When New York ices over and the cold becomes too much to bear, it’s time to find yourself some soup dumplings (AKA xiao long bao or steamed buns) bursting with warm, hearty broth and tender meat to warm your body and soul. These are five of our favorite soup dumplings, perfect for days like these.
Get ready to bao down at The Bao, home of the classic soup dumpling, the “extra spicy” soup dumpling, the wasabi soup dumpling, and even the chocolate and banana soup dumpling (yes you read that right!) These are some truly great dumps; the dumpling skins are chewy and tender, and the perfect little purse to hold the meaty broth inside.
This one speaks for itself: you’ve almost definitely seen videos of the Drunken Dumpling’s famous XXL XLB, a super-sized xiao long bao that needs a straw to slurp up the savory broth. They only make 25 of these bad boys a day, so be sure to get there early!
For some really authentic XLBs, head to Joe’s Shanghai for soup dumplings and you won’t be disappointed. Joe’s started out in 1995 as a little restaurant in Flushing serving up dumplings and almost immediately became a NYC staple. Now they’re up to three locations: Chinatown, Midtown, and the OG Flushing location, all serving up some of the best soup dumplings we’ve had in the city. The service is quick, the dumplings are cheap, and we always leave full and happy.
Shanghai Café Deluxe isn’t the fanciest place to get your steamy buns, but damn are they good! Everything at this Chinatown joint is served fresh, hot, and fast, which is why you’ll find it stuffed with locals almost any time of the day. The no-frills pork soup dumplings are bursting with salty, savory, meaty flavor that will leave you craving more than just one order.
You’ve probably heard of Red Farm’s legendary pastrami spring rolls, but the soup dumplings are NOT to be missed. Get your surf-and-turf craving satisfied with the RedFarm pork and crab soup dumplings or get fancy with the chicken and black truffle soup dumplings special.