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Splurge or Steal? 4 To-Die-For Dumplings to Munch in New York City

Few food items swing so dramatically in cost as the humble dumpling. In New York City, you can get four for $1 in Chinatown, or wait an hour for a table to pay $19 for a lobster stuffed version in the West Village. Whether you want to fill your belly with dumplings in exchange for spare change or are looking to slurp your soup dumplings sitting down with a beer at hand, here are some of our favorites.


Red Farm dumplings

Red Farm dumplings getting cute (Photo: Courtesy of Red Farm)

••• SPLURGE •••

Modern Dim Sum at RedFarm, $12-$19
With locations in the West Village and Upper West Side, RedFarm has earned a reputation for a modern approach to dim sum. The kitchen here brings a greenmarket approach to Chinese food with dumplings that range from vegetarian mushroom to crispy duck and crab to decadent lobster. At four per order, you may want to sample more than one variety. 529 Hudson St., 212-792-9700,

Soup Dumplings at China Blue, $12
The team behind Michelin-rated Café China opened China Blue in TriBeCa in December 2013. This bright, lofty restaurant with a long bar and exposed beam ceilings serves Shanghai specialties, including xiao long bao, or soup dumplings. Handmade dim sum here includes six steamed soup dumplings, soup dumplings with crab meat, pan fried pork dumplings, and shrimp shumai with salmon eggs. 135 Watts St., 212-431-0111

••• STEAL •••

Pork and Chive Dumplings at Vanessa’s Dumpling House, 4 for $1
It should come as no surprise that Vanessa’s Dumpling House is almost always packed — four fried pork and chive dumplings for just $1 is a belly-satisfying steal. Order at the counter and listen for the number on your ticket; while you wait watch the dumplings take on their crispy, fried exterior. You can sit and eat indoors, but these seem to taste better when nibbled outside on a stoop on Eldridge Street. 118A Eldridge St., 212-625-8008,

Soup Dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai, 8 for $6.50-8.65
The cash-only Joe’s Shanghai tucked down a crooked street in Chinatown is still one of the city’s best outlets for slurping soup dumplings. Don’t expect a private table here — you will be crowded in wherever seats allow. Be prepared to order your soup dumplings right when you sit down (choose between classic pork or crab and pork varieties). Avoid burning your mouth by nibbling open the wrapper and slurping the hot soup inside. 9 Pell St., 212-233-8888,

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