Nom Wah Tea Parlor

A brief sidestep from our usual topics, but I just love Nom Wah Tea Parlor. It’s an easy go-to when I want dim sum without all the great big banquet hall fanfare and yesterday’s feature in Eater is filled with interesting tidbits about the long-standing institution’s checkered past (and I’m not just referring to those comforting red-and-white tablecloths). Turns out that Doyers, the little corner of Chinatown where Nom Wah opened and remains to this day, used to be a hotbed for Chinatown gang violence in the early 1900s – so much so that, in 1994, law enforcement officials named it the bloodiest street intersection in the United States.

Through it all, though, Nom Wah remained, making it arguably the oldest standing restaurant in Chinatown. In my opinion, it’s also one of the best, particularly after its gentle restoration last year by the original owner’s nephew, who lovingly kept its worn-in, classic charm intact while making small  changes to bring it into a new generation – creating Facebook and Twitter pages, for example. Click over to read the entire Eater feature, and don’t miss the charming Nom Wah images from the 1960s drawn by NY Mag founder and graphic design legend Milton Glaser.

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