Nothing beats a good dim-sum, where a variety of fried, steamed, and slow-cooked sharable bites leaves stomachs, hearts, and wallets full. Finding a quality dim sum house in Miami, however, is a different story. Thanks to loyal customers, many local Chinese restaurants have earned their staying power despite less-than-average service and greasy pork shumai. The Magic City may not be home to a hotbed of options, but several noteworthy yet overlooked spots are sure to satisfy your cravings and then some.
Blackbrick in midtown brings a fresh, modern take to Chinese staples, while Tropical Chinese has remained a favorite among locals for more than 30 years. From faithfully rolled pushcarts and steaming bamboo baskets to never-ending checklist-style menus, here are Miami's ten best restaurants with the plumpest dumplings and sweetest buns.
Just remember: The dim-sum experience is a marathon, not a sprint. So pace yourself and leave room for dessert. And call ahead. Some places offer dim sum only on weekends. Most offer it only at specific times that are subject to change (except for number one).
10. Tony Chan’s Water Club
Nestled inside the Doubletree Grand Hotel (1717 N. Bayshore Dr.), Tony Chan’s boasts beautiful views of Biscayne Bay, classic Cantonese-style cuisine, and the restaurant’s real winner, an array of bite-size delicacies too good to pass up. The dim sum list trends toward the eclectic, with a ton of vegetarian options you can’t find elsewhere, such as edamame dumplings ($5), pan-fried veggie buns ($5.50), and stuffed shrimp veggie tofu skin ($6). Whether you go for meat or no meat, end your dim sum dine-in with soft, silken almond tofu pudding ($4).
9. Mr. Chef's
When the urge for dim sum strikes while shopping at Aventura Mall, a drive to the nearby Mr. Chef's is your best bet. Although pricier than most casual Chinese food places, this spacious spot, tucked into Suite 10 at 18800 NE 29th Ave.
8. Sang's Chinese Food
A myriad of authentic Chinese restos are scattered along NE 163rd Street in North Miami Beach, but this little gem surpasses other neighborhood joints like Bamboo Garden and Hong Kong Noodles by a long shot. Located at 1925 NE 163rd St., Sang's serves an extensive lunch menu of 60-plus dim sum items every day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Chow down on anything and everything, from crisp fried shrimp balls ($3.35) to sweetly baked pineapple buns ($2.95). And because of the extremely low prices, you can order as much as your stomach can hold.
7. South Garden Chinese
Kendall’s bargain dim sum shop at 10855 Sunset Dr., where patrons enjoy shrimp, pork, and a plethora of other filled doughy selections, ranks among the Magic City’s best of the best. Served daily until 3 p.m., South Garden’s dim sum offerings feature favorites such as steamed scallop dumplings, stuffed black
6. Tropical Chinese
Join the masses, especially Saturday and Sunday mornings, for mind-blowing plates of taro shrimp patties ($8), sticky rice wrapped in steamed lotus leaf ($8.50), and — for the adventuresome — chicken feet with rich black bean sauce ($5.50). For 30 years, this widely popular mainstay, located at 7991 Bird Rd., across the street from Tropical Park, has been doing dim sum right. Flag down a server touring the dining room with a packed pushcart of freshly cooked surprises, and you'll see.
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What Canton Palace lacks in ambiance, it makes up for in budget-friendly Cantonese fare and quality service. If you find yourself way out west, head to this modestly sized eatery (7980 SW Eighth St.) with a big reputation for dynamite dim sum. The dim sum platter ($15.99), which can feed two, is the perfect option for diners who want to sample all the highlights, from fried shrimp balls to pan-fried pork dumplings. Still hungry? Splurge on the special canton steak ($19.99), a tender prime sirloin served on a sizzling platter with mixed sautéed vegetables.
Just steps from chef-owner Richard Hales’ original Miami sensation, Sakaya Kitchen, this cutting-edge midtown joint with a funky façade is elevating Chinese eats to tastier heights. Blackbrick (3451 NE First Ave.) hooks you up with can’t-miss dishes such as Peking duck ($30), served alongside steamed bao buns and roti prata (fried
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Saturday and Sunday are the best days to indulge at this award-winning hotel eatery because of its weekend dim sum lunch. Located inside the Fontainebleau (4441 Collins Ave.), Hakkasan offers a refined prix fixe priced at $28 per person. Each guest is served a mouthwatering assortment of steamed and crisp dim sum, an entrée, a vegetable, and rice or noodles. For $10 less, you can get the steamed crystal Boston lobster dumplings ($18), creatively crafted by chef de cuisine Jian Heng Loo.
1. Kon Chau
Unlike most of the aforementioned restaurants, Kon Chau serves dim sum all day, every single day, at unbeatable prices. It might not look like much from the outside, but Kon Chau's chow speaks for itself. Bask in dim sum glory at this strip-mall spot (8376 Bird Rd.), just west of Tropical Park. You'll find favorites like scallop dumplings ($3.15), steamed roast duck bun ($3.95), beef rice noodle crepes ($3.75), and egg custard tarts ($3.15). Steamer baskets are piled high. Fried dishes are ready. Go hungry.