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May 10, 2012 01:07 PM

Oakland Chinatown takeout snacks/dim sum recs?

Hello Hounders,

I've been working in downtown Oakland for awhile now and have occasionally explored eating options in Oakland Chinatown, with the idea of finding places where I could pop in and pick up snacks (dumplings, buns, ribs, dim sum and other delicacies) to take out for lunch. I've found a couple places randomly that I have walked into and rather ignorantly picked out a few items, and I have been to Cam Huang many times for their banh mi.

However, I have never done any systematic search to find what places or snacks are particularly worth going to or getting. (Doesn't help that I do not know a word of Mandarin or Cantonese.) I wonder if anyone could give recomendations?

I'll eat most things, but I'd like to find some non-fried snacks and some prepared vegetables in the mix. Cam Huang has prepared items other than banh mi but most look so greasy and the vegetables they have are so overloaded with garlic, I'd prefer to go elsewhere.


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  1. The roast pork and roast duck at New Gold Medal are great. You can get them as a two item thing, or a 3 item thing with the soy sauce chicken (I'd skip the chicken, and ask for extra juices for the duck)

    The pineapple buns at Wonder Food are top notch. There was some talk about old man or old wife cakes here a while back, but they're not to my liking

    2 Replies
    1. re: hyperbowler

      I'll vouch for the old man cakes -- "lao gong bing." They're not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but they're my favorite little pastry snack, a little savory, a little sweet. Reports of the versions at other bakeries haven't been positive, so make sure you get them at Wonder. I've found most of the buns at Wonder Food to be solid.

      For egg tarts, I like Ruby King. Sun Sing for the *baked* roast pork buns. Cafe 88 (in the plaza) also has good roast pig. And I'm a fan of the taro pearl smoothie at Sweet Booth (in the same plaza). At Shan Dong the item to get is the pork and vegetable bun.

      For something more adventurous, try the fried stinky tofu at Spices!3 -- it's decent, if not the best version, and not for everyone, obviously. Don't get it as a takeout item!

      Snacks galore in Chinatown.

      1. re: abstractpoet

        Sum Yee on Webster has a fine example of the "husband" or "old man" cake, and has some things in addition to pastries. Also has a few small tables, so can eat lunch right there. Wonder may be legendary, but I found it a bit hectic for just picking up a quick snack.

    2. Shan Dong for dumplings, certainly.

      1. Shanghai has a counter in the back with cold-plate type items. IIRC the kaofu is pretty good.

        1. Prepared Vietnamese snack trays at Khanh Phong supermarket register. I particularly like the smoked pork rice noodle lettuce rolls. Looks just like the trays at BC Deli but cheaper (only $2.50 for most). Gum Wah for roasted meat (pork, chicken, duck) rice plates. Super Napoleon for baked goods esp egg custards, bolo bao, cocktail buns (filled w sugar and coconut). Sun Hing has a good selection of steamed and cooked items and you can make your own lunch plate for < $5. Tao Yuen is not my favorite for steamed dumplings (too thick) but they have noodles and rice to takeout.

          1. Tao Yuen Pastry on Franklin is good for glutenous dim sum, Sun Hing has good meats, and Sun Sing pastry has good pork buns. Sum Yee pastry has good to go dim sum as well and Cam Huong has decent sandwiches.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jason carey

              Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I'll check them out.