Collin Flatt and Danya Henninger contributed to this article
Dumplings are a good-luck food for Chinese New Year, but they're satisfying and fun to eat just about any time. Here are nine to hit around Philly.
Kennett Square mushroom dumplings at SuGa
Satisfy an umami craving with these savory vegetarian dumplings at Susanna Foo's Rittenhouse spot. The weekend dim sum brunch favorites are stuffed with local shiitake and maitake mushrooms and topped with a truffle mushroom sauce.
1720 Sansom St., 215-717-8968
Apple pie dumplings at Humpty's Dumplings
Known for its unconventional flavors like cheesesteak and Buffalo chicken, this popular Glenside-based operation made a splash at Bonnaroo a couple of years ago and opened a Queen Village outpost last year. Go for broke with a three-course all-dumpling meal capped off with these sugary apple pie bundles.
Rye beef dumplings at Bing Bing Dim Sum
Frequent menu changes and updates keep things interesting at Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh's three restaurants, including this East Passyunk shop. The latest dumpling iteration has an Eastern European bent, with rye, beef, mustard, dill and caraway seed, plus some chile oil for heat.
1648 E. Passyunk Ave.; 215-279-7702
Soup dumplings at Tom's Dim Sum
Despite its inauspicious location near the Convention Center on 11th Street, Tom Guo's dim sum oasis offers a lot to love on its expansive menu. The soup dumplings — filled with just pork or crab and pork — are a must-order and well worth the mess if your xiao long bao eating skills are a little rusty.
59 N. 11th St., 215-923-8880
Yaki gyoza at Royal Sushi and Izakaya
The pan-fried yaki gyoza at this Queen Village spot are yet another hit on a menu full of them. Delicate and crispy, they're stuffed with ground pork, chive, cabbage, scallion, ginger, garlic and donko shiitake mushrooms. Adding just a touch of the intensely spicy mustard dip elevates this dish to near perfection.
780 S. 2nd St.; 267-909-9002
Spicy shrimp shu mai at Dim Sum House by Jane G's
Jane G's spin-off has quickly become a University City favorite, and chef Jackson Fu's fire-engine red shrimp shu mai is the dish to get when you're sitting at the bar. The extra large dumplings are an homage to dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong, packed with fresh shrimp and wrapped in a soft and spicy skin.
3939 Chestnut St.; 215-921-5377
Pork soup dumplings at Dim Sum Garden
It doesn't matter whether the mother-daughter team running the kitchen at this Chinatown shop is descended from one of the original inventors of xiao long bao, as they claim, because the piping hot broth-and-meat-filled pouches it produces are unequivocally some of the best in the city.
1020 Race St.; 215-873-0258
Shrimp tempura shu mai at Terakawa Ramen
Before slurping your way through a bowl of broth at this Chinatown noodle house, prime your palate by popping a few of these shrimp-filled sacks, which are battered, fried, drizzled with spicy bean sauce and topped with toasted sesame seeds.
204 N. Ninth St.; 267-687-1355
Pork dumplings at David’s Mai Lai Wah
You could get them steamed, but if you go for the pan-fried potsticker version of these snacks, they’ll be better at holding onto the fantastic ginger-scallion sauce that comes in a bowl on the side. Like almost everything at this Chinatown mainstay, they taste even better at 3 AM.
1001 Race St.; 215-627-2610