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Dim Sum Layover

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We have a 5 hour layover for an international flight at SFO (probably more like 3 1/2 after check-in). Would someone be so kind as to suggest were we might be able to get some great dim sum on a Friday late-morning that we could reach by public transit from SFO? We are willing to head into the City on BART, if need be, but I also remember having great dim sum in San Bruno a few years back. Suggestions much appreciated!

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  1. You're in luck. It's a less-than-5-minute hop from the International Terminal to Millbrae on BART. Millbrae has a number of good dim sum venues; I'll leave it to others to debate which one is best, or you can search. I think they are all walkable from the Millbrae BART station.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Xiao Yang

      HK Flower Lounge and Fook Yuen are within walking distance. Does The Kitchen serve dim sum? If so then it is also within walking distance.

    2. My best friend swears that the Hong Kong Flower Lounge in San Bruno, is the best in the Bay Area. I'm too lazy to drive down there to find out.

      I personally like Yank Sing on Spear Street, in downtown SF, about a 2 block walk from the Embarcadero BART station.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tanglenet

        Hong Kong Flower Lounge is in Millbrae, not San Bruno. It's better than Yank Sing -- it's as high quality, less expensive, and it's more ... I hate to use the word "authentic" but it really is.

        To answer the question "is it walkable?" for BART, the answer is a resounding "yes" -- it's just across the street, in fact, from the Millbrae BART station.

      2. Hong Kong Flower Lounge in Millbrae is my favorite dim sum in the Bay Area and it is easily accessible from SFO.

        We have eaten there several times before flights out. Anytime we have notified the staff -- "we're catching a flight we will need to be done & paid by xx o'clock" -- they have been very accommodating.

        1. Thanks for the quick and numerous responses. The Hong Kong Flower Lounge sounds great and would allow us to have a leisurely meal as opposed to watching the clock on a trek to the City.

          1. Millbrae has by far the best geographic concentration of high quality dim sum in the Bay Area so even if you were not coming from SFO you'd probably be advised to go there. I suspect Hong Kong Flower Lounge is not at the top of most Chowhounds list, though, since as the most longstanding of the bunch perhaps its time has passed. First prize may go to Zen Peninsula, the Kitchen or Asian Pearl, all on El Camino Real in Millbrae. But you certainly won't go wrong at any of the places mentioned here.

            1. HKFL and Fook Yuen and The Kitchen are all on El Camino Real, all very close to the BART station. Zen Peninsula, which IMO is the best dim sum place in Millbrae, is a bit of a hike (about 3/4 mile north of Millbrae BART, also on El Camino Real), but if you're going to eat a lot of dim sum and are about to sit on an airplane for umpteen hours, that might be a good thing.

              1. All of the previous answers are correct - go HKFL! I would dis-recommend Fook Yuen, as I had a good meal there once, and poorly prepared meals twice. FY is at its best when the ladies are circulating at lunch, and you 'em straight out of the kitchen.

                BUT - here's my contribution - don't forget the dim sum directly in the terminals. This, perhaps, could tide you over should your incoming get delayed and you worry about getting out to Millbrea. That would be Fung Lum, in C terminal and in north court international. The yelp reviews are "mixed", but I've had some above average dim sum there. A little greasy, somewhat cold, but better than a poke in the eye.

                Trekking to Millbrea is certainly the answer - it will be quick and easy, and the dim sum not-to-be-beat. "Right across from the station" is slightly optimistic, as it creates the picture of a quaint station with a resturant across the street. Millbrea station is *huge*, and the streets are very wide. Consider doing a quick look with Google Earth Satellite view and try to check bags in the airport if you're travelling heavy.

                (Ignore the location of the link below - the link system is ignorant of resturants in airport terminals)

                Fung Lum
                San Francisco International Airport, South San Francisco, CA

                6 Replies
                1. re: bbulkow

                  I found Fung Lum to be disturbingly expensive. I know it's the airport, but damn! I think I paid around $5.00 for three terrible har gow. Much better off at Ebisu. The Katsu Curry is tasty and generous. Not cheap (it is the airport), but it's not a rip off.

                  1. re: lexdevil

                    Yeah, I think it was $5 for three little baked bbq pork buns, too. Certainly not worth it if you have time to get off the airport property.

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      Yeah, I also had three steamed pork buns and the dough was waterlogged. Gross.

                    2. re: lexdevil

                      Harbor Village KItchen is also a better option than Fung Lum for quality and quantity at a reasonable price (for the airport), but with the time NickZ has to kill there's no real reason NOT to hop over to Millbrae.

                      1. re: lexdevil

                        I agree - I often get a single dim sum at Fung Lum, and get a bowl of noodles at Ebisu. Make mine the tempura-don!

                        1. re: bbulkow

                          You guys are awesome! Millbrae it shall be. Thanks.