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Jan 22, 2014 03:17 PM

Best place for Dim Sum in Chinatown, not touristy [San Francisco]

Looking for a good place to have dim sum that is delicious, clean and not touristy

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  1. City View is good, clean, and I'm pretty sure more patronized by locals than tourists. It's certainly off the beaten path.

    Clean, not touristy, in Chinatown, I'm not sure you can get more than two out of three in the same dim sum place.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I haven't been at City View in years, but when we went, we enjoyed it thoroughly. A hotel concierge recommended it and we found it to have small plates as well as traditional dim sum.

      1. Though it's been a while since I've been, I liked Lai Hong Lounge, which is a bit off the beaten path in SF Chinatown. It can be crowded and there can be a wait, but I don't get the sense that it's a touristy crowd. It was definitely clean.

        Many reports here:

        4 Replies
        1. re: pane

          I guess if you're doing breakfast, you can avoid the long queue by being there early when it opens: 9am on weekends/10am on weekdays.

          1. re: klyeoh

            I consider dim sum to BE breakfast and am usually wherever I go no later than 9. I've eaten as early as 730!

            1. re: c oliver

              Dim sum *is* traditionally breakfast food. There was a dim sum spot in Singapore ("Sin Nam Tong") which opened at 5am, since some shift workers have their breakfast at the time so they could start work at 6am. I don't think my tummy can function yet at *that* time!

              But most dim sum spots in Hong Kong and Singapore (and also in London Chinatown) nowadays only open for lunch.

              1. re: klyeoh

                When I see a place that doesn't open til 10 I know it's not for us.

        2. I second Lai Hong Lounge. Product can vary, but all the steamed things I've had check out, and the baked pork bun is truly unique in my experience. I am not satisfied with any other since. An impossibly thin skin is stretched over an unctuous Cha Shiu filling and ends up with a kind of dutch crunch crust. Wow! Also great stuffed tofu skins. Get the salt and pepper wings, but avoid duck chins and coffee ribs. Stick with the steam and you won't be sorry.

          1. City View or Great Eastern. Both accommodate no chinese speakers fairly well.

            Lai Hong Lounge is ok but slightly less clean and locals focused.

            I made a page with my local Chinese favorites: