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Mar 2, 2011 11:15 AM

Where to go for Dim Sum?

I'll be visiting Vancouver later this month (from NYC) and want to know where the best place to have Dim Sum is. I'm staying downtown, so anything nearby is a plus. I've heard of Kirin - thoughts? Thanks in advance!

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  1. Hope you get some suggestions, I'd be interested to hear them. I'll also be in Vancouver in mid March and am considering either Kirin or Sun Sui Wah, leaning towards Kirin based on earlier comments from some Vancouver hounds. But that's not set in stone and Sun Sui Wah still sounds appealing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: curiousgeo

      I won't be there until 3/29, so let me know what you discover!

    2. The best dim sum in Vancouver is found in the suburb of Richmond, where the airport is located.

      From the downtown core, Richmond can be reach very efficiently on the Canada Line Sky Train system. It takes about 15 minutes, and costs $3.75 per trip. My recommendation are:
      Jade Seafood Restaurant (closest skytrain stop Lansdowne) &
      Sea Harbour (closet skytrain stop Aberdeen centre) are good choices.

      I listed two links that will help you research dim sum and Chinese food in Richmond:

      There's not a lot of choice in the downtown core for dim sum. Kirin is not a bad choice if you don't want to travel outside of the downtown core. Kirin is a chain with I think 5 locaitons, the downtown location is found on Alberni street.

      Here are two reviews for dim sum in the downtown, including one for Kirin.

      Sun Sui Wah is not located downtown and has 2 locations (vancouver & Richmond). The Vancouver location on Main Street is maybe a 10 minute drive from the downtown core. The last time I went to the Main street location I wasn't impressed. It's still serves good dim sum but I feel it has a lost a step in comparison to the other Richmond dim sum restaurants.

      The Jade Seafood Restaurant
      8511 Alexandra Rd, Richmond, BC V6X1C3, CA

      7 Replies
      1. re: moyenchow

        Interesting write ups on Kirin and Victoria moyenchow. Victoria was actually the first dim sum restaurant we visited in Vancouver. Previously we always went to cart restaurants, Victoria was our first menu experience. I remember their spring rolls and siu mai being excellent. Thanks.

        1. re: curiousgeo

          Curiousgeo are you looking for push cart dim sum? You might have a hard time finding push cart dim sum in Vancouver; they are a dying breed of dim sum restaurants.

          A fellow Vancouver chowhounder, grayelf, keeps an updated list of push cart dim sum if you are interested. (

          1. re: moyenchow

            No, I was just saying that prior to eating at Victoria (at least 10 years ago), all of our dim sum experiences had been from carts up to then. We'll be at the Hyatt so we may very well eat at Victoria again since it's so close. Sun Sui Wah, Victoria, Kirin, head down to Richmond? Dim sum lovers are lucky to have such a large array of choices in Vancouver!

          1. re: moyenchow

            Thanks so much. I may try to have dinner at one of the Richmond restaurants after leaving the airport, before heading downtown. I wasn't sure how long it would take me to get back into Richmond, but you make it sound easy!

            Do you have any other 'must try' restaurant recommendations for Vancouver?

            1. re: moyenchow

              Have you been to Jade and Kirin for dinner? Would your recco's be different?

              1. re: nawlinsnewyawk

                For dinner I would highly recommend traveling to Richmond or perhaps the recommended Good Choice Restaurant. I think Jade is a solid choice for both dim sum and dinner.

                I've never had dinner at the Kirin downtown but my parents attended a wedding banquet last summer there and were not impressed.

                Also keep in mind that the Kirin downtown specializes in Northern Chinese cuisine. There are better Northern Chinese Restaurants in Richmond.

                The Jade is Cantonese Cuisine.

                As for other recommendations, Vancouver does seafood & Japanese food well (along with Chinese but we covered that)
                In downtown I would recommend:
                -Blue Water for their sushi, oysters and sable fish. It's pricey but very good.

                -Miku for their Aburi Sushi

                -Japadog It's tasty. However in the end it's just a fancy hotdog but it was promoted on NBC during the Olympics so it might be worth it just to say you had it.

                -Within 3 blocks of the intersection of Robson & Denman, you'll find Vancouver's best Ramen shops (Santouka, Kintaro, Benkei & Motomachi) and Izakaya (Guu with Garlic, Kingyo & Zakkushi)

                Hope that helps you fill out your meals while in our city.

            2. While it may not be a big dim sum palace like many of the main places recommended, there is a small place which is a good choice too. Ironically it is called "Good Choice Restaurant" and is located at 6007 Fraser - which you can reach by public transit from downtown or easily by car as well.

              It is a smaller restaurant, but their seafood is very fresh and they have good cooking skills. I've been really happy with almost everything I have had there.

              7 Replies
              1. re: YVRChow

                Thanks. I read positive things about that place. I won't have a car, and since I'm not familiar with Vancouver's transit options, I wasn't sure how easy it would be to get there.

                1. re: nawlinsnewyawk

                  I second (or is it third?) Good Choice. But if transit is an issue, Kirin on Alberni is a solid choice. Consider Richmond's dim sum as moyenchow posted above. It is very easy to get to some of the top places by skytrain on the Canada Line. It only takes about 25 mins straight from downtown.

                  1. re: fmed

                    I don't know if it's a must try but I've had some outstanding pork dishes (crispy pata, sisig) at Pin Pin which happens to be very close to Good Choice. You may well have better Pinoy food in NY however. Must tries in downtown Vancouver are few and far between IMO as we just don't seem to have any really stunning, unique restos in that area. Vij's is often mentioned as a unique, must try sort of place but again it is not downtown.

                    FWIW if you're really keen to try Good Choice, it is one bus (the number 8) from Cordova and Seymour if that is near your hotel and will take 20-25 mins, which is about the same as travelling to Richmond for dimsum, though you may have to walk a little for the latter to/from the Skytrain station.

                    Here is the link to the Vancouver and burbs transit system so the OP can make up his own mind and we can stay on topic :-)

                  2. re: nawlinsnewyawk

                    I just re-read your handle, NLNY, love it !

                    Email me with any transit questions, I worked there for 15+ years at:


                  3. re: YVRChow

                    Is the dim sum available all week, or just weekends?


                    1. re: uhockey

                      Good Choice has dim sum all week from 8:30 am IIRC. They have some great dishes there but some disappointing ones too (most of the usual steamed suspects are sub par and we had some really egregious clams recently). If you order carefully you can eat very well. Don't miss the sampan rice.

                  4. Anyone here been to Golden Ocean Seafood at 41st and Maple? My HK friends love this place and there's often a line up. I hear their duck tongue is one of the best in the city. I don't often go for dim sum due to Sunday morning laziness but this on the top of my list due to proximity and purported deliciousness.

                    Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant
                    2046 W 41st, Vancouver, BC V6M1Y8, CA

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: barcosbarcos

                      Golden Ocean is my go-to for solid, reliable dimsum in the city. We've been going there for years. You will not be blown away by anything but you will have tasty snacks :-). And once in a while you will get something unusual eg this was the first place I was served durian pastry. Their almond shrimp balls are a favourite too. And if you go before 11 am you get 20 per cent off. Plus they have carts (that is a plus for me anyway). Do report back if you go.

                      1. re: grayelf

                        Do they do dim sum all week? or just weekends?
                        Is it crowded every day or only on weekends?

                        1. re: islandgirl

                          Every day, more crowded on weekends! They do take resos which I recommend, and you get 20 percent off before 11 IIRC.

                          1. re: grayelf

                            Anyone have any experience with Yan's Garden by the Lougheed SkyTrain station?

                              1. re: Tinfoilhat

                                That's Stephen Yan's old place (remember him?). I haven't been there in a very long time.

                                1. re: fmed

                                  Used to watch him on CBC when I was a teen, also watched James Barber and Pasquale Carpino (remember he used to sing while cooking ?)

                                  Good comebacks from Stephen to Letterman :-)


                                  1. re: fmed

                                    I've gone 3 or 4 times since I asked the question. Not bad at all. The service is fine, and some items, shrimp dumplings with pea shoots for example were outstanding.

                        2. If you get to Victoria try Don Mees. The Jade Palace is long gone unfortunately. There are other DS restaurants in Victoria but Don Mees alway serves, on carts, the most consistent dishes. IMO. I first went there in the late sixties. Usually I was the only 'non-Asian'. That was when the table cloths were white plastic. The Chinese regulars would spite their pork bones etc onto the tablecloth. When the meal was finished a worker would simply lift the table cloth up by four corners with all the dishes etc contained therein and carry it to the kitchen. Under neath was a new white plastic table cloth waiting for another worker to set the table. Pretty efficient.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Puffin3

                            We went once and really enjoyed watching them clear the tables with the plastic tabble clothes. Fast and efficient!


                            1. re: Puffin3

                              THe Jade Fountain in the Red Lion Hotel is also very good in Victoria and serves on carts.

                              1. re: islandgirl

                                Yeah the Jade Fountain is good but way too busy. The line ups on the weekend aren't worth the wait.