San Diego may not be as well-known for its dim sum scene as other major cities, but that doesn't mean it's lacking in delicious options.
In fact, there are quite a few restaurants throughout the city that offer authentic and high-quality dim sum dishes.
For those unfamiliar with dim sum, it's a traditional Cantonese cuisine that typically involves small, bite-sized dishes served in steamer baskets or on small plates.
It's often enjoyed as a brunch or lunch meal and is known for its variety and communal nature.
San Diego's dim sum offerings vary in style and ambiance, from casual and family-friendly to upscale and luxurious.
Some restaurants focus on classic dim sum dishes, while others offer their own unique twists and fusion creations.
Whether you're a local looking for your next dim sum fix or a visitor curious to try something new, San Diego's dim sum scene has something for everyone.
From traditional steamed dumplings and buns to savory pan-fried dishes and sweet desserts, there's no shortage of delicious options to explore.
1. Steamy Piggy
If you're looking for delicious and fresh dim sums, look no further than Steamy Piggy.
This Asian-fusion restaurant specializes in dumplings and offers a small but tasty selection of options.
The Piggy Bao and BBQ pork buns are definite must-tries. The pink walls and hanging planters give the place a chic and modern vibe.
The service is fast and attentive, making for a great dining experience.
Formoosa is a cozy restaurant that serves delicious dim sums. The menu is simple but flavorful, with options like beef rolls, chili wontons, and marinated cucumbers.
The Taiwanese beef noodle soup is a must-try, and the milk teas are tasty as well.
The restaurant has a modern and hip vibe, with mostly bar seating and friendly servers like Kai.
Prices are reasonable, and the food is high-quality. If you're looking for a great dim-sum spot, Formoosa is definitely worth checking out.
3. Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung is a must-visit place for dim sim lovers. The food is consistently delicious and high-quality.
The soup dumplings are a must-try, and the bao buns, noodles, and black pepper beef do not disappoint.
The atmosphere is bustling and the service is excellent, although there can be a wait to get a table. Reservations are highly recommended.
Prices are on the higher side, but the quality of the food justifies it. Don't forget to try the cocktails and teas, too!
4. Dumpling Inn & Shanghai Saloon
Dumpling Inn & Shanghai Saloon is a popular spot for dim sums in the city. The restaurant is known for its tasty soup dumplings and a variety of other Chinese dishes.
The ambiance is lively, with a full bar in the middle of the restaurant and plenty of seating options. Parking can be a challenge, but it's worth it for the food. The service can be hit or miss, but the staff is friendly and attentive overall.
The online menu is impressive, with pictures and descriptions of each dish. The pork and chive dumplings are a must-try, and the Chinese greens are delicious.
The restaurant is a bit crowded and sticky, but the food is worth it. If you're in the mood for some classic Chinese dishes, Dumpling Inn & Shanghai Saloon is definitely worth checking out.
5. Minh Ky Restaurant
Minh Ky Restaurant is a must-visit for dim-sum lovers. This small and unassuming eatery serves up authentic Chinese-Vietnamese cuisine that is both delicious and affordable.
The dumpling wonton soup is a standout dish, but there are many variations of soups to choose from.
The crispy noodles and rice dishes are also excellent. The service is friendly and fast, even on busy days.
The portion sizes are normal, but the prices are very competitive. If you're looking for a hidden gem for dim-sum, Minh Ky Restaurant is definitely worth checking out.
6. 777 Noodle House
777 Noodle House is a great spot for dimsum! The restaurant offers a wide variety of Thai, Chinese, Cambodian and Vietnamese dishes, all at fair prices.
The food is delicious and the staff is courteous. The atmosphere is homely and inviting, making it a great place to dine in.
The restaurant is not elegant, but the food is terrific and served quickly. The bone soup is a must-try dish.
The restaurant is perfect for those who are looking for an unassuming place to enjoy traditional Vietnamese and Asian cuisine.
7. Mongolian Hot Pot, San Diego
Mongolian Hot Pot is a great place for dim-sum lovers. With a variety of options for meat, seafood, and veggies, it's perfect for groups or individuals.
The all-you-can-eat option is available for those who want to indulge.
The staff is friendly and attentive, ensuring a great dining experience. The restaurant also offers a lunch special during weekdays.
The atmosphere is lively and fun, making it a great spot to enjoy a meal with friends and family.
8. Nha Hang Quoc Te Restaurant
Nha Hang Quoc Te Restaurant is a hidden gem for dim-sum lovers.
With a variety of Vietnamese dishes on offer, this family-owned restaurant serves fresh and delicious food at a quality price.
The staff is old school, friendly and accommodating, making the overall dining experience a pleasant one.
The extensive menu caters to everyone's taste buds, and the portions are big enough for sharing. Though located in a not so fancy neighbourhood, the food served here is worth the visit.
9. Golden House
Golden House is a top-notch dim-sum restaurant that serves fresh and delicious Chinese cuisine.
The menu offers a wide selection of options at great prices, and the portions are generous. The service is efficient and accommodating, and the atmosphere is relaxed and casual.
The restaurant is beautifully set up, and the large round table is perfect for family gatherings. The only downside is that the carpet needs cleaning or replacement.
However, this minor issue does not detract from the overall quality of the dining experience. If you're in the mood for some fantastic dim-sum, Golden House is the place to go.
10. Corner Cafe
If you're in the mood for authentic Cantonese-style dim sums, Corner Cafe is definitely worth a visit. The food is delicious and inexpensive, making it a great option for those on a budget.
The honey walnut shrimp is a must-try, and the beef chow fun and gyoza are also highly recommended.
Though the restaurant is small and not ideal for dining in, their takeout service is quick and efficient. The friendly staff are always happy to recommend items from the menu and explain dishes to those unfamiliar with Cantonese cuisine.
All in all, if you're looking for quality dim sums in the area, Corner Cafe is definitely worth checking out.
11. Sunny Dumpling House
Sunny Dumpling House is a Chinese restaurant that specializes in dumplings and steamed buns.
Their foods are all hand-made, which gives them an authentic taste. The restaurant is not well-suited for dining in, so it's best to get takeout.
The service is prompt and friendly. The prices are reasonable, and the value for money is great.
Sunny Dumpling House is highly recommended for anyone who wants to experience authentic Chinese dim sums.
12. Spicy House
Spicy House is a Chinese restaurant that serves authentic and balanced spicy food at reasonable prices.
The menu offers a variety of vegetarian options and generous portions. The mapo tofu, steamed dumplings, and sichuan options are highly recommended.
The restaurant is known for its five spice powder and chili flavors that make the food delicious.
The takeout orders are wrapped in plastic to minimize the soup-in-bag effect. The restaurant is a must-visit for those who love spicy Chinese food.
13. Tom's Chinese BBQ
Tom's Chinese BBQ is a hidden gem for dimsum lovers. They offer a small but delicious selection of steamed, baked, and fried pork buns, shu mai, egg tarts, sesame balls, and tofu cake.
The roast duck and BBQ pork are highly recommended and approved by 80+ year old Asian women.
The coconut buns are a must-try and an unexpected find in a BBQ place. The service is friendly, but it is a cash-only establishment.
For the best selection, it is recommended to go early in the day as the end of the day mostly has leftovers and limited options. Tom's Chinese BBQ is a quick pick-up place with no dine-in option, but the food is worth the trip.
14. Eastern Dynasty
Eastern Dynasty is a busy Chinese restaurant that serves delicious Cantonese dimsum. Despite the long wait time, the food is worth the visit.
Each dish is full of flavor and authentic, with minimal salt. The Peking duck is a must-try, served with thick buns.
The beef chow fun and honey walnut shrimp are also highly recommended. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is bustling.
If you're looking for authentic Cantonese cuisine, Eastern Dynasty is definitely worth a visit.
15. PB Oriental
PB Oriental is a Chinese restaurant that serves delicious dim sums.
They have a variety of lunch and dinner specials, including vegetarian options. The food is fresh and flavorful, and the service is fast and friendly.
The restaurant is mostly for take-out, but they have limited indoor seating. The prices are reasonable for the area, and the portions are shareable.
The parking can be tricky, but it's worth the effort to try their amazing dim sums.
16. China Quick Wok
China Quick Wok is a great place for dim-sum. The food is always fresh and delicious.
Customers rave about the chicken corn soup, moo shu, and shrimp with snow peas. Vegetarian options are also available and the tofu dishes are highly recommended.
The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable. The staff is efficient and the food is prepared quickly.
Although the seating is limited, it's worth the visit for the amazing food.
17. Yenchim Garden Restaurant
Yenchim Garden Restaurant is a long-standing local favorite for dim-sum. The large menu offers a variety of specialty dishes that are sure to please.
The food is consistently delicious, with tender meat and generous portions.
The staff is friendly and helpful, and the service is fast. The prices are reasonable, making it a great option for a regular family dinner.
If you're in the area and looking for some good Chinese food, Yenchim Garden Restaurant is definitely worth a visit.