Okay, we’re wading into dangerous territory here: Declaring the best dim sum restaurants in America is a task sure to excite the same level of furious disagreement that we faced when we endeavoured to rank the best Mexican restaurants and best sushi restaurants in America. Because people are passionate about their dim sum. But so are we—nothing pleases us more than a steamer full of har gow straight from the cart—which is why we pushed forward with the task. From Chinatown in San Francisco to downtown Manhattan to Miami, Vegas, Portland and beyond, these restaurants do little-dishes-on-carts (and sometimes not on carts) better than the rest. They’re the best dim sum restaurants and, if you’re a dim sum lover, your foodie bucket list.
The 16 best dim sum restaurants in America
Dumpling fiends! Like your Chinese food to come on small plates? These best dim sum restaurants in America are for you.
Best dim sum restaurants in America
The line begins to form an hour before opening at this bustling Alameda eatery, where gilded dragons snake across the walls. Large families gather around the plants up front and cluster on the sidewalk. Luckily for the waiting throngs, the seating here is plentiful, including tables fit for two to 12. Carts roll by in all directions, and each server is wired with a tiny microphone to relay orders to the kitchen. The menu goes on for several pages, offering favorites like BBQ pork buns, shrimp and leek dumplings, shumai, salt and pepper tofu, taro, porridge and chicken feet. Cap off your meal with a selection of custard tarts, sesame balls and pillowy pineapple buns.
Perhaps you’ve heard well-traveled foodie friends moan about this place when they dined there in Singapore or Taiwan? No need to book a ticket to Asia: Din Tai Fung has a growing number of U.S. outposts, including several in Southern California and two in the Seattle area—one in the University District and one in Bellevue. Soup dumplings, a.k.a. xiao long bao—or here, “juicy pork dumplings”—are the thing to order; these delicate teardrop-shaped pouches of tastiness are served in their metal steamer tray, ready to have their piping hot broth carefully slurped with a dash of black vinegar and a sliver of ginger, and the meaty filling coaxed out after.