Scattered across Silicon Valley are a handful of dim sum restaurants. Similar to Spanish tapas, dim sum offers a variety of unique flavors. Metal carts snake through restaurant tables, stacked with bamboo baskets of steamed buns, dumplings, rolls and tarts. With the second largest population of Asian Americans in the United States, it’s no wonder the Bay Area is home to some of the best dim sum restaurants.
A favorite among the locals, this Ocean Delight has been operating since 1986. The taro buns, chicken feet, shumai (pork and shrimp dumpling) and har gaw (shrimp dumpling) dishes are all benchmark choices. Though service may sometimes be spotty due to the small number of staff, sitting closer to the kitchen usually fixes the issue and even allows for first pick on the dim sum. The friendly service, top-notch dishes and cheap prices are all reasons to make a trip to this south San Jose spot.
Ocean Delight Seafood Restaurant, 5400 Monterey St, San Jose, CA, +1 408 281 3838
For larger groups of people, Dynasty Chinese Seafood Restaurant is a good formal option. The large round tables are paired with Lazy Susans, more reminiscent of the white tablecloth restaurants that are popular in China. Attention to detail is especially apparent in the sparkling porcelain dinnerware and quality of food, which makes for an even better dining experience. Be sure to try the fried taro dumplings and the Peking duck, along with the standard fare of dim sum. Whether ordering in Chinese or English, the service is friendly, quick and accommodating.
A popular dim sum restaurant is Saigon Seafood Harbor Restaurant is located close to the peninsula in Sunnyvale. Lines start forming well before lunch. The swarms of people outside this sport prove that it is one of the best in town, especially on the weekends. Popular dishes here include the har gow and shumai, shrimp based dim sum that is steamed until the rice skin turns translucent and tender. Don’t be afraid to approach the service carts to order, since the service can get chaotic. It’s also recommended to call beforehand to make a reservation and skip the line.
Saigon Seafood Harbor Restaurant, 1135 Lawrence Expy Sunnyvale, CA, +1 408 734 2828
For an authentic experience, pay a visit to Joy Luck Place in Cupertino. Located in a predominantly Asian neighborhood, the restaurant offers more consistent service compared to other dim sum restaurants. Additionally, it’s popular among the community for its numerous options and close proximity to the 99 Ranch Market. Try the mango shrimp rolls, baked BBQ buns and fried black sesame balls, served piping hot from the kitchen.
Joy Luck Palace, 10911 N Wolfe Rd Cupertino, CA, +1 408 255 6988
This restaurant is great for a late night dim sum fix. Some popular options include the daikon radish cake, shumai and beef noodle rolls, all perfectly seasoned and made to order. This location also serves a variety of tofu dishes that are fried, baked or steamed as a vegetarian option. Besides the delicious food and cheap prices, Fu Lam Mum is a convenient, fast, clean and roomy alternative to other dim sum restaurants in the Bay Area.
Fu Lam Mum, 153 Castro St Mountain View, CA, +1 650 967 1689