7. Mimi Cheng’s

The outside of Mimi Cheng's, featuring creme trim and a yellow-and-white awning
Mimi Cheng’s signature colors are as bold as their dumpling flavors.

Among the stops on our Upper West Side dumpling tour, Mimi Cheng’s is the social media darling. The monthly specials, often created in collaboration with the chefs of other New York City hotspots including Emmy Squared Pizza and Contra, send online foodies abuzz. The sunny yellow-and-white color palette of Mimi Cheng’s Upper West Side location, across from the Beacon Theatre, also seems primed for an Instagram post. You might mistake the restaurant for a boutique cafe upon first glance. Rest assured that beneath the hype there is also heart. During slow hours, you can catch the chefs meticulously folding dumplings, carefully dusting each one with flour.

Hot fried chicken dumplings from Mimi Cheng's
Hot fried chicken dumplings.

If you only order one thing at Mimi Cheng’s, opt for the dumpling of the month. Noteworthy past offerings have included a taco-inspired pork carnitas variety as well as a take on cacio e pepe filled with mac and cheese. On a recent visit, Mimi Cheng’s was serving a dumpling riffing on the flavors and textures of Nashville hot chicken. The crunchy exterior put many empanadas to shame and the chili-laden chicken filling captured the taste of Tennessee while also giving a nod to Buffalo wings. If you want to top off your dumpling tour, try the signature chicken and zucchini dumplings, enlivened with fresh ginger and scallions. Mimi Cheng’s is located at 309 Amsterdam Ave. Manhattan, NY 10023

Next, check out The Definitive Food Guide to New York’s Many Chinatowns!