Where to Eat Dim Sum in Philadelphia: The Ultimate Guide

No matter where you are or what style you're looking for, we've got you covered with this list of all the best places for shu mai, soup dumplings, and scallion pancakes in Philly.

dim sum philadelphia chinatown

Dim Sum Garden | Facebook

I know I don’t have to convince you how good dim sum is. Little plates full of awesome. A taste of home and comfort for those who grew up with it. A universe of dumplings, buns, and chicken feet.

And I don’t have to convince you that Philly has a deep bench of dim sum places, either. If you’re a Foobooz reader of any regularity, you know the places that we love, that we return to again and again. You know that we’ve spent years poking around the neighborhoods looking for new dim sum spots, overlooked gems, forgotten places. In a city that loves brunch the way Philly loves brunch, dim sum is vital. You can only eat so many plates of eggs benedict and shakshuka, after all. Sometimes, congee is what’s called for. Or shu mai and soup dumplings and taro cakes and sticky rice.

When that time comes, we’ve got you covered. Here’s where to find all the best dim sum in Philly, no matter where you are.

The Dim Sum You Must Try First


Tom’s Dim Sum | Facebook

Tom’s Dim Sum, Chinatown
This spot in the 11th Street tunnel, sandwiched between Reading Terminal Market and the Greyhound bus station, isn’t much to look at from the outside. But the dim sum menu there is one of the best around and a perennial Foobooz favorite. The scallion pancakes are featherlight, and the soup dumplings thin-skinned and piping hot — made by the titular Tom, an OG from the days when Dim Sum Garden occupied this spot, who has now returned to make the place his own, and better than ever. 59 North 11th Street
Ordering style: À la carte

Dim Sum Garden, Chinatown
Back in the old days, before the Chinatown buses were shut down, Dim Sum Garden occupied the 11th Street tunnel spot where Tom’s is now — and it was the perfect meal to welcome you back to Philly after a dirt-cheap trip to New York or D.C. Now, you can find their excellent dim sum (a batch of pork soup dumplings with turnip cake, shrimp dumplings, moon cakes, and some steamed bok choy is our go-to order) a few blocks away on Race Street west of 10th. 1020 Race Street
Ordering style: À la carte

Shanghai 1
I like a place that considers French fries to be a dim sum dish. And Shanghai 1 does. I like that they have six different kinds of pancakes on the menu, four different soup dumplings, and Shanghai-style shu mai. And while you can get almost anything here (from cold pig kidneys to frog meat casserole), the kitchen takes the dim sum seriously and will serve it to you at all hours. 123 North 10th Street
Ordering style: À la carte

Dim Sum House by Jane G’s
Jane Guo brought dim sum west along with her son and business partner Jackson Fu to open this spot, which offers not one but two styles of dim sum. The Cantonese-style menu includes bites like chicken feet, turnip cakes, and sticky rice, while the Shanghai menu offers soup dumplings, scallion pancake, and wontons with spicy chile oil, among other treats. Even better? For those who prefer late-night dim sum, it’s open till 1 a.m. — complete with a full bar and a pool table. 3939 Chestnut Street
Ordering style: À la carte

Best Dim Sum In Chinatown

dim sum chinatown

Sang Kee Peking Duck House | Facebook

Nom Wah, Market East
With its menu of traditional small plates, approachable buns, dumplings, egg rolls, and an extensive list of teas, this offshoot of the historic NYC tea parlor is a perfect spot for spending a rainy (or snowy) weekend morning. Or, you know, you could also go at lunch (the chef’s special ho fun will do you right). Or at night. Because Nom Wah serves straight through until 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. on every day but Tuesday. 218 North 13th Street
Ordering style: À la carte

Ocean Harbor
At Ocean Harbor, the carts are stocked with piping hot snacks like soup dumplings, fried taro balls, and sticky rice. And true to its name, the restaurant offers a wide variety of seafood options, from lobster and shrimp to braised abalone, cold jellyfish, and eel. 1023 Race Street
Ordering style: From a cart

Joy Tsin Lau, Chinatown
Traditionally, dim sum is served for breakfast or brunch — and Joy Tsin Lau sticks to that, with a fully separate menu that’s served from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. seven days a week. The menu includes an extensive selection of dumplings, wontons, rolls, shu mai, and sweets like egg custard and coconut pudding, plus items like chicken feet, taro cake, duck tripe, and squid topped with curry sauce. 1026 Race Street
Ordering style: À la carte

Mong Kok Station
Are the baked goods your favorite part of going out for dim sum? The egg tarts, taro buns, and everything else? If so, then Mong Kok is perfect for you, because it’s a fairly new Chinatown bakery that just happens to have a dim sum menu served in the back. Plus (as if you needed more reasons to go), they also sell all kinds of buns, all day long. They’re cheap, delicious, and wildly varied. 153 North 10th Street
Ordering style: Counter service plus à la carte

Bai Wei
The old Sakura Mandarin became Bai Wei a few months back. And after the remodel and rebranding, the Race Street spot came back strong with an improved menu that includes an entire section devoted to dim sum. Scallion pancakes, fried rock shrimp, soup dumplings, Shanghai-style spring rolls, wontons in chile oil — all the classics are available, plus tripe and duck tongue for the more adventurous. 1038 Race Street
Ordering style: A la carte

Ocean City
Ocean City’s menu boasts nearly 250 items, from wonton soup to sizzling intestine with black pepper sauce. But it’s the roving dim sum carts, stocked with dumplings, salt-roasted chicken feet, congee, pork buns, barbecued scallops served in the shell, and dozens of kinds of dumplings that keeps us coming back. 234 North 9th Street
Ordering style: From a cart

Best Dim Sum in South Philly

Bing Bing Dim Sum

Bing Bing Dim Sum
Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh’s dumpling-centric spot offers a hipsteriffic take on dim sum classics, with dishes like cheesesteak bao (with Cooper sharp, onions and long hots), turnip cakes with matzoh, and beef dumplings spiked with caraway seed, mustard, and dill. The full menu includes inventive takes on noodle and rice dishes, too — try dishes like a spicy, mushroom-based mapo tofu and a butternut squash-based congee topped with chicken meatballs and a soft-cooked egg. 1648 East Passyunk Avenue
Ordering style: À la carte

South Philly’s only authentic dim sum spot features carts brimming with dishes like bean curd, both steamed and pan-fried dumplings, and barbecued spare ribs. There are also Americanized standards like fried rice, lo mein, and kung pao chicken — but we recommend starting with something you may not have tried before, like steamed lotus leaf rice or baked conch served in its own shell. 1100 Washington Avenue
Ordering style: From a cart

Best Dim Sum in Rittenhouse, Center City and Market East

I know, not what you’re normally thinking of when you’ve got a taste for dim sum. But Buddakan has a whole section of the menu dedicated to Chinese small plates, and it has modern, fancy (and expensive) takes on many of the classics. So if you’re looking for crab and lobster dumplings spiked with Myoga ginger, lobster egg rolls, edamame dumplings swimming in a truffled shallot and sauternes broth or, you know, just some wasabi mashed potatoes, this is the place to go. 325 Chestnut Street
Ordering style: A la carte

Dim Sum House by Jane G’s
What used to be Jane G’s is now another outpost of Dim Sum House, which serves Shanghainese and Cantonese dim sum specialties, as well as a variety of specialties of the Jiang Nan region of China. It’s not open as late as the University City outpost, but 11 p.m. on weekends isn’t bad. 1930 Chestnut Street
Ordering style: A la carte

Dim Sum & Noodle
Sandwiched between the Rodin Museum and the Community College of Philadelphia, this spot offers a menu of Chinese classics along with ramen bowls and, of course, dim sum. Try the edamame spiced with peppercorns, the steamed dumplings stuffed with watercress, and the fluffy char siu bao. 2000 Hamilton Street
Ordering style: À la carte

Best Dim Sum in Northeast Philly and Beyond

dim sum philadelphia havertown

Kung Fu Dim Sum | Facebook

China Gourmet
This huge space seats upwards of 400 people. And one some days (weekends, especially) you still might have to wait for a table. Why? Because this Northeast Philly location (a new expansion from the original China Gourmet on Bustleton Avenue, which now has new owners and a new name) is smack in the middle of one of the city’s largest populations of Chinese residents and serves exactly what the overflow crowds of friends and families want: a variety of beautiful, comforting, delicious Cantonese-style dim sum in vast amounts. 2842 St. Vincent Street
Ordering style: From a cart

Jade Harbor
The menu at this Oxford Circle spot is enormous, but it offers a solid list of appetizers and small plates that functions as a de facto dim sum list. Shu mai, congee, cold jellyfish, geoduck, shrimp dumplings, and snails with black bean sauce — all there. And if you’re looking for literally anything else, the regular dinner menu is like six pages long, so you’ll probably find it here. 6836 Bustleton Avenue
Ordering style: À la carte

Sang Kee Asian Bistro
Crispy shrimp balls, turnip cakes and steamed buns are always on the menu alongside the excellent smoked duck and Chinese entrees. But this place also does a full-on dim sum service on Sundays. Ordering is off a checklist, so you don’t have to worry about carts if that kind of thing freaks you out, but the dim sum is solid and popular among the suburban crowd who don’t feel like fighting their way into Chinatown on a Sunday morning. 339 East Lancaster Avenue, Wynnewood
Ordering style: From a checklist

Kung Fu Dim Sum
Their cartoon mascot has a dumpling for a head and a pair of nunchucks. I love that. And they’ve got a menu that leans heavily in the dumplings-and-buns direction. I love that, too. If you find yourself out in the ‘burbs and looking for some snacks, check it out and see for yourself. 2305 Darby Road, Havertown
Ordering style: À la carte

Tom’s Dim Sum
Dim sum lovers in Media need not drive into the city any more to get their fix. Tom’s Dim Sum and, well, another Tom’s Dim Sum have both opened in downtown Media. See below. 15 East State Street
Ordering style: À la carte

Tom’s Dim Sum Mania
Tom Guo, the namesake of aforementioned Tom’s Dim Sum left the original to open this … similar restaurant. It’s literally two doors down from the Media outpost of the original Tom’s, and the recipes are basically the same. I guess no one’s waiting for a dim sum table in Media anymore. 17 East State Street
Ordering style: À la carte

Dim Sum Factory
All the usual suspects are accounted for at Dim Sum Factory, where you can get steamed or fried dumplings, plus noodle soups, and American Chinese standards. 303 Horsham Road
Ordering style: À la carte

Updated: 2/18/2020