There’s a Hong Kong dim sum dish for everyone! Literally meaning “to touch your heart”, yum cha is a universal crowd-pleaser. Here’s where to go for the best dim sum in Hong Kong…
A Cantonese brunch tradition that sprang from the teahouses of Guangzhou, today dim sum encapsulates a stunning range – borrowed and adapted from various regional cuisines – of tastes, textures, ingredients and techniques. Here in Hong Kong, foremost dim sum destination of the world, communal gatherings, family reunions, and a.m. rituals extend over the flurry of small plates and ceaseless pots of tea. In other words, there’s no denying that yum cha holds a special place in the city– and in our hearts.
So, measure out your day in stacks of steaming baskets. Let the morning and early afternoon lazily unspool, spirits soothed and bellies brimming. Here’s our guide to the best dim sum in Hong Kong.
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Dim Sum Library – Best for a modern take on classic dim sum
At Dim Sum Library, truffle and other premium ingredients find new purpose in classic dim sum dishes. Encased in delicate layers of pastry, wagyu plays well with aromatic pepper in the beef puffs, while slivers of black truffle umami-fy always-delectable har gao (shrimp dumplings). For an innovative experience, browse and sink your teeth into the expertly curated selection at Dim Sum Library.
Dim Sum Library (ELEMENTS), Shop 1028B, 1/F, ELEMENTS, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2810 0898
Dim Sum Square – Best for a quick yum cha lunch
Apart from the best-selling Spring Rolls Wrapped in Rice Rolls, this reliable restaurant delivers on the dim sum must-haves including siu mai, har gao and lo mai gai (glutinous rice with chicken swaddled in a large lotus leaf) – in winter, the latter cocoons a nub of maple-scented Chinese sausage. This spot successfully squares away any dim sum cravings.
Dimdimsum – Quality dim sum at affordable prices
With branches in Shanghai and Taiwan, this Hong Kong-based dim sum joint builds a loyal patronage with quality dim sum at affordable prices. Plump shrimp encased in a satisfyingly thin wrapper, this place passes the har gow test, and that is not taken lightly in our books. One surprising standout to mention are the pineapple buns filled with pineapple custard.
Ding Dim 1968 – Yum cha classics
A cheap and cheerful stop for dim sum on Wyndham Street, Ding Dim 1968 is a go-to for all our favourite yum cha staples. On top of the usual suspects, we’re also fans of the Siu Mai topped with Black Truffle, Deep-Fried Squid in Chili Garlic, and Xiao Long Bay with Pork and Crab Roe.
Duddell’s – Best for aesthetes & dim sum brunch fanatics
Even before the age of social media and the advent of “foodfluencers”, the adage held true: you eat with your eyes first. At the distinguished Cantonese dim sum dining room Duddell’s, which first earned a Michelin star in 2013, aesthetics are not an afterthought. The walls are graced with fine art, while the kitchen crafts exquisite bites invigorated by local and seasonal ingredients. Duddell’s popular yum cha brunch set includes some of the best dim in Hong Kong, accompanied by free-flow Champagne and a buzzy atmosphere.
Duen Kee – Best for hiking adventures
Nestled inside a village house on the slopes of Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong’s tallest peak, Duen Kee is perfect for pre- or post-hike fuelling up. At this self-service dim sum restaurant, the atmosphere is cheerfully communal – and a dash competitive – as you hustle to acquire coveted dim sum dishes and scoop out dollops of tofu fa or soybean pudding from a giant barrel. Blanched watercress is the unexpected breakout star here: bright and vegetal with peppery notes, these greens are grown in the nearby fields and picked fresh for each service. Local and sustainable – done the down-to-earth way!
Duen Kee, 57-58 Chuen Lung Estate, Route Twisk, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, 2490 5246
Lock Cha – Best for vegetarian dim sum
Dim sum is a Hong Kong staple, and thanks to Lock Cha Tea House, those following a vegan or vegetarian diet don’t have to miss out! Enriched by the region’s vast history of ingenious mock meats, this dim sum spread takes veggies seriously. From pickled beancurd skin to fungi-forward designs, the menu inspires with creative twists on typically meaty morsels. With the tea list triple the length of the food menu, “cha” takes the leading role it deserves in this yum cha affair par excellence.
Man Mo Dim Sum – Best for fusion dim sum
What are the ethics of enfolding foie gras in xiao long bao? Perhaps most pressingly, does involving cheese in a dim sum degustation constitute pure heresy? Contemplate these complex philosophical questions at Man Mo Dim Sum. A walk-in only (for parties under eight) wine bar and restaurant with a sister location in Bordeaux, there is some method to the madness of the menu here: chefs from Din Tai Fung and Robuchon put it together after months of tinkering. Not one for the traditionalists, the offerings here conjure a brand of “East-meets-West” dining with unorthodox pairings and explosive flavours.
Man Mo Dim Sum, Shop 05-06, Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, www.manmodimsum.com
Rùn – Contemporary take on traditional dim sum
Awarded a Michelin star in 2022, Rùn at The St. Regis Hotel is worth a visit. In-season ingredients from around the world are painstakingly prepared by Chef Hung Chi-Kwong the traditional way, and then plated up with a refined, modern spin. Alongside classic Canton fare, the restaurant offers vegan and non-gluten set menus to accommodate differing dietary needs.
One Dim Sum – Best for “no frills” yum cha
Hold the Hokkaido scallops and Périgord shavings – One Dim Sum isn’t about reinventing the wheel. Instead, this wildly popular dim sum-eria in Prince Edward is committed to the classics. Be it celebratory turnip cake or comforting lo mai gai, most dishes on the menu are prepared remarkably well, especially considering the agreeable price tag. End on a high, sweet(er) note with the egg twists or dan san, dusted with crushed peanuts and coconut flakes, then drizzled with condensed milk.
One Dim Sum, G/F, 209A-209B Tung Choi Street, Prince Edward, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2677 7888
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Seventh Son – Best for special occasions
Top-tier ingredients and traditional cooking methods harmonise at Seventh Son, an elevated, classically oriented Cantonese eatery recognised by the Michelin Guide and Asia’s 50 Best. Established by the seventh son of reputed Fook Lam Moon founder, Chui Fuk-chuen, heritage and history run deep at this restaurant. Expect paradigmatic dim sum executed to perfection, with a focus on highlighting natural flavours and freshness.
Sun Hing – Best for late-night dim sum
Open daily from 3am to 4pm, Sun Hing draws in the late night and daybreak crowds. The people congregate here for one thing: traditional dim sum, served in frenzied abundance. The pork and mushroom siu mai and curry honeycomb tripe are popular picks, but no one can pay a visit to Sun Hing without trying the salted egg yolk custard buns – a hallowed experience that feels all the more sacred in the small hours of the morning.
Sun Hing, Shop C, G/F, 8 Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, 2816 0616
Tim Ho Wan – Best value dim sum
One of our tried-and-true wallet-friendly favourites is none other than Tim Ho Wan. Once known around the world as one of the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurants, yum cha enthusiasts flock to its locations across Hong Kong – and now across the globe, with its several international outposts – for its uncommon balance of taste and value. All the classics are made fairly well, but the baked char siu bun – crisp and crackly outside, jammy-sweet porcine goodness inside – is what it’s all a-bao.
Yum Cha – Insta-famous dim sum
Growing up, we were taught not to play with our food. But at Yum Cha, fun and games are intrinsic to the dim sum experience. Here, you’re more than encouraged to nurture your inner child and engage with the multi-sensory dim sum. The steamed char siu bao (BBQ pork buns) land on your table dressed as three little pigs, while the famous custard buns tease your twin senses of disgust and delight with their oft-Instagrammed ooze or “vomiting”.
Yum Cha, Shop 1-2, 2/F, Nan Fung Place, 173 Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, yumchahk.com
Editor’s Note: “Your Guide To Dim Sum In Hong Kong” was most recently updated by Team Sassy in January 2023.
Main image courtesy of Rùn via Instagram, image 1 courtesy of Dim Sum Library via Instagram, image 2 courtesy of Dimdimsum via Instagram, image 3 courtesy of Duddell’s via Instagram, image 4 courtesy of Lock Cha, image 5 courtesy of Rùn via Instagram, image 6 courtesy of Seventh Son, image 7 courtesy of Tim Ho Wan via Instagram.