Make a reservation

Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
icon/ic_social_proofCreated with Sketch.
Booked 22 times today

Shun Lee Cafe

3.9
1053 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Dim Sum
Perfect For:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Sunday Lunch
  • Good Vegetarian Options
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.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Dim Sum, Chinese, Asian
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
Lunch: Saturday - Sunday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00am, Sunday: 4:30pm - 10:00pm
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(212) 769-3888
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Casual Dress
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Sun-Dao Man
icon/ic_locationCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
Columbus Avenue
icon/ic_public_transitCreated with Sketch.
Public transit
1 train to 66th Street.
icon/ic_gift_cardCreated with Sketch.
Gift Card
Additional
Banquet, Beer, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Takeout, View, Wine
What 1053 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.9based on recent ratings
3.9
food
3.5
service
3.5
ambience
3.4
value
Noise · Moderate
73% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
1.0Dined 5 days ago

I chose Shun Lee for a pre-show dinner. I showed up to Shun Lee and was waiting for a hostess to arrive at the front & seat me. I made eye contact and was briefly greeted by someone I thought was a server before they disappeared. Another woman walked in and walked right past me. When the server/host that I had seen earlier finally came back he asked her for her reservation name and sat her before coming back to seat me. I should have left then. But I took my seat and was poured some water. Then 20 minutes went by without a waiter offering me anything else to drink or something to eat. I even tried to stop the dumpling cart but was ignored. When I looked around I could tell other patrons were not getting any better service. 1 woman kept flagging down anyone who walked by, and a table to my right had to ask at least twice where their food was. This was extremely disappointing for a restaurant so close to Lincoln Center. They should be used to a theater crowd, instead they were under staffed, disorganized, and unaccommodating. Would NOT recommend.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on April 14, 2018

Enjoyed the many varieties of dim sum. We were a table of 6 and there was enough variety for everyone although I would have welcome more vegetarian options. Service was efficient and helpful. Ambiance was casually upscale in just the right proportions.

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on April 11, 2018

Food was good, but service was terrible - brusque, inattentive, and it took over 1/2 hour for our entrees to arrive - simple steamed fish and vegetables and moo shoo - nothing complex. Ordered a drink and had to go to the maitre d' after 10 minutes to ask for it again.

Too bad, because location is perfect for Lincoln Center, food was tasty, and prices not bad for the area.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Expensive, but good food and great location. I can get more delicious dim sum in Chinatown but this is right next to Lincoln Center. No complaint, happy.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Shun Lee Cafe is a New York classic not to be missed for the best dim sum in an elegant, festive setting across from Lincoln Center.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Good service. Good food. Nice ambience. Very accomading staff

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on April 4, 2018

We haven't been in awhile and our experience this time was disappointing. We enjoyed the food but the service was not good starting with the maitre d not being able to find our reservation. It went downhill from there. Brusque and distracted service.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on April 4, 2018

The bloom is off the rose for this old favorite. We went for dim sum before a Lincoln Center performance, and the service was awful. The dim sum was fine but pretty much all fried foods except dumplings, and nothing at all new or interesting.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on March 28, 2018

Dim Sum was excellent. Did not eat off regular menu. They came around and offered over 30 different dishes all fresh. A bit expensive but being next to Lincoln Center what can you expect. Very fast service. Hint: Ask for the Dim Sum Menu so you can order other things that are not on the carts.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 26, 2018

Great food, great service and a wonderful dining experience. A bit pricey, but then what isn't these days. Worth a try.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on March 25, 2018

Restaurant is attractive. Though they didn't list many time slots available for reservations, they didn't look that full. It's only a block from Lincoln Center, which adds to its desirability.
Our party of 6 had soup and dim sum. The food was fine but not especially adventurous. We enjoyed what we had - but one of us had had dim sum in Chinatown the day before, and the difference in experience and food quality was noticeable. We did like very much that the restaurant let us sit and talk over tea after we'd finished eating.

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on March 25, 2018

Bad, overpriced food. You can get excellent, expensive Chinese at Mission, or evening, cheap dimsum in Chinatown.

Their Szechuan spicy food contains no peppercorns.

Also, the bathrooms were a mess.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on March 24, 2018

We've enjoyed eating here many times but on this occasion (a busy Saturday evening, pre-theater) the service was extremely disappointing -- slow, piecemeal, unprofessional. Staff appeared to be new and inexperienced and we wondered what had happened to the longtime waiters.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on March 24, 2018

A Dim Sum lovers paradise! And the Peking duck is outstanding. Easy on the pocketbook, fast and convenient. Always dependable and you'll get to your performance on time.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on March 20, 2018

Well known spot for 'homemade' Dim Sum and traditional Chinese dishes. Service is efficient and the staff was accommodating re level of spiciness etc. Great spot for dining pre-Lincoln Center events. Dim Sum are 'pricey' and can run $30-35 for a solo diner's selection. Quiet this time but can be very crowded for pre-theater service.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Dim sum is always delicious

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on March 3, 2018

Our second time there and we liked it very much. Dim Sum plus a full menu. Good service (it was crowded and we had an 8 pm curtain for the theater.

We’ll definitely come back when we are back in NYC. Strongly recommend making a reservation..

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on February 26, 2018

Strangely, but for some unknown reason the Cafe has been closed, but we managed to have a table in the Shun Lee restaurant next to the Cafe - which we didn't plan:) Everything else has been expected and met.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on February 14, 2018

There was definitely MSG in the food which affected my sleep that night

Service was a bit slow

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on February 11, 2018

Service is great, very attentive and accommodating ! The dim sum is delicious... although not a lot of variety. They did produce two items not on the carts. Special treat on a rainy day.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on January 30, 2018

Dim Sum in the café before Lincoln Center is our family tradition for years.
Love Michael! Best Waiter ever! (Although everyone is accommodating)

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on January 27, 2018

Love the Dim Sum, which is why we go. It is always our first choice before or after the movies.

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on January 20, 2018

We went to Shun Lee Cafe after a performance at Lincoln Center. Very disappointed. I had a 10:15pm reservation (which the restaurant allows since it’s available for online reservation), and arrived there early (9:50pm). The staff was borderline polite, seated us while saying we had to hurry because the kitchen was closing ... thank goodness we didn’t arrive at 10:15, what would it have been like? Dining room atmosphere is ok and a bit funky/funny with the ceiling lamps being Chinese horoscope signs. Chairs, tables, menus, everything sticky and not the cleanest.

My boyfriend ordered a beef Lo Mein, I ordered 4 types of dim sum (which cost 8$ regardless of which one you take). Unlike what is advertised on the online menu, they do not have 50 sorts of dim sum offered on carts that are being passed around. It’s just a mere sample of dim sum that is offered on a menu. Fine. Shrimp balls and chicken buns were OK. “Seafood” spring roll (which was actually just a shrimp rolled and fried), was ok but a bit plain as only a shrimp vs “seafood spring roll”. Beef shumai were horrendous. Chewy, very mild in taste, and we honestly couldn’t tell whether it was some form of filling with flour, or some other meat byproduct. Definitely not beef, not good, and I am not happy that I am given something that is supposed to be “beef” and it isn’t. Lo Mein was OK, but very greasy, the 3 pieces of green leaves that were in there were battling in duel, no other vegetable to be found. The “beef” was in some kind of batter and deep fried to hide what it really was, so we couldn’t really tell whether it was beef or something else. Given my boyfriend does not eat pork, that wasn’t very reassuring.

65$ (plus tips) for barely edible food, and bad service, I do not at all recommend. The only good thing was a fairly generous serving of Sauvignon Blanc for 9$ - and the wine was decent.

Not recommended. Would not go again. Plenty other places around that are much better quality and service.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on January 17, 2018

Went here for a pre-show dinner. Everything tasted fantastic, and service was courteous and attentive. Be advised that the dim sum cart is an additional service, not a primary source for meal.

Will go again.

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on January 16, 2018

I’m giving up on Shun Lee. Restaurant was empty. No one ever came to take our drink order. No one asked if we wanted something other than dim sum. No one cleared the table.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on January 14, 2018

We had tickets to Shen Yu at Lincoln Center. Sat down at 12:00 , told our waiter about 1:00 show. Our food came out in 10 minutes hot and delicious. Will definitely go back and try the roving carts of Dim Sum.

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on January 13, 2018

The restaurant used to be good It is mediocre at best now

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on January 13, 2018

I saw a strong effort to address comments from previous reviews. The staff was attentive, both the food and the room were warm, and the Dimsum kept rolling out of the kitchen. It was a fun/casual pre-performance dinner. There is a close to Lincoln Center cost markup, but I would go again and also recommend for families.

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on December 31, 2017

This is in reply to your email stating that I was a "No-show" at my reservation on New Year's Eve.
We didn’t miss our reservation. We were there! The restaurant was mostly empty, there was no heat, and the host rushed us in and seated us. He couldn’t have cared less who we were, and never bothered to check to see if my name was on his list. I have the charge record if you need to see it.
By the way, the food was mediocre at best, had to be sent back to heat it, and they were in a big hurry to get us out after we were served. We have been there a number of times in the past, but I won’t want to go back.
Sorry you were misinformed about our reservation.
Jo Ann Silverstein
110 Riverside Drive (9B)
New York, NY 10024
917-734-9032

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on December 31, 2017

It was a freezing cold night in NYC and the heat did not work. Food was not like the SHun Lee of years ago. Pan fried noodles were bland. Peking duck was fatty. Steamed veggie dumplings were tasteless. Sorry. This used to be an old favorite of mine but alas, I won’t be returning. Back to Mr. Ks.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on December 30, 2017

Took my boyfriend out for lunch and he loved the jumbo shrimp. The chicken shumai here is delicious as well.

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on December 29, 2017

Shun Lee has gone way down hill with even higher prices. We were regulars but no need to return.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on December 29, 2017

Dim sum is decent and the location is perfect for a fast bite before a performance at Lincoln Center

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on December 28, 2017

We normally LOVE this place, but we ate in the cafe and it was FREEZING! they did not have the heating system up to par for cold winter's nights. the dim sum and orange beef were excellent as always; also the green beans and eggplant.

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on December 28, 2017

Horrible service and very disorganized. Small door and waiting area - no sense of urgency.

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on December 28, 2017

Excellent food at very reasonable prices, especially for this area of town. I highly recommend the fish braised in chili sauce, and the tofu with vegetables. Don't expect a "haute cuisine" ambience, as the place is packed at dinner hour, the service rushed and sometimes haphazard. But, for a quick bite before a concert at Lincoln Center, this is a good bet.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on December 28, 2017

When we arrived, although our reservation was honored, once seated we were ignored. It was impossible to catch a waiter’s eye to order drinks. Generally the place was chaotic trying to deal with the rush of people heading for Lincoln Center after their dinner. The food, however, once we finally managed to order it, was ver good.

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on December 28, 2017

Service was horrible. After sitting for 20 minutes, I got up and asked the host whether we even had a waiter. He took our order, and immediately brought rice. After being in the restaurant for 55 minutes with no additional food, I pointed that out to the host. Shortly thereafter the meal was served, but I had them swap out the then-cold rice. During our stay, diners who were seated after us were served and left the restaurant.

A rising anxiety level is not what's needed in advance of a performance across the street at Lincoln Center.

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on December 27, 2017

Really poor quality of food. Such a shame.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on December 27, 2017

Dim sum is a nice change from typical Asian restaurants in the area.

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
27