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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.
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A & J Restaurant

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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.

Bob's Shanghai 66

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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.

Chinatown Express

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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.

Dumplings & Beyond

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This Wisconsin Avenue spot offers one order of eight-piece soup dumplings for $9.50.

House of Fortune

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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.

JDS Shanghai Famous Food

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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.

North China Restaurant

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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.

Peter Chang China Cafe (Multiple Locations)

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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.

Ping Pong Dim Sum

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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.

Reren Lamen & Bar

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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.

Shanghai Lounge

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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.

Shanghai Taste

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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.

A & J Restaurant

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

Bob's Shanghai 66

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.

Chinatown Express

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.

Dumplings & Beyond

This Wisconsin Avenue spot offers one order of eight-piece soup dumplings for $9.50.

House of Fortune

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.

JDS Shanghai Famous Food

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.

North China Restaurant

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.

Peter Chang China Cafe (Multiple Locations)

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.

Ping Pong Dim Sum

Ping Pong Dim Sum added the soup dumpling among its seasonally-changing options last year, and now it's a mainstay on the menu.

Reren Lamen & Bar

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.

Shanghai Lounge

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.

Shanghai Taste

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.

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