One of the city’s most famous soup dumplings shops has closed. Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao — a Flushing dining destination that many consider the top xiao long bao restaurant in New York — shuttered following more than a decade in the neighborhood, according to the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce.
The restaurant, located at 38-12 Prince St. between 38th and 39th avenues, served a variety of Shanghai dishes, but it has attracted crowds for years particularly for its signature, thin-skinned soup dumpling. Though competitor Joe’s Shanghai is the better known name in New York, Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao is arguably the more popular spot among culinary enthusiasts. Waits sometimes exceeded an hour for dumplings, even years after its debut.
Eater has reached out to the restaurant for more information.
The closure is quite the blow for Downtown Flushing’s dining scene, which has become increasingly competitive, with big Asian chains and sprawling new food courts adding pressure to the longstanding small businesses that make up the neighborhood. Much of these changes are being fueled by the high-end real estate boom that began years ago, backed that curate their projects’ dining options based on the wealthy people buying into them.
The flurry of development has inflated rental rates and flooded the market with an overwhelming supply of restaurants, many times forcing out restaurants. Flushing chamber executive director John Choe, who spoke with owner Pai Ma, says that Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao shuttered for many reasons, including rising rents and a labor shortage.
“If a restaurant that good can’t survive in Flushing, that is a bad sign,” Choe tells Eater. “Nan Xiang is the tip of the iceberg and the most shocking example of small businesses not being able to do business in Flushing anymore.”