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Soup dumplings at Bob's Shanghai 66
Soup dumplings at Bob's Shanghai 66
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Finding the Elusive Soup Dumpling in D.C.

Places to spot soup-er dumplings

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Soup dumplings at Bob's Shanghai 66
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Soup dumplings, or xiao long bao in Chinese, are a dish with a minor cult following. Fans will travel long distances to find dumplings with plentiful soup and delicate skins. The gelatin-rich soup and pork meatball filling is so challenging to make that it warrants a thorough search.

The Source's Scott Drewno used to serve soup dumplings as an occasional special during brunch, and while their weekend dim sum menu is still going strong, soup dumplings have disappeared. To find these juicy delicacies all the time, head to these spots in D.C. and Virginia, as well as a wealth of options in Maryland.

There's solid evidence the squishy snack is a hit in D.C., even more so since this map was first published. Ping Pong Dum Sum had a busy Monday morning, and all of its soup dumplings were sold out by midday. Newcomers like Reren have put the hard-to-find soup dumpling on their menu, with their versions branded as "soup buns." And Shanghai Taste put a new twist on the treat, now offering pan-fried soup dumplings as an option.

—Updated by Tierney Plumb

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. A & J Restaurant

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1319 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 251-7878
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A&J is a local favorite for its Taiwanese noodle soups and long, cigar-shaped dumplings. It also serves soup dumplings — four per order.

2. Bob's Shanghai 66

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305 N Washington St
Rockville, MD 20850
(301) 251-6652
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Along with a wide variety of Shanghainese dishes, Bob's offers two classic soup dumpling options. The first is the standard pork option, and the other is filled pork and crabmeat and topped with bright orange, briny crab roe.

3. Chinatown Express

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746 6th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 638-0424
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There aren't many Chinese restaurants left in Chinatown, and few offer soup dumplings. But at Chinatown Express, soup dumplings can be found eight to an order.

4. House of Fortune

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6715 Lowell Ave
McLean, VA 22101
(703) 821-3779
Traditional xiao long bao are available at House of Fortune even though the menu offers a mix of classic Chinese-Amercan menu items like pupu platters and appropriated dishes like pad thai. The dumplings were once on the "secret" Chinese menu, but now the secret is out.

5. JDS Shanghai Famous Food

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521 Quince Orchard Blvd
Gaithersburg, MD
(301) 330-5555
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JDS Shanghai serves the standard "juicy" soup dumpling options of pork, and pork and crabmeat. There's also a full menu of Shanghainese dishes and steamed bao options to supplement orders of soup dumplings.

6. North China Restaurant

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7814 Old Georgetown Rd
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 656-7922
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Those who visit North China can find pork soup dumplings daily, and on the weekends pair them with dim sum choices like fried crullers, sweet soy milk, and oyster omelets.

7. Peter Chang China Cafe (Multiple Locations)

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2503E N Harrison St
Arlington, VA 22207
(703) 538-6688
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Peter’s Big Bun is a unique pork soup dumpling at Peter Chang. Rather than taking from the word "small" in the original name, the soup dumpling is one large dumpling that fills the steamer tray. A straw is provided to drink the soup, and then the dumpling can be consumed in pieces.

8. Shanghai Lounge

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1734 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
(202) 338-1588
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Aside from Chinatown Express, Shanghai Lounge is one of the few Chinese restaurants in D.C. proper that serves soup dumplings. They offer the standard pork version among a mix of Sichuan, Cantonese and homestyle dishes.

9. Shanghai Taste

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1211 Nelson Street
Rockville, MD 20850
(301) 279-0806
Lines form at this small Rockville restaurant for the xiao long bao, a favorite among local Chinese families. It's listed on the menu as small steamed pork buns, Shanghai style. Now there's also pan-fried soup dumplings as an option.

10. Dumplings & Beyond

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2400 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone number (202) 338-3815
This Wisconsin Avenue spot offers one order of eight-piece soup dumplings for $9.50.

11. Ping Pong Dim Sum

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900 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 506-3740
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Ping Pong Dim Sum added the soup dumpling among its seasonally-changing options last year, and now it's a mainstay on the menu.

12. Reren Lamen & Bar

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817 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 290-3677
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Ramen is aplenty at this five-month-old spot, but it also gives another soup dumpling option to Chinatown; their "soup bun" version has pork.

1. A & J Restaurant

1319 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852
A&J is a local favorite for its Taiwanese noodle soups and long, cigar-shaped dumplings. It also serves soup dumplings — four per order.
1319 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852

2. Bob's Shanghai 66

305 N Washington St, Rockville, MD 20850
Along with a wide variety of Shanghainese dishes, Bob's offers two classic soup dumpling options. The first is the standard pork option, and the other is filled pork and crabmeat and topped with bright orange, briny crab roe.
305 N Washington St
Rockville, MD 20850

3. Chinatown Express

746 6th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
There aren't many Chinese restaurants left in Chinatown, and few offer soup dumplings. But at Chinatown Express, soup dumplings can be found eight to an order.
746 6th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

4. House of Fortune

6715 Lowell Ave, McLean, VA 22101
Traditional xiao long bao are available at House of Fortune even though the menu offers a mix of classic Chinese-Amercan menu items like pupu platters and appropriated dishes like pad thai. The dumplings were once on the "secret" Chinese menu, but now the secret is out.
6715 Lowell Ave
McLean, VA 22101

5. JDS Shanghai Famous Food

521 Quince Orchard Blvd, Gaithersburg, MD
JDS Shanghai serves the standard "juicy" soup dumpling options of pork, and pork and crabmeat. There's also a full menu of Shanghainese dishes and steamed bao options to supplement orders of soup dumplings.
521 Quince Orchard Blvd
Gaithersburg, MD

6. North China Restaurant

7814 Old Georgetown Rd, Bethesda, MD 20814
Those who visit North China can find pork soup dumplings daily, and on the weekends pair them with dim sum choices like fried crullers, sweet soy milk, and oyster omelets.
7814 Old Georgetown Rd
Bethesda, MD 20814

7. Peter Chang China Cafe (Multiple Locations)

2503E N Harrison St, Arlington, VA 22207
Peter’s Big Bun is a unique pork soup dumpling at Peter Chang. Rather than taking from the word "small" in the original name, the soup dumpling is one large dumpling that fills the steamer tray. A straw is provided to drink the soup, and then the dumpling can be consumed in pieces.
2503E N Harrison St
Arlington, VA 22207

8. Shanghai Lounge

1734 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20007
Aside from Chinatown Express, Shanghai Lounge is one of the few Chinese restaurants in D.C. proper that serves soup dumplings. They offer the standard pork version among a mix of Sichuan, Cantonese and homestyle dishes.
1734 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

9. Shanghai Taste

1211 Nelson Street, Rockville, MD 20850
Lines form at this small Rockville restaurant for the xiao long bao, a favorite among local Chinese families. It's listed on the menu as small steamed pork buns, Shanghai style. Now there's also pan-fried soup dumplings as an option.
1211 Nelson Street
Rockville, MD 20850

10. Dumplings & Beyond

2400 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
This Wisconsin Avenue spot offers one order of eight-piece soup dumplings for $9.50.
2400 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

11. Ping Pong Dim Sum

900 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Ping Pong Dim Sum added the soup dumpling among its seasonally-changing options last year, and now it's a mainstay on the menu.
900 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

12. Reren Lamen & Bar

817 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Ramen is aplenty at this five-month-old spot, but it also gives another soup dumpling option to Chinatown; their "soup bun" version has pork.
817 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

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