San Francisco Journals

Dim Sum in San Francisco

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to San Francisco by food&fun

Chinatown San Francisco Photo, San Francisco, California More Photos
Quote: You don't have to go to Hong Kong to have the "true" dim sum experience. San Francisco has some restaurants that are equal to Hong Kong's. Here are some favorites.

Dim Sum in San Francisco

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Street Art Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
For those who don't know, dim sum is like a meal of appetizers. It is served primarily at lunch time, often in huge ballroom-sized restaurants. Servers wheel carts laden with plates, bowls and steamers (some individual-sized and some as large as three feet in diameter), offering little delicacies, usually 3 dumplings or whatevers per plate. You pick what you want to eat from the servers and each server stamps your tally card. At the end of the meal, someone counts up the stamps and makes out the bill accordingly. Two of us generally stuff ourselves for less than . There are more dim sum items than I could name or describe, but some include: Steamed buns, called bao, which are fluffy, slightly s...Read More

Ton Kiang

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Restaurant

Quote:
This is probably my favorite dim sum restaurant in San Francisco. While it does not offer the 'traditional' ambiance of a dim sum parlor, the quality of the food cannot be beat. Unlike the huge, hotel ballroom-like rooms one usually finds at a dim sum restaurant, Ton Kiang is almost elegant, with white table cloths, booths of light wood and mauve-colored walls. Instead of the busy din, it is quiet and relaxing. The servers are friendly and hospitable as they circulate through the room with trays of freshly made dim sum. The wrappers are more delicate, the flavors more subtle than the big, Hong Kong-style restaurants such as Gold Mountain (see my journal entry also in this journal)...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 11, 2000

Ton Kiang
5821 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, California 94121
+ 1 415 387 8273

Fook Yuen

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Restaurant

Quote:
Aside from having a great name, Fook Yuen has great dim sum. It is located not far from the San Francisco International Airport, so if you have a few hours between flights and it is lunch time, it is worth catching a taxi over to this restaurant instead of suffering in the airport. The room is large, with many tables that will seat parties of 8 or 10. The server will hustle over with jasmine tea when you are seated; try the chrysanthemum tea instead -- it is gingery-peppery, and I think it is very refreshing with the sometimes-oily and richly flavored dim sum. Lift the lid of the pot and you will see the whole dried flowers floating in the hot water! Fook Yuen is one ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 11, 2000

Fook Yuen
195 El Camino Real
Millbrae, California 94030
(650) 692-8600

Gold Mountain

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Restaurant

Quote:
Gold Mountain is the type of dim sum restaurant you will find in Hong Kong -- huge, busy, with not many non-Asians (to me a sign of a good dim sum restaurant). Nothing is fancy except the chandeliers. The chairs are standard banquet-room issue and the dishes are heavy. Servers believe their job is to push the carts through the restaurant, get the food out, and go back for more fresh stuff. They will explain dishes if asked, but they are efficient, not sociable. Don't be put off -- their job is to serve and yours is to eat and enjoy! Gold Mountain has the usual dim sum dishes, in good variety. They excel at meat items, though there is certainly nothing wrong with the seafood. Th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 11, 2000

Gold Mountain
644 Broadway
San Francisco, California 94133
+1 415 296 7733

Pearl City

Restaurant

Quote:
My husband and I have been going to Pearl City for about 7 years. It was one of our first dim sum experiences and we continue to return. The restaurant decor is shabby, but the food is good. It has a relatively small front room and a large back room. Especially on Sundays, the restaurant is full of multi-generational family groups. Usually we are the only Anglos in the restaurant. This leads to servers avoiding our table if they are offering things they think we will not want, like stewed chicken feet (which we DO, in fact, like). Seafood is the star here. While Gold Mountain (see separate journal) has better meat-based selections, Pearl City has better seafood-based dim sum. The shrimp ha...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 30, 2001

Pearl City
641 Jackson St
San Francisco, California 94133
+1 415 398 8383

Harbor Village

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Restaurant

Quote:
The beautiful setting of Harbor Village, located in the Embarcadero/Financial District, puts it head-and-shoulders above most dim sum restaurants. The elegant restaurant has a view of the Bay through large windows in the dining rooms. The tables are set with white cloths and the ambiance is quieter and classier than the typical Chinatown dim sum restaurant. It is clear that they are catering to a business crowd, especially during the week, so this is a good place to go if you are trying to impress a guest or if you are hesitant to brave the unfamiliar food and the hustle-bustle ambiance of the dim sum parlors in Chinatown. Call this Dim Sum for Beginners. The dim sum variety is similar to what y...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 28, 2001

Harbor Village
At the corner of Clay and Drumm Streets
San Francisco, California 94111
+1 415 781 8833