The Best Soup Dumplings In Chicago guide image


The Best Soup Dumplings In Chicago

Our favorite spots for soup dumplings in the city.

Next to electricity and CTRL + Z, the invention of xiao long bao (a.k.a. soup dumplings) is one of the most important advancements in all of human history. Savory broth and well-seasoned meat filling swaddled in a sturdy-yet-delicate wrapper—this iconic Shanghainese staple packages it all into one juicy bite. And while Chicago may not have as many XLB spots as cities on the east and west coasts, we still have a handful of great places that we can rely on for delicious broth-filled dumplings. Here’s where to find our favorite xiao long bao in the city.


Hing Kee Restaurant

Like a high-performing three-on-three basketball team, every element of a well-crafted xiao long bao—broth, filling, and wrapper—needs to be perfectly synchronized. And the best place to go for quality soup dumplings in Chicago is Hing Kee in Chinatown. They come in three juicy varieties: pork, crab and pork, and chicken. Each one has a delicate, chewy wrapper, and is brimming with warm, flavorful broth that perfectly complements the meat. Make sure to also add some black vinegar and chili oil before slurping them up for an added burst of tartness and spice.

This upscale Chinese restaurant is always packed, a common trait of any restaurant that’s a part of the “Girl and The Goat” family. But beyond just being popular, this Fulton Market spot also has good food, particularly their xiao long bao. Instead of the traditional pork filling, the soup dumplings are loaded with a mix of duck and goat meat. The combination is rich, juicy, and with just the right amount of gamey funk.

This casual spot in Bridgeport should change its name to Xiao Long Bao House because the XLBs are the best dumplings here. Each one always comes with a balanced meaty filling and a generous amount of rich broth. Occasionally, the wrapper does tend to break and the broth can be a bit too fatty, but, on a good day, Potsticker House's soup dumplings are fantastic. With its low ceilings, dining here can feel a bit like a basement party—but honestly, the dumplings make it way more exciting than the other basement parties we’ve gone to.

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photo credit: Christina Slaton

The Best Soup Dumplings In Chicago guide image