Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Feb 26, 2009 09:54 AM

Need hours open for dim sum Chinatown

We're taking friend from NH with kids to Chinatown for dim sum. We're all on vacation during the next 2 weeks, and if there are any decent places open we'd like to go DURING the week.
We usually go on weekends but it's crowded and hard to wait with kids, and I've only ever eaten dim sum on a weeknight at Empire/Emperor's Garden before.

Do you go often enough, and recently, that you could tell me what hours the dim sum places are open, and if they have carts or order off menu?

That will help us decide when to go. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I believe that most of the DIm Sum restaurants serve dim sum from approx. 10 AM-3 PM. The better large dim sum houses in Chinatown with carts are Hei La Moon, China Pearl and Chau Chau City. Across the street from China Pearl is a small restaurant named Winsor Cafe, which does not have carts, only serves dim sum, and serves dim sum all day from 9 AM-10 PM. Many like Winsor because the dim sum is cooked to order. If you want excellent dim sum and are not restricted to Chinatown, Gitlo's in Allston serves up excellent dim sum all day and night, starting around 11:30 AM. Gitlo's is small, cooks everything to order and has no carts.

    5 Replies
    1. re: bakerboyz

      My favorite is Chau Chow City....but as a pescatarian, I have more options there since they have ALOT of seafood dim sum. MMMMMM, I may need to go soon......

      1. re: Science Chick

        And, BTW, to answer the OP's initial request, both China Pearl and Chau Chow have carts. I believe Hei la Moon is menu dim sum (I've not been, but I recall reading that on past posts)

      2. re: bakerboyz

        Actually, China Pearl and Hei La Moon both open at 8:30am, but items are pretty limited when you go that early. 10:30 or 11am is a much better time to go.

      3. if they enjoy soup(filled) dumplings (xiao long bao), you can get one of the better versions in Boston at Jo Jo Taipei in Allston anytime after 11:30am every day

        3 Replies
        1. re: barleywino

          Does Jo Jo Taipei have dim sum??!!!! What an exciting possibility!

          1. re: Science Chick

            Not really, as far as I know. They do have soup dumplings as part of their regular menu, and I think a couple of other kinds of dumplings and small dishes, but not really dim sum. For Taiwanese dim sum it's worth a visit to Chun Shing Yuan in Newton or Shangri-La in Belmont. Both are order-off-a-menu; I don't know hours for Shangri-La, but Chun Shing Yuan opens at 11:30 (or is it 11:45?) and can be very very crowded.

            1. re: Allstonian

              the hours for taiwanese brunch at shangri-la are 11:30 am - 2:30 pm on saturday and sunday. it is also very very crowded

        2. Does it have to be Chinatown? Because Gitlo's serves dimsum 11am -10:30pm everyday and I've never had a wait. The scallop shuimai is the best!

          4 Replies
          1. re: gltsoi

            I think the original poster is looking for the dim sum experience with the carts etc.. So i would say the best choices would be Hei La Moon, Chau Chau City or China Pearl. Some great food at the other places mentioned but you dont get the whole experience nor do you get all the typical cantonese items many associate with dimsum..

            On another note, (sorry for the hijack) gltsoi i just looked at your blog and im in shock that you wrote up sichuan garden in woburn as a ok typical americanized chinese food place. What a shame.. This is one of the top/only 3-4 authentic Sichuan restraunts in Massachusetts!!

            1. re: hargau

              Sichuan Garden is americanized chinese if you order the typical american know, general gao's chicken, orange beef, kung pao shrimp, etc. ;-)

              It's like ordering pizza at a sicilian restaurant...what crappy american italian pizza.... :-O

              1. re: Spike

                Thanks everyone for the details on carts and hours. They really do want to go to Chinatown for the kids to experience it again (they are adopted from China). We'll wander around the herb shops, junk shops, get pearl bubble tea, eat dim sum etc.

                I do love Chau Chow City and having lived in Taiwan for a while, the Shangri-La and Chung Shin Yuan are faves despite the long waits for a table.

                As for myself, I appreciate the info on the other places where I somehow haven't been yet (mostly since we moved to NH 10 years ago and only go back to old favorites in Boston! ), like Hei La Moon across the frontage road and Gitlo's and JoJo Taipei in Allston etc. Look forward to trying them.

              2. re: hargau

                You have an excellent point. We were having a quick lunch and they only handed us the lunch specials menu, so I didn't even see any other options. I'll have to give it another try, next time I'm in the area. There's another post about Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica futher back in the blog and I quite liked their dan dan noodles.

                That said, please don't think I'm looking down on American Chinese food. I'm a Cantonese girl that loves a good pupu platter.


            2. 2 thumbs up for winsor dim sum dim sum in town and theyre open all day everyday for it

              1 Reply
              1. re: givemefoodnow

                Well, we haven't found a date we can take our friends with kids, but talking about the dim sum so much (and an ICA exhibit) made us go to Boston last weekend! We tried the Hei La Moon (after i figured out where the heck it is on the other side of the surface rd in that alley, no signs visible from the street I could see, it was frustrating and we had to backtrack a few times to figure it out).
                I thought it was excellent, fresh and tasty. The carts could have come around more often. By the time we were full and saw some carts twice, I walked around the room and saw all sorts of stuff that never reached us.
                The shrimp dumplings were excellent, the crystal wrappers perfect texture and the shrimp good quality. I love Chinese chives, but I've never had chive dumplings with the crystal glutinous wrappers before, they always go with the wheat flour wrappers, but it was good. The siu mai were among the best I've had, good combo of pork and shrimp with nice mushroom flavor. The red bean filled flat round glutinous cakes were fantastic being lightly panfried to take the edge off the stickiness, and lotus seed buns and char siu bao BBQ pork buns were perfectly steamed and soft with good fillings. I was impressed with the quality of ingredients and the proper preparation. The turnip cakes and lots of other stuff looked great, but with only two of us, I already ended up taking leftovers home so couldn't try everything.
                Since we could park in the garage with the parking discount and go to Cmart, it was a perfect stop. I might just take the friends and kids there since it is so convenient.

                For just us next time, I'll try your other recs where we can order from menu such as Winsor and JoJo or Gitlo's.