Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Mar 21, 2005 11:41 AM

Dim Sum Suggestions (with carts!)

  • n

I am coming to San Francisco in early April and looking for great dim sum...but with the carts (I like to see it all). This is for a Sunday looking for good but not long lines. Thanks in advance.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If you really hate lines, one good option is to go to a spot that takes reservations. One suggestion: make your reservation, then take BART (rapid transit) down to the Milbrae station, cross the street, and enjoy the very good dim sum at Hong Kong Flower Lounge, which has carts (you can also order from the menu).

    8 Replies
    1. re: susancinsf

      HKFL remains my favorite dim sum in the bay area, but I'm not sure if it's right for the OP. A large fraction of their dishes are served not on carts but on hand-carried serving trays. I consider that a plus because the food comes out of the kitchen in smaller batches and is therefore fresher. Almost everything on the menu is still presented to the diner, but if one is looking for the cart experience it may disappoint.

      Harbor Village in the Embarcadero Center serves very good dim sum, mostly on carts. If you arrive early enough (by 11am should be okay) you shouldn't have to wait.


      1. re: nja

        well, I remembered most of the food coming on carts, not on hand carried trays, and my last visit was recent (two or three Saturdays ago), but now that you mention it, it might have been 50/50. So I guess either I am just having more and more short term memory loss, or else the distinction between carts and trays gets a bit blurred for me.

        so yes, perhaps you are right, if there is really special something about carts, then only some of the dim sum at HKFL will come by on carts. (as opposed to coming by on hand-carried trays, perhaps with a server announcing the contents).

        I do understand why one would rather see the dim sum than order off of a menu. However, I guess it is just me, but the cart vs. tray experience isn't nearly as important as the luxury of having a reservation and not having to wait in line....

        1. re: susancinsf

          Canton on Folsom Street has carts but there are also hand carried trays.

        2. re: nja

          I thought that Harbor Village closed ~ am I thinking of another place in that area?

          1. re: tomatoaday

            Well it was open in 2005 when the comment was originally made, but has closed since then.

            1. re: tomatoaday

              It WAS open in March 2005, date of the post you responded to. Confusing.

              1. re: Sarah

                Not paying close enough attention, sorry ~ it stuck out for me because I ate there before it closed and was not impressed at all.

          2. re: susancinsf

            HK Flower Lounge in Millbrae is closed. They are now Mayflower. I think Mayflower (at least the one in Geary) has carts.

            Mayflower Seafood
            6255 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

            Mayflower Seafood Restaurant
            51 Millbrae Ave, Millbrae, CA 94030

          3. In chinatown on Washington between Grant and Stockton is the Great Oriental restaurant. I would not say it was fabulous dim sum but it is good, They do the carts and a big plus is they open at 7 in the morning.The skins of the dumplings are tranlucent and light.The prices are very good. We went this past Sunday and was surprised that they even had Steamed Minced pork with salted fish over rice. I don't recall ever being offered this in a dim sum restaurant.

            3 Replies
            1. re: originaljoe

              I've been to Great Oriental twice. There is a discount program for the dim sum, so the price doesn't hurt, and the room is nicer than most. Yet, I didn't like anything I tried.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Has it been awhile since you went last? We didn't think it was great but pretty good in taste and for the money.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Did this used to be the Hang Ah Tea Room? I believe Hang Ah was Chinatown's original dim sum venue.

              2. Yank Sing is almost all carts plus it's normally very good. It is one of the pricier dim sum places however but they do offer some unique items on occasion.

                1. In my opinion, Koi Palace is the best dim sum around, but it's certainly not a great choice if you don't like waiting in line. If you get there right when they open (or before), you can usually get in pretty quickly, but later in the morning it'll be a substantial wait.

                  What transportation options will you have? (renting a car?)

                  1. We had Dim Sum at the Great Oriental in Chinatown on Washington. They didn't have carts- but it was great! We were with someone who lived in Hong Kong for 7 years and spoke Cantonese fluently - and he loved it. It was recommended by a man we ran into in the live market area. He said the food was good and economical! It was very reasonable, yummy, and a great selection. We were the only non-Chinese in the place.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mamacook

                      Interesting in that's a name that never comes up on this board. Though it looks like it might have been there forever it's only been around less than 10 years. Nevertheless it strikes me as more of an oldtimers' hangout--maybe the old Sun Wah Kue crowd still frequents the location.

                      1. re: Chandavkl

                        Oddly enough, Great Oriental is owned be the same people who own A-1 Cafe on Clay Street, another Chinese restaurant that never gets mentioned.

                      2. re: mamacook


                        Great Oriental
                        848 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94108