The 15 best dim sum places to try in the South Bay

The 15 best dim sum places to try in the South Bay
Photo: Charles Deluvio via Unsplash
By Brianna Richard - Published on April 09, 2021.

Eating dim sum might just be one of life’s great pleasures. A meal that can only be shared, dim sum comes family-style with an assortment of dumplings, bao, rice rolls, and other handcrafted treats. It makes sense that dim sum translates literally to, “touch the heart.” Sometimes busy and loud, sometimes adventurous and wild, eating dim sum is usually an experience that's both a little theatrical, and a lot delicious.

Dim sum can be intimidating for first-timers, so here are some rules for newbies: If dining in, try your best to sit near the kitchen — it may create a louder dining atmosphere, but you will get the first pick of all the dim sum as it comes out of there on carts; and whether you are dining in or taking it to-go, don’t forget about the tea! It is supposed to aid in digestion and whether you are a tea fan or not, tea and dim sum go hand in hand. Always pour the tea of someone you are dining with before your own and leave the lid of your teapot askew if you need a refill.  And perhaps the most important of all dim sum rules: don’t forget the xiao long bao.

There is no shortage of dim sum restaurants in the South Bay. In no particular order, here are Hoodline's 15 best.

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Din Tai Fung

Best Dim Sum Restaurant in Santa Clara

Named by the New York Times as one of the top ten gourmet destinations in the world, everything at Din Tai Fung is just a little bit better than the competition. Din Tai Fung was founded in Taiwan in 1958 by Mr. Bing-Yi Yang, and it started as a shop that sold cooking oil. Mr. Yang and his wife decided to sell xiao long bao for fun at their shop, and they became so wildly popular that they halted cooking oil sales and now have internationally loved xiao long bao. The Santa Clara location, one of the first in the U.S., opened to immediate crowds in 2016. Their signature dish, the truffle and Kurobuta pork xiao long bao, are handcrafted to perfection. The dumplings are loaded with fillings you can’t find elsewhere such as steamed cod and kimchi or kurobota pork. Din Tai Fung has a selection of killer soups and noodle dishes to accompany their dim sum. All of the dishes are light, heavenly, and not loaded with grease. The wait here can be quite long so be sure to make a reservation or arrive right when they open. There is a reason the XLB are known around the world. Try Din Tai Fung first and you too will be a converted believer.

Visit WebsiteCall: (408) 248-1688
2855 Stevens Creek Blvd #1259, Santa Clara


Image Credit: Wilson L. via Yelp

Ocean Delight Seafood

Top Dim Sum Spot in San Jose

Ocean Delight Seafood Restaurant is a family-owned restaurant that has been serving dim sum in San Jose for over 30 years. Ocean Delight has a stacked dim sum menu. From chicken feet to egg tarts they have just about everything you could want. All dishes are handmade to order so their dim sum is fresh, steaming hot, and delicious. One particularly awesome thing about Ocean Delight is that their dim sum menu has pictures next to each item. For those of us who are unfortunately not fluent in Cantonese, this is incredibly helpful when ordering takeout. Extensive menu, great prices, quality dim sum are all reasons to give this classic San Jose dim sum spot a try.

Visit WebsiteCall: (408) 281-3838
5400 Monterey Rd, San Jose


Image Credit: Mandi W. via Yelp

Golden Palace

Amazing Dim Sum in San Jose

If you are a serious dim sum fanatic then Golden Palace is for you. First off, the steamed marinated chicken feet are perfection — the chicken skin falls off the bone and is soaked in a savory sauce. You will want multiple orders. If you want something a bit more photogenic, the Peking Duck here is decadent and delicious. The skin is crispy, the duck is fatty but meaty and it is served with soft, pillowy buns and a savory sauce. Golden Palace makes all their dim sum fresh daily but there is a limit to the dishes they make. If you have certain items you just can’t live without then you are going to want to order early as they run out of some of the more popular dishes by the end of the night.

Visit WebsiteCall: (408) 257-8877
1146 S De Anza Blvd, San Jose


Image Credit: Koi Palace

Koi Palace

Best Dim Sum in Milpitas, Duplin, & Daly City

If you think Trader Joe’s frozen dim sum is, at a minimum, passable, then I have an interesting piece of information about Koi Palace, a restaurant that serves up some of the most delicious "yum cha" nearby. With multiple locations and several sister locations around the Bay Area — including the newer Palette Tea House that opened in San Francisco in 2019 — Koi Palace serves piping hot dim sum indoors, outdoors, to-go, and frozen! Yes, you read that right, they have a frozen dim sum menu available.  Black pepper beef buns, chicken feet, salted egg yolk lava buns, and more come frozen so you can eat dim sum on demand at home. The frozen portions are huge and come with easy-to-follow instructions for reheating. If you are dining with kids, Koi Palace also serves piggy buns that are seriously adorable. Piggy buns, that look exactly like little piggies, are a secret menu item, so call Koi Palace and request an order with your frozen dim sum.

Visit WebsiteCall: (408) 432-8833
768 Barber Ln, Milpitas, CA 95035
4288 Dublin Blvd STE 213, Dublin, CA 94568
365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015


Image Credit: Natalie P. via Yelp

Tai Pan Dim Sum Bakery

Top Yum Cha in San Jose

Fun fact: dim sum is often eaten as a breakfast or brunch food, which is exactly why Tai Pan is open at 8 a.m. Instead of carts and bamboo baskets, Tai Pan has their dim sum piled high in glass cases. The line is usually out the door, but most of the menu is precooked so the service is speedy. With egg tarts for only $1, the prices at Tai Pan can not be beaten. Also, Tai Pan has a dim sum lunch for only $7 that comes with a variety of dim sum and egg and pork congee. The congee, or Chinese rice porridge, is top notch at Tai Pan. It is a perfect, simple, comfort food that is good at all hours of the day. Convinced and headed to Tai Pan? It is cash only so come prepared.

Visit WebsiteCall: (408) 225-8833
1031 E Capitol Expy Ste 30, San Jose


Image Credit: K W. via Yelp

New Hwong Kok

Best San Jose Dim Sum & Dumplings

New Hwong Kok is a dim sum staple on the east side in San Jose. Things you can expect at New Hwong Kok include a line out the door, glass cases loaded with freshly made dim sum, and unbeatable prices. Baked bbq pork buns, chive and shrimp dumplings, and the fried shrimp balls are highly recommended. This grab-n-go dim sum spot is the perfect location for a quick and easy meal that is filling and satisfying. There is often a line out the door but it moves quickly and well worth the wait. There is a credit card limit so bring cash if you are dining for one.

Visit WebsiteCall: (408) 270-1088
2854 S White Rd, San Jose


Image Credit: Dorothy T. via Yelp

New Port Dim Sum and Chinese Food

Best Dim Sum in Sunnyvale

For serious foodies, one of the best parts about Chinese food is experiencing different textures you might not be able to try elsewhere. New Port Dim Sum has some authentic Chinese dishes with flavors and textures you have to try at least once. Sea cucumber, jellyfish and duck tongue are just a few options on their expansive menu. Standout dishes include the salted egg yolk bun and gai lan in oyster sauce. If you are a gai lan newbie, it’s Chinese broccoli a.k.a. a perfect vessel for delicious sauce to accompany your dim sum. If you have a sweet tooth be sure to try the coconut dusted mango mochi for dessert. You won’t be disappointed.

Visit WebsiteCall: (408) 737-9976
1686 S Wolfe Rd, Sunnyvale


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Dim Sum King

Top Sunnyvale Dim Sum Restaurants

If you are looking for dim sum that won’t break the bank and is absolutely delicious, you are going to want to visit Dim Sum King. Located in Sunnyvale, Dim Sum King has a wide selection of dim sum to choose from and is available for delivery via Door Dash. My personal favorite dim sum is Wu Gok or crispy taro puffs. Dim Sum King calls these delicacies taro fuzzballs, and while they may not be Instagram-worthy they are mouthwatering and irresistible. Crunchy on the outside, creamy taro and salty pork on the inside you will want multiple orders. Luckily a plate is only $3.75 so you can get your fill. The dim sum here is also surprisingly huge, so dine with friends so you can try it all.

Visit WebsiteCall: (408) 739-1551
824 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale


Image Credit: Naiyun W. via Yelp

Jade Cathay

Best San Jose Dim Sum Spots

Jade Cathay is a family-owned dim sum spot leaving satisfied customers in food comas for almost 20 years. Jade Cathay is a pretty standard dim sum destination, packed with big round tables with lazy susans in the middle and dim sum carts are constantly circulating the classics. There are big tanks of lobsters, and ducks hang in the kitchen. In short, it is a great place to take first-timers. Jade Cathay serves authentic Cantonese dishes like sesame balls and daikon radish squares. If you are a fan of steamed rice noodle rolls they have a ton of choices to satisfy everyone you are eating with. They have rice rolls stuffed with BBQ pork for the meat-eaters, mushrooms for the vegans, or chicken and bitter melon for the adventurous. The dim sum portions here are bigger than average so you will get your money’s worth and leave happy.

Visit WebsiteCall: (408) 392-9388
1339 N 1st St, San Jose


Image Credit: Iris H. via Yelp

Fu Lam Mum

Best Dim Sum in Mountain View / Silicon Valley

Fu Lam Mum located on Castro Street in Mountain View is a dim sum mecca. Steamed dim sum, sweet dim sum, fried dim sum, Fu Lam Mum has got it all. If you have never had a Liu Sha Bao or salted egg yolk lava bun, Fu Lam Mum is the place to try them. The Liu Sha Bao have a soft and pillowy dough on the outside and a salty steaming hot eggy goo on the inside. They are seriously addictive. Another standout dish at Fu Lam Mum is the crab claw with shrimp paste. These are fun to eat and they are seriously delectable. They are essentially deep-fried shimp and crab ball with a crab claw sticking out as a handle. You will want to leave a five-star yelp review after trying them.

Visit WebsiteCall: (650) 967-1689
153 Castro St, Mountain View


Image Credit: Tom K. via Yelp

Dumpling Depot

Top Delicious Dim Sum in Sunnyvale

Located in Sunnyvale, Dumpling Depot has high-quality dumplings that you just have to try. There are over 15 options to choose from including vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, and meat options. What makes these dumplings so special? The skins are translucent, thin, and delicate. They are perfectly cooked and come out steaming hot. There is a ton of variety in flavors with options like green chive and egg or lamb and zucchini. Dumpling Depot also serves all the classics like spicy beef tendons and marinated pigs ears. So there is truly something here for everyone. Add Dumpling Depot to the top of your bucket list restaurants.

Visit WebsiteCall: (408) 685-2979
562 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale


Image Credit: Rice + Noodles Asia Kitchen via Yelp

Rice and Noodles Asian Kitchen

Best Campbell Dim Sum

Rice and Noodles Asian Kitchen doesn’t have your typical pushcarts and bamboo baskets. Instead, dim sum is made to order and done so flawlessly. Rice and Noodles has classic dim sum and a ton of Asian fusion options you can’t find anywhere else. The squid ink and lobster dumplings are fun and tasty. Lobster, potato, corn, and cilantro are wrapped in a thin, black, squid ink dumpling skin. If you are vegan, they also have a vegan bao bun full of soy protein that will trick even serious meat-eaters. If you need more they also serve boba!

Visit WebsiteCall: (408) 378-2234
930 W Hamilton Ave #110, Campbell


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Saigon Seafood Harbor

Best Dim Sum in Sunnyvale

Saigon Seafood Harbor is one of the most popular dim sum destinations in the South Bay. If you are dining in on the weekend, there will be a wait but it is well worth it. The egg tarts here get rave reviews. They have a buttery flaky crust on the outside and a slightly sweet, eggy custard on the inside. For something more savory, the Shanghai Pork dumplings are divine — these are Saigon Seafood Harbor’s version of xiao long bao or soup dumplings. They are tender on the outside and salty and soupy on the inside. Just get two orders right off the bat. Saigon Seafood Harbor is your soon-to-be new favorite dim sum spot.

Visit WebsiteCall: (408) 734-2828
1135 Lawrence Expy, Sunnyvale


Image Credit: Wilson L. via Yelp

Yum Cha Palace

Best Dim Sum in Menlo

Yum Cha Palace is the kind of dim sum place that serves absolutely any and every kind of dim sum you could dream up. The sesame balls are a must-try here. They have a thin layer of sesame seeds on the outside and they are filled with a sweet red bean paste on the inside. If you are looking for something more savory, then the sticky rice lotus leaf wrap is for you — the lotus leaf gives the sticky rice this earthy flavor and it is stuffed with salty Chinese sausage. If you are in need of a dim sum fix, Yum Cha Palace has got you covered.

Visit WebsiteCall: (650) 752-6173
1039 El Camino Real, Menlo Park


Image Credit: Wilson L. via Yelp

Dynasty Chinese Seafood Restaurant

Amazing Dim Sum in San Jose

Dynasty Chinese Seafood Restaurant in San Jose is almost always packed, and for good reason. Their dim sum is top-notch. With a sizeable menu, Dynasty Chinese has a variety of authentic options such as duck’s tongue or jellyfish and pork shank. If you like the classics, the Peking duck here is to die for — the skin is crispy and flavorful and the meat is tender and falls of the bone. The siu mai and har gow are also as good as it gets. For the serious dim sum aficionado, you can get married here. Just an FYI.

Visit WebsiteCall: (408) 286-6668
1001 Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95122