Dining Out 3 minutes 08 February 2019

6 Restaurants Serving the Best Cantonese in NYC

Roast pork buns, congee, siu mai—here’s where to get the best of the best in the Big Apple.


Michelin's Fine Cantonese Food by the MICHELIN Guide 2018-2019: Asia, Europe and USA is the first edition from the prestigious tire company to focus on a specific regional cuisine. The guide pays tribute to one of the most famous Chinese cuisine types that cultures near and far have become a fan of. (Roast pork buns anyone?)

The first-ever Cantonese guide includes four three-starred, 11 two-starred and 63 one-starred restaurants, as well as 62 Bib Gourmand eateries and 151 restaurants recognized with a Michelin Plate.

Six of the restaurants happen to be located in New York City, so the next time you’re in the Big Apple, here’s where to get the best Cantonese fare.

Piglet dumplings at Golden Unicorn. (Photo courtesy of Golden Unicorn.)
Piglet dumplings at Golden Unicorn. (Photo courtesy of Golden Unicorn.)

Golden Unicorn

Designation: The Plate

What Our Inspectors Say: “This age-old dim sum parlor, spread over many floors in an office building, is one of the few Cantonese spots that actually has the space and volume to necessitate its parade of steaming carts brimming with treats. While Golden Unicorn’s system is very efficient and part of the spectacle, arrive early to nab a seat by the kitchen for better variety and hotter items. A helpful brigade of suited men and women roam the space to offer the likes of exquisitely soft roast pork buns, or congee with preserved egg and shredded pork. Buzzing with locals and visitors, it is also a favorite among families who appreciate the kid-friendly scene as much as the delectable, steamed pea shoot and shrimp dumplings, pork siu mai and rice rolls stuffed with shrimp.”

Congee Village

Designation: Bib Gourmand

What Our Inspectors Say: “From the edge of Chinatown comes Congee Village, with its neon-etched sign that shines bright at night. Coveted for its fantastic cooking (check the front window for a slew of accolades), the menu also has a Cantonese focus. Service is basic and the décor kitschy at best, but it’s clean, tidy and tons of fun. This soothing namesake porridge comes in myriad forms—ladled into a clay pot with bits of crispy roasted duck skin, or mingled with pork liver and white fish to form an intense and rich flavor combination. Pair it with dunkable sticks of puffy deep-fried Chinese crullers for a satisfying contrast in texture. Less adventurous palates may deviate into such solid standards as sautéed short ribs and sweet onions tossed in a smoky black pepper sauce.”

Dim Sum Go Go

Designation: Bib Gourmand

What Our Inspectors Say: “This wildly popular joint is still packed to the gills most days, and for good reason: the Cantonese fare and dim sum served here is as good as the food you’ll find in those super-authentic places in far-flung Queens. Even better, they take reservations—and dim sum orders are taken by the staff, thereby ensuring that the food stays fresh. However, guests should avoid shared tables during the weekend rush as service can verge on chaotic. If the price seems a bit higher than its competitors, you'll find it's worth it for dishes like sweet shrimp, rolled in rice paper and laced with dark soy sauce. Plump snow pea leaf dumplings are spiked with vibrant ginger and garlic and may be tailed by rich duck dumplings or an irresistibly flaky roast pork pie.”
Peking duck at Hakkasan. (Photo courtesy of Hakkasan.)
Peking duck at Hakkasan. (Photo courtesy of Hakkasan.)


Designation: The Plate

What Our Inspectors Say: “If this sensual and sophisticated lair doesn’t come to mind when you crave quality Cantonese cooking, it’s high time you added it to the list. Behind its front door lies a long, moodily lit corridor that leads to a massive dining room, which, thanks to cobalt-blue glass, Carrara marble and mirrors, feels intimate despite its size. The equally elegant menu includes such mouthwatering items as the wallet-friendly Hakka fried dim sum platter featuring roast duck-and-pumpkin, crispy prawn, as well as a seafood puff. The roast duck theme continues on, but this time the juicy bird is enhanced with an earthy and fragrant black truffle sauce. Sweet and sour pork tenderloin is yet another decadent surprise that syncs perfectly with the restaurant's luxe tenor.”

East Harbor Seafood Palace

Designation: Bib Gourmand

What Our Inspectors Say: “Dim sum is a well-orchestrated dance at this boisterous hall, where small crowds wait for a spot at one of the large round tables for an indulgent weekend brunch. Steaming carts roll by and waiters ferry trays briskly into the red dining room with shiny gold accents. Service is quick but helpful; the constant clatter of chopsticks and rollicking groups are part of the fun. Eyes can guide the ordering when it comes to the dim sum carts, stocked with authentically prepared bites. Try the plump shrimp siu mai followed by rice noodles wrapped around crunchy whole shrimp and doused in a sweet-salty soy sauce. Snappy, stir-fried green beans are addictively crunchy. Don't miss the Singapore mei fun, a mound of vermicelli noodles with shrimp, pork and scallions.”

Great N.Y. Noodletown

Designation: The Plate

What Our Inspectors Say: “When heading to Great N.Y. Noodletown, invite plenty of dining companions to share those heaping plates of roasted meats and rice and noodle soups served at this bargain favorite. Locals stream in until the 4:00 a.m. closing bell for their great Cantonese dishes—food is clearly the focus here, over the brusque service and unfussy atmosphere. Guests’ gazes quickly pass over the imitation wooden chairs to rest on the crispy skin of suckling pig and ducks hanging in the window. These dishes are huge, so forgo the rice and opt instead for deliciously chewy noodles and barbecue meats. Incredible shrimp wontons, for instance, are delicate and thin; and the complex homemade e-fu noodles demonstrate technique and quality to a standout level that is rarely rivaled.”

Hero image courtesy of Golden Unicorn.

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