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Custard tarts and other dim sum from Mark’s Duck House in Falls Church
Custard tarts and other dim sum from Mark’s Duck House in Falls Church
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Where to Find Delectable Dim Sum Around D.C.

Enjoy steamed dumplings, bao, and sweets from Rockville down to Springfield

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Custard tarts and other dim sum from Mark’s Duck House in Falls Church
| Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Traditional dim sum covers a gamut of dishes, most famously dumplings stuffed with everything from pork to shrimp to dried scallops. More adventurous diners can indulge in gelatinous chicken or duck feet, first fried and then saturated in a savory sweet sauce. Pork ribs in black bean sauce or custard tarts are more entry-level fare. Rolling carts are known to dispense everything from garlicky yu choy to beef chow fun, too.

Indoor dining restrictions put into place during the COVID-19 crisis have pushed some restaurants, such as Da Hong Pao in Logan Circle, to temporarily close. But that doesn’t mean that dim sum has gone away. All the a la carte goodness has translated to carryout and can still be consumed around in Maryland and Virginia every day of the week. Here are some best bets in the area, from Rockville and Wheaton down to Falls Church and Springfield.

D.C. allows indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating, but this should not be taken as endorsement for dining out, as there are still safety concerns. The Washington Post is tracking coronavirus cases and deaths in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. More information can be found at coronavirus.dc.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Silver Fountain

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Silver Fountain offers the standard dim sum fare every day of the week for takeout. Special dishes include roast duck with sweet rice in lotus leaves, and steamed Chinese sausage buns.

Far East Restaurant

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There’s not the same demand to jostle for prime seating on the mezzanine level of Far East, which has been owned by founder Shing Wai Wong’s family since 1974. Regulars who don’t want to dine inside can place a takeout order for hearty sticky rice in lotus leaves, or rice noodle crepes stuffed with a crisp savory cruller (youtiao).

China Garden Han Gong

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Operating since 1973, China Garden co-owner Chris Zhu and business partner George Cheung relocated the restaurant from Rosslyn to Rockville in 2019. Pick up adorable cream custard-filled, pig-shaped buns, beautifully blistered Portuguese custard tarts, and savory pan-fried scallop dumplings Wednesdays to Sundays.

Wong Gee Asian Restaurant

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This daily dim sum restaurant from the former owners of Chinatown’s Eat First offers some unique bites in the form of pan-fried water chestnut cakes, and Jell-O with goji berries. The restaurant is currently offering only carryout. Order online here.

Gourmet Inspirations

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Owner Andrew Quach took over the reins from Wheaton dim sum stalwart Good Fortune, keeping the same chefs, but rebranding and refreshing the interiors. The streamlined carryout menu features perennial favorites har gow, shu mai, and steamed BBQ pork buns. A dim sum menu is available from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. six days a week (closed Tuesday). Order online here.

Hollywood East Cafe

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Hidden away in Wheaton Mall, this dim sum favorite from owner Janet Yu serves bacon rolls with minced shrimp, and scallop and watercress dumplings. Dim sum is served all day, every day, for takeaway only. Be sure to add the adorable custard-filled, carrot-shaped buns. Order online here.

On a dim sum cart: Pork-shrimp vermicelli dumplings (top left), shu mai, har gow (right), and crystal dumplings (second row) at Hollywood East Cafe.
On a dim sum cart: Pork-shrimp vermicelli dumplings (top left), shu mai, har gow (right), and crystal dumplings (second row) at Hollywood East Cafe.
Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Q By Peter Chang

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Former embassy chef Peter Chang’s flagship operation resides in Bethesda, where fans of his family’s restaurants can find pastry chef Lisa Chang’s famous, puffy scallion bubble pancake on a brief dim sum menu that includes duck rolls and lacy pan-fried skirt dumplings stuffed with shrimp. Dine in or order takeout online here. Delivery is available through third-party apps. — Gabe Hiatt

Dining Review - Q by Peter Chang
The famous scallion bubble pancake from Q by Peter Chang
Washing Post via Getty Images

Han Palace

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This new Tysons Corner restaurant, which opened in September 2020, is the sister restaurant to China Garden. Check out the photogenic gold dust-brushed purple golden yolk buns, which get their color from taro, as well as lacy crisp fried taro dumplings. Order online here.

Dim sum from Han Palace
Dim sum from Han Palace
Han Palace/official photo

Maketto

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Erik Bruner-Yang’s Taiwanese and Cambodian cafe on H Street NE has paused its dim sum brunch service, but there are still all kinds of small plates to order for indoor dining, outdoor dining, or takeout. The all-day menu (noon to 10 p.m.) includes steamed bao full of pork or mushroom and leeks, crystal shrimp dumplings, sourdough scallion pancakes, fried dough sticks with soy milk, vegetable gyoza, and a gruyere dumplings with Chinese beef chili. — Gabe Hiatt

Steamed pork bao from Maketto
Steamed pork bao from Maketto
Maketto [official]

Hong Kong Pearl Seafood Restaurant

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This Falls Church staple showcases the seafood that owner Wayne Lam imports wholesale. Check out har gow (shrimp dumpling in rice flour skins) and salt and pepper shrimp. Currently there is limited indoor dining, but dim sum is available for takeout as well.

Mark's Duck House

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In addition to dumplings, char siu, and rice noodle-wrapped goodies, Mark’s Duck House serves its specialty roast duck and crispy skinned roasted suckling pig during dim sum on the weekends. For something harder to find, try the shrimp-stuffed bitter melon.

Custard tarts and other dim sum from Mark’s Duck House in Falls Church
Custard tarts and buns from Mark’s Duck House
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Vinh Kee

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This Chinese seafood restaurant in Falls Church serves a wide variety of dim sum dishes every day, including hard-to-find items such as Malaysia cake and a white sponge cake. There is limited indoor seating due to COVID restrictions, and orders are taken and then delivered via cart.

Vinh Kee/Facebook

Sampan Cafe

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This Franconia restaurant sticks to the standards on its brief dim sum menu. But it will be sure to satisfy a jonesing for har gow, stuffed eggplant, and black bean spare ribs. Order online here.

Golden Hong Kong

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This Springfield dim sum spot sticks to the standards — shu mai, sesame balls, and pan-fried turnip cakes all make an appearance. The restaurant is currently takeout only.

Silver Fountain

Silver Fountain offers the standard dim sum fare every day of the week for takeout. Special dishes include roast duck with sweet rice in lotus leaves, and steamed Chinese sausage buns.

Far East Restaurant

There’s not the same demand to jostle for prime seating on the mezzanine level of Far East, which has been owned by founder Shing Wai Wong’s family since 1974. Regulars who don’t want to dine inside can place a takeout order for hearty sticky rice in lotus leaves, or rice noodle crepes stuffed with a crisp savory cruller (youtiao).

China Garden Han Gong

Operating since 1973, China Garden co-owner Chris Zhu and business partner George Cheung relocated the restaurant from Rosslyn to Rockville in 2019. Pick up adorable cream custard-filled, pig-shaped buns, beautifully blistered Portuguese custard tarts, and savory pan-fried scallop dumplings Wednesdays to Sundays.

Wong Gee Asian Restaurant

This daily dim sum restaurant from the former owners of Chinatown’s Eat First offers some unique bites in the form of pan-fried water chestnut cakes, and Jell-O with goji berries. The restaurant is currently offering only carryout. Order online here.

Gourmet Inspirations

Owner Andrew Quach took over the reins from Wheaton dim sum stalwart Good Fortune, keeping the same chefs, but rebranding and refreshing the interiors. The streamlined carryout menu features perennial favorites har gow, shu mai, and steamed BBQ pork buns. A dim sum menu is available from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. six days a week (closed Tuesday). Order online here.

Hollywood East Cafe

Hidden away in Wheaton Mall, this dim sum favorite from owner Janet Yu serves bacon rolls with minced shrimp, and scallop and watercress dumplings. Dim sum is served all day, every day, for takeaway only. Be sure to add the adorable custard-filled, carrot-shaped buns. Order online here.

On a dim sum cart: Pork-shrimp vermicelli dumplings (top left), shu mai, har gow (right), and crystal dumplings (second row) at Hollywood East Cafe.
On a dim sum cart: Pork-shrimp vermicelli dumplings (top left), shu mai, har gow (right), and crystal dumplings (second row) at Hollywood East Cafe.
Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Q By Peter Chang

Former embassy chef Peter Chang’s flagship operation resides in Bethesda, where fans of his family’s restaurants can find pastry chef Lisa Chang’s famous, puffy scallion bubble pancake on a brief dim sum menu that includes duck rolls and lacy pan-fried skirt dumplings stuffed with shrimp. Dine in or order takeout online here. Delivery is available through third-party apps. — Gabe Hiatt

Dining Review - Q by Peter Chang
The famous scallion bubble pancake from Q by Peter Chang
Washing Post via Getty Images

Han Palace

This new Tysons Corner restaurant, which opened in September 2020, is the sister restaurant to China Garden. Check out the photogenic gold dust-brushed purple golden yolk buns, which get their color from taro, as well as lacy crisp fried taro dumplings. Order online here.

Dim sum from Han Palace
Dim sum from Han Palace
Han Palace/official photo

Maketto

Erik Bruner-Yang’s Taiwanese and Cambodian cafe on H Street NE has paused its dim sum brunch service, but there are still all kinds of small plates to order for indoor dining, outdoor dining, or takeout. The all-day menu (noon to 10 p.m.) includes steamed bao full of pork or mushroom and leeks, crystal shrimp dumplings, sourdough scallion pancakes, fried dough sticks with soy milk, vegetable gyoza, and a gruyere dumplings with Chinese beef chili. — Gabe Hiatt

Steamed pork bao from Maketto
Steamed pork bao from Maketto
Maketto [official]

Hong Kong Pearl Seafood Restaurant

This Falls Church staple showcases the seafood that owner Wayne Lam imports wholesale. Check out har gow (shrimp dumpling in rice flour skins) and salt and pepper shrimp. Currently there is limited indoor dining, but dim sum is available for takeout as well.

Mark's Duck House

In addition to dumplings, char siu, and rice noodle-wrapped goodies, Mark’s Duck House serves its specialty roast duck and crispy skinned roasted suckling pig during dim sum on the weekends. For something harder to find, try the shrimp-stuffed bitter melon.

Custard tarts and other dim sum from Mark’s Duck House in Falls Church
Custard tarts and buns from Mark’s Duck House
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Vinh Kee

This Chinese seafood restaurant in Falls Church serves a wide variety of dim sum dishes every day, including hard-to-find items such as Malaysia cake and a white sponge cake. There is limited indoor seating due to COVID restrictions, and orders are taken and then delivered via cart.

Vinh Kee/Facebook

Sampan Cafe

This Franconia restaurant sticks to the standards on its brief dim sum menu. But it will be sure to satisfy a jonesing for har gow, stuffed eggplant, and black bean spare ribs. Order online here.

Golden Hong Kong

This Springfield dim sum spot sticks to the standards — shu mai, sesame balls, and pan-fried turnip cakes all make an appearance. The restaurant is currently takeout only.

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