped in a lotus leaf), and a sweet egg tart to end off the meal. For meat lovers, the char-siu baos are practically a bucket list item. The word char-siu refers to the traditional Chinese pork dish and bao refers to a steamy bread roll. Together, char-siu baos are warm, tender buns enveloping savory, marinated pork. My mother cooks char-siu meat at home in large quantities, and every bite of a char-siu bao is like a slice of home – though I have my biases for my mother’s cooking.

Jing Fong’s new locations have set their ambitions on rehiring former staff who were laid off during the pandemic — and you can taste it in the delicious, no-nonsense food.


Park Asia
6521 8th Ave

Dyker Heights, 11220

As soon as you enter Park Asia, are greeted by the elegant interior and a gorgeous high ceiling As you climb up the stairs overlooking dozens of dining tables, you will find the restaurant’s private party rooms. The ceiling is adorned with a stunning chandelier. Overall, the interior design truly adds a height of luxury to the dining experience, so customers can eat and drink tea like royalty.

Park Asia also hosts wedding events, especially considering the grand interior design.

Conveniently lodged on 8th Avenue, Park Asia sits in the middle of a Cantonese Chinese enclave, attracting newcomers, locals, and their families alike.

While waiting for the food to roll around, the giant screen on the wall displays picturesque videos of chefs preparing the dishes customers eagerly await.

Park Asia offers a myriad of dim sum dishes, with popular dishes such as marinated chicken feet (don’t knock it ’til you try it!) and rice noodle rolls containing various meat fillings. The rice noodle rolls are undoubtedly a dim sum staple. With fillings ranging from pork, beef, to even cilantro for vegetarians, there’s an option for every palette.


Ocean Bay
83-02 Queens Blvd
Elmhurst, NY 11373

Conveniently located in the vibrant community of Elmhurst, Ocean Bay is one of my family’s favorites. The staff is generally very attentive to diners, and their pushcarts hold a plethora of Cantonese classics. I visited the establishment with my family and a family friend who was in town. The noise level was moderate, considering that most dim sum halls are much larger and packed than Ocean Bay. I enjoyed the intimate size of the dining room, because I could actually hear the people at my table, which is rare for large dining halls.

A few highlights from the menu include pork siu-mai – with some patrons raving over the tasty mustard served with siu-mai – har-gao (shrimp delicately wrapped in a translucent, dumpling-like skin), and a pick from the noodle selection to end the meal. From the noodle menu, I would recommend trying the Singapore Rice Noodles, which are spicy, but manageable for most spice tolerances. When ordering, I advise ordering unique dishes that one usually would not make at home.

The restaurant also has party rooms available for larger parties if you have a larger party, though they may require prior reservation or a minimum dollar spending amount. For larger parties or intimate family gatherings, I would recommend booking a party room.

Ocean Bay is a lovely restaurant to enjoy Cantonese brunch foods, all the while people-watching other patrons, from squads of elderly grandmas dressed in their Sunday best to other Chinese families dining out for weekend brunch.

At the end of the day (or your meal), new dim sum connoisseurs will come to find that the true beauty of dim sum lies in the loved ones sitting across the round tables, in the lively conversation that seasons the food, and in true Cantonese style, the amicable fighting to be the first to pay the bill.

For many cultures, the food is reflective of its values and traditions, and dim sum is the perfect example of such.

About the Contributor
Jacey Mok, Staff Reporter
Jacey Mok is an Editor-in-Chief for 'The Science Survey.' She loves the art of masterfully crafting a story and bringing the reader into the scene. She enjoys writing literary journalistic pieces profiling the beauty of places ranging from her childhood hometown of Brooklyn, New York, to Texas. For the past three years, Jacey has explored her love for photography and incorporates this passion into her articles. She loves how photography can capture the essence of an emotion and a moment, and how it can frame a story in and of itself. Outside of the classroom, Jacey enjoys volunteering at local initiatives, reading, and meeting new people.