Where Do I Find Northern Chinese Dumplings? [Happy Chinese New Year!]
Northern Chinese dumplings, thick-skinned and cheap
Samantha G. asks: Hey! I love northern Chinese food. I grew up with a wonderful northern/Cantonese dim-sum-style restaurant in Rockville, Maryland. I was wondering if there is anything similar in NYC? Thanks!
Dear Samantha: While NYC has plenty of Cantonese dim sum palaces, I don't know of any that offer an exclusively northern take on what is basically a southern phenomenon.
That said, we had an influx of northern Chinese dumpling places beginning about a decade ago, usually located on the fringes of the city's five Chinatowns. These are generally stall-size and offer none of the creature comforts (beer, big family tables, dragons with blinking eyes, rolling carts) that your request seems to imply. Nevertheless, the hearty, thick-skinned dumplings (fried or steamed), wheat-based flatbreads, and other humble northern delicacies are perfectly turned out, and cheap in the extreme.
Some of our favorite dollar-dumpling stalls include:
Inexpensive Delicacies Company 99 Allen Street 212-925-2625
China North Dumpling 15 Essex Street 212-529-0077
Prosperity Dumpling 46 Eldridge Street 212-343-0683
Nam Zhaou Hand Made Noodle and Dumpling Place 144 East Broadway 212-566-6933
C & L Dumpling House 77 Chrystie Street 212-219-8850
Vanessa's Dumpling House 118A Eldridge Street 212-625-8008
Vanessa's, one of the original Eldridge Street stalls, now has a hipsterized Williamsburg branch, where beer is available, as is more traditional restaurant seating:
Vanessa's Dumplings 310 Bedford Avenue Williamsburg, Brooklyn 212-529-1329
Also in Brooklyn:
Eton 205 Sackett Street Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn 718-222-2999
Kai Feng Fu Dumpling House 4801 Eighth Avenue Sunset Park, Brooklyn 718-437-3542
Of course, the city also has a plethora of full-service Cantonese dim sum palaces, of which we recommend:
Royal Seafood 103 Mott Street 212-219-2338
East Ocean Palace 113-09 Queens Boulevard Forest Hills, Queens 718-260-2206
East Harbor Sunset Park, Brooklyn 718-765-0098
Next time I'm in Rockville, Maryland, I'm looking for the place you mention!
Happy Chinese New Year!
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