Vegetarian Dim Sum House

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 39 reviews )

24 Pell St (at Mott St, Chinatown, Manhattan), New York City, New York, USA, 10013

Chinese vegetarian restaurant in Manhattan with an extensive menu of vegetarian versions of traditional Chinese dim sum dishes priced per dish. Open Mon-Sun 10:30am-10:30pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Chinese, Take-out

Reviews (39)

First Review by Poundie

Microwaved frozen food - Edit

I went here, delighted that I found a veggie dim sum place near my cousin's favorite dim sum place, and was extremely let down. Prices were high, portions were small, and everything was super salty. The pork buns I got were cracked on the top which only happens if you try to heat a frozen one uncovered in a microwave, instead of steaming them. The shrimp wrapped in rice noodle was the saltiest thing I've ever eaten, and there were two on the plate, each containing one faux shrimp and the saddest bit of cilantro. I think that plate cost $5? I only wish I could rate this one star, but happycow doesn't allow me to do so.

Pros: Veggie options

Cons: Salty, Expensive, Terrible

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An array of flavours - Edit

A calm and quiet escape from the bustling city. Extensive menu with a large array of vegetable, and mock meat dishes. Service was good, and the price was reasonable for the area. Good portion sizes, don't order more than 3 dim sum! Good but not the best

Pros: Extensive menu, Good for sharing

Cons: Mock shrimp balls - avoid

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GREAT... But Dissapointing - Edit

This place is owned by the same people who owned "House of Vegetarian" on Mott. St, which was my FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD. 2 weeks ago it closed for good and had a sign on the door directing us us to the Vegetarian Dim Sum house instead. We ate there twice and both times we were disappointed.

The "Steak kew" Gluten and Duck appetizers were as spectacular as ever and the hot and sweet steak Kews are probably still my favorite foods in the world. The sauces and textures are divine.

The Iron steak which is made out of deep fried yams with a tangy/unbelievable Chinese BBQ sauce , was still amazing, but the flavor of the sauce was slightly off and instead of the Al Dente Broccoli which always came with it, it came with bok choy, which does not go nearly as well with the tenderness of the "Iron Steak" or the powerful flavor of the sauce. The curry tofu (order it fried!) had a great sauce and was still the best tofu dish I've eaten in 34 years as a vegetarian, but the tofu was not cooked as well and lacked any crunch and there were less veggies in it. I would still highly recommend both, they just didn't quite live up to expectations.

While the flavor of the Hot and Sour soup was excellent, the soup itself was thoroughly displeasing as it was just a huge bowl of broth with no content except for crumb sized pieces of silken tofu in it. and the smallest soup was almost 6 bucks.

The biggest disappointment was definitely the dim sum. We tried two types: the shrimp and spinach. The shrimp was just a vege shrimp in a dumpling wrapper and was as bland and unimaginative as could be. The spinach had very little spinach in it and was mostly some kind of soft mush which most closely resembled soggy kasha. We both spit it out after one bite.

Overall, this place is probably the last link in the chain for those who loved the original Chinatown Vege Mainstays of Vegetarian Paradise I & III, and House of Vegetarian, so for those like myself who grew up eating there, it's a restaurant to be treasured, as they still make the same dishes, despite coming up just short of the greatness of its predecessors.

Next time we're in New York we'll definitely give this place another shot, considering that they make some of the most amazing flavors and dishes I've ever had, I;m hoping that cooking-wise they just had a few off nights.

Pros: Spicy & Sweet Gluten=Best food in the world, Huge menu filled with Delicious flavors, Quick Service

Cons: No Lunch special, No Dipping Sauces 4 appetziers

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wow, what a disappointment! - Edit

Stopped in for lunch on a recent visit to NYC. Very sorry I did so. None o the food tasted very good... Just plain. Service was bad.. A bunch of young women in the middle of a Dinah room not doing much of anything. Menus did a really poor job of describing food. So very frustrated to have wasted the time and money there. Very much like a chinese restaurant where the primary language is Mandarin... Servers didn't speak English, menu descriptions weren't good in English. Wish I could recommend but I just can't.

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Decent vegetarian fare - Edit

Quite an extensive menu. Servers are very knowledgeable and helpful. Food was amazing although the interior is a little dated. Not sure if they take reservations but they do not have space for large parties.

If there's a party of 3-4, the appropriate amount would be 3 dishes as the servings are quite large. For 1-2 people, stick to the dimsum or the servings for a single person.

Reminded me of the vegetarian food I used to get back in Malaysia & Singapore.

Overall, a reasonable family dining experience. Will totally go back for more!

Pros: Good Food, Friendly staff, Large Portions

Cons: dated interior

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Go Here! (often) - Edit

When I'm not in NYC, I'm thinking about Vegetarian Dim Sum. When I'm in NYC, I'm thinking about Vegetarian Dim Sum. If I could, I would move next door and eat at this place every day.

Pros: huge menu, amazing dim sum, staff

Cons: dated interior

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Cash only, inexpensive - Edit

I have very little to add to the many other reviews, but I can't believe none of the other reviews seem to mention that it's CASH ONLY! Not a value judgement, we just would have saved a few minutes had we known beforehand.

The menu is huge and cheap. We ordered a ton of dim sum and small soups and it was still only $15 a person.

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Lots of options - Edit

I'm always frustrated when I go to a dim sum restaurant: as a vegetarian you have basically no choices. So every time I'm in NY I go to this place: you can choose between 30 or so options. You're not sure what you will get but surprises are part of the experience. Dim Sum are 3 to 4$ for 3 or 4 pieces. Two people can eat for less than 20 dollars.
Service is fast but not friendly.
Updated from previous review on Saturday October 31, 2015

Pros: Cheap, Fast, Surprises

Cons: Surprises, Unfriendly service

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Amazing - Edit

So worth the walk to get here. Amazing food, super cheap, super tasty. You get 3/4 dumplings for like $3/4. There were some weird items on the menu I avoided.

Pros: Affordable, Tasty, Lots of vegan options

Cons: Not 100% vegan, Some weird items on the menu

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Vegetarian dim sum - Edit

A lot of options. Food is alright.

Pros: Cheap

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Good food, fast service - Edit

Enjoyed an evening meal Sept 7. Attentive waitress, nice meal

Pros: location, price, good food

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Veg dim sum and Chinese food! - Edit

This is a vegetarian institution in Chinatown, and the decor may be showing it. The dim sum is awesome and veg, so you can rest assured when you eat here that there is no pork lard, chicken broth or oyster sauce in or on anything. The menu is in 3 parts: specials, dim sum and the menu book.

On the specials list, the snow pea shoots and watercress dumplings are highly recommended green dough wrapped triangularly around snow pea leaves and shiitake mushrooms. On the dim sum list, consider items like the taro, rice rolls with kale, rice rolls with crueller, sticky rice in lotus leaf, turnip cake, and the steamed fake BBQ pork buns. Delectable vegan yum!

For the main menu, it is divided into sections like mock meats, tofu, mushrooms, noodles and rice dishes. They also have traditional congee! My favorite dishes are probably the noodles dishes- pan fried, thin rice or thicker rice noodles. There is also a pumpkin and beef and bell pepper dish. The mushrooms do a delicious job of flavoring the choy.

The staff are very friendly and attentive, kindly answering your questions. Sometimes, it can be hard to get the staff attention. On the more than a dozen- two dozen times I have been here, the staff is always running around.

Great food that is affordable!

Pros: Vegan dim sum, Vegan noodles, Mushrooms and tofu

Cons: Cash only, Decor

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wow great dim sum - Edit

While it took a but of time to find, the good was excellent!
Staff had limited English comprehension but servers was really decent

Pros: options

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Best vegan roast pork buns - Edit

I grew up as a meat-eater in Flushing. I basically grew up on dim sum, and I loved roast pork buns. When I became vegan, I went to Buddha Bodhai in Flushing and in Chinatown. Their dim sum is pretty good, but their roast pork buns cannot compare to Vegetarian Dim Sum House. The rice rolls are great, and I also enjoy the treasure balls, which are like constituted potatoes mashed into balls and fried. Put some hot oil sauce on there and bam! Delicious. The only downside is the restaurant is cash only!

Pros: Vegan roast pork buns, Vegan dim sum, Dim sum all day everyday

Cons: Cash only

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Great Variety of Vegetarian Dim Sum - Edit

I love dim sum. I wasn't always vegetarian and I remember I would scarf down everything at a dim sum place, but that changed once my diet changed. In Houston, we only have a place that sells a limited amount of vegetarian dim sum items (maybe around 5-7), so coming to this place (smack dab in the middle of NYC's Chinatown) that boasted a fairly extensive dim sum menu.. I was in heaven! The only thing missing were the rolling carts that can be seen at those get-the-full-experience dim sum houses and a larger dim sum dessert menu, but the place was packed, as per usual at dim sum houses. Note: the English translations of the items were odd so I stuck with the Chinese.

It's a normal Asian place. The service is decent and the bare minimum (they seat you, take your order, and you're left to your own devices until it's time to pay), the cleanliness is passable, and the food greasy (it's DIM SUM - it's not healthy and it's not meant to be eaten regularly, so even though I tend to go towards healthy food, this is my Asian comfort food). We ended up choosing 7 items for two people with a pot of tea, which came as soon as we sat down. The tea is necessary to digest the oils in the food. It also turns out that from what we could tell (we also asked), a good majority of the dim sum items are onion and garlic free. Score!

We ate it and we soon found ourselves full with a little less than half leftover and ready to be taken out for that day's dinner. It was cheap and enough for an entire day's meals for two people! All I have to say is where are the egg tarts?? Other than that, this place is a winner. Don't expect spotless conditions or perfect service. You're in Chinatown and the food is enough. They do have another regular Chinese menu, but I was there for the dim sum so I ignored that.

New York, you're spoiled! NOTE: For vegans, dim sum (and Asian food in general) is primarily vegan. The only thing you might need to worry about are the desserts and items with eggs, but from what I could tell, it is largely vegan.

Pros: large variety of food, delicious

Cons: needs to come to Houston

1 Response

yup 05 Dec 2016 - dim sum at basically any place that doesn't explicitly say that they're veggie friendly is most definitely not primarily vegan. my cousin is all about dim sum, and the omni place we went to satisfy her dim sum cravings only had two things that were vegan: a steamed vegetable, and a sweet silken tofu dessert. all of the savory dishes except for that one vegetable contained some form of meat, and many of the desserts had egg.  

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Out of luck... - Edit

Unfortunately we felt a bit out of luck when we finally got to the Vegetarian Dim-Sum House in New York City. My wife is vegan, I am vegetarian, but when we tried to explain this to the waiter (who 30 minutes later fought an epic battle with the dirty dishes on our table, and got almost defeated by them), it turned out that he does not understand English, other than the usual phrases ("Take a seat", "What would you like to drink?"), etc. As we couldn't explain what "milk" or "diary product" is, we gave up, and my wife haven't had anything. I tried the hot and sour soup and two different kind of dim-sums, but all of them were boring, way below the average.

There are so many better places to go in NYC - unfortunately I cannot recommend this restaurant to anyone. I don't really understand the almost 4 stars...

Pros: Big portions, Huge variety

Cons: Difficult communication, Lack of atmosphere, Not very tidy

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Perfectly fine - Edit

This is a fine vegetarian restaurant, with a plentiful menu. It offers dim sum, and there are many dishes for mock meat fans. The setting is comfortable, service is good. We had the snow pea leaves dumplings as appetizer. They were good. The vegetables in the Shredded Vegetable with Bean Curd Skin were mostly bean sprouts. The Black Mushroom with Soy Sticks did not have a preponderance of mushrooms. Nevertheless this was a good vegetarian dining choice.
Updated from previous review on Monday October 21, 2013

Pros: many menu options, have dim sum, comfortable

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Avoid the worst vegetarian Chinese place ever - Edit

I've been to dozens of this sort of place over the years. This is hands-down the worst I've been to. We had mock pork and mock duck appetisers - the former was inedible, the latter bearable but without the usual plum sauce and pancakes to make it nice. The sesame chicken was burnt to a cinder, but that was at least digestible compared to the sweet and sour chicken. I've never seen a veggie Chinese place mess up sweet and sour chicken - but I've never spat out food in one either, until here. One of the most gross things I've ever eaten. Decor old and tired, almost dirty as others say. Expensive, and rubbish. I wish I'd checked HappyCow instead of other shills before I went.

Gobo, Vegetarians Paradise 2, Zen Palate are all excellent. Avoid this place like the plague.

Pros: absolutely nothing

Cons: disgusting food, really disgusting food, no I mean it, really really disgusting

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