HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


Best place for Dim Sum? {also Sushi, San Francisco]

..will be in SF in a couple weeks and looking for suggestions; also sushi, thanks!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Recent Sushi Thread:

    Recentish Dim Sum Thread (be aware that the within SF city limits dim sum restaurants have been slowly fading - Yank Sing is on the pricey side but is probably the most consistent):

    Recent Dumpling Thread:

    If you have further questions, let us know.

        1. re: pinotho

          Is one location better then the other?

          1. re: Bayareafoodiei

            Quality's the same. Selection might be bigger at Rincon, which has validated parking, free on weekends and $4 on weekdays.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Thanks, we are vacationers and will be eating there next Thursday or Friday afternoon.

              1. re: Bayareafoodiei

                I always go to the Rincon location (Spear/Mission). They take reservations, close at 3 or 4. Best to go no later than 1 because they start running out of things. Sit inside, not in lobby part, because carts cruise there first after exiting the kitchen. I always get the shrimp dumplings. Don't get too much at a time since they keep coming by with fresh stuff.

                Yank Sing is worth the extra cost. It's twice as good as The Kitchen and Ton Kiang and Asian Pearl.

                If you're willing to take a streetcar (L Taraval) go to Dumpling Kitchen,
                1925 Taraval (bet. 29th & 30th Ave) -- closed on Wed. Terrific soup dumplings (# 1), and # 8 is my favorite: steamed pork dumplings with chili oil. Delicious food, generous portions, small price. (They don't close between lunch and dinner!)

            2. re: Bayareafoodiei

              The Stevenson Street shop works if you're a FiDi week-day worker bee. It's fast and tasty. Rincon Center gets the weekend nod from me since it's the Mother Ship and, more importantly, attached to the beautiful old post office. You can do a lot worse than enjoying dim sum on Saturday/Sunday morning at the Rincon Center.

              1. re: steve h.

                I'd call Stevenson the mothership. Yank Sing moved there in 1974 from its second Broadway location. They opened a second location on Battery in 1981. They opened Rincon 1999 because the Battery building was sold and they lost their lease. For a couple of years they had all three locations.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Genetically, perhaps (I wasn't aware of the chronology).
                  Rincon is now the mothership.

        2. If you are looking for:

          decent, unadventurous dim sum in a nice environment with good service and prices to match: Yank Sing at Rincon or Ton Kiang

          basic affordable dim sum near Chinatown: City View

          dim sum near attractions at Golden Gate Park: South Sea Seafood Village

          hard core dim sum with a huge wait in the City: Hong Kong Lounge

          hard core dim sum with a huge wait that needs a car: Koi Palace

          dim sum near the airport: Hong Kong Flower Lounge or the Kitchen or Asian Pearl (furthest from airport, but IMO least MSG)

          11 Replies
          1. re: sfbing

            Yank Sing's better than Koi Palace and no less adventurous or hardcore.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              There is no tripe at Yank Sing. There is no ngau jaap, or beef offal mix. There is no pork's blood. There are no shark fin soup dumplings. There aren't any lava buns. There aren't even custard buns. There aren't chicken feet, neither steamed or pickled. There are no chiu chow dumplings. There is no pigs feet. There is no jellyfish. There is no daikon cake or taro cake. There are no steamed meat balls or spareribs. They have no cheung fun, which is an entire dim sum station by itself. Nor can you order ala carte noodle/soup/rice dishes to pad out your meal which most dim sum places usually have. Also, I haven't seen the (uncommon in other dim sum restaurants) lobster dumpling, goldfish dumpling, chicken lotus root cake, or curried chicken turnover described on their menu.


              1. re: sfbing

                Yank Sing has cheung fun (one of my regular items), jellyfish, chicken feet, custard buns, meatballs, spare ribs, and a few kinds of noodles. No taro cake (which I thought really sucked at Koi Palace) or daikon cake, but the best turnip cake and taro dumplings. I've had the curry chicken turnovers though I don't recommend them.

                Unimpressed by Koi Palace: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5843...

                1. re: sfbing

                  No sure how current this Yank Sing menu is, but it has a bunch of the items that you say don't exist.
                  Plus you can order items a la carte that are not on the menu. Take their beef or seafood chow mein, for instance. It will set you back $15-20, but you have to know that you can order it since it's considered a special order.

                  1. re: nocharge

                    Sorry--apparently you can get some of the things I listed (although still not much offal). I still maintain that the selection is significantly limited compared to Hong Kong Lounge and the big places outside of the city.

                    Robert-that turnip cake is probably daikon cake. And the steamed daikon cake at Koi Palace makes special for New Year's is killer.

                2. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Yank Sing is not better than K.P. in my opinion. And the menu is very tame not to mention overpriced.

                  1. re: chefj

                    To the Original Poster, to be clear Koi Palace is NOT in San Francisco but to the South. It's about a 15 minute drive without traffic (depending where you are).

                    Yank Sing benefits from still having carts, having good service, and seating people in an orderly way within an hour of approaching (even on weekends at peak times). Also depending on where you are staying, Yank Sing is closer to Union Square/Financial District/SOMA .

                    If you don't need the above things, or have plenty of Dim Sum where you are at, maybe Hong Kong Lounge for the more exotic. As a visitor, however, it may be more hassle than its worth if you just need the basics.

                    1. re: goldangl95

                      Agreed, it just the statement of opinion as fact that bugs me.
                      I was not replying to the OP
                      My pick in the city would Mayflower on Geary at 27th?
                      Seating is orderly, tray service and great variety without being silly i.e. curry flavor dumplings with yellow wrappers or "lobster" dumplings with almost no lobster and reddish wrappers.
                      Servers are friendly, very good quality and fairly priced.

                      1. re: chefj

                        It's common for people here to phrase their opinions as statements of fact. You just did so yourself.

                3. re: sfbing

                  City View is better than basic. Also better than Ton Kiang.

                  And for the sake of completeness I'll add:

                  S&T Seafood on Noriega at 33rd, my regular spot, which is always excellent and inexpensive. Not as stellar as Asian Pearl in Millbrae, my favorite in that area. Not convenient for tourists unless you're going to Golden Gate Park or the Zoo.

                  Tai Wu on the hill in Daly City is fun and excellent. Always crowded, requires a car.

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

                  S&T Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant
                  2578 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                  Tai Wu/Mr. Fong
                  950 King Plz, Daly City, CA 94015

                  1. re: Windy

                    +1 for City View in the chinatown area.

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

                4. I found this link, which you might find helpful since it provides a short description, pics, and most useful of all, ADDRESSES.


                  1. Thanks for all the suggestions, y'all! I believe we are staying in the Financial District (Hyatt Regency)... Any other restaurant, bars, must-see and/or fun things to do suggestions are welcome!! I am so looking forward to the trip!!!!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Lillieintexas

                      The Hyatt Embarcadero is an excellent location: street cars, busses, cable cars, BART, etc. are all at your doorstep, not to mention walking to the Ferry Plaza, Yank Sing and so on. You've hit a mass-transit home run. Buy a Muni Passport at the Ferry Plaza and the whole city will be your oyster (London mass transit pun intended).

                        1. re: wolfe

                          Yes, but an Oyster Card lends order and dignity to what otherwise would be a bloody transit brawl.

                          Lillie should know that Perbacco/Barbacco are well within walking distance of the Hyatt. Tadich and all of Belden Place, too. Over to Jackson Square is Cotogna. Walking to Bix is not a stretch. Lunch, upstairs in the bar at Epic Roasthouse, has views and good value, Waterbar, next door, has a zinc bar with views. Pier 23 has drinks, music and a honky-tonk vibe. House of Shields is a loud bar with history. The list goes on.

                        2. re: steve h.

                          The Ferry Building/Plaza that Steve H. mentioned has an awesome Farmers Market on Saturdays before 1 pm. Great way to experience California produce and walking distance from where you are staying.

                      1. Anyplace in Milpitas with dim sum worthy of comparison to the better SF/Millbrae spots?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: maigre

                          Mayflower on Geary that's been mentioned has an outpost in Milpitas in the 99 Ranch strip mall.

                          1. Yank Sing is overpriced and not good. To that, skip dim sum in anywhere close to chinatown or financial district. Have had dim sum everywhere in this city, almost every metro city in US, Canada and southern China/HK.

                            Busiest convenient good place is Hong Kong Lounge on Geary, best place/most consistent is S&T (also filled with the most SF Chinese regulars). Best place south of city is The Kitchen in Millbrae. Safe and popular bet is Koi Palace in Daly City.

                            Some other decent or places in SF: South Seas, Mayflower,
                            Avoid: Yank Sing, Ton Kiang

                            There are some variations on dim sum styles as well between restaurants and province styles, but thats another story for another day.

                            1. Really this topic has been discussed to death on these boards and every one has their personal favorites and many restaurants excel at some item and fall down on others. Here are just a few links to the other threads addressing Dim Sum.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: chefj

                                Old topics become less useful as places come and go or their quality goes up or down. For example, Y Ben House has closed, Hong Kong Flower Lounge went downhill, and Hong Kong Lounge improved after changing hands in 2008. About the only thing that's constant is that people who don't eat at Yank Sing or Ton Kiang have a lot to say about them.

                                  1. re: chefj

                                    The difference being that the opinion of those who frequent a restaurant are more valid than those who don't!

                                    1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                      I did not ask what the difference was. Nor did I ask about what robert though about constants in dim sum restaurants in the bay area.

                                      1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                        How so? Repeat patrons are by definition people who like a restaurant. People who dislike a restaurant are unlikely to return many times unless someone else insists on going there.

                                        I've eaten at Yank Sing too many times--and still find it overrated and overpriced.

                                        1. re: Windy

                                          Since you have experienced a restaurant..a review from you, whether positive or negative would hold more value than one from someone who has never...or not recently visited a restaurant.

                                          1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                            How do you know when a poster or how ofter they have been to a place unless they state it?

                                    2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      All the treads listed were less than a year old except one.

                                    1. re: wolfe

                                      The owner of The Kitchen in Millbrae bought Asian Pearl about a month ago...

                                      Had dim sum the other day at The Kitchen and found it very good.