Vegetarian Dim Sum House

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 42 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.

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

42 Reviews

First Review by Poundie

vegan options galore! - Edit

I do agree with the previous reviewer that items here can be hit or miss, but once you find something you like, it will be reliably tasty year after year. We love the shark fin soup, the Buddha rolls (made with tofu skin, yum!), the Chinese veggies (yesterday it was Gai Lan or Chinese broccoli.) Will return on our next trip to New York!

Pros: many vegan options

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will go back for corn congee & snow pea dumpling!! - Edit

many vegan options available!! the items are hit & miss, but when you pick a good one, it is just incredible!! we just had dim sum there, no main dishes. server was great. the water they gave us tasted funny tho so we ordered tea. just to be safe, don't order water. it wasn't that impressive, but i will go back if i'm in the area.

Pros: big menu with lots of vegan options, snow pea dumpling & corn congee, friendly staff

Cons: the water didn't taste right, cash only (that's a con for me--i don't like to ca

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Disappointing - Edit

The egg rolls were average, Buddha's bean curd rolls were interesting, the curried vegetables were mediocre, and we finished with some terrible red bean cakes. Many of the juices were out of stock and the staff were not helpful. This is an interesting place where you can try many dishes that are not normally available as vegetarian, but could use some improvements in service and some refinement in flavoring.

Pros: A full menu of vegetarian options

Cons: Rude staff

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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

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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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Excellent food, cheap, tasty - Edit

We've missed dim sum since going vegan, so it was a real treat to find this place. Very authentic food, and centrally located in vibrant Chinatown.

Loved the entire vegan menu - it was a big menu and really cheap. We ate a lot and it was great value for money. The servers were very helpful and able to answer all of our questions.

We'll definitely be back next time we visit New York.

Pros: Vegan dim sum experience, authentic, cheap

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Unhealthy and lacks significant/noticeable variety - Edit

I had dim sum. I was disappointed as most of my dim sum selections were covered in rice flour and constituted 70% of a single dim sum making the food heavy. The shrimp dumpling was rice covered in rice flour and steamed. It lacked a variety of tastes. The wontons consisted of fried flour with something in it that was in such a small amount that it can't be given credit for being a part of the wonton--almost non-existant. It took me 2 hours to get there and find the place from the upper east side via subway. The crowds in China town slowed my transit time down as well.
Updated from previous review on Monday November 12, 2012

Cons: Poor service, Lacks variety, Lacks taste

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Just Awesome! - Edit

We were a little hesitant to eat here after reading some of the reviews... We are REALLY glad we tried it! We chose all steamed Dim Sum, therefore nothing was fried nor greasy. Everything was great. Some of the best Dim Sum ever, and we have had it all over the country. Just ask which ones are steamed when you order, and you can not go wrong.

Pros: Flavor, Value

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Not as good as it seems - Edit

Since it was listed as a great vegetarian Chinese restaurant in many travel guides, we went there. The staff weren't very nice or didn't understand much English. And then the food.. If you try anything fried, you will only taste the grease and not the food, it was totally drenched in oil. The other things we ordered weren't particularly good either.

In a place like NYC, I regret having spend my time there instead of any of the other great restaurants.

Cons: greasy, bad food, bad atmosphere

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The place to go for rudeness & greasy food. - Edit

We've been here a handful of times, the first time was neat (due to sheer novelty). But the last time we went was the LAST time. The food is so heavy & greasy, I feel like my arteries are clogging as I'm eating the food (that doesn't happen often, being vegan).

The restaurant itself is lacking in decor (that's not a big deal to some people) but it almost feels dirty.

And the every time we've been the the service has been awful. The food comes out fast, but the servers are so rude. I left a tip on the table, we paid at the front & went to leave & the server asked for a tip. I asked her to repeat what she had said because I was confused & she wanted to make sure we left a tip. SO RUDE. We should have just walked over & took the tip back. They didn't deserve a tip in the first place. Yes, they brought food, but they never checked on us, never cracked a smile, & when my friend spilled a little of their house tea, we asked for some napkins & the lady comes over with sopping wet towel (that's dripping from either a previous cleanup or something else) she wipes the table & leaves is completely saturated with this wet substance (doesn't dry it off) and proceeds to give us dirty looks for the rest of the meal.

Save your $$$ and go somewhere more inviting & more appreciative of your business & with healthier options.

Wish I could give this place 0 cows but they make you give 2.

Pros: Decent sized servings

Cons: Greasy Food, Rude Servers, Place feels dirty

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  Contributions +32

Must try harder! - Edit

I decided to check out this Veggie Dim sum whilst on holiday in NYC house after reading several positive reviews on Happy Cow. I'm a big fan of Chinese food, and I guess I must have been spoilt by having had some great Dim Sum at home in the UK.

The food came very quickly, and the portions were generous, however I found it all very fatty, overly sweet, and mostly gloopy and tasteless, like the sort of stuff you used to get in UK takeaways about twenty years ago! We struggled to even eat half of the meal, and in fact the table next to us ate about two mouthfulls of their food and left.

The service was poor, with the staff unfriendly and verging on downright rude, and they forgot our drinks order altogether, despite the restaurant being near empty.

I would recommend you don't be seduced by the lure of the all veggie menu, I'm sure there must be far superior places for dim sum in NYC where veggies can still get a good selection.

Pros: Generous portions, Fast

Cons: Poor quality food, Fatty, Bad service

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