ChineseRestaurantShanghai Dragon

Rated 4 out of 5

That Chinatown passage bore witness to the grisly havoc of the Tong gang wars, but the bakery and tea shop had a sweeter reputation: Its almond cookies and moon cakes were legendary.

Shanghai Dragon

New York’s first dim sum house opened in 1920 at a crook in Doyers Street known at the time as “the bloody angle.” That Chinatown passage bore witness to the grisly havoc of the Tong gang wars—shootings and hatchet murders—but the bakery and tea shop had a sweeter reputation: Its almond cookies and moon cakes were legendary. For more than three decades, the Choy family ran Nom Wah, but in 1974, Ed and May Choy sold the operation to longtime manager Wally Tang, who started there in 1950 as a waiter when he was 16.


In 2010, Wally Tang passed Nom Wah on to his nephew Wilson Tang, a banker at ING Direct. The 90-year-old stalwart had fallen into disrepair, so Tang gave it a remodel. He and his wife raided flea markets for vintage lamps and the restaurant’s storage room for archival photographs. Tang painted the dingy green walls a mustard yellow, and cleaned decades of dust and grease off the tea tins lining the restaurant’s shelves. The most important tweaks, though, were behind the scenes: Tang updated the kitchen and did away with the procedure of cooking dim sum en masse. Now, each plate is cooked to order.

I love Chinese food, like steamed dim sum, and I can have noodles morning, noon and night, hot or cold. I like food that’s very simple on the digestive system – I tend to keep it light.


Tang’s nips and tucks transformed a health department nightmare into a charming old-school institution, completely unlike the chaotic banquet halls that dominate Chinatown’s dim sum scene. The dining room is transportive—checkered tablecloths cover Art Deco tables and couples huddle beneath an old poster of a glam Chinese movie star. The food, too, stands apart; the dim sum here tastes fresher than the competition. Try the ultra-fluffy oversize roasted-pork bun ($1.25), the flaky fried crpe egg roll ($3.95) and the tender stuffed eggplant ($3.50) filled with a spiced shrimp-and-squid mixture.

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  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Parking
  • Bike Parking
  • Accepting Credit Cards
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Air conditioned
  • Bar service
  • Catering
  • Delivery
  • Take Out

4 reviews

  • Eddie Andrew
    3 out of 5

    Ok but not the best...

    Good quality Chinese food but not the best I\'ve ever had. The ambience was good and really made up for the food which was good but not great.

    Ottobre 27, 2017


  • Josh Westminster
    5 out of 5

    Perfect and sofisticated

    Very sofisticated and Perfect food, Perfect drinks, Perfect waiters, Perfect ambiance, Perfect decoration, Perfect lounge music.

    Ottobre 27, 2017


  • Nathan Frederick
    5 out of 5

    Beyond the excellent!

    f you come visit New York , love typically HK & UK style Cantonese food , you must visit this iconic restaurant, its truly presenting the real Chinese eating culture ! The atmosphere brought u back to thousand years the ancient Chinese culture , also the dish inspired of the modern Cantonese eating culture , more healthy & sophisticate. Trying out the dinner only 3-4 time with my friend , never disappointed! This is the first time I went lunch , the dim sum lunch special very impressive, also love the XO lobster tail as main course too! Compare the one at Miami, I still like this one in NYC more ! Just different approach If u can make it in New York you can make it every where ! Smile, please keep up the good work !

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    Ottobre 27, 2017


  • Joanna Wilson
    3 out of 5

    For me, it's overrated...

    When We had read all the TripAdvisor reviews we just wanted to try this restaurant maybe our expectations were to high because it definitely did not hit the spot for us. It is easily missed when walking down the street but when you went in you were taken to the bar for drinks then through to our table The food just did not do it I took Hakkasan recommended crispy spiced duck salad it was neither crispy nor spicy the salad was watercress the wife had a nice prawn starter. Again the wife had a fish dish which she enjoyed again I had taken their recommended dish of steak was certainly disappointed with this. We never took a sweet the price was over the top for what we had although I knew before I came it would be expensive but was disappointed with what we had. The staff were friendly enough there was a nice atmosphere about the restaurant but the music quite a few decibels to loud. If back in NYC we will give Hakkasan a miss

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    Ottobre 27, 2017


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