Photo Credit: billmagill.com

While Canton may be the official home of the Chinese dish dim sum, San Francisco plays close second in terms of taste and authenticity. From traditional steam table trolleys stacked sky-high with dumplings to easy and convenient take out, we’ve narrowed down the top 5 tastiest dim sum establishments in San Francisco.  

Hong Kong Lounge II

3300 Geary Blvd Located in the Inner Richmond area, Hong Kong Lounge II not only serves heavenly dim sum, but is extremely efficient despite the line that forms prior to opening. To aid in the timeliness, diners can order before they are seated, or opt for take-out. Though both are popular choices made by regulars, the benefit to the former is that the food is served piping hot, and the staff are more than willing to describe their in-depth menu and answer any lingering questions. At this spot, the baked pork buns are not to be missed, and the pan fried noodles are an addictive addition to any dumpling dish.

Ton Kiang

5821 Geary Blvd Situated in the Outer Richmond neighborhood, Ton Kiang is recognized for serving up Hakka Cuisine: a food type inspired by the people of Northern China. Hakka literally translates to “guest” and refers to people living in an area who are non natives. The Hakka people traveled toward Southeast China, collecting and crossing dishes along the way. Thus became the Hakka Cuisine. Ton Kiang incorporates the same ingredients that were used over 1,000 years ago and transforms them into the regional modern dishes served today. The two-story establishment serves a plethora of dim sum varieties plus Hakka staples such as salt-baked chicken.

Hang Ah Tea Room

1 Pagoda Place Down a nondescript alley in the heart of Chinatown, one can find America’s oldest and longest running Dim Sum Restaurant,  Hang Ah Tea Room.  Having opened its doors in 1920, traditional Canton dishes are made in-house from scratch, and served piping hot to the waiting tables. Keep in mind that what the decor of the nearly 100 year old restaurant may be lacking, the experience of the traditional flavors more than makes up for. A must for any dim sum lover, the fried BBQ pork bun and traditional shrimp dumplings are enough to bring you back for a second, third, and likely fourth visit.

Yank Sing

101 Spear Street Yank Sing may very well be San Francisco’s most famous dim sum destination. With two locations in the Financial District, Yank Sing’s Rincon venue is a massive dining room serving nearly 500 people on the weekends at once. Service is swift and efficient, with carts rolling by to frequently offer dumplings galore. Reservations here are accepted, which is a rare attribute for dim sum restaurants and furthers the convenience factor. Don’t leave without trying the Shanghai Dumpling , Yank Sing’s signature dish with minced Kurobuta Pork and scallion and ginger wrapping, steamed in its own aromatic broth.

Mama Ji’s

4416 18th Street One may not think of the Castro as having some of the best dim sum in the city, but Mama Ji's  can convince you otherwise. Lily (a.k.a. Mama Ji) grew up in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, making many of the restaurant's specialties home-style, Sichuan dishes. Hard-to-find regional plates such as Nam Yu spare ribs and Chongquing spicy chicken are offered over steamed white rice. Dim Sum is made fresh daily, and the selection of Belgian beers pairs perfectly with any awaiting dish. Make note that a full dim sum menu is available during lunch hours, while only a limited menu is available during dinner hours. Hungry for more of our SF foodie content? Check out these quick eats and these coffee shops  now! Then burn off the calories with a sunset hike and kick back and relax in one of these gorgeous boutique hotels ...