Where To Find The Best Dumplings In Philly

Here are some of the best spots in Philadelphia where you should go dumpling crazy.

The Cantonese expression for eating dim sum, “yum cha,” actually means “to drink tea.” The practice of dim sum snacking, though, has come a long way from its humble linguistic origins to claim a dining domain of its own.

Now, the doughy goods common to dim sum have a firm claim on diners and the draw to these delightful mouthfuls is evident in the abundance of Philly dim sum spots.

Traditionally, dim-sum dining means choosing from an array of steamed, sautéed and sauced mostly dough-based bites. The variety of dim-sum dishes ranges pretty widely and can include buns, veggies, meats and more. Central to a dim-sum diet, though, are dumplings.

These days, dim sum menus are often curated, and modern spins abound with dumplings appearing on menus other than those specializing in dim sum small plates. As a rule, digging in to dumplings remains central to dim sum-style dining, so we’ve rounded up some of the top spots in Philadelphia — from brand-new to tried-and-true — to go dumpling crazy.

Bing Bing Dim Sum

Delicate dumplings bursting with savory ground pork and a steamy slurpable broth? Count us in. The soup dumplings at Bing Bing Dim Sum on East Passyunk Avenue are a must-order at this resto from the folks behind Cheu Noodle Bar, but don't stop there. The contemporary takes on classic dim-sum dishes — think roast pork bao with provolone, veggie and gluten-free red beet dumplings — are all winners.

Bing Bing Dim Sum

Where:Bing Bing Dim Sum, e 19148, 1648 East Passyunk Avenue

www.bingbingdimsum.com

Dim Sum Garden

The Shanghai crab-and-pork soup dumplings at Dim Sum Garden are locally beloved and arguably the bites that kicked off this city’s recent surge in dim-sum dining. Dim Sum Garden recently moved into a new, larger space, but the authentic Shanghai-style food remains some of the best in the city.

Dim Sum Garden

Where:Dim Sum Garden, 1020 Race Street

dimsumgardenphilly.com

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Nom Wah Tea Parlor is a New York legend that's now serving in Philly’s Chinatown. The cartless dim-sum emporium peddles dishes like delicate egg rolls, sticky rice parcels, pork buns and — yes — delicious dumplings (even gluten-free options).

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Where:Nom Wah Tea Parlor, 218 N. 13th Street

nomwah.com

Sakura Mandarin

A large menu of sushi, Sichuan and Shanghai-style items shouldn’t distract diners from one of the top soup dumplings in town. Go for the dim sum, with a focus on the five varieties of dumplings, including the crab and pork soup dumpling.

Sakura Mandarin

Where:Sakura Mandarin, 1038 Race Street

www.sakuramandarin.com

Jane G's

Jane G's recently added soup dumplings to its menu of Szechuan Chinese fare and they don't disappoint. Also on the menu are epic wontons in chili oil, shumai, truffle edamame dumplings and more.

Jane G's

Where:Jane G's Restaurant, 1930 Chestnut Street

janegsrestaurant.com

Buddakan

A departure from the traditional spots for dumpling dining, Buddakan nonetheless attracts with its dim sum and dumplings — particularly the edamame dumplings with truffled sauternes-shallot broth, a modern take on the classic.

Buddakan

Where:Buddakan, 325 Chestnut Street

www.buddakan.com

Sampan

Chef Michael Schulson of Sampan learned a thing or two about dumplings and dim sum while serving as the chef of the aforementioned Buddakan. Now, Chef Schulson's modern Midtown Village Asian spot dishes dumplings with the best of ’em — like a General Tso soup dumpling, shrimp dumpling and more.

Sampan

Where:Sampan, 124 S. 13th Street

www.sampanphilly.com

Han Dynasty

Han Chiang seems to always be expanding his ever-bustling Sichuan operation, Han Dynasty, into other cities (New York) and larger digs (Manayunk). Thankfully, the dumplings drenched in chili oil don't change.

Han Dynasty

Where:Han Dynasty, 123 Chestnut Street

www.handynasty.net

Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House

The house-made noodles may be the marquee draw to Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House, but the three different kinds of dumplings on the menu shouldn’t be passed over. Opt for pork and chive, coconut chicken curry or pork and shrimp.

Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House

Where:Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House, 1022 Race Street

www.nanzhounoodlehouse.com

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3 comments

  1. These rankings are akin to saying Taco Bell is the foremost purveyor of taste in Mexican cuisine… You know, because Bing Bing Dim Sum is as authentic as they come.

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