The 10 Best Dim Sum Restaurants In London

Cantonese canteens with glistening siu mai, glitzy restaurants with venison puffs, and buzzing spots with wobbling xiaolongbao.

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

Char siu bun, tick. A plate of turnip cakes, nod. Siu mai, sure. Har gow, absolutely. Dim sum is an irresistible lunchtime special. Irresistible in options. Steamed and savoury, deep-fried and desserts. This Cantonese go-to is truly in the upper echelons of all meals and these spots—from the low-key, to the high-end, to the airport-adjacent—are where you should be enjoying your dim sum in London.


photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch



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12pm - 5pm

With its glistening meats that hang suspended in the window and its crisp white tablecloths that beg to be painted with chilli oil, Gold Mine is a classic Cantonese restaurant of the most familiar and comforting variety. The Queensway spot has a constant flow of families, friends, and solo slurpers day and night. The dim sum selection is top-tier: chicken claws glazed in a slick and umami-ish black bean sauce, nourishing congee with shredded pork, and house-made egg custard tarts. If a lazy, long, dim sum lunch is in order then Gold Mine is a star. And if you miss the last order for lunch, you can get a little taster from one of their dim sum platters in the evening.

All day

The mega popular vegan Chinese spot has a few locations (including Spitalfields and Golders Green) but it’s their original location in Angel where we find ourselves enjoying tofu and mushroom xialongbao most often. While their soup dumplings are good, if a little thick, it's Tofu Vegan’s wontons in house special sauce that are the must-order dim sum item. Thin wrappers packed with a mix of tofu, king horse mushrooms, and water chestnuts form the wonton while the sauce—a neon red chilli concoction—is fizzing, moreish, and completely gluggable.

All day

Not enough restaurants understand the profound power of combining excellent food with a healing soundtrack of pan flutes. Hong Kong Restaurant is one of them. Don’t be deceived by the laid-back atmosphere of this Cantonese spot on Upper Street. They’re serious about their dim sum, serving glistening siu mai, pillowy chicken and shiitake mushroom buns, and some of the best cheung fun in London. It’s also a win for night owls everywhere, as almost all of the expert dim sum is served until 9pm.

12pm - 4:30pm

The original Royal China Club on Baker Street is a restaurant that plenty of people get a little misty-eyed about. It’s an institution where the chilli oil or hoisin-stained white tablecloths can bring back all kinds of memories. Also, the steam from a tower of dumpling baskets can really fog up your glasses. Royal China’s lengthy dim sum menu is legendary for good reason. It ranges from the familiar (prawn cheung fun, say) to the fancy (crispy rolls with scallop and foie gras), so don’t be surprised that it can easily add up to west London club prices. That said, this is a club where everyone’s welcome and has a good time. While you won’t find the extensive dim sum list past 4:30pm, you will find a page-long evening dim sum list including a steamed seafood platter and some deep-fried options.

All day

Dim Sum & Duck is a must-visit restaurant for Cantonese cuisine. Unlike traditional dim sum restaurants in London, the little King’s Cross spot serves their peerless xiaolongbao, heaving char siu cheung fun, and bobbing wonton soup all day and night. This is obviously good news. Not least because in careful crafting and fantastic flavour, this is arguably London’s best dim sum—all at a very affordable price.

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli



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12pm - 3pm (until 4pm on weekends)

Imperial by name and imperial in price. Four pieces of siu mai will set you back £10.50 at this sedate Mayfair restaurant. Pins dropping and reverential peking duck servings aside, what you’ll notice at Imperial Treasure is how unbelievably good everything tastes. The sesame prawn toast comes in form of a chunky minced prawn head down in a sesame-covered roll, while the golden net prawn cheung fun—filled with youtiao (crisp deep-fried dough) and hunks of meaty prawn—are easily one of the best dim sum plates you can eat in London.

12pm - 4:45pm

Understanding that you can’t order everything from Orient’s 70-something item dim sum menu can be hard to come to terms with. But regardless of whether you order one dish here (the XO fried turnip cake, FYI) or several (the Orient mixed cheung fun and roast pork puffs are particularly excellent), you’re going to be satisfied. The Chinatown restaurant is quite slick and shiny, so come for lunch with friends or date night in your nice top. While the full dim sum menu isn’t available past 4:45pm, you can still pop in for an eight-piece steamed platter after hours.

All day

If Din Tai Fung could have trademarked the xiaolongbao, they more than likely would have. Stop by solo for five pieces of the earthy truffle ones to congratulate yourself for surviving another hump day, or schedule a quick catch-up to swap and slurp land and sea style, with a medley of crab and pork options. They’re the ultimate feat of steamer engineering. When you’re 99% sure the slick, chewy dough is going to split, crisis is averted. Other dishes worth an order at the casual, sprawling Covent Garden spot, are the crispy pork wontons, golden prawn pancake, and bouncy crab and pork buns. It’s all available until closing too.

12pm - 4:30pm

Yi-Ban is a vast, white tablecloth dining room that serves moreish and excellent-value dim sum in a completely unique setting. At this big Docklands restaurant, you’ll also see a Boeing 787 taking off from City Airport mid-gnaw of crispy chilli beef. While things vary between decent and delicious—safe bets like steamed crystal dumplings and pork buns are the way to go—the view is never in doubt. The combination of whirring jet engines, XO sauce-slathered cheung fun, and lazy susans is a good one.

All day

Despite its glassy exterior, its vicinity to Paddington station (undoubtedly a bottom three London rail option), and its misfortune to have the words Toby and Young appear in relation to a review of it, Pearl Liang is a fine choice for dim sum. The business-feeling but not business-priced restaurant keeps everything around the £4-£5 mark, which reflects the satisfactory standard of siu mai, cheung fun with XO sauce, and a favourite spicy prawn ravioli in broth, a.k.a prawn wontons. FYI they also offer a dim sum set menu of eight items for £12.50, which is very reasonable. 

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