With Chinese New Year around the corner, a fun activity with kids is to check out one of the many dim sum places around San Francisco. San Francisco has a vibrant Asian community, and we can find some pretty delicious dim sum here. For the uninitiated, dim sum is a form of Asian tapas and consists of a wide range of steamed or fried little dishes such as dumplings, spring rolls, and egg tarts. Children enjoy picking what they want from the carts that scurry by your table, and there is always something for everyone.
Yank Sing with two locations in downtown San Francisco is the grand-daddy of dim sum places in San Francisco. Come Saturday and Sunday, Yank Sing's Spear Street location spills into the foyer outside the restaurant and feels like you have arrived in Hong Kong.
The place runs like a well-oiled machine, and since it is large and noisy, it's a great place for families. Arrive early in order to minimize your wait time with kids on weekends. They open at 9:00 a.m. on weekends. Don't miss their unique variations on dim sum such as Peking duck by the slice, stuffed deep fried crab claws and goldfish shaped dumplings. For a little sweet something, the velvety smooth egg custard tarts will delight kids and adults alike.
Yank Sing is located at 101 Spear Street, with the second location at 49 Stevenson Street.
Good Luck Dim Sum
If you cannot motivate yourself to get out of the house in the morning for dim sum with the little ones, bring the dim sum home to you. Regarded by many as the best take-out dim sum in San Francisco, there is often a line out the door at Good Luck Dim Sum.
Walk in and point at what you want, have them put it in a few boxes, and go home and spread out your bounty out on the dining table and dig in. The prices are very reasonable and you will not believe how much a relatively small sum of money buys. There are some tables in this pint-sized shop but it is best to take the food home and enjoy it there.
Good Luck Dim Sum is located on 736 Clement Street
Shanghai Dumpling King
Shanghai Dumpling King is not a traditional dim sum restaurant where they cart the food around. Here you have to order off the menu. However, they do have an impressive selection of dumplings. In addition, their menu of Chinese food is rather good as well if not everyone in your party is interested in dumplings.
The best dumpling here is the signature xiao long bao or soup filled Shanghai dumplings served with a tangy vinegar with shredded ginger. It is delightful to pop the whole dumpling in your mouth and have the mixture of minced pork and soup explode in your mouth. Little ones always love these "soup purses," but make sure the dumplings are sufficiently cool before the kids pop them in their mouths.
Dumplings aside, you cannot leave this restaurant without trying their baseball sized sugar egg puffs. A donut of sorts, but with a far lighter texture and a melt in the mouth quality. The kids will not be able to get enough of these puffs. On a sunny day, drive over to the ocean a few blocks away after you have had your fill of dumplings and fluffy eggs puffs.
Shanghai Dumpling King is located on 3319 Balboa Avenue
If you feel so inclined to make them at home, this Easy-Peasy Dumpling recipe is sure to be a hit with the little ones.
Stacie Dong and Simran Singh are San Francisco Bay Area moms and the creators of A Little Yumminess, a family food blog where they share spiced-up recipes and kid-friendly food adventures. You can also find them on Facebook.
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