The Top 10 Dim Sum Restaurants in San Francisco
By: Dan Rosenbaum
San Francisco's links to China and the chinese people are innumerable. Everyday life here in San Francisco is littered with Chinese influence from Chinatown itself to the food.
Although you can find all different kinds of Chinese food in the city, one Chinese delicacy has risen above the rest, one that's been the foundation for countless friendships, Dim Sum. What is Dim Sum exactly? I'm glad you asked. According to wikipedia (our favorite source):
"Dim Sum refers to a style of Chinese food prepared as small bite-sized or individual portions of food, traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Dim sum is also well known for the unique way it is sometimes served in some restaurants, where fully cooked and ready-to-serve dim sum dishes would be pushed around on steam carts by servers who go around the restaurant offering the dishes to customers and marking orders on a card on each customer's table."
Translation: It's really really good. Researching Dim Sum some more, we counted more than 70 restaurants within city limits (We hear there's more through unverified sources), so we posed the question to our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Here is what you had to say, the top 10 Dim Sum restaurants in San Francisco:
10. Hong Kong Lounge, Richmond (Map)
"If you see a hoard of chinese people in line for a table at a particular dim sum joint, chances are the food there is decent. being chinese and growing up on dim sum, i can confidently say that this place is legit. every plate is well executed and carefully made. from shrimp dumplings to egg custards to beef tripe, everything tastes good. i have not eaten bad thing from their menu. and the food isn't just good. it's great." - Yelp
9. You's Dim Sum, Chinatown (Map)
"In Chinatown, this is one of the best to go dim sum places." - Yelp
8. Shanghai Dumpling King, Richmond (Map)
"Xiao Long Bao, or XLB, is a pork dumpling originating from Shanghai, China. Because most dim sum restaurants are Cantonese, it is advised that one goes to a Shanghainese eatery to experience the best XLB. What makes XLB (aka “soup dumplings”) so special is the broth housed inside the steamed wrapper. Pick up the dumpling, being careful not to tear it, dip it in the pungent black vinegar, bite a little hole in the wrapper and either suck out the soup or let it drain onto a spoon. There are different methods of eating it, but the ending is the same: a very satisfied eater." - CBS San Francisco
7. Good Mong Kok Bakery, Chinatown (Map)
"This is my FAVORITE place in the city! Best cai rou bao and for CHEAP! 3 for $1.50...I don't think you can beat that." - Yelp
6. Kingdom of Dumpling, Parkside (Map)
"Good food has an uncanny way of making it's presence known. It doesn't matter if it's tucked away in a little hole in the wall off of Taravel. It doesn't even matter that there's barely enough space to scratch your balls, there's ALWAYS a fifteen minute wait (on a good day) to get in." - Yelp
5. MaMa Ji's, Castro (Map)
"We absolutely loved this meal and this place. Shanghai dumplings, pea sprout shrimp dumplings, pan fried pot stickers and steamed BBQ pork buns to die for! The spicy cold noodles were delicious too!." - Yelp
4. Mayflower Seafood Restaurant, Richmond (Map)
"OMG - when I come here I get seafood and hope that someone else is picking up the tab. The service is surly at times, but thats just how it is and I've accepted it. At least the waitstaff is efficient!
The par boiled giant surf clams, dried scallop fried rice, and pea shoots are the best around. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Everything is super fresh and the leftovers taste great too. I never have left over clams because they go down the hatch first! We had the half roasted duck - do not get unless you like mostly fat. Not like the roast duck at other establishments which render the fat during the roasting process. Over 3/4 went to waste. I'm glad this is in my hood and fulfils my craving for comfort seafood." - Yelp
3. Ton Kiang, Richmond (Map)
"Ton Kiang in the Richmond District serves dim sum from 10:30am to 10:00pm everyday, so you can have your fill anytime. You can order off the menu or take a chance and grab a plate from the trays the servers bring to each table. Watch the kitchen door! A new dish comes out every few minutes. Superlatives: “nai wong siu ben” – egg custard rice cakes and “gao choy got” – shrimp and chive dumplings." - CBS San Francisco
2. Good Luck Dim Sum, Richmond (Map)
"People gather here for good and cheap dim sum. Cheap is a good thing here! Prices range from 3 for under $1.50 upwards to $2 a piece, depending on the type of dim sum. A party of 2 can easily get full for under $10, which is a great bargain, especially in this economy. Enjoy the char siu bao (steamed BBQ pork buns), pork siu mai, and fried sesame balls knowing you’re not spending too much money. Good luck, indeed!" - CBS San Francisco
"If you want upscale dim sum experience complete with the servers pushing carts, this is the place for you. Take your pick from over 50 selections available each day. It’s going to be hard to choose as each handmade dumpling and tender slice of Peking duck is flavorful and succulent. When you finally do see something you like, just point at what you want and you will be served a tasty dish that will whet your appetite for more." - CBS San Francisco
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