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Sep 10, 2007 10:59 AM

Soup Dumplings in San Diego?

On a recent trip to New York, I was introduced to the wonderful world of Soup Dumplings. I don't know what it is about them, but they have haunted my dreams ever since. Is there anywhere in San Diego (or maybe even south OC?) that has them? My friends tell me there are a few places in LA, but I am crossing my fingers that these tasty delights might be available somewhere in town.

*crosses fingers*

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  1. Shanghai City and Chin's on weekend mornings, plus a fairly well hidden place on Mira Mesa west of the 805 that brings down frozen ones from LA for sale. Shanghai city is probably the better for xiao long bao, plus their niu rou mein is great. Had some Saturday, despite the heat outdoors.
    Kirk reviews all of the above on
    You can get crab XLB and better ones around LA or in SF, but those are your options in SD. Gary Soup is a great reesource on the topic, if you can travel.

    6 Replies
    1. re: trentyzan

      Dumpling Inn on Convoy also has XLB, but it's nothing to write home about...

      (Love the XLB I had on numerous occasions at Joe's Shanghai in NYC; also good were some XLB I had twice at a tiny Shanghai hole-in-the-wall in the SGV (San Gabriel Valley) area, but unfortunately I forgot their name...)

      1. re: cgfan

        Was the SGV place Dragon Mark, Mei Long Village or J & J possibly?

        1. re: trentyzan

          From memory it was named something like "Shanghai Snack Cafe". Very (very) hole-in-the-wall; only found out about it from an in-law (who grew-up in the Shanghai area) who picked up on a review of it from the local Chinese press. It may have been on Valley Blvd. in San Gabriel.

          (A bit off topic but going back to the aforementioned Joe's Shanghai in NYC, it's frequently overrun w/crowds ever since a review about their XLB appeared in the New York Times. When I was last reviewing the Chinatown area on Google Map's Street View I had to laugh out loud when I saw that, sure enough, Google's cameras had picked up on their ever-present line of people waiting outside...)

          1. re: cgfan


            Shanghai Snack Bar
            534 E Valley Blvd
            San Gabriel, CA 91776
            (626) 280-4676

            1. re: trentyzan

              Thanks for the info. Would love to hear a report if you go!

              1. re: trentyzan

                Shanghai Snack Bar closed about 5 years ago. However, Dragon Mark, Mei Long Village and J & J are still around and many people prefer these to the more famous Din Tai Fung in Arcadia.

      2. I have found Dumpling Soup to be a weekly craving. There are many pho shops in the Mira Mesa Blvd, but this is the only place that recommends the Dumpling soup to all first time diners. You can read about this tresure of a restaurant at

        You will find it better then you will expect.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nutrition

          I think the OP is asking for xiao long bao, which is different than what you describe in your link.

        2. Are you asking about xiao long bao, or tang bao? I've had tang bao in China, where it's a bun that is is completely filled with soup with little bits of meat in it. I think they make it by freezing the soup so it is a jelly then steaming it.

          If there's a place for tang bao in california, that would be sooooo wonderful.

          1 Reply
          1. re: iblunk

            I'm sure if you look around on Convoy you'll be able to find a place which serves tang bao. I honestly have never looked but it has to be offered some where.

          2. I had the soup dumplings (xiao long bao) just today at the Dumpling Inn. They were done perfectly and my friends and I enjoyed them tremendously even if they did raise the price to $8 for 10. It was well worth the wait to get a seat in this small hole in the wall restaurant with great food.

            1. Dumpling Inn is very good as many write in. I would like to add: Dede's Tea Juice also on Convoy.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Victor Lieberman

                They have soup dumplings at Dedes? Or are you just saying that you recommend them?

                1. re: mliew

                  Sorry for the late reply. But I wanted to use this opportunity to say that Dede's Tea Juice City has changed hands and we no longer go there. The soup dumplings 'were' amazing but now they are only adequate. The dumpling house has the best I've had in San Diego