Where To Go in San Francisco, with Children, For Dim Sum Carts

Half my family lives in Los Angeles and half in the Bay Area, so we all go back and forth a lot. My brothers and I were chatting the other day, and realized that none of us have ever taken any of the little cousins for dim sum at a place that serves from carts.

Thanksgiving is up north this year, so that might be a fun thing to do. Any recommendations? Nothing too fancy, the children range from 6-months to fourteen, but it would be great if the grown-ups could enjoy some good food as long as we’re there.

Thanks!

Yank sing on Spear, State bird provisions (I remember that you like lines! :wink:

Ton Kiang on Geary. If you MUST have carts, your choices are limited.

@atomica Yeah… We’ve gone for dim sum with the kids a few times, but only once with carts and that was in Los Angeles a while ago.

It seemed so impressive and fancy to us when we were little kids. Maybe it was more common 20 years ago?

@barleywino Sounds great! It’ll be just standing in line at Disneyland. :slight_smile:

I was at New Asia last year and they had carts. It’s a very large room, crowded at prime time.

                                    772 Pacific Ave
                                    San Francisco, CA 94133  
                                    415-391-6666
2 Likes

In the same genre, there’s conveyor belt sushi. I only know Gombei in Santa clara, who also do katsu, curry etc. Haven’t tried the sushi there but the kids might enjoy watching it go by.

1 Like

Since you said “Bay Area” I’ll note that East Ocean in Alameda has carts on the weekends. Nicer than New Asia, less stuffy than Ton Kiang, less expensive than Yank Sing.

1 Like

Then you’d have to add ABC in Foster City, which is a bit greasier than East Ocean but I think the atmosphere is more fun.

Doesn’t Koi Palace do carts on weekends? At least, maybe they do both, where the “specials” are on a check-sheet and the more normal stuff is on carts?

Carts seem to have died out a bit, and I don’t miss them. You spend more time wondering what is what, and what’s going to come out next, instead of checking off dishes. Carts did have mystery and fun factor.

Exactly!

These recommendations are much appreciated, sounds like there are some good choices all over the spectrum. I’ll report back and let you know how it went. I’m guessing the egg custard pie cart will be waved over a lot. :slight_smile:

I always liked those at ABC. Now, with Uber/Lyft, it’s far easier to entertain going to Foster City for Dim Sum.

Also, Asian Pearl in Femont?

Saigon in Richmond also has carts. Pretty clean but noisy.

Koi Palace has carts for specific things: steamed tripe, steamed innards, sampan jook, some dessert things that I don’t know what they are. Pretty much everything else is ordered from the check-list or from trays circulated by servers. But don’t count on getting what you want from the trays. We think of those as a surprise addition. Anything we definitely want we order from the menu.

Dim sum is fresher when ordered from the kitchen, and it’s easier to plan a meal with the check menu, but carts encourage you to try new things. The last time I was at East Ocean I asked one of the cart ladies if she had the pineapple (custard) buns. She didn’t, but later when she came by she stopped and gave me some. Service from a cart lady is why I love East Ocean!

1 Like

Check out House of Banquet on Clement. Nothing spectacular, but good and tasty and lots of carts.

I just realized I never reported back to this thread. Thanks for the responses, it was a great list of recommendations, some of which I’ve filed away for future reference.

We ended up going to Harbor Villa (formerly All Seasons) on Diamond Heights. It was very decent, lots of food, the duck, the broccoli and water spinach ordered off the regular menu were good, and the dumplings were all flavorful with nice wrappers, except the soup dumplings. Very thick skin and filling was bland. Stay away from those and the greasy, thin flavorless scallion dumplings.

Other than that, it was a very nice dim sum brunch, the service was super friendly and on point, and the kids had a blast. I was surprised how good the egg tarts were, we had to get extra.

3 Likes
“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold