Jennie Tai
Chinese Dim Sum Ultimate Maps

The Ultimate Guide To Dim Sum in DC


Shrimp-filled rice crepes
Oriental East
 Pork Buns & Hargau
Mark’s Duck house
 Scallop Shu Mai
Ping Pong

Dim sum is how Chinese people do brunch. You get to pick and choose various small plates from rolling carts that are pushed around the restaurant, almost like a buffet you don’t have to get up for. I’ve been asked to talk about my favorite dim sum spots in the DC metropolitan area these past few years, so I finally decided to sit down and make a map out of it.

I was going to create a dim sum guide, but it looks like Serious Eats beat me to it a few weeks ago! If you’ve never had dim sum before, check out the dim sum guide for suggestions on what to order. If you’re looking for traditional dim sum, or dim sum with a modern twist–below is a list of places to go in DC to satisfy your dim-sum craving. Restaurants marked with a blue star () are my favorites. Enjoy!


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gmicon_01Oriental East 
1312 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 608-0030 
website.
This is my favorite spot for dim sum in the DMV. The wide variety of dim sum choices and the quality of food is a lot better than most dim sum restaurants nearby. In fact–my family often takes the 30-45 minute drive from NoVA just to enjoy the dim sum here, skipping the other options we have nearby. They also have dim sum all day every day, which is nice. My favorite thing to get here is the “Zhaliang (fried, noodle-wrapped crullers)”
gmicon_01Mark’s Duck House ★
6184 Arlington Boulevard
Falls Church, VA 22044
(703) 532-2125 website.
Mark’s Duck House is my second favorite dim sum option in the DC metropolitan area. The quality of food here is also great, but they don’t have dim sum every day, and sometimes they run out of dishes on their dim sum menu on week days. If you’re a dim sum newbie, start out with the “hargau” – steamed shrimp dumplings and pork shumai.
gmicon_01Hong Kong Pearl Seafood
6286 Arlington Boulevard
Falls Church, VA 22044
(703) 237-1388.
This is a newer dim sum restaurant that recently opened last year. It’s a large chinese restaurant that features Sunday brunch dim sum with the traditional push carts. Like most dim sum restaurants, they also allow you to order your own dishes that may not have made their way over to you on the carts. For dessert–try the daan taat.
gmicon_01Fortune
6249 Seven Corners Center
Falls Church, VA 22044
(703) 538-3333.

This is one of the oldest NoVA spots for dim sum that many already know about. Fortune also features the traditional push carts for dim sum every day, but my family only goes here when they don’t want to take the hike to Oriental East. This isn’t my number one spot for dim sum in the area, but when everything else is too far or isn’t serving dim sum that day–this is where I go.
gmicon_01China Garden
11100 Wilson Boulevard
Rosslyn, VA 22209
(703) 525-5317; website.
China Garden is one of the only places you can find traditional dim sum being served in push carts in the Arlington area, but only offer it on the weekend during brunch hours. Quality has gone a bit downhill as they’re in the middle of changing ownership, but is much better than a few other area dim sum spots. This is where I fell in love with fried turnip cakes.
gmicon_01Ping Pong (Chinatown) 
900 7th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 506-3740; website.
Ping Pong is like the “Mala Tang” of dim sum. It’s not that they’ve taken a modern spin on the traditional chinese tapa-style brunch, but they do offer newer, refined dim sum dishes in addition to the traditional ones, like mandarin citrus spare ribs and seafood shumai. They also offer other small plates from different asian cultures as part of their dim sum menu, like edamame and vietnamese rice paper shrimp  rolls.
gmicon_01Ping Pong (Dupont) ★
1 Dupont Circle Northwest
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 293-1268; website.
<< continued from previous box. But they also have the usual shrimp “hargau”, pork “shumai” and barbecue pork buns. Atmosphere is a huge step up from most area dim sum restaurants in Virginia and Maryland. If you’re a dim sum enthusiast looking for something new to try–be sure to check out Ping Pong, with two locations: dupont and chinatown.
gmicon_01Golden King
21800 Towncenter Plaza
Sterling, VA 20164 (703) 433-5888.
I haven’t been here yet, but yelpers are praising the newly opened dim sum restaurant in Sterling, VA. One yelper even claimed she drove from Gaithersburg, MD to satisfy her dim sum craving. Dim sum is served on push carts on weekends, with prices “comparable to options in Flushing, NYC.” I’ll have to check this out soon…
gmicon_01The Source 
575 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 637-6100; menu.
Dim Sum is served at Wolfgang Puck’s DC restaurant on Saturday during brunch hours from 11:30am to 3pm. The world-renowned chef takes a few modern spins on traditional dim sum dishes, like rose veal wontons, pork belly congee, sea scallop sui mai with curried lobster emulsion, and a cocktail list of hot buttered rum, pomegranate mimosas shanghai bloody mary’s with pickled szechuan chili and more. Not to worry though–on the menu are also traditional offerings like scallion pancake, fried turnip cakes and chinese sausage fried rice.
gmicon_01Tony Cheng’s
619 H Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 371-8669; menu.
More of an authentic dim sum option in DC, this little chinese restaurant on H street is as traditional as it gets when it comes to dim sum brunch. Roasted pork buns, egg custard tarts, dumplings, shu mai and steamed shrimp crepes (my favorite) are just a few dim sum staples on the massive menu, but dim sum is only served on weekends from 11am-3pm.
gmicon_01 Canton Cafe
6396 Springfield Plz
Springfield, VA 22150
(703) 644-0178.
Known for their traditional cantonese cuisine–this spacious Chinese restaurant in Springfield is one of the only spots in the area that offer dim sum on weekends. Dim sum is only served on Sunday mornings at Canton Cafe with the usual push carts and usual dim sum staples. If you live in the area–head here for dim sum and skip the other greasy dim-sum-buffet options nearby.
gmicon_01 Good Fortune
2646 University Boulevard West
Wheaton, MD 20902
(301) 929-8818.
An authentic hole-in-the-wall chinese restaurant in Wheaton Maryland, Good Fortune is one of the only places in the area where you can find traditional cantonese-styled dim sum. Dim sum is only offered on weekends here.
gmicon_01 Silver Fountain
13533 Connecticut Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20906
(301) 460-1200.
With all the classic dim sum options–this is another good option for dim sum enthusiasts in the area. It’s much cheaper than a few of the options in DC. Expect the usual push-carts and hit-or-miss service you’d receive at most Chinese restaurants.
gmicon_01Blue Pearl Buffet
8661 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 565-4334; website.
This is the only dim-sum-buffet I included in the round up, because unlike most buffet-style dim sum options in the area–the quality of food here is a lot better than the usual greasy, mass-produced trays of soggy mush most asian buffets offer.

 

RECAP:
Best in the area: Oriental East (Silver Spring, MD)
Best new dim sum option: Golden King (Sterling, VA)
Best dim-sum buffet: Blue Pearl Buffet (Silver Spring, MD)
Best mod-dim sum options: The Source & Ping Pong (DC)

What are your favorite spots for dim sum? Leave a comment and let me know!

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