Best Dim Sum in San Francisco

July 25, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Whether selecting dishes from rolling carts or choosing from an extensive menu, dim sum enthusiasts won't be disappointed at these Chinese staples known for their shared plates.

Yank Sing
Asian · SoMa · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

There’s always a "rolling cart" coming ’round the corner at these dim sum palaces featuring an "unrivaled" selection of "exceptional" tidbits – including some of the "best damn dumplings around" – in a white-tablecloth setting; despite weekend and lunchtime mobs, service is "wicked fast" , and though prices are rather "upscale" , you "get what you pay for" here.
Ton Kiang
Chinese · Outer Richmond · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.5 · Service 3.8

"Order your heart out" at this two-floor Outer Richmond "institution" where a "dazzling" variety of dim sum is "served all day" , joined by "wonderful" Hakka-style fare at dinner; "it’s not the cheapest" and could use some "sprucing up" , plus there are "long" waits "weekend mornings" , but for "delectable" Chinese food without the "drive to Chinatown" , it’s "the place to go" ; P.S. closed Wednesdays.
Asian · Downtown · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.3

"Haute Chinese" dining lands Downtown at this "chic" outpost of the swank international chain purveying a "modern" , "well-executed" menu ferried by a "professional" crew; critics cite "super-expensive" pricing, though "trendy" types dig the "hopping bar" , "loud music" and "see-and-be-seen" scene.
M.Y. China
Chinese · SoMa · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.1

TV chef Martin Yan’s namesake in the Westfield San Francisco Centre is a "sophisticated" "oasis" where Downtown diners "meet and eat" with chefs on view preparing "excellent" hand-pulled noodles, "delicious dim sum" and other "elevated" regional Chinese fare; "artisanal cocktails" from a bar sporting an 1,800-pound temple bell complete the "classy" package.
Dim Sum Club
Dim Sum · Russian Hill · $
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.6 · Service 4.3

It’s "off the beaten path" in Russian Hill’s da Vinci Villa hotel, but this dim sum specialist "hits the spot" with a "noteworthy" variety of bites on offer at "fair" prices; the staffers are "extremely helpful" , and thanks to the "out-of-the-way" locale, "it isn't crowded and loud."
Oriental Pearl Restaurant
Chinese · Chinatown · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.6 · Service 4.0

This Chinatown standby delivers "solid" Hong Kong–style fare, "amazing" Peking duck and "very good dim sum from the menu" (not carts) in unpretentious surrounds staffed by a "quick" , "witty" crew; while it’s "somewhat pricey" , the "busy" crowds suggest most consider the rates "worth it."
City View Restaurant
Dim Sum · Downtown · $$
Food 4.2 · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.7

"It's all about the dim sum" at this Downtown mainstay, a "real find" for "solid" , "traditional" Chinese small plates at a "fair price" ; "quick" service via "constantly updated" carts that are "always on the flow" and an "airy, light" banquet-style setting make it especially "good for business lunches or group outings."
Crystal Jade
Chinese · Embarcadero · $$$
Food 3.9 · Decor 4.3 · Service 3.6

The first stateside branch of a Singapore-based fine-dining chain, this "cavernous" Cantonese at the Embarcadero Center boasts a "beautiful" , Ken Fulk–designed interior and a sprawling patio with bay views; with menu choices ranging from traditional to "modernized" to "fancy-schmancy dim sum" , it's "a step up from the standard" , albeit "costly" given that "service can be hit-or-miss."