London’s best dumplings

Gyoza, wonton, pierogi, manti and more. Find the best dumplings in London with our comprehensive guide
London's best dumplings, My Neighbours the Dumplings
Andy Parsons

Loads of cultures have them and London loves them – so Time Out has munched its way around the capital’s restaurants and street food stalls to find the very best dumplings our city has to offer. In the list below, find everything from Oriental specialties to delicacies from Turkey, Poland, Georgia and beyond.   

The best dumplings in London

Restaurants, Japanese

Gyoza at Gyoza Bar

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

The archetypal Japanese dumpling – the near-identical Chinese potsticker is a brother by another Asiatic mother – are beloved by both epicurean boffins and garden variety Wagamama enthusiasts. Those dished up by Covent Garden’s Gyoza Bar are grand, but the classic pork, dipped in umami-heavy soy sauce and rice vinegar, are superlative: roughly minced and fragrant pig spiked with spring onion, wrapped in a delicately yielding skin and pan-fried. Gimme!

Restaurants, Chinese

Shengjianbao at Dumpling Shack

icon-location-pin South Hackney

Spurter of broth and burner of mouths, the steamed, soup-filled xioalongbao is, perhaps, the dumpling world’s favourite son. Dumpling Shack, an ace little stall on Hackney’s Broadway Market, specialises in shengjianbao: a bigger, ‘roided-up riff , stuffed with pork, water chestnut and leek. An insider’s tip? Punch a hole and let it cool before snaffling, you insatiable gannets!

london's best dumplings, jihwaja
Andy Parsons
Restaurants, Korean

Mandu at Jihwaja

icon-location-pin Vauxhall

A Korean street food staple, mandu come in various shapes and preparations. Crinkly, chubby steamed rings are the norm, but Vauxhall’s ramshackle karaoke-bar-cum-restaurant Jihwaja serves them deep-fried. These pork-stuffed parcels with pinched ends – like Lilliputian pasties – are both crisp and satisfyingly chewy, best when slathered in honking kimchi and soaked in soy. Novelty-free they may be but make no mistake: they’re serious Seoul food.

Restaurants, Georgian

Khinkali at Little Georgia

icon-location-pin Pentonville

These broth-seeping Georgian dumplings are as robust as they come: with a pleated knobble at the top. Traditionally, these are used as a handle to scoff the meaty parcel underneath then chucked aside, but you’d be forgiven for downing the lot. Not least those made by Little Georgia, who recommend flipping their boiled, beef ’n’ pork-stuffed khinkali – topped with sour cream and adjika (a spicy red pepper paste) – and chomping into the flat side to stem any soupy torrents.

london's best dumplings, my neighbours the dumplings
Andy Parsons
Restaurants, Chinese

Wonton at My Neighbours the Dumplings

icon-location-pin Lower Clapton

Fashioned from a square skin made from water, flour and egg – giving it a yellow-ish tinge – wontons could be mistaken for tortellini pasta by the undiscerning, though they’re a real classic Chinese dumpling. Clapton’s My Neighbours the Dumplings do a more idiosyncratic soup-dunked spin. Bobbing about in a rich pork rib broth – they’re made extra flavourful by adding puréed onion to the porky, chivey filling. Everybody needs good neighbours: these excel themselves.

london's best dumplings, baozi inn
Andy Parsons
Restaurants, Chinese

Shui jiao at Baozi Inn

icon-location-pin Chinatown

Shui jiao may look basic as heck, but they’re a central player in the Chinese dumpling canon. People were wolfing them down as far back as AD 25-ish and they’re supposedly shaped like gold ingots as a nod to China’s old currency. Filling-wise, they’re super versatile, though most commonly stuffed with pork and Chinese cabbage. Teeny-tiny Chinatown staple Baozi Inn does one kind only: a pork and chive version, served with soy, vinegar and lao gon mar, a kind of lurid Chinese chilli sauce. Textbook stuff all round.

Venue says From the heart of Northern China to the heart of London; Our chefs are famed for the authenticity of their cooking! Discover Sohos favourite

Restaurants, Turkish

Manti at Manti by Mike and Ollie

icon-location-pin The Borough

Foraging street-food mavens Mike & Ollie were inspired to create their British riff on the Turkish manti – a sort of tightly stuffed, boiled dumpling – after a cross-continental train ride to Istanbul. Top of the pile is their Swaledale lamb, onion and cumin version. Knock-out flavours aside, this is also the London food stall scene’s prettiest plate – doused in black chilli butter, yogurt, tomato sauce, breadcrumbs and dill.

london's best dumplings, yauatcha
Michelle Grant
Restaurants, Chinese

Har gow at Yauatcha

icon-location-pin Soho

For many, dumplings = dim sum. And city-best dim sum means a trip to Soho’s modern, Michelin-starred tea-house Yauatcha. Here, the dumplings are as pretty as they are delicious. Best of the lot? The steamed har gow: pearlescent, shell-shaped orbs filled with minced prawn and very little else, they’re minimalist in concept but famously difficult to make. When they’re good – and here they’re very good indeed – they’re the crown princes of the dumpling world. There’s no higher praise.

Restaurants, Jewish

Kreplach at Harry Morgan

icon-location-pin St Johns Wood

If chicken soup is ‘Jewish penicillin’, then kreplach – the fat, wrinkly dumplings sometimes found bobbing around in it (second only to kneidels) – are a dose of opiates. Those made at seminal deli-diner Harry Morgan are a (fever) dream – each dumpling’s rich, beefy filling is almost offally in density, and certainly too big to eat in one go. Ridiculously comforting, even without the steaming bowl of soup, crammed with shredded chicken; make a like a masochist and pray for flu.

Restaurants, Polish

Pierogi at Mamuska!

icon-location-pin Elephant and Castle

The humble Polish pierogi – a steamed, pallid-looking dumpling – might appear to be a stodgily unrefined little fella. But these dense flavour bombs are absolutely killer, and Mamuśka, a gem of a Polish canteen in Elephant & Castle, knocks out the best of ‘em. A plate of their classic ‘ruskie’, stuffed with potato, white cheese and onion, and served with sour cream, is a savoury masterpiece.

Find more packages of joy at London’s best dim sum joints


London's best dim sum restaurants

Whether you're a dim sum daredevil or a play-it-safe type, you'll find London's thriving dim sum scene has something for you. Grab your chopsticks and get stuck in with these tempting Chinese snacks in Chinatown restaurants and beyond.

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