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Best dim sum in Philly?

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Ok, this may be a tricky one. I'm planning to have a small dim sum brunch with my friends (a group of about 10) as a graduation celebration for myself. I figured the dim sum would be more "fun" than a brunch anywhere else. I know that there are a bunch of places in Chinatown that have dim sum and I've only been to Imperiel Inn. One of my "problems" is that I have a few friends that are vegetarian and when I've had dim sum at Imperiel Inn, the choices are not very vegetarian friendly.

So can anyone suggest a good dim sum place, preferably anywhere in Center City Philadelphia, that also has a good regular menu for my friends that, unfortunately, can't really enjoy the dim sum selection?

Any tips would be much appreciated.

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  1. Go with Lakeside Deli, which isn't fancy at all, but you order the dim sum off a menu and not the carts. Many vegetarian options.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Hardart

      Wouldn't disagree with the Lakeside suggestion at since I go there for lunch fairly often, but if the OP is looking for a more "traditional" experience (ie carts), Joy Tsin Lau is also a pretty good option. I've always enjoyed it.

      1. re: Ali

        I did want a traditional dim sum with the carts since that's make it a little more "fun" than a traditional sit down meal where you just order off a menu. I just wanted a menu option that had good veggie selections for my veggie friends.

        Do you think the veggie food from Joy Tsin Lau is any good?

        1. re: remphile

          IIRC, it's just really tough to isolate the veggie options at a place like JTL. Depends on how hardcore your friends are.

        2. re: Ali

          I agree with this... I think lakeside is wonderful, but frankly, just not at all festive. Lakeside is the kind of place where I would go once a week if I lived near it, but I can't really imagine celebrating anything there. Joy Tsin Lau is more what I think you're looking for but I really have no idea about the vegetarian thing... when I went I didn't know what half the things I was eating were, but I didn't care and didn't inquire - maybe you could call them and ask?

      2. I would also normally enthusiastically reccomend Lakeside, but it isn't the "traditional" dim sum with carts. I think that it's Imperial Inn where I went before and had a good time. The food wasn't too expensive, and was pretty good.

        1. Lakeside has many many many veggie options. The last time I was there I was with two veggie friends. We ordered, shared, ate, drank, and it wasn't until the check was delivered that I remembered I was supposed to be sensitive to my veggie friends, since I'm an omni. Easy peasy, and I certainly didn't feel like I was missing anything!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mawrter

            Lakeside is great but tell them you are a vegetarian. Many of the dishes have dried shrimp in them. I wouldn't say there are a TON of vegetarian choices. Maybe 6 options out of 25?

          2. Ocean Harbor. right across from Joy Tsin Lau--less greasy and less salty. If you go to Joy Tsin Lau, DO NOT go downstairs, wait for a table upstairs, the selection is not as great when you sit downstairs and the veggie options will probably not be as great.
            Lakeside is ok.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Pheebee

              Well, I'm going with the JTL. I actually found their menu online and it does have some veggie options that have bean curd products. So, thanks for everyone's input and I'll report back on how it goes.