Where to eat the best dim sum in Hong Kong
Dim sum is known around the world as being filling, cheap and fast. So well-loved is dim sum that you might not be surprised to learn it translates literally to “piece [of the] heart” in English! Hong Kong, the birthplace of dim sum, has many dim sum restaurants to check out, and Skyscanner presents our top 10 places to eat dim sum in Hong Kong for you to check out and eat to your heart’s content.
1. Sun Tung Lok (新同樂)
Photo Credit: ertography
If you’ve always thought of dim sum as something served in crowded restaurants where you sit sandwiched between push carts and pushier aunties, well, you’re not wrong, but nonetheless, think again. Three Michelin Star places like Sun Tung Lok prove that food as humble as dim sum can also be served with finery and finesse. As Hong Kong’s first non-hotel eatery to earn the coveted accolade, Sun Tung Lok succeeds at achieving the perfect balance between the innovative and the traditional, with dishes such as the two-tiered Royal Dessert Platter, as well as the classic water chestnut cake. While prices here may be higher than their street-side counterparts, the impeccable service here and the quality of every dish make Sun Tung Lok well worth the visit.
2. Luk Yu Tea House (陸羽茶室)
Photo Credit: melissackoh
Now this is the stereotypical dim sum house you probably think of when you think “dim sum,” a large room with joyful chatter and tables with brushed metal tea kettles and worn white table cloths. Luk Yu opened in 1933 and is regarded as one of the oldest and most well-known tea houses in Hong Kong. It is also one of the few remaining eateries that still use push carts, keeping the food and the service as authentic as it gets. Luk Yu’s price point is a tad higher than other dim sum places in town, but have a taste of their Flaky BBQ Pork Biscuit and you’ll be craving for more. The decor of the place will also take you back to simpler times, with wooden booths and an interior designed ornately in the Old Shanghai style.
3. One Harbour Road (港灣壹號)
Photo Credit: leeky101
Looking for a traditional yet classy dim sum experience? Then this two-storey dim sum restaurant housed high up in Hong Kong’s Grand Hyatt Hotel might just be what you’re looking for. Tables right by the floor-to-ceiling windows offer beautiful panoramic views of Hong Kong’s dazzling waterfront, so don’t forget to make this special seating request for a nice added perk to your dining experience. The restaurant prides itself on serving traditional dim sum that’s as authentic as possible, with no foreign influences on ingredients or preparation. And with the calm ambience and soothing décor, it’s easy to get lost in the food and transport yourself into times past.
4. Lin Heung Tea House (蓮香樓)
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Just 10 years shy of its centennial anniversary, little has changed of Lin Heung Tea House since it opened in 1926. The clocks on the wall merely offer a suggestion, and the well-worn chairs are more seasoned than a weathered sailor. One thing that also hasn’t changed is Lin Heung’s no-frills dedication to serving their customers great food quickly and cheaply. Bask in the classic culture of Hong Kong dining as you seat yourself and wait for someone to take your order, or you can approach the dim sum cart once it exits the kitchen for the best pickings. Everything’s pretty much self-service here, so do take initiative or be prepared to wait forever.
5. DimDimSum Dim Sum Speciality Store
Photo Credit: bryan | Flickr
This unassuming Kowloon dim sum shop might be easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. But give it a try and you might be pleasantly surprised. Both classic and more modern dim sum is served at very reasonable prices, and boy is everything delicious! No need to have a flashy store front to be successful when the yummy food speaks for itself!
6. Tin Lung Heen
Photo Credit: plpim
An elegant setting, great dim sum, and a fantastic view are all that’s needed to operate a popular restaurant. Easy, right? Housed on the 102nd level of the Ritz Carlton, Tin Leung Heen serves up both traditional dim sum as well as more innovative “fusion” interpretations which draw a cosmopolitan clientele along with two glitzy Michelin stars. The table service here is excellent, along with their must-try signature dish—prawn and scallop siu mai. Humble, delicious, perfect. Make sure to call ahead of time to make a reservation as this place is pretty much fully-booked every night, as you might expect of a premium restaurant with such renown.
7. Saam Hui Yaat (叁去壹點心粉麵飯)
Photo credit: wi10000cal
You can always trust the reputation of a restaurant by observing where the locals flock to. Saam Hui Yaat is just that kind of restaurant. Specializing in various types of dim sum, this popular place opens at 3 AM and often sells out by mid-afternoon. To add to the authenticity of a local experience, be prepared to know enough Cantonese to order, or else just point or bring a list of dishes you’d like to try. The grime and grittiness of this place may seem a little off-putting to some, but this no-frills place is as real as it gets and every dumpling is wrapped up with the tasty, tasty history of 60’s era Hong Kong.
8. San Hing (新興食家)
Photo Credit: masonchb
The early bird catches the worm, and the early Hong Kong-er eats the freshest dim sum. A popular spot for early-rising retirees, this place starts to fill up as early as 3 AM when it opens, and closes late enough to be a great “drunk food” option for party-goers. There are no menus here either, just point to the pictures on the walls to order, and be sure to order their signature deep-fried milk for dessert.
9. Fook Lam Moon (福臨門)
Photo Credit: nickomomo
Hoping to catch a glimpse of your favourite HK movie star with minimal stalking effort? Fook Lam Moon is unofficially also known as the “café for the wealthy,” attracting wealthy businessmen as well as the occasional celebrity. Fook Lam Moon is often featured as one of Hong Kong’s most iconic landmarks, and their one Michelin star is well earned with both delicious food and a diverse menu.
10. Tim Ho Wan (添好運), of course
Photo Credit: hkbanker.foodie.oldsion
No list about dim sum is complete without featuring the famous Tim Ho Wan. Known far and wide even beyond Hong Kong’s shores, this one Michelin star joint consistently serves amazing food and at street prices, making the eatery the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world. Bring some friends along, order to your heart’s content, and don’t be surprised when your bill averages to RM20 per person. You would be remiss if you didn’t also order their signature Polo Char Siew Bao, the game-changer that propelled this hole-in-the-wall to a worldwide sensation.
By Anthea Piong
This article first appeared in Skyscanner.