Shun Lee Cafe
Shun Lee Cafe

Shun Lee Cafe

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.shunleewest.com/
  • Phone: (212) 769-3888
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Saturday - Sunday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00am, Sunday: 4:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Dim Sum, Asian, Chinese
  • Executive Chef: Sun-Dao Man
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Delivery, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, View, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Columbus Avenue
  • Public Transit: 1 train to 66th Street.
  • Parking: No
A word from Shun Lee Cafe
With Shun Lee Cafe conveniently located across from Lincoln Center, Dim Sum is just the ticket. The Cafe, a black and white checkerboard dining room, decorated with images from the Chinese calendar.
Terrific Dim Sum on rolling carts in constant motion and a variety of dishes in smaller portions completes the menu at Shun Lee Cafe. The Cafe is a great pre-theater stop for a “quick” dinner.
Continued
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Shun Lee Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
72 reviews since July 24, 2014
Overall Rating3.6
  • Food3.7
    Service3.6
  • Ambiance3.4
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (30)fit for foodies (20)kid-friendly (15)good for groups (15)great for lunch (15)late-night find (6)great for brunch (6)special occasion (3)hot spot (2)great for outdoor dining (1)romantic (1)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Wonderful food, great selection. Crowded and close tables.Noisy
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overpriced, mediocre food
    jdef
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    This place is shockingly expensive. My dish arrived late and cold. The food was greasy. The place is getting run down.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • stale food and loud
    eat2live
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    The place on a Saturday was really loud with many misbehaving children and the food was not good. They only had 2 carts which kept going around. One cart with steamed dumplings and another with fried food. An average Chinatown dim sum place would have 10 times more selection. I am willing to pay for service and ambiance but this place had neither.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food, questionable waiter
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The food here was delicious and in general the staff was friendly and courteous. So overall it was a good dining experience until the waiter who came to pick up our credit card receipts stood at the table, opened the envelope and flipped through the receipts as if he was expecting that we hadn't paid the bill. It felt very rude and disrespectful. He created an uncomfortable situation for me and my guests (who were visiting from out of town) and nearly ruined a very enjoyable evening.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mediocre and pricey
    DoubleffsVIP
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    This used to be a neighborhood fave for us but it has fallen to a desperation choice. A few good dim sum plates but mostly just cold and tough. My friend had shrimp in lobster sauce which was dull and not any better than hole in the wall chinese takeout. It lives on its connection to the regular shun Lee restaurant (next door) and on its chic design. Also the service is poor (multiple visits over the last few years), either they rush rush you or stand in the corner chatting, ignoring you. You'd have to drag me back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • we have eaten at the Cafe for years
    tazn
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    The Cafe is a dependable spot. The food is always good, the pace comfortable. We have been patrons for years.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    A standby, Shun Lee Cafe serves reliably good dim sum on the Upper West Side.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Chaos is not digestible
    Sally
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    When one has to shout to be heard, and cannot relax over dim sum, indigestion results. Tables not cleared, napkins not ironed, tea not served, servers unable to do their job---overall impression of chaos.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Great food, as always, but the service was slow and not very attentive. I appreciate that we came at peak time, but we have been there before going to Lincoln Center and it was a much more rewarding experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A FIND
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Shun Lee Cafe Shares there kitchen with the upscale SZHUN Lee and the food is great and reasonable!!! The maitre d' is so welcoming!!!!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our last visit?
    Balletgranny
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We've been eating here for years. Delicious dim sum in a setting that has become a bit shabby. The noise level is uncomfortable and the prices, compared to Chinatown, ridiculously high.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Consistant
    Sts15
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We like to go there before a concert at Lincoln center, the service is prompt and friendly, prices good, and food is tasty. Dim Sum is great!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently Good
    dineout
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    This restaurant is always goos. It is a convenient stop before or after a performance at Lincoln Center.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not as good as it is used to be
    AlonVIP
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    This used to be a great place to have dim sum on the UWS. Last time the food was tasteless, service rushed and not attentive. Too bad.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good Idea - Poor Execution
    opusnyVIP
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    The Shun Lee Cafe experience was lack luster. The cafe is stark black / white in decor and a cold ambiance. There is a menu selection of steamed and fried dim sum available to order. Additionally, there is also a steamed dim sum and fried dim sum cart that is making it way around the restaurant. The carts are large and end up banging into the back of chairs and customers - something I experienced personally. The selection of dim sum on the menu is pretty good but taste was average. As for pricing, each dim sum plate is about twice as much as the best dim sum in Chinatown. The service is what turned us off. Dim sum ordered from menu took a long time to come out as the cart selection is limited. The waiters were very gruff and hard.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fun, Different, pre-theater
    jodi
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    The Cafe offers the traveling Dim Sum Cart, fun. The steamed offerings are the best. The service is excellent here, very friendly. Its a different way to enjoy a light meal. The main restaurant is just next door. The regular menu is offer at both spots.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Good food, but not great; nice environment, but not special; prime location; very pricy.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • noisy, but yummy
    rtroth
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Shun Lee Cafe is a good restaurant, but you have to have a high tolerance for noise. Hard surfaces bounce all the sounds around & magnify them. Dim sum is varied, but you can also order entrees from the fine restaurant next door, Shun Lee West.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Dim Sum but expensive
    EllenMVIP
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    This place still has it... the steamed dumplings are delicious, and so is the rest of the dim sum, but at $7.50/plate. The portions of entrees on the menu are small and also expensive, and the menu items are less successful. Avoid the dan dan noodles...
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • WeezmoonVIP
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Been here many times pre Lincoln Center events. Just perfect for an early curtain.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Your choice--dim sum or full meal
    DiscoveringnyVIP
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Great if you happen to be going to anything at Lincoln Center.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dim sum
    NewyorkchickVIP
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Yes, it's cheaper in Chinatown but this is nicely located and clean. The carts of dim sum have improved. Also ordered off the menu and was very happy with the shrimp and lobster sauce. These are small portions compared to regular chinese restaurants and the prices are high but I still think it's one of the best chinese restaurants in the upper west side.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dim Sum
    DimSumFun
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    Lots of fun... great if you're on a time schedule. The food is good, wait staff friendly and the atmosphere is fun, Chinese zodiac sculptures interesting!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a pleasure
    EmEss
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    The food here is from the Shun Lee kitchen and so is excellent while the atmosphere in this adjacent cafe is informal, That makes this a fun, not stuffy place to eat. Dim Sum carts are constantly being wheeled about to add a great deal of variety to the menu and the staff is attentive and efficient. I've been coming here for many years and find that before or after a movie or a Lincoln Center event, the Shun Lee Cafe is always appropriate and a pleasure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lila
    BuburinVIP
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Great dim sum! Almost like being in china again! Loved it
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • quick meal
    SpangleNYCVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    This has become a ritual for us on a Sunday night when we want a small, fast dinner. There is a good variety of dim sum, and one can also order from the large menu, so all tastes are satisfied. The steamed dim sum has been usually delicious and fresh, though some nights it perhaps has been made a while before and it's a bit tough. We are always warmly greeted and recognized, which adds to the pleasure of this being a comfortable neighborhood restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Shun lee Cafe
    ElizabethVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    we have not been to this restaurant for a while and while we found the service levels high - very nice greetings - waiters were very attentive, we found the food lack luster - especially the noodles in bean paste and meat. We probably won't be back anytime soon sadly as we loved coming for the dim sum. We found the dim sum unmemorable as well as being expensive
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Find, but pricey for Dim Sum
    saphireintoVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Visiting NYC for the weekend and made this reservation on the fly through Open Table nearby search for lunch. They were very accommodating. The service was very attentive and quick. The food was good, but not a huge selection of Dim Sum was brought around. They did go and make the shrimp rice rolls special for me, when I asked if they were coming around. I found the portions to be small. Some were only three per basket. The pricing was on the high end for Dim Sum ... probably geared more for tourists and theatre goers, not local diners.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I loved the Dim Sum
    BonjourLI
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    The Dim Sum was passed around frequently and the service was fast. This was perfect for us as we had to catch the Bolshoi across the street and were running late. The food was excellent and you can stop when you are filed up.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 43 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.8
    • Food3.8
    • Ambiance3.5
    • Service3.8
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 605 reviews are from the Shun Lee Cafe reviews archive.
  • Love Shun Lee Cafe
    EastBrunswickFoodie
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    We always enjoy dining here. Frat tasty food served by a very professional staff. Sets the standard for delicious Chinese food.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lincoln Center so reliable
    dehillerinVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    What would I do without the Shun Lee Cafe? The food is consistently very good, and I can get less than a full meal there before I sit for a long performance. Service accommodates ticket-holders, and everyone is very pleasant and efficient.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good Dinner choice
    dineout
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Shun Lee cafe gives a reasonably priced option for dinner near Lincoln Center.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GoodFoodLoverVIP
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    Our waitress was very inexperienced. This is a restaurant that serves dim sum, brought around in a cart for the diners to choose. The young woman who served us took very long to come around after we had finished what we had selected earlier. We had to call her to our table. Her English was almost non-existent so we had trouble communicating which dim sums we wanted or finding out what was in each of the ones she had in the cart. The ones we ate were good, but not excellent. We had selected this restaurant because of its proximity to Lincoln Center, where we were attending a performance.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Susan
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Great variety of dim sum constantly circulates throughout the small closely packed tables. We had pre Lincoln Center performance dinner and comfortably made our 8PM curtain.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • convenient location/overpriced food
    ll12
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    If going to Lincoln Center, this is the perfect location. Food is OK, nothing special - went for dim sum at 6 PM - no variety - the same two groups of offerings kept coming around - fried or unfried. Very skimpy servings for price charged - $7.50 for 3 pork dumplings? Not even enough to properly share - at least give 4 pieces for 2 people.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent!
    jsotovalencia
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    My daughter and I had a few of the dim sum items from the cart, each was delicious: shrimp shumai, vegetable springroll, pork dumpling. I wanted to try the scallops and the taro crisps and so much more, but I was warned to save room for the entrée! We then shared the Mandarin style salmon (with crunchy water chestnuts and delightful snap peas) and a tasty moo shu pork. Accompanied by a robust cabernet sauvignon (and a refreshing ginger ale for my tweenager), we had an EXCELLENT meal and will go there as often as we can!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday dinner
    OutOfTowner
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    Treated my sister to dim sung for her birthday prior to the ballet at Lincoln Center. Asked for and received a nice table for the occasion. Restaurant brought out surprise ice cream with candle for my sister. Very Nice touch!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best of Chinese Dining in area
    Luvgreatfood
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    We always enjoy dining at Shun Lee Cafe when we are going to Lincoln Center. The food is consistently good, the service attentive and we can actually have a conversation with our friends. Open table makes it convenient to make reservations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dim Sum at Shun Lee Cafe
    foodlover1
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Very little choice of dim sum. Slow, almost non-existent service. We were sitting two tables away from a mirrored wall that needed cleaning- very unappetizing to have to look at this while eating. Decidedly not the Shun Lee we knew and loved.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Anniversary28VIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    the orange beef was wonderful. the dim sum was very good. the angel hair with duck was a bit disappointing. all in all, we enjoyed it very much.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate