Between Stacie and me, we seem to have dumplings on the mind. It might be partly due to fact that Chinese New Year has just come and gone. It might also be because our children love, love, love dim sum. For the uninitiated, dim sum is a form of Asian tapas and consists of a wide range of steamed or fried little dishes such as dumplings, spring rolls, and egg tarts. Children enjoy picking what they want from the carts that scurry by your table, and there is always something for everyone. The Bay Area has not shortage of places where you can try dim sum and here are some of our favorites.
Yank Sing with two locations in downtown San Francisco is the grand-daddy of all dim sum places in San Francisco. Come Saturday and Sunday, Yank Sing’s Spear Street location spills into the foyer outside the restaurant. It reminds me of the gigantic Chinese restaurants in Singapore and Hong Kong.
The place is super efficient, and since it is large and noisy, it’s a great place for families. Arriving early is key. They open at 9:00 a.m. on weekends. Don’t miss their unique variations on dim sum such as Peking duck by the slice, stuffed deep fried crab claws and goldfish shaped dumplings. For a little sweet something, the velvety smooth egg custard tarts will delight everyone.
Yank Sing is located at 101 Spear Street, with a second location at 49 Stevenson Street.
If you cannot motivate yourself to get out of the house in the morning for dim sum with the little ones, bring the dim sum home to you. Regarded by many as the best take-out dim sum in San Francisco, there is often a line out the door at Good Luck Dim Sum. If you have kids who can’t wait in line, leave them home with one parent. The earlier you go (parents, unfortunately are often up early thanks to our little ones), the shorter the line will likely be.
Walk in and point at what you want (Ria loves this part), have them put it in a few boxes, and go home and spread out your bounty out on the dining table and dig in. The prices are ridiculously cheap (3 pieces of shrimp dumpling for $1.60) and you will not believe how much food a relatively small amount of money buys.
Good Luck Dim Sum is located on 736 Clement Street
Shanghai Dumpling King
Shanghai Dumpling King is not a traditional dim sum restaurant where they cart the food around. You order off the menu and they have an impressive selection of dumplings. We recently wrote about our adventure to SDK here. Their dumplings (especially their namesake, xiao long bao) are awesome, but you cannot leave without a sugar egg puff.
Shanghai Dumpling King is located on 3319 Balboa Avenue
Worth waking up early and trekking to. You have to get there right when they open to avoid the crowd, otherwise you are almost guaranteed a long wait even though the restaurant is gigantic.
You know you are in a good Asian restaurant when the clientele is almost exclusively Asian. We often have a dear friend and his family go with us and have him order for everyone and we sit back and enjoy the delicious traditional dim sum that Koi Palace serves. In comparison to Yank Sing, the setting is not as welcoming, but the prices are far more reasonable and the dim sum is closer to the real thing. If you end up waiting, the kids will enjoy watching the fish, crabs and lobsters in big tanks out by the entrance. It’s like a free visit to the Aquarium thrown in with yummy dim sum. An adult in our party often ends up taking the kids out to the fish tanks when they are done eating while the rest of the grown ups continue to (over)eat.
Koi Palace is located in Serramonte Plaza in Daly City on 365 Gellert Avenue
The original version of this article appeared on Savvy Source. Stacie and I have been sharing some of our adventures in the Bay Area on the site.