The main reason why I love traveling to Hong Kong is for food. And a large part of eating in Hong Kong is dim sum. We have a couple of go to places where we love to eat Hong Kong dim sum. But, over the last few trips we’ve been branching out to include some new places.
Is this a list of the absolute best dim sum in Hong Kong? I’m not sure, but it’s a pretty good start! We will just have to keep trying new dim sum places in Hong Kong to be absolutely sure.
Hong Kong Dim Sum – Traditional Tea House
The first place we ever ate Hong Kong dim sum. And, the place we always try to hit during every visit. Lin Heung Tea House in Central is as traditional as it gets. It’s loud. It’s messy. There’s tea spilled all over the table. Tables are shared with strangers. It’s loaded with retirees. It’s necessary to elbow old ladies to get your dumplings.
And, it’s all so very worth it. Every time we go to Lin Heung I think “I can’t believe how crazy it is here.” But, I love it. Their glutinous pork dumplings are to die for, as well as their sticky rice in a lotus leaf. They also have some very traditional dishes, including tripe and chicken feet, so it’s not for the skeptical tourist.
Lin Heung Tea House is located at 160-164 Wellington Street, in Central Hong Kong. Dim sum for two can cost as little as $20, more if you splurge on plates of BBQ. Lin Heung is almost always open, seven days a week, from 6 am – 11pm.
Hong Kong Dim Sum – Maxim’s City Hall
A veritable institution in Hong Kong for any visitor is a trip to Maxim’s City Hall for dim sum. We’ve been going to Maxim’s since our first trip to Hong Kong in 2009. Although it seems to be growing even more popular each year, as if that were even possible, we still return.
It’s hard to find, upstairs on the second floor of the City Hall building. Once you find it, unless you arrive before opening, be prepared to wait. During our last visit, we arrived at 11 am on a Friday and waited for a very long hour to be sat.
Yes, the dim sum is good here, but the atmosphere is electric. The place is always packed. It’s an interactive experience just attempting to waive down the right dim sum cart (although it’s not as intense as at Lin Heung). And, it’s fun to dine on dumplings with a white table cloth, silver tipped chopsticks, and under a crystal chandelier, with about 400 other people.
Maxim’s Palace City Hall is located, well, at City Hall in Central. Dim sum is on from 11:00-3:00 pm Monday through Saturday, and starting at 9:00 am on Sundays. Get there early. If not, grab a number from the machine and settle in for a wait. A good amount of dim sum for two people with tea will cost approximately $40-50.
Hong Kong Dim Sum – Best Damn Pork in Hong Kong
When we stayed at the Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong, we had a chance to dine at their Dynasty Restaurant. We were promised the best dam pork in Hong Kong. The meal we had was a multi-course Cantonese feast, but the dim sum course was sublime. With sweet shrimp dumplings, a puffed pastry filled with mushrooms and spinach, and dried scallop rice rolls.
But, the real treat were the two types of pork delivered to start the meal. A crispy pork, which is generally Eric’s favorite was fabulous. But, the char siew stole the show. It was tender, flavorful and sweet, with a perfectly caramelized crust. Simply sublime!
It might, in fact, be the best pork in Hong Kong. If you disagree, let us know in the comments where else we should try!
Dynasty is located at the Renaissance Harbour View Hotel in Wan Chai. They are open from 12-3 for lunch, and 6-10 for dinner. A full, multi-course lunch will coast $100, but dim sum prices are a bit less expensive. Dumpling dishes start around $10 a plate. Don’t forget to order the BBQ pork, which landed a place at the top of our best foods to eat in Asia.
Hong Kong Dim Sum – 3 Michelin Star Dim Sum
People rave about Tim Ho Wan, a single Michelin Star dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong. Until recently, we had never been.
But, when we had the opportunity to dine at Lung King Heen, a three star Michelin Star Cantonese restaurant at the Four Seasons Hong Kong, I was a little giddy. Lung King Heen was the first Chinese restaurant to ever be awarded a third star. Executive Chef Chan Yan Tak actually came out of retirement to run the restaurant. Just recently Lung King Heen was named number 10 on the list of the top 50 restaurants in Asia. The bar was set high.
The meal was impeccable, with dumplings topped with gold leaf, tender roast goose with plum sauce, and crispy roast pork. We even tried abalone for the very first time. We drank pink champagne and enjoyed the ambience of the restaurant overlooking Victoria Harbour.
Obviously Lung King Heen is not within everyone’s budget, nor is it an every day dim sum restaurant. I just imagined the effort not only to prepare each dish, but even to set the table. I imagined someone coming through and measuring the space between the flatware and the crystal. But, for a very special occasion, you can never go wrong the Four Seasons.
Lung King Heen Hun is located at the Four Seasons Hong Kong at IFC mall. They serve lunch Monday through Saturday from 12-2:30, and on Sunday from 11:30-3. Dinner is also served seven days a week. Reservations are a must.
Hong Kong Dim Sum – Traditional Tea House
Walking inside Luk Yu Tea House in Central Hong Kong is like walking back in time. The complete opposite of the racket at Lin Heung, located just around the corner. Just after 9 am on a Sunday it felt serene, and classy. With dark wood, Tiffany style stained glass, and decades old chandeliers, it exudes colonial Hong Kong.
Waiters dressed in white quietly poured tea and delivered dim sum, all ordered from a weekly specials menu. Although we had some hiccups when we accidentally first ordered off of the menu from the prior week, eventually we settled into the groove. After a few dishes arrived which we didn’t order, including the picture above (ground fish with crunchy shells of some sort), we figured out the problem. Staff was more than accommodating. It made us realize, though, that even when we think we are experts at Hong Kong dim sum, something comes along to make us feel like complete novices.
Luk Yu Tea House is located at 24-26 Stanley Street. They are open from 7 am – 5pm seven days. Be sure to order from the current week’s menu to avoid problems! Dishes range from $5-10 a person. With tea ($4 per person), dim sum for two cost $50.
Hong Kong Dim Sum – Michelin Star
During all of our visits to Hong Kong, we’ve always made a half hearted attempt to track down Tim Ho Wan, the cheapest restaurant to earn a Michelin Star. It just always seemed a little to annoying to track down. It was out of the way and sure to earn a wait in a lengthy line. Since our first visit to Hong Kong, though, they’ve opened locations all over Hong Kong, and around Asia.
We stopped by the location in IFC mall. A line waited for us, which moved quickly. Definitely on the cheaper end of the scale for Hong Kong dim sum, we tried some of their specialities, including baked bbq pork bun and fresh rice rolls with pork.
The baked pork buns were soft and tender, with tasty pork inside. Everything else, well, was a little disappointing. We may try their Bangkok location to give them a second chance. But otherwise, we were underwhelmed by everything, other than the price. Perhaps you get what you pay for? The rice rolls had little flavor, the glutinous pork dumplings were thin and weak. The turnip cakes were overly shrimpy.
I am only including it in this list because so many people rave about Tim Ho Wan. Maybe we hit it on an off day.
Tim Ho Wan has locations all over the city. This branch in Hong Kong station is a little hard to find. Keep following signs for the Airport Express, and then look for the lines. Dim sum for 2 cost only $10.
Hong Kong Dim Sum – Yung Kee in Central
I am not sure how to cleverly title Yung Kee in Central Hong Kong. It wasn’t the cheapest dim sum, nor the most expensive. It wasn’t the best or the worst. It wasn’t a historic colonial tea house, or a Michelin Star restaurant. It was just merely Yung Kee. And, perhaps that is why I would return.
We were practically knocking down the door at its 11 am opening to snag a seat. Later on a weekend day it can be crazy busy, and reservations are recommended. We ordered bbq pork from their roast menu, along with classic shrimp dumplings. The pork was good, but the not the best, because that of course, is found at Dynasty. The shrimp dumplings were typical and reliable.
The real stand out? The egg tarts. Delivered warm, straight from the oven. Perfectly eggy and gooey. I could have sat there all day eating egg tarts. I would return just for the egg tarts.
Yung Kee is located at 32-40 Wellington Street, just up the road from Lin Heung. They are open 11-11 every day. Reservations are recommended, and can be made on their website at least 24 hours in advance. Dim sum is served 2-530pm Monday through Saturday, and starting at 11 am on Sunday. Roasted pork was around $10 a dish, and dim sum dishes started around $5.
What did we miss? We are always open for new suggestions for Hong Kong dim sum. Please share in the comments below.
Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer behind With Husband In Tow, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for finding new food and drink destinations. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Together over the last 20 years, they have traveled to over 70 countries. Amber is the author of the Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna.