by Joshua M Bernstein - 90 Reviews - 13 List
In these tough, cash-strapped times, it's hard to stretch your dining dollar--unless you're supping on New York's best dumplings. These packets of folded, crimped dough--stuffed with everything from minced mushrooms to pork to sea cucumber--remain unbeatably affordable, with five crisp pot stickers costing as little a buck. So pack some chopsticks and follow this five-step guide across Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan on a multicultural dumpling feast. The prices may be cheap, but these New York dumpling restaurants are priceless.
Updated: July 07, 2010
Let the tourists flock to Vanessa's Dumplings down the block. Prosperity's pan-crisped pork-and-chive dumplings are every bit the juicy delight--and a steal, at five for a dollar. Don't eat meat? The boiled veggie dumplings (bursting with mushrooms and greens) run a miserly $2 for eight, with a crunchy sesame pancake costing another 75 cents. Avoid Prosperity around 3pm on weekdays, when schoolchildren crowd the closet-sized space.
In Sunset Park, nabbing a plate of dumplings is as simple as stumbling into a storefront. However, you have to do some serious menu spelunking to find the neighborhood's best. Here at Wong Wong, most everybody orders the hand-pulled noodles. They're good, but even finer are the boiled dumplings, bulging with pork and chunks of scallions. Three dollars buys around a dozen of these doughy delights.
Though White Bear's sign touts ice cream, there's nary a scoop inside the tiny storefront. More than a dozen varieties of dumplings are on offer, including the tasty 'three treasure? (pork, shrimp, Jell-O like sea cucumber). We favor the pork-and-chive wontons. They're boiled `til plump, then topped with pickled cabbage and a fiery blend of sesame oil and crushed hot peppers.
Hidden beside the Cortelyou Road train station is Brooklyn's only Tibetan restaurant. The slender room is decked out with framed pictures of the Dalai Lama, who'll watch over you and your plate of steamed momo dumplings. These fat beauties (twice the size of a baby's fist) come crammed with veggies or chicken, and are best with homemade hot sauce. Utilize the deli next door: Top Cafe is BYOB.
Come to this mirrored Flushing restaurant and listen for the sound of a dinging timer: It signals that your crab-and-pork soup dumplings are steamed to perfection. Soup dumplings are created by mixing meat with savory, jellied aspic, which melts upon steaming and creates 'soup.? To eat, carefully place a dumpling on your spoon and nibble a hole on top. Slurp out the broth; then chomp the dumpling whole.