Dumpling Man on St. Mark’s has been my go-to East Village dumpling spot for the past few years. The dumplings here are always fresh and made on the premises—right in front of you. And I like that the ingredients of the “surprise” dumpling changes frequently.
But, there’s a new dumpling spot in town that might just knock Dumpling Man off his pedestal. The Bao, also on St. Mark’s, specializes in xiao long bao, which are soup dumplings. And I must say, they KILL the competition on this menu item, at least. The dumping dough is so thin you can see through it, perfect for poking a little hole to suck dry the delicious, streaming soup inside. The Dumpling Man, with a much doughier, heavy consistency, simply can’t compare on the soup dumpling front.
If there’s a downside to The Bao’s soup dumplings compared to The Dumpling Man’s, it’s that each dumpling is smaller so you need more to fill you up, and they’re pricier, too. But to The Bao’s credit, it has wait service and a much nicer interior for a seated meal (plus, BYOB!). Take out is the only option at The Dumpling man.
There is a third player in the dumpling world that I have yet to try, called Mimi Cheng’s on 2nd Ave between 10th and 11th streets. So, things get more complicated…
I guess I’ll have to keep eating more dumplings until I can pick a definitive winner. Poor me! Any other dumplings I should add to my list? Post your recommendations in the comments below. :)