New York City’s Tea and Dim Sum Culture 🍲🍵
New York City is famous for its food culture, and one of the most exciting aspects of it is the tea and dim sum culture. With a thriving Chinese community in the city, it’s no surprise that there are countless restaurants and tea houses offering an authentic taste of China.
This week I visited a Dim Sum place and remembered how nice the combination of small bites and tea is. The Chinese know what they are doing When it comes to food choices, dumplings are a must! To find the best spots in NYC, this video by Mike Chen is a good intro.
🍲 What is Dim Sum?
Dim sum, means “to touch the heart”. It is a traditional Chinese cuisine that consists of small, bite-sized portions of food served in steamer baskets or on small plates. These dishes are usually shared with friends and family, making it a communal experience. Dim sum is usually served in the morning and early afternoon, making it a popular brunch option for New Yorkers. The most popular places will have lines and it’s normal!😉
🍲 Where to Find the Best Dim Sum in NYC
One of the best places to experience authentic dim sum in New York City is at Jing Fong in Chinatown. Jing Fong is one of the largest dim sum restaurants in the city, with two floors of seating that can accommodate up to 800 people. The restaurant has a lively atmosphere, with servers pushing carts of steaming baskets around the dining room, offering a wide variety of dim sum dishes.
🍵 The Significance of Tea in Chinese Culture
In addition to dim sum, tea is also an important part of Chinese culture. Tea is not just a beverage in China but a symbol of hospitality and respect. It’s common for Chinese people to greet guests with a cup of tea, and tea ceremonies are an important part of Chinese traditions. A tradition that was also incorporated into Russian culture (my personal background) which is something I kept while living in New York.
🍵 Where to Experience Traditional Chinese Tea Ceremonies in NYC
In New York City, there are several tea houses that offer traditional Chinese tea ceremonies. One of the most popular ones is the Tea Drunk in the East Village. #FunFact years ago I tried to get a job there, and tried to pass the test required during the interview process which was related to tea knowledge. It was a nice experience actually. Tea Drunk offers an extensive selection of premium Chinese teas, and customers can participate in a traditional tea ceremony where they can learn about the history and cultural significance of tea in China.
🍲 Dim Sum Beyond Chinatown
Tea and dim sum culture are not just limited to the Chinese community in New York City. They have become an integral part of the city’s food culture. For example, Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Chinatown is a popular spot for both locals and tourists to enjoy dim sum and tea in a modern setting. Some say it’s overrated but it’s still worth trying when visiting the city.
Tea and dim sum culture are an essential part of New York City’s diverse food scene. With so many options available, both locals and tourists can experience the rich flavors and communal atmosphere of traditional Chinese cuisine. Whether you’re looking for a traditional tea ceremony or a modern take on dim sum, there’s something for everyone in the city.
Don’t forget to stop by Chinatown for some delicious bubble tea, which is a popular Taiwanese tea-based drink with tapioca pearls or grass jelly and many other topics. 🍵🧋(Go for unsweetened options though). I would recommend Chung Yang Tea or my recent favorite Wanpo Tea Shop (only visited the one in Brooklyn as I write this).