The dim sum dumplings at Duddell’s in Hong Kong are on our fly to try list – but if you’re stuck stateside this summer like we are, you can still sink your teeth into delicious dumplings – no plane ticket required. We’ve rounded up a bunch, from the authentic to the unique – to the highly Instagrammable. And be sure to enter our #WillFlyForFood giveaway.
Imperial Lamian, Chicago, Illinois
Eating for the Insta? Love dumplings? Right this way. The rainbow Xiao Long Boa from chef Victor Chong are thumbstoppers that come in an array of flavors, from Shanghai, spicy Szechuan, gruyere, crab, truffle, and duck. Bonus: In honor of the restaurant’s one-year anniversary, they’re just a buck a pop (minimum of four per order – but we just know you’ll want a dozen of these photogenic dumplings). Make a reservation at Imperial Lampian.
Dirty Habit, San Francisco, California
You’ll want to make a habit of executive chef Thomas Weibull’s Dungeness crab dumplings. Part of a new menu unveiled this year featuring Asian-influenced flavor reflecting his Filipino roots, they come with prawns, laksa, and xo sauce. Make a reservation at Dirty Habit.
Nix, New York, New York
They’re new and, despite being dumplings, they’re selling like hotcakes at this veggie-lover’s paradise. The all-vegan English pea dumplings from chef John Fraser are served with radishes and ginger-scallion oil. Make a reservation at Nix.
Waypoint, Cambridge, Massachusetts
There’s something for everyone at Waypoint – New England seafood, pizza, a raw bar – and dumpling. Chef Michael Scelfo’s spin on pork and crab soup dumplings, his favorite late-night bite, by including fermented apple and vinegar. Make a reservation at Waypoint.
Hakkasan, Miami Beach, Florida
Chef de cuisine Jian Heng Loo serves up food that is big on opulence and flavor: think roasted silver cod in Chinese honey and Champagne and the restaurant boasts an imported oven specially reserved for cooking Peking ducks. He elevates his riff with the lobster crystal dumplings – delicate and decadent. Make a reservation at Hakkasan.
Buddakan, New York, New York
Beloved by Carrie Bradshaw and the other members of Manhattan’s fictitious fab four, Buddakan served figure-friendly edamame-stuff dumplings in a shallot-Sauternes broth from chef Brian Ray– perfect for those nights you need to shimmy into an LBD and some mile-high Manolos. Make a reservation at Buddakan.
E&O Kitchen and Bar, San Francisco, California
As a child, chef Sharon Nahm shared many moments in the kitchen with her grandmother making pot stickers and dumplings. She credits her grandmother’s cooking lessons with helping shape the way she cooks in the kitchen today. At E&O Kitchen and Bar, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, Sharon makes her own updated version of the memorable dumplings with mushroom and butternut squash filling. Make a reservation at E&O Kitchen.
Dirty Habit, Washington, D.C.
This time, it’s personal – the Guinea hen and foie gras stuffed dumplings, anyway. Executive chef Kyoo Eom mines an Eom family recipe that originated with his grandmother in his native Korea. Served in a mushroom broth with a side of barrel-aged soy sauce, this is serious umami goodness. Make a reservation at Dirty Habit.
The Sarsaparilla Club, Miami Beach, Florida
You’re going to be asking the servers at this modern American dim sum restaurant to seriously slow their roll when they pass by you with Sarsparilla’s traditional dim sum carts. Whether you pick the beet and goat cheese or the braised short rib dumplings (or both), from chefs Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth, you’ll be flagging them down for seconds. Make a reservation at The Sarsparilla Club.
UNI, Boston, Massachusetts
Chef-partner Tony Messina loves him some Wagyu beef and he takes every chance to serve it, including in his beef dumplings. Served in a cheddar dashi broth with braised lettuce, the hearty dish is particularly satisfying during chilly New England evenings. Make a reservation at UNI.
Zentan, Washington, D.C.
Authenticity looms large with kaisen gyoza at Zentan from Japanese-born chef Yo Matsuzaki. The dumplings are filled with a silky combination of sea bass and hokkaido scallop, which sit in a butter-ponzu sauce, for big flavor in a delicate package. Make a reservation at Zentan.
Have a favorite picture of a food you flew to try? Share with us to enter OpenTable’s #WillFlyforFood social media contest; for full details, click here. Prize includes dinner for two at the legendary Pujol restaurant in Mexico City, a walking culinary tour of Mexico City, round-trip airfare and three nights of hotel accommodations for two. To enter, share a photo of a delicious dish you flew for. Post it on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, or visit our blog for more options and tell us where else you dream of flying for your next culinary adventure. And, if entering on Instagram or Twitter, be sure to follow and tag @OpenTable and use the hashtag #willflyforfood so your entry is visible.
Photo credits: Andrea Merrill (UNI); Nader Khouri (Dirty Habit SF).