Looking for dim sum in San Francisco
October 9, 2017 4:42 PM   Subscribe

I am going to be in San Francisco for a day soon—I am going to be free for lunch. I am looking for your best' dim sum in the city. Extra credit if you explain why it is your best.
posted by prk60091 to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Good Luck Dim Sum for carryout, Ton Kiang for sit down. My family has been going to both those places for at least 20 years. Yank Sing has a really good reputation, but it's spendy.
posted by mollymayhem at 5:06 PM on October 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yank Sing unless money is tight. A lighter, more elegant style, but still delicious and very convenient. If price is most important, I've had good luck at a couple places in the Outer Sunset whose names escape me. I've yet to find a really good dim sum place in the SF Chinatown, even taking into account the usual advice to go along Stockton. Too many tourists, I guess.
posted by wnissen at 5:08 PM on October 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

Ton Kiang because it has both egg tarts AND egg buns. Yank Sing is filled with customers who don't speak Chinese. Ton Kiang is mostly people who don't speak English. That's one way I judge Chinese restaurants.
posted by janey47 at 5:13 PM on October 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Yank Sing is very, very good, and very, very fresh, even to my hyper-snobby Chinese-speaking standards, but people aren't kidding when they say spendy. I spent forty-five dollars (!!!) for a single person (!!!!!!!!!!!), though granted, I was so full that I may have thought I was going to throw up.

Four shrimp dumplings will set you back more than $7. Short-ribs with black beans were somehow a special, and cost some-teen dollars that I draw a veil over, because I can feel my thrifty Chinese ancestors drawing themselves up in utter outrage.
posted by joyceanmachine at 5:44 PM on October 9, 2017 [7 favorites]

You could also consider Dragon Beaux on Clement Street. They are the newest outpost of legendary Koi Palace, which is located just outside of SF. It's spendy, but not Yank Sing spendy. They have the traditional offerings and decent Xiaolong bao.
posted by quince at 5:56 PM on October 9, 2017

what will your transportation situation be? parking dictates many of our destinations when we're in the City and if you will have a rental car then I'd recommend Harbor Villa (formerly All Seasons.) it's hidden away on the second floor of the Diamond Heights shopping center, but it's a good sized space and most importantly, it shares the Safeway parking lot.

(oh yeah, and the dim sum is the dim sum of my childhood, and while I'm not Chinese by ethnicity, I was born in Chinatown.)
posted by squasha at 6:17 PM on October 9, 2017

Dragon Beaux is also pretty much right across the street from Ton Kiang, so you could do both!
posted by rhizome at 6:33 PM on October 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

I feel like I need to mention that Harbor Villa was the subject of a report on how businesses change names to avoid having bad health inspections linked to their current name.

Yank Sing is delicious and has an 85 health score vs. a 55 for Harbor Villa.
posted by oneear at 7:37 PM on October 9, 2017 [4 favorites]

City View, tucked away on Commercial between Kearny & Montgomery. Excellent quality and rarely crowded. Maybe the best custard buns ever.

Ton Kiang is also great, but tends to get crowded during peak times. Worth it.
posted by rhiannonstone at 7:38 PM on October 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

I would not eat at Harbor Villa on a bet. Their sanitation scores are abysmal, and the owners have used various tricks to make it difficult to find that they have had bad scores for a long time.
posted by blob at 7:54 PM on October 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

As an alternative, Mama Ji's in the Castro is decent, and usually pretty easy to get into.

A recent Chowhound discussion brought up Dragon Beaux among others already mentioned.
posted by blob at 7:59 PM on October 9, 2017

Seconding Good Luck (for authenticity, taste and value; but not for the ambience). And good luck finding parking there, on Clement.
posted by Rash at 8:55 PM on October 9, 2017

No need to drive, it's a block from Geary.
posted by rhizome at 10:10 PM on October 9, 2017

Good Luck is my favorite place in the city proper, and definitely won't set you back much to leave full-to-bursting. Growing up we'd always take out of town guests to New Asia in Chinatown proper, but I haven't been in a few years and it's definitely not as good as Good Luck. Recently my partner took me to Begoni Bistro also in Chinatown and I can recommend that as decent enough.
posted by Carillon at 10:42 PM on October 9, 2017

For a cheap takeout hole in the wall, go to Wing Lee. (There are plenty of other choices in the neighborhood and I'll admit I haven't tried many of them.)
posted by madcaptenor at 6:43 AM on October 10, 2017

Great Eastern, hands down. It's the only Zagat rated dim sum in the city. Check the times, tho, they only do dim sum at certain times.
posted by ananci at 10:59 AM on October 10, 2017

Response by poster: ended up at Yank Sing and it was as advertised-- very good and costly...
posted by prk60091 at 8:59 AM on December 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

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