Dim Sum San Francisco: My 10 Favorite Places to Get Dim Sum in SF

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: September 4, 2023

Are you interested in trying dim sum during your visit to San Francisco? Let me help you discover my list of some of the top options in Chinatown and throughout the city.

First, let's start with the basics. What is dim sum? It is Chinese cuisine served in small amounts so that you can order a variety of items for your meal.

Many dishes consist of steamed or fried dumplings, served on small plates in quantities of two or three.

Dim Sum Dishes from restaurants around San Francisco

You will find two types of dim sum restaurants in San Francisco. The first provides you with a paper menu on which you mark all of the items you want to try.

The second type is a little more fun! The server wheels around a cart with different dim sum on it, and you can pick and choose. This is my favorite since you get to see the dishes in front of you before you buy them and point to what you'd like to order.

In my opinion, the best way to eat dim sum is to order four or five plates.

Once you finish those, you can order a few more or maybe even repeat some of your favorites from the first order if you like them.

Since San Francisco is a fairly expensive town to visit, so dim sum offers some of the best food value in the city.

My friends and I can typically eat a full meal and still only pay less than $10 per person (usually, it's only around $5 or $6 per person).

NOTE: Be prepared to bring cash before you sit down and eat. Many of these places do not accept credit cards or traveler's checks.

Now that you know a little more about dim sum, check out this list of my favorite places to enjoy it.

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.


Chinatown Dim Sum

You will find dozens of places to eat dim sum in San Francisco's Chinatown. They are often very small, with only six or seven tables.

These restaurants may look similar from the outside, but there are major differences in ambiance and quality of the food. Here are my five favorite places to eat dim sum in the Chinatown district.

1. Delicious Dim Sum

Delicious Dim Sum SF

Address: 752 Jackson Street

This is my favorite place to grab dim sum in San Francisco. However, it's small and often crowded, so make sure you have a few alternatives in mind.

Delicious Dim Sum is open every day except Wednesday from 8 am to 6 pm.

They accept both credit cards and cash.

2. Good Mong Kok Bakery

Good Mang Kook Bakery

Address: 1039 Stockton Street

This is another one of my personal favorites. It is very reliable and always affordable. It is often crowded, but customers usually take their dim sum to go.

It's open every day from 7 am to 6 pm. They accept cash or credit cards.

3. Wing Sing

Wing Sing Chinatown

Address: 1125 Stockton Street

Wing Sing Dim Sum is another local favorite in the heart of Chinatown. They are open every day from 7 am to 6 pm.

This dim sum San Francisco restaurant only accepts cash.

4. Hang Ah Tea Room

Hang Ah Dim Sum

Address: 1 Pagoda Place

Hang Ah Tea Room claims to be one of San Francisco's oldest dim sum restaurants. I love it because it's small, colorful, and tucked away in a little Chinatown alley!

Open every day from 10:30 am to 9 pm, so this great option if you get some nighttime hankering for dim sum. 

5. Dol Ho

Dol Ho in Chinatown

Address: 808 Pacific Avenue

This is a great spot to enjoy dim sum in San Francisco for lunch. I recommend heading over just after the lunch crowd (1:30 pm to 3 pm). Open every day except Wednesday from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. Dol Ho accepts both cash and credit cards.

Other Chinatown attractions: Fortune Cookie Company | Shopping

>> More great cheap eats around SF

Other Options

You will also find a few good options outside of Chinatown. Many of these places are slightly larger, so they can accommodate parties of more than four or five people.

These are my five favorites outside of Chinatown.

6. Yank Sing

Yank Sing SF

Address: 101 Spear Street (Financial District)

Address: 49 Stevenson Street (SoMa)

Yank Sing is more expensive because they offer higher-end dishes that provide a modern take on traditional dim sum. Due to their locations, they appeal to the working crowd who stop in for lunch near their offices.

Both restaurants are open Wednesday - Friday from 11 am - 3 pm and Saturday - Sunday from 10 am - 3 pm.

Take-out and delivery are available from their Spear Street location until 7 pm every Wednesday - Sunday. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

They accept cash and credit cards.

7. Good Luck Dim Sum

Good Luck Dim Sum in the Richmond

Address: 736 Clement Street (Inner Richmond)

Although it's a bit of a trip to the Inner Richmond district, this is a great option for a more traditional restaurant as there are places to sit here.

Open Wednesday - Sunday from 8 am - 4:30 pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. It's very affordable, but they only accept cash.

8. Wing Lee Bakery

Address: 503 Clement Street (Inner Richmond)

They offer quick service, cheap dim sum, and ready-to-go baked items like pork buns and egg tarts. You can expect very casual service because it is more of a bakery than a restaurant.

They are open Thursday to Tuesday from 8 am - 7 pm. On Wednesdays, they open one hour earlier at 7 am and close at 7 pm. They are cash only.

9. Hong Kong Lounge

Address: 5322 Geary Boulevard (Inner Richmond)

The Hong Kong Lounge offers dim sum as well as many other Chinese dishes. It's a full-service restaurant that accepts credit cards, and stays open a little later than most. It is a bit pricier than the others on this list.

It's a good choice when traveling with a larger group or with children. They are open weekdays from 10:30 am - 2:30 pm and 5 - 8:30 pm. On Saturday and Sunday, the hours are the same except they open at 10 am.

10. Chase Luck Bakery

Address: 1325 Ocean Avenue (Ingleside, on the southern end of SF)

A bit out of the way, but this is a great choice if you want dim sum that is both delicious and cheap. Their dim sum is made fresh to order.

They are open Tuesday - Sunday from 7 am - 6 pm. They are closed on Mondays and only accept cash.

Another Way to Sample Dim Sum in San Francisco

If this all seems a bit overwhelming, and you want a guide to take you to the best dim sum spots around San Francisco, then check out one of the food walking tours around the Chinatown district.

These tours offer you the chance to sample dim sum and other traditional Chinese cuisines. Your knowledgeable guide will tell you more about each dish. You will also learn all about each place where you are eating and the district.

Here are a few options:

Food Walking Tour of Chinatown and North Beach

This four-hour tour offers samples in two of SF's top districts. In Chinatown, you'll sample dim sum, taste teas, and enjoy traditional Chinese food.

You'll then head over to North Beach for Italian goodies, including pizza and wine.

These tours run seven days a week at 2:30 pm, starting at the Chinatown Gate; there may be other times depending on the date. 

Find out more here.

Chinatown Culinary Walking Tour

On this Chinatown walking tour, you will sample local dishes, including dim sum. Enjoy tea tastings; look inside a Buddhist temple; check out Chinese antiquities, relics, and instruments; watch artisans make fortune cookies; and learn about the area.

It's a three-hour tour that runs seven days a week. There is a tour at 10:30 am each day (10 am on Saturdays), and some days may have an additional tour. 

Find tickets for this tour.

Recommendations for First Timers

Dim Sum Options

If this is your first time trying dim sum in San Francisco, here are a few of my favorite dishes that you might enjoy. Classic picks include bao, shumai, and har gow.

  • Steamed buns (bao): This is a fluffy white pastry with meat or veggies inside of it. I usually love pork steamed buns the best.
  • Dumplings: These are smaller with a thin layer of dough around them. They come filled with veggies, meat, or both. The shumai are egg noodle stuffed with pork and shrimp. The har gow are translucent noodle filled with shrimp. 
  • Fried shrimp balls: If you love shrimp, you will love these tasty nuggets. They are often breaded with the shrimp on the inside of it.
  • Potstickers: These are like dumplings, but fried, and usually filled with pork on the inside.

A few other items I enjoy are sticky rice dishes and egg rolls. I also recommend trying one of the desserts with bean paste. It can be an acquired taste, but I recommend you try it!

More Things to Do In and Around Chinatown

Chinese Historical Society: Head over to the Chinese Historical Society before or after you enjoy your dim sum to learn more about the history of Chinese Americans. This small but interesting museum features artifacts, stories, and other cultural exhibits that give you some insight into this community.

Chinese Temples: Another great way to learn more about the community in Chinatown is stopping by one of three Chinese temples. All visitors are welcome as long as you are respectful of those coming to pray. Click on the link above to learn more and find out how to visit these temples in the Chinatown District.

A Perfect Day in Chinatown: Do you only have one day to visit Chinatown? If so, then you will love this self-guided itinerary. In one day, you will take the best route through this SF district and see as much as possible. It's free and a great tour to do at your own pace.

A Perfect Day in North Beach: San Francisco's North Beach district is right next door to Chinatown. On this page, you will find what I would do if I had only one day to visit North Beach. It includes a visit to Coit Tower, a stop by the place where Joe DiMaggio learned to play baseball, and a visit to one of my favorite bakeries in the city!

Chinatown San Francisco Dishes

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

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It's a great place to interact with me and others who know the area well.

You can ask questions, get advice for your upcoming stay, and then share your photos and advice with others when you return home. It's a great community and the fastest way to get answers to those nagging questions about your visit!

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