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Where to go for dim sum on Saturday morning in San Francisco?

One more question. I want delicious dim sum in SF! We are traveling with kids and staying downtown. I know that there's a great place in Richmond, Ton Kiang, but that's a long haul. I have my eye on Yank Sing, but is it kid-friendly? Anywhere in Chinatown not to miss out on? We are overwhelmed by options and want to eat well!

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  1. I always see families with kids at the Rincon branch of Yank Sing on the weekend. Make a reservation.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I'd second Yank Sing. Ton Kiang's nice, but I did not discern any significant difference in standards between their dim sum items and Yank Sing's.

        1. All Chinese restaurants are kid-friendly, since dining out is very much a family affair for Chinese families. Yank Sing can be expensive, though, so it might not be too wallet friendly if your kids pick some high-priced items off the carts.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Sometimes expense has it's perks. There is a lot of cheap dim sum but it is the stale whack and serve type of bakery/counter dim sum. It can be good but you have to get up at 6 in the morning.

            When dumplings sit too long in the steamer/warmer trays they get stale. Getting proper hot fresh dumplings can well be worth the extra price.

            1. re: DillMuncher

              There's a huge middle ground between cheap bakery dim sum and Yank Sing, where it's easy to run up a tab of over $30 a person if you're not careful.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Quality has it's price...Cheap bakery dim sum can be good if you get up early for the hot and fresh stuff.

                Still 30$ a person is not all that bad...But I could probably eat 50$ Myself. I love dumplings.

                1. re: DillMuncher

                  How do you say fresser in Cantonese?

                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                  To me $30 for dim sum for one doesn't seem like that much at all, even if I am more familiar with current Mid-West prices. Perhaps it's the amount of food that I like to have to be satisfied when I have dim sum?

                3. re: DillMuncher

                  Ruth's right, there are cheap dim sum places and dumpling shops where everything's fresh and hot.

                  I think Yank Sing's worth the higher cost because the quality is higher. I spend not much over $20 a head unless somebody I'm with still wants one or more of the expensive specials after I point out the price.

              2. I agree with most everyone here about Yank Sing. Clean restaurant, attentive service, good quality food, nice variety of dishes and kid friendly. As long as the price point is not an issue, this is a good choice for a visitor.

                1. Go to Good Mong Kok take out and buy a huge assortment dirt cheap and delicious. Drive to a view point for the Golden Gate and let kids run around while eating their fill. Make sure you have warm and not so warm clothes!

                  You can probably rent a car for the difference in price between authentic cheap dim sum and Yank Sing.

                  1. I'm firmly in the Yank Sing camp. There are a few pricey dishes (Peking duck, sea bass) that can inflate the tab. I average under $30 when I visit and that includes a beer. The place is very kid friendly. Make a reservation for Saturday morning. Be sure to sit inside.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: steve h.

                      I love Yank Sing and a big bonus is that they take reservations.

                    2. I'll throw in for an alternative to yank sing... While of lesser quality, we've taken our son to New Asia in chinatown for the "cart service" deal for breakfast. (cart service being more fun?). They start around 10 a.m. but it's in Chinatown proper. Some here have derided, so I'll leave it at that... I found it serviceable compared to LA and San Gabriel V dim sim.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cagey

                        Yank Sing has cart service. It is fun.

                      2. A few years ago we started going to House of Banquet on Clement in the Inner Richmond but OP doesn't want that. I just can't do the Yank Sing thing. IMO, unnecessarily expensive. For us. YMMV. For Chinatown, we go to Happy Chinese on Powell nearby Broadway, close to the fire station. It's carts (I prefer menu but that's not so easy to find it seems) and everything is fresh and hot. Their chicken feet are especially good. It's a busy place but we've never had to wait. Dim sum for two is around $15 which I think is the right price.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: c oliver

                          $15 for two is impressively cheap. That's what Y Ben House cost.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            We used to pay less than that when we went to Dal Ho. And House of Banquet is in the same price range. Happy Chinese is very plain. House of Banquet much more tarted up :) Don't get me wrong. I'm not criticizing Yank Sing or those who patronize it. But for me, part of the whole dim sum 'culture,' if you will, is not expensive. And atmosphere counts not at all. Maybe even enhances :) Makes me feel like I'm experiencing something "exotic." Goofy, I'm sure.

                          2. re: c oliver

                            I'm curious what you eat - for two! - for $15!! only. How many dishes, what kind, etc?

                            p.s. I haven't seen you around CH for a while! Good to see your tag back here.

                            1. re: huiray

                              Here's my old post on Happy Chinese in SF Chinatown. As she says, it is very plain, maybe a bit scarey for some. Cash only.

                              The rice noodles used for the soup are steamed in-house. Might be a candidate for checking out cheung fun.

                              1. re: huiray

                                Hey buddy!

                                (Excuse my not using the Chinese names. I know some but not all.) Chicken feet, rice flour rolls with shrimp, har gow, bean curd wrappers stuffed with pork and vegs, etc. It's pretty much we pay at House of Banquet also. Usually five dishes and we roll out of there :) Thanks, kiddo, been on an enforced hiatua. You'll only see me on regional boards.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  Hey there!

                                  Thanks for the info, that explains it. I guess I just eat more gluttonously. :-)

                            2. Went to House of Banquet yesterday. Amused to realize it used to be King of China, a fine, inexpensive dim-sum place I frequented regularly in the 1980s when I lived in the hood. Other than the fact that the cognac bar has disappeared, it's still excellent, still inexpensive. Two of us ate ravenously for $27. Check it out. We were there on a Saturday. People online say it's cheaper on weekdays. This is your cavernous Hong Kong-style dim-sum place, easily seating several hundred people. Service was pretty good.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: emu48

                                Glad you checked it out and liked it. Cavernous indeed :) I guess that accounts for the very big selection on the carts and how hot things stay. We were there a couple of months ago with a visiting CH and had the eggplant stuffed with shrimp paste. Though we picked it from the cart, she took it back to the kitchen to reheat. Perfect.

                                1. re: emu48

                                  I remember King of China -- I think it was the first place I had dim sum -- maybe 1981? Wasn't it a Russian restaurant for a while?