813 55th Street


Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. (dim sum 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.), Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. (dim sum 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)


Photo by Dominic Perri

For a decade, dim sum fanatics have gorged on the delectables at Pacificana. The impressive banquet hall — a massive red-and-white cafeteria anointed with gilded phoenix and dragon wall hangings, nestled up a flight of stairs in a nondescript office building — sets the standard for Cantonese grandeur in Sunset Park's Chinatown. With hushed confidence, servers push their trolleys through a maze of tables, stopping to hawk their cargo from mobile command posts that brim with floppy rice rolls, steamer baskets of dumplings, and plates of gelatinous desserts. The spectacle feels familiar until you watch dish after dish of regional Chinese specialties like southern-style duck casserole and spicy sea cucumber waft into view. It's hard to look away from a giant-sea-crab feast — the four-dish procession as nuanced as any omakase — but don't forget to look up now and then. Amid the families, travelers, and expats, there's a good chance you’ll crash a wedding or two; it's bound to happen, with 500 seats and a 250-item menu. Pacificana is crowded during prime time, so early birds truly do get the worm — or in this case Hakkanese pork stew with preserved vegetables — if they arrive bright and early at 8 a.m. Other dim sum palaces have crumbled, but this is one dynasty that continues to rule.