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Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Nom Wah Tea Parlor is home to delicious dim sum cuisine.  Located on Doyers Street in New York City's Chinatown.  Phyllis Shess photo, Pillar to Post

URBAN HIKING—After visiting the Statue of Liberty, the ferry returned to the Battery area of New York City.  From the southern tip of Manhattan island we hiked north and east along the lower East Side before deciding on an impromptu spot to have lunch.

Our trek took us toward Chinatown and Little Italy.  We paused at the south end of Chinatown at a traffic island named Kimlau Square.  There we asked, “where is the best dim sum restaurant in New York?”  Our phone advisor quickly gave us recommendations.

High on the list was Nom Wah Tea Parlor (, which was two blocks away.  We walked north on narrow Mott Street and found ourselves in Chinatown (most resembling San Francisco’s Chinatown because of the narrow streets).  At Pell at Mott Streets we were lost. 

Again, we went to our phone for map assistance.  Sleuthing east on Pell we found a small-unmarked alley, which was Doyers Street.  On our third pass we found Nom Wah Tea parlor.  Understated signage combined with being distracted by the urban beauty of Doyers Street we walked in. 
Corner of Doyers and Pell Streets, Chinatown, NYC.
Nom Wah is at the bend in the street.

Best dining decision we made that day.  And, to date remains the best Dim Sum dining experience in all our travels.  Sorry, Fodor’s but the phone scored on this one.

What the New York Times says about Nom Wah:
There’s a reason the NY Times is the best newspaper in Western Civilization (ignore my drama) and read the following article about Nom Wah.  The introduction to the article is worth the effort to click below and read:

1940s image on Nom Wah website
Before Nom Wah Tea Parlor first opened at 13-15 Doyers Street back in 1920 as a bakery and a tea parlor. For most of the 20th century, Nom Wah Tea Parlor served as a neighborhood staple offering fresh Chinese pastries, steamed buns, dim sum and tea. After it lost its lease at 15 Doyers in 1968, it moved into a brand new kitchen at 11 Doyers Street and has occupied 11-13 Doyers Street ever since. Nom Wah is most famous for its homemade lotus paste and red bean filling for moon cake during the Chinese autumn festival. It is also famous for its almond cookie.

The first known owners of Nom Wah, the Choy family, date back to the 1940s. It was then sold to Mr. Wally Tang in 1974. Wally has worked at Nom Wah since 1950 when he was 16 and started to manage it when he was 20. Nom Wah
hasn’t gone through many changes thru the years. Its vintage looks; good food and great value have kept generations of families coming back.

Wilson Tang, Proprietor
It’s classic interior décor has attracted numerous movies and TV shows as a location including Reversal of Fortune, Premium Rush, All Good Things, Quid Pro Quo, Third Rock and Law and Order.

After a recent kitchen renovation, Nom Wah will also be managed by the next generation of the Tang family, Wilson Tang, all 6-5 of him, under the watchful eyes of patriarch Wally and his team of culinary experts in dim sum. Wilson comes from a mixed background of finance and food service. After graduating Pace University, Wilson spent a few years with financial firms like Morgan Stanley and ING Direct. He also owned and operated a bakery in the Lower East Side for five years.

Pan Fried Dumplings

Fried Shrimp Balls

Shrimp Egg Fried Rice

Not known to be light eaters, we took most of our lunch home to our Upper West Side Co-op

Google Map of Doyers Street, where Nom Wah Tea Parlor is located

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