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Need recs for great Dim Sum in SF

d
dfwdean Mar 23, 2010 11:11 AM

Staying at a hotel near the Embarcadero, will have a 3-day muni pass, so getting around is no biggie: I need honest to goodness recommendations for great Dim Sum in your fair city. Nothing touristy please, my favorite spots in London, Seatle and Toronto are basement dives under mom-and-pop restaurants in alleys where the food is great, place is full of local workers, English is just an aid to sign language, and prices are reasonable.

So, what you got SF? why and where? and best times to hit them.

  1. t
    Thomas Nash Mar 23, 2010 03:26 PM

    Since you might miss this info buried in the long threads on this subject, let me suggest that you consider taking the BART (easy) out to the Millbrae Station. Just across the street (El Camino Real) is Hong Kong Flower Lounge, certainly one of the better in this area. (Not as good as Koi Palace, but that's hard to reach without a car.) You can also walk down El Camino (toward the city) and you will find several others, including the Kitchen, which are very good.

    For very cheap, in SF Chinatown, and try Y Ben, a huge place, and across Pacific Street, the tiny Dol Ho, which is probably better and with some surprising items. Both places are very authentic and filled with not so well off Chinese patrons. Bring a newspaper to Dol Ho and you will fit in with the old gentlemen reading their paper, just like in Hong Kong.

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    Koi Palace Restaurant
    365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

    Dol Ho
    808 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

    Hong Kong Flower Lounge
    51 Millbrae Ave, Millbrae, CA 94030

    Y Ben House Restaurant
    835 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

    2 Replies
    1. re: Thomas Nash
      Robert Lauriston Mar 23, 2010 04:35 PM

      I don't think Koi Palace makes sense given that the original post refers to mom-and-pop basement dives. It's pretty much the opposite.

      Also, BART to Millbrae is $8.50 round-trip and that ride isn't necessarily the most interesting way to spend an hour and a half of a short visit to SF.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5843...

      -----
      Koi Palace Restaurant
      365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        t
        Thomas Nash Mar 23, 2010 04:52 PM

        The OP criteria was "nothing touristy, please", and mentioned that in other cities dives were favorite places. In our area, there are un-touristy good and interesting places all the way through the cost spectrum. I think that is really special here. So I was giving him choices among dives and more upscale places like HKFL...

    2. c
      Chandavkl Mar 23, 2010 01:56 PM

      Be aware that with the possible exception of the uber expensive Yank Sing, I can't think of any dim sum within the boundaries of the city of San Francisco as being great. (Haven't been to Hong Kong Lounge yet, so I can't opine on that.) As the other threads indicate, you need to travel to the suburbs to experience most of the best dim sum in the Bay Area.

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      Yank Sing
      49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

      Hong Kong Lounge
      5322 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94121

      3 Replies
      1. re: Chandavkl
        s
        sfbing Mar 23, 2010 02:08 PM

        Based on the OP's description of his wants (and the fact that he posts mostly in the Dallas board), I'm guessing that Dol Ho, City View, and Great Eastern would be fine choices.

        That being said, Hong Kong Lounge is my favorite in the city and very affordable, which is not the case with Yank Sing. Koi Palace wasn't cheap the last time I went, either. One thing of note: the dimsum menu at Hong Kong Lounge is very long and they seem to be trying to shorten it. So if there is something you want that is no longer on the menu (duck jaws or frog porridge, for example), you may have to ask.

        In passing, have recently tried Ton Kiang and Mayflower and would not recommend either. Mayflower, in particular, is slipping.

        -----
        Koi Palace Restaurant
        365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

        Dol Ho
        808 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

        Great Eastern Restaurant
        649 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

        City View Restaurant
        662 Commercial St, San Francisco, CA 94111

        Yank Sing
        49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

        Ton Kiang
        5821 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

        Hong Kong Lounge
        5322 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94121

        1. re: sfbing
          c oliver Mar 23, 2010 04:45 PM

          We've been eating at Dol Ho for years but the last year or so we've been going to Happy Chinese

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/693659

          -----
          Dol Ho
          808 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

          Happy Chinese Restaurant
          1326 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94133

          1. re: sfbing
            Pei Mar 24, 2010 09:28 AM

            Second on the vote for Hong Kong Lounge. I usually get out for $15 a person, and that's stuffed to the gills. The downside is that word has gotten out on HKL, so if you go any later than 10:30 you're looking at a 1 hour line on the weekends.

            To put it into perspective, given how close HKL is, we've stopped suggesting our visitors make the trip down to Koi Palace. HKL might not be the exact same experience, but it surpasses most dim sum in both Los Angeles and the Bay Area, and still allows tourists to be convenient to SF attractions after lunch.

            If anyone has any wait-shortening tactics, I'd really appreciate some sharing!

            -----
            Hong Kong Lounge
            5322 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94121

        2. Robert Lauriston Mar 23, 2010 12:57 PM

          Huh, that feature that automatically adds related topics at the bottom seems to have been turned off. Topic 316011 has more info than you could hope for.

          1. n
            Nancy Berry Mar 23, 2010 12:55 PM

            Try these topics:
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/316011
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/693226
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/44941
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/584326

            1 Reply
            1. re: Nancy Berry
              myst Mar 23, 2010 12:57 PM

              Here is the link to Louie's. This is not a cart place (some people care). I actually prefer hot from the kitchen. They give you a checklist. Stuffed Eggplant is particularly good.

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              Louie's California Chinese
              646 Washington Street, San Francisco, CA 94111-2106

            2. myst Mar 23, 2010 12:53 PM

              For non-fancy good, hot, cheap. Try Louies California Chinese. After that Great Eastern. Louies is on Washington/Kearny walking distance from Embarcadero.

              I eat at City View often for business lunches. It is a very clean business lunch type of place definitely not homey hole in the wall.

              -----
              Great Eastern Restaurant
              649 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

              1. Hughlipton Mar 23, 2010 12:42 PM

                I hve been eating dim sum for 50 years. Used to always go to the Yank sing which is still a fine place, but my wife and I have settled on City View as our go to place. There is no view but the food is wonderful and a good variety at reasonable prices. It also puts you virtually in the heart of Chinatown so you can dine on dim sum and then view Chinatown. Not a bad combination.

                -----
                City View Restaurant
                662 Commercial St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                1 Reply
                1. re: Hughlipton
                  Ruth Lafler Mar 23, 2010 12:47 PM

                  I haven't been to City View in years, because I was so turned-off by my experience there (which was that, at least during the week, it's full of and caters to Financial District types who aren't very discerning). Is it different on the weekend?

                  It sounds like the OP might like Dol Ho.

                2. chefj Mar 23, 2010 11:26 AM

                  You should do a search on this board.This topic has been talked to death. You will find that there is much debate on the"best". Good luck!

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