Nom Wah Tea Parlor– 78 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Nom Wah Tea Parlor is an old-school Chinese restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown.  The restaurant was thoughtfully renovated a few years back–the space was cleaned up but the decor was left unchanged.   Some version of the place has been around since 1920.  It’s a very comfortable space that is atmospheric without feeling staged.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

We visited at lunch time.  Nom Wah was pretty busy, which accounts for the 78 decibel reading.  Truth be told, the space was more comfortable than the reading might suggest.  Nom Wah was at least two-thirds full when we first arrived and the sound level was tolerable.   As people left and the space became half full, it was mostly comfortable with the only annoying factor being low but unnecessary music and the sharp sounds of dishes being placed into busing bins (we were seated nearby).

Nom Wah is definitely worth the visit.  Dim sum is offered all day; the place is very popular for a reason.  When full, the sound level could be intolerable, but Nom Wah was almost full when we were first seated and we didn’t run away.  And, frankly, restaurants in Chinatown tend to be very busy and often are loud.  You would be hardpressed to find a better option than Nom Wah.


Sunday through Saturday: 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.


Street (betw.Pell and Bowery Streets), New York, NY 10013


Nom Wah Tea Parlor

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