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Aug 15, 2013 10:47 PM

Cart Dim Sum in SF Chinatown

We used to love to go to Y Ben House and were so sorry when it closed. The dim sum was cheap and good and we got to eat with the elderly ladies after their T'ai chi. That was always fun because the ladies were gracious and helpful.

Where do those ladies go now? Anyone know? It'll have to be the best dim sum in Chinatown.

:-) bb

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    1. You know, this is a good question. In the quest for great dim sum, I think we've been ignoring the cheap-but-serviceable dim sum places, some of which probably still have carts. There are lots of places serving dim sum in Chinatown besides the three that get mentioned (Great Eastern, City View and Lai Hong Lounge).

      1. I used to really love Y Ben also. Another place that is much smaller, but seemed to have a similar vibe, is Ocean Pearl on Broadway near Powell. I haven't been in a while, but a quick Internet search says they are still in business.
        (781 Broadway, 397-5799)

        7 Replies
        1. re: Tripeler

          Anyone know anything about Peninsula Seafood? They still have cart service.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            2 years ago i ate here. food is slightly above disgusting. (i.e. dry, tasteless, fatty, but still edible, disgestible)
            on the other hand, if this is ur cup of tea, dive in.

            yes, they have cart service. they also service buses of tourists from taiwan, etc.

            1. re: shanghaikid

              LOL. So much for the "It's full of Chinese so it must be good" theory (which I think we all knew was bunk anyway).

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                the theory has validity but should be refined.

                -are the chinese elderly? the cheap eats crowd.

                -are the customers primarily cantonese speaking/contractor types? also the cheap eats crowd.

                if young, in suits, or mid aged. then the theory holds.

                btw, elderly chinese like/love bland food, they just add salt.

                1. re: shanghaikid

                  Hahaha @ the "cantonese speaking" being cheap eats crowd. I speak Cantonese and have the opposing opinion of "Are these people mainly Mandarin speaking? Then it's no good."

                  Judging by your user name, I think you speak Mandarin or Shanghainese. So I'm just laughing at our own cultural biases :)

                  1. re: bobabear

                    i'm a cantonese speaker. "shanghai kid" was a nickname given to me by cantonese oldsters who thought i was too fair skinned to be a cantonese like them.

                    oh, i do speak mandarin also but not shanghaiese.

            2. re: Ruth Lafler

              I haven't been to Peninsula Seafood, but with Ruth's note, I will add it to the list to try. How is it flying under the radar? I am curious now.
              I do still enjoy Dol Ho, especially now that I blend right in with the seniors at the table.

          2. Our favorite cart dim sum in Chinatown is City View, as it is clean, bustling, and the dim sum is hot. Sometimes it takes the carts some time to make it to our table, but we're generally happy with the offerings.

            2 Replies
            1. re: christinegallary

              City View's very good, but when I go there I feel like I'm in the Financial District, especially when the bill comes.

              1. re: christinegallary

                City View is our go to place as well; every trip to San Francisco. We found the food to be hot, fresh, plentiful and reasonably priced. The carts move around and have a good variety. We try to get there about 11:45 on weekdays and get right in. We also don't mind sitting close to kitchen :o)


                Just read some other posts further down; sad to see that things don't seem to have held up well here. Sad, we thought they were quite good but alas, things change.

              2. Really hoped we'd get more replies to this question.

                Another, Dol Ho has ONE cart. :)

                1 Reply
                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  I like Dol Ho. And there are sometimes elderly ladies there.