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Nom Wah Tea Parlor

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New York City's oldest dim sum restaurant

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Chinatown
Commercial, Food & Drink

Place Matters Profile

In 1962, The New York Times’ Craig Claiborne wrote a feature on eating in Manhattan’s Chinatown in which he suggested that, “the best tea lunch places rarely seem to be built on ground level. (The Nom Wah Tea Parlor at 13 Doyers Street is an exception.)” It should be noted that despite its eye-level location, Nom Wah hardly benefits from high visibility. Situated right on Doyers Street’s acute curve, the restaurant is barely discernable from either end of the short, narrow road. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, Pell, Mott and Bayard may have been the main streets of nascent the Chinese enclave, but Doyers Street was at the center of the drama. The winding warren was known as “Bloody Angle,” because local tongs, or gangs, frequently took advantage of the site’s ambushability, as well as its secret access points leading to a still extant network of underground...

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