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The 13 Best Dumplings in NYC, According to Food Lover's Diary

Addison Aloian | January 15, 2021 | Food & Drink Feature

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Learn to make these chorizo dumplings in Emily Fedner's new digital cookbook Dumpling Lover’s Diary.

Mmm, the humble dumpling, both cute and delicious. Who doesn't want their food wrapped in a tasty dough pillow?

Born from Asian, Ukrainian, Russian and Georgian traditions, it's also become a staple in German, Peruvian, Polish and American cooking. New Yorkers love dumplings, too, especially Emily Fedner, the Brooklyn-based cook, author, podcast host and food influencer known as @FoodLoversDiary on Instagram.

Fedner grew up around dumplings. Her family is Russian, and her grandmother’s signature dish was varenyky, a Ukrainian potato dumpling.

“I grew obsessed with those dumplings and really enjoyed making them with her," Fedner says. "That was kind of my entry into the world of dumplings."

See also: The 9 Best Chicken Wings in NYC

She now spends much of her time seeking the best dumplings in the city, from kimchi mandu in LA’s Koreatown to momos in Jackson Heights, and pork and chive dumplings in Chinatown. Her mantra? "Everything is better with dough."

She loves dumplings so much, she just released a digital cookbook called Dumpling Lover’s Diary, which can now be purchased via her website. A portion of the book sale proceeds will be donated to Welcome to Chinatown, a grassroots initiative that supports the culture of Chinatown after the damage COVID-19 did to small businesses.

No one knows dumplings like Fedner, and we wouldn’t trust anyone else to curate a list of the all-time best dumplings in New York City. Deep dive into the delicious world of doughy goodness with Fedner's 13 favorite dumpling restaurants below.

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Manhattan

Super Taste

26 Eldridge St. | Website

A well-known restaurant among NYC foodies, Super Taste is famous for hand pulled noodles, soups, dumplings and more. Overwhelmed by the menu? Fedner has the perfect recommendation: “They have a fantastic pork and chive dumpling," she says. "That’s my favorite dumpling there."

Xi’an Famous Foods

Multiple locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn & Queens | Website

Another hot spot for New York food lovers, Xi’an Famous Foods is a Western Chinese chain serving everything from lamb burgers to cold noodles and oxtail soup. “It’s a noodle spot and that’s what they’re known for,” Fedner says, "but these spicy and sour lamb dumplings are next level. They are tangy. They are spicy. They’re super aromatic, and they’re some of my favorites.”

See also: The 11 Best Cheesecake Spots in NYC

Shu Jiao Fu Zhou

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118 Eldridge St. | Website

A Chinatown gem, Shu Jiao Fu Zhou has picture-perfect noodles and delicious dumplings. “They have some of the best pork and chive dumplings ever, and I really like their style,” Fedner says. You can even peep the cooks from the street as they make the dumplings by hand.

Chinese Tuxedo

5 Doyers St. | Website

An upscale spot, Chinese Tuxedo used to be an old opera house in the 1920s, but now, it serves top-notch Chinese fare. Fedner raved about all of their dumplings, but recommended two in particular. “Chinese Tuxedo is such a special restaurant,” she says. "I would say their crispy pork dumplings with black vinegar dressing are extra fantastic,” adding that she also loves their shepherd’s purse dumpling. While it's currently closed due the indoor dining ban, we look forward to the day it opens its doors once again.

Noodle Village

13 Mott St. & 4021 Main St., Flushing, NY 11354 | Website

Noodle Village serves all types of traditional Chinese fare, from wonton soup to noodle dishes like lo mein and of course, dumplings. With 150 different dish variations, Fedner recommends the pork & crab xiao long bao.

Spicy Village

68 Forsyth St B, New York, NY 10002 | Website

Spicy Village lives up to their name, serving a variety of spicy, hand-pulled noodles and gourmet soups. Fedner has to have the spicy scallion sauce pork dumplings each time she visits. She also loves the spicy scallion sauce pork dumplings, but the menu is extensive with many variations of dumplings, salads, soups and more.

See also: The 8 Best Bagels in NYC

Brooklyn

Varenichnaya

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3086 Brighton 2nd St, Brooklyn, NY 11235 | Website

“That’s where I go when I want a taste of home,” Fedner says, explaining that their Russian-style pelmeni and varenyky are extremely comforting. "I always order their pickled herring and fried potatoes for a true Russian meal."

Café Kashkar

1141 Brighton Beach Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235 | Website

Another Brooklyn treasure, Café Kashkar serves homestyle Uzbeki eats. “They have the most epic, delicious, gigantic lamb manti,” Fedner says. “They’re filled with minced lamb and lots of onion. They’re very herbaceous, very aromatic. I believe a lot of cumin is involved, [and] they’re steamed.” She believes this particular niche of cuisine doesn’t get enough attention. See why Fedner swears by it.

Tone Café

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265 Neptune Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235 | Website

According to Fedner, Tone Café has excellent Khachapuri and baked goods, but the Khinkali are the real treat. “They’re gigantic beef dumplings," she says. "They’re almost like a cross between dumplings and manti, ‘cause they’re giant and they’re juicy inside." Housed inside a snug space, Tone Café also has Georgian Bread, soups, salads and other Georgian comfort food.

See also: 10 Tasty Brunch Spots in NYC

Queens

Phayul

37-65, 74th Street, Queens, NY 11372 | Website

Phayul serves all sorts of traditional Tibetan food, from noodle dishes, to fried rice and fried potato momos. “One of the best dumplings, I think, on Planet Earth, is from a place called Phayul,” Fedner said. “Their steamed beef momos with their homemade hot sauce and homemade chilosos are one of the best things you can eat in New York City in all five boroughs.”

White Bear

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135-02 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11354 | Website

White Bear is most definitely worth the trek to Queens. “They have these epic chili oil wontons,” Fedner says. “They’re just really delicate, delicious, slightly sweet, slightly spicy dumplings.” She also mentioned that White Bear is one of the most Instagram-worthy restaurants she has ever tried, so bring your best camera when you go.

Lhasa Fast Food

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37-50 74th Street, Queens, NY 11372 | Website

Do you crave delicious food in a cool setting? Look no further than Lhasa Fast Food. Fedner loves the beef and chive momos here, saying they “could not be more different” than those at Phayul. “They’re very heavy on the chive," she says. "They’re very herbal and vegetable-y, and the dumpling wrappers themselves are thicker, so they’re just a unique and delicious momo.” The restaurant space is also very unique. “You have to walk through a cell phone store and around the corner. You’re like, ‘Is there a restaurant here?,’ but there is. There’s a tiny hidden restaurant where they serve some of the best food I’ve ever had.”

See also: The 9 Best Italian Restaurants in NYC

The Bao

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13 St Marks Pl. | Website

“Honorable mention to The Bao on Saint Mark’s,” Fedner says. She loves their chili oil wontons and dumplings, but they deliver a wide variety of Chinese cuisine from braised pork belly to pan fried noodles and sesame chicken.



Photography by: Courtesy Emily Fedner