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February 8, 2022
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San Francisco’s Best Dim Sum by Neighborhood

San Francisco is a place where culinary trends are set, a tradition going back generations. Our diverse communities have added their own flavors to our city's bounty of delicious dining options. One of the dishes most synonymous with San Francisco's vibrant and storied Chinese community is dim sum.

These small, bite-sized delicacies come in a seemingly endless combination of textures, styles, and fillings. A dim sum meal is the perfect way to experience as many different dishes as you can—and your luck only grows if you enjoy dim sum with friends!

You can enjoy dim sum all over San Francisco, any time of year (though it might be most festive during Lunar New Year celebrations). Here are some of the best dim sum restaurants you'll find across San Francisco's unique neighborhoods.

Bernal Heights

United Dumplings (525 Cortland Ave.)

A no-fuss, no-muss dumpling paradise in quiet Bernal Heights, United Dumplings earns raves from diners for their Korean BBQ beef dumplings and pork xiao long bao. Don't overlook their non-dumpling options, either! What's popular: chicken bao, jumbo soup dumpling. What you should get: dan dan noodles, California beef noodles. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

Castro

MaMa Ji's (4416 18th St.)

Located in the Castro, MaMa Ji's quickly became a neighborhood favorite. Lily (MaMa Ji) was born in Sichuan and brings the homestyle cooking that she grew up with to the masses. What's popular: shrimp and chive dumplings. What you should get: shrimp stuffed eggplant. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

Chinatown

China Live (644 Broadway)

China Live is more than a restaurant. It's a shrine to Chinese cuisine and a celebration of San Francisco's Chinese-American community. Wherever you sit on the ground floor, you can see clear into the many busy kitchens where your delicious meals are prepared. What's popular: sheng jian bao. What you should get: dongbei vegetarian long pot stickers. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

City View Restaurant (622 Jackson St.)

This place is a hidden gem that many a traveler has been happy to find. Bright, inviting, and serving generous portions, City View Restaurant is the perfect place to go if San Francisco's finicky climate turns on you. What's popular: pan-fried chicken bun, spinach dumpling. What you should get: Peking duck bao, custard salted egg yolk bun. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

Delicious Dim Sum (752 Jackson St.)

Extolled by visitors as some of the best dim sum found outside of Hong Kong, Delicious Dim Sum clearly lives up to its name. What's popular: har gow. What you should get: shrimp and chive dumpling. Open for dine-in and take-out.

Good Mong Kok Bakery (1039 Stockton St.)

If you are in Chinatown and in a hurry, this is your place. Stroll by the window, point at anything. Take it to a nearby park. Scarf it down in 5 minutes. Repeat. What's popular: sui mai. What you should get: har gow. Open for take-out.

Great Eastern Restaurant (649 Jackson St.)

A Chinatown staple, visited by dignitaries including former President Barack Obama, Great Eastern excels in preparing old-school dim sum that is as tasty as it its genuine. What's popular: cilantro shrimp dumplings. What you should get: deep fried pumpkin and egg yolk custard balls. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

Hang Ah Tea Room (1 Pagoda Pl.)

By most accounts, this is the oldest dim sum establishment in the U.S. You have to know what you're looking for if you want to visit the Hang Ah Team Room. Keep your eyes peeled for the hand-painted sign at the corner of Sacramento St. What's popular: roast pork bun, steamed shrimp dumpling. What you should get: Shanghai soup dumpling, lamb dumpling. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

House of Dim Sum (735 Jackson St.)

With a name like that, how could you go wrong? Specializing in homemade, Cantonese style dim sum, this place has earned quite a reputation over its nearly 20 years of business. It's great for groups and close to many local points of interest. What's popular: shrimp dumplings. What you should get: barbecue pork dumplings. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

Financial District

Yank Sing (101 Spear St.)

If you want an upscale dim sum experience complete with the servers pushing carts and a dim sum place with a James Beard Award, this is the place for you. Just point at what you want and you will be served a tasty dish that will whet your appetite for more. What's popular: sesame balls. What you should get: egg custard. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

Fisherman's Wharf

Palette Tea House (900 North Point St.)

Ghirardelli Square might be known for its chocolate shop, but it should be equally well known for this exceptional dim sum spot. Whatever you order, have your phone handy. The dishes here, particularly the rainbow-colored soup dumplings, are Instagram-perfect. What's popular: squid ink dumplings. What you should get: black swan taro puffs. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

Hayes Valley

Dumpling Home (298 Gough St.)

This casual, colorful restaurant is the perfect place to dine on dim sum before seeing a show. Their dumplings come steamed, fried, or boiled. What's popular: fried pork buns. What you should get: fried bao dumplings. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

North Beach

Chubby Noodle (570 Green St.)

Yes, North Beach is better known for its Italian fare; but that doesn't mean you should miss an opportunity to dine at Chubby Noodle. Their bottomless dim sum brunch ($45 per person) is a deal too good to pass up. What's popular: steamed pork buns. What you should get: Kung Pao wings. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

Osmanthus Dim Sum Lounge (504 Broadway)

Osmanthus is known for its dumplings and noodle dishes, as most great dim sum restaurants are; but what sets it apart from the competition is its incredibly well stocked bar. You'll have your pick of which beer or whiskey cocktail you'd like to pair with your dim sum. What's popular: Shanghai crab dumpling. What you should get: spicy coconut crispy fish curry. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

Richmond

Dragon Beaux (5700 Geary Blvd.)

Chic and upscale, Dragon Beaux is where to go when your dim sum dinner should be extra special. Reservations are strongly recommended. What's popular: shrimp dumplings and xiao long bao. What you should get: black truffle mushroom fried rice. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

Dumpling Alley (2512 Clement St.)

A neighborhood staple between the Presidio and Lincoln Park, Dumpling Alley is known for its friendly staff as much as it is for what's on the menu. What's popular: steamed chicken and onion bun, vegetable pot stickers. What you should get: corn and pork dumpling, dirty pan-fried beef bun. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

Good Luck Dim Sum (736 Clement St.)

Located in the heart of San Francisco's second-largest Chinese community, Good Luck Dim Sum is a great neighborhood spot that is both speedy and affordable. What's popular: red bean sesame bun. What you should get: nuomici. Open for take-out.

Hong Kong Lounge (5322 Geary Blvd.)

With a loyal following of locals and visitors alike, it's best to plan ahead for your visit to the Hong Kong Lounge. What's popular: Peking duck. What you should get: baked pork buns. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

Xiao Long Bao (625 Clement St.)

This dumpling place is small and busy, so you best have your wits about you once you're in line to order. What's popular: crispy radish dim sum, fried shrimp dumpling. What you should get: chive, bok choi, and pork dumpling. Open for dine-in and take-out.

SoMa

Dumpling Time (11 Division St.)

Dumpling Time is a neighborhood dumpling-and-beer house that focuses on freshly made dumplings in the Japanese and Chinese traditions. Guests can watch as dumplings of different shapes are formed from scratch in a glass-enclosed "dumpling room." Dumplings include pan-fried gyoza, bao, har gow, Xian dumplings and xiao long bao. Other items include extra-large dumplings, garlicky green beans, shrimp toast, and colorful dessert dumplings. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery. 

Sunset

Dumpling Specialist (1119 Taraval St.)

Dumpling Specialist was so popular with the locals that they had to expand to the neighboring storefront! They still run a brisk business, so be prepared to wait. We promise that it's worth your time. What's popular: vegetarian pot stickers. What you should get: pan-fried pork buns, sticky rice roll. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

Kingdom of Dumpling (1713 Taraval St.)

A mixture of northern dim sum and Shanghai dim sum, including a long line that winds itself outside on weekends, KOD has it all. What's popular: beef pancakes. What you should get: garlic green beans. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

S&T Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant (2578 Noriega St.)

Word on the street is this the Tablehopper's favorite place to eat dim sum. A recommendation from a woman with such impeccable taste can't be off the list. Her favorites should be your favorites. What's popular: shrimp noodle roll. What you should get: turnip cake. Open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

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