San Francisco has a lot of great dumplings. And lucky for us, we have a lot of great dumpling spots. So whether you’re in the mood for momos, pelmeni, or really just feel like popping seven or more soup dumplings into your mouth, this guide has you covered. It has 21 spots you should try right now - or, at least, add to your SF dumpling checklist. They’re also all open for takeout, delivery, or dine-in.
If there’s one thing we look for in a dumpling spot, it’s incredible xiao long bao - and this new-ish spot in Hayes Valley delivers. Theirs are juicy, with a tender pork filling and delicate, chewy skin. We also love the shengjianbao, or pan-fried soup dumplings, which are golden-brown and crispy on the bottom (plus, they hold up pretty well as takeout). And though you should focus on the dumplings, you shouldn’t miss out on the rest of the menu - from the green-dyed veggie dumplings to the garlicky cucumber salad, everything is great.
Dumpling Alley is one of the newer dumpling spots in town, located on Clement Street in the Outer Richmond. Though their excellent xiao long bao are unfortunately not on the menu right now, you can luckily still choose from their other great all-star options, like pan-fried pork buns with a perfectly crunchy sesame seed bottom, and excellent pork and napa cabbage dumplings. Dumpling Alley also has potstickers, wontons, and frozen dumplings available for takeout, too.
United Dumplings is a Bernal Heights restaurant doing traditional Chinese dumplings, like great xiao long bao and wontons in chili oil, plus noodles and rice dishes. But what sets them apart is their dumplings with less conventional fillings - like bulgogi, or a Mission-inspired potsticker with chicken, corn, and mozzarella. Outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery are available, and you can also grab a bag of 20 frozen dumplings to cook at home.
Dumpling House in the Castro serves dumplings, buns, turnip cakes, potstickers, wontons, and Hong Kong-style wonton soup. If your dinner brain tends to want everything when dumplings are involved, you’ll probably welcome their shorter menu. The xiao long bao are extra soupy; the shrimp and pork dumplings are flavorful and meaty; and the wrinkly wontons are delicately wrapped and bathed in slightly spicy chili oil. If you’re ordering takeout, the pan-fried veggie and meat buns may lose a bit of their crispness in transit (be sure to pop open the top of the takeout box to let the steam out), but they are delicious.
You’ll want to order everything from this Richmond District spot as they serve some of the best dim sum in the city. Dragon Beaux’s extensive menu features everything from an impressive egg yolk lava bao to a jumbo scallop siu mai. And whenever we stop by (which is, basically, all the time), we always get the sea bass dumplings, and the “Five Guys” xiao long bao - they’re juicy, colorful, and taste as good as they look.
If you want to make sure to do one thing right today, grab lunch at Bini’s Kitchen. This Nepali restaurant in SoMa makes some of our favorite momos in the city. We love everything about them - from the well-spiced turkey, lamb, or veggie fillings to the delicate flour wrappers to the tasty roasted tomato and cilantro sauce that comes on the side. Get the combo meal if you’re really craving momos, and want to enjoy Bini’s other great dishes, like their sautéed cauliflower with peas, green onions, and spices.
Dumpling Specialist in Parkside makes excellent pan-fried potstickers and steamed dumplings with pork and cabbage. But it’s our favorite spot for xiao long bao, which come with chewy wrappers and a well-seasoned pork filling. And while soup dumplings are best eaten hot, theirs holds up pretty well on the journey home. You can call ahead or walk up to place an order.
The dumplings with handmade, perfectly chewy wrappers at Yuanbao Jiaozi were voted “Dumplings Most Likely To Succeed.” OK, we made that up, but they are fantastic. The shrimp with three delicacies (shrimp, leek, and egg), and the fish and shiitake dumplings are standouts, and everything is best enjoyed doused in their chili oil.
There are many reasons we love this Parkside spot: the siu mai overflowing with pork and shrimp, and the xiao long bao, which is one of the best xiao long bao in the city. But the very big reason is Dumpling Kitchen’s pan-fried pork buns. They’re wrapped in a thick, chewy dough before being steamed, pan-fried, and then sprinkled with sesame seeds and scallions. Think of these dumplings as beautiful perfection.
Hong Kong Lounge
For xiao long bao so good you’ll want to slide them into your mouth with an ice luge, order from this dim sum restaurant in the Inner Richmond. They’re filled with a solid amount of soup, and the wrappers are delicate, yet sturdy enough that they don’t rip when you take them out of their little tin cups. Hong Kong Lounge also has great steamed dumplings, which we especially like with pork and chives.
Yummy Dumpling isn’t a restaurant, but a shop in the Sunset that’s been selling frozen dumplings for years. They have everything from wontons to pork dumplings to xiao long bao, all of which you can boil, steam, or pan fry at home. Each pack comes with 12-20 dumplings, and prices range from $6-12. You really can’t go wrong with anything here, but whatever you do, grab more than one bag of the pork and Napa cabbage dumplings - they’re excellent, and you’ll probably finish them all in less than a day. Yummy Dumpling is open every day except Wednesday, from 10am-5pm.
We really like this Ghirardelli Square dim sum spot from the people behind Dragon Beaux. And, like Dragon Beaux, Palette Tea House also serves the colorful xiao long bao with five different flavors, including a tasty crab roe with a turmeric wrapper. Also, ordering the har gow, which come with a small pipette of lobster butter, is never a bad idea. Palette now offers frozen pork, chicken, and seafood dumplings (15 pieces for $18), so you can satisfy your many dumpling cravings at home too.
Whenever we want a plate of homemade pelmeni, we book it straight to Cinderella Bakery. These pork-filled Russian dumplings are meaty, doughy, and taste even better when dipped in the side of sour cream. And on those frequent, foggy-misty days in the city, order the pelmeni in broth. Cinderella Bakery is open every day until 7pm, and they also have outdoor seating.
On any given morning, you’ll most likely find us at this bakery in the Inner Richmond - that’s because their har gow is one of our favorites in the city. But everything else, from the pork potstickers to sesame balls to turnip cakes, is excellent, and is why we always end up ordering almost the entire menu. You should note that Good Luck Dim Sum is cash only, and also be prepared to wait in line.
It’s been scientifically proven that eating Dancing Yak’som momos will raise your serotonin levels - or, at the very least, your mood for the next hour. The momos are juicy and packed with flavor, but they’re even better dipped in their spicy tomato and roasted soybean sauce. Order some immediately if you need a pick-me-up in edible form (because of, you know, the world). Dancing Yak is also open for indoor and outdoor dining.
Yank Sing is a San Francisco institution, and for good reason: they make a lot of really great dim sum. But their xiao long bao is what keeps this spot in our dumpling rotation. And right now, they’re serving the phenomenal kurobuta pork and Napa cabbage-filled dumplings with the broth on the side. You can get them either while dining outside at their Stevenson Street and Spear Street locations, or for takeout and delivery from Spear Street.
China North Dumpling
This spot in the Outer Sunset has 20 different kinds of dumplings, from chives with pork to zucchini with lamb (they’re boiled, but you can ask for them pan-fried). You should absolutely order one of each, if you want to familiarize yourself with the full range of China North’s extensive menu - or if you woke up with an urgent craving for dumplings today. If not, don’t leave without getting their pork dumplings with chives, egg, and prawn, and at least one order of their xiao long bao - they’re on the bigger side, and plenty juicy.
Mama Ji’s is a very solid option if you’re craving dumplings and are near the Castro. They make har gow, xiao long bao, pork and chive dumplings, and more. Whatever you get, make sure the pan-fried potstickers, with their crispy-chewy skin, is part of your order. Mama Ji’s has more dumpling options on the menu for lunch, but both the Shanghai dumplings and potstickers are available for dinner.
We love stopping by this Chinatown bakery for their massive baked BBQ pork buns. But it’s never a proper trip without a few orders of har gow, siu mai, and other great dumplings from their large dim sum selection. You can call ahead or walk up to order, and be prepared to wait in line, especially during the lunch rush.
Like the name suggests, the Parkside dim sum spot has plenty of dumpling options - like pork, chicken, and shrimp, all of which you can get with Napa cabbage, corn, spinach, and more. But if you need some help deciding, you can’t go wrong with their juicy, brothy Shanghai dumplings. King of Dumpling is open every day for takeout and delivery for lunch and dinner.
There are now three Dumpling Time locations around the city, including an express location that has a slightly pared-down menu. This a good thing, since it means even more places where you can get your hands on Dumpling Time’s pork belly-filled soup dumplings and excellent pan-seared char siu pork bao. Another great thing you should order - the spicy seafood gyoza that’s loaded with shellfish, and the best thing on the menu.