The Best Dumplings In Philly

The dumpling mood can strike hot and fast at any time. Here are the best Philly restaurants to visit when that happens.
This is a spread of momos from Nepali Momo Kitchen.

photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO

Philly has a dumpling spot for every situation. Want to hide in a quiet room in Chinatown, slurping crab broth out of xiao long bao? Trying to plan a rowdy birthday dinner in the company of crunchy mandoo? Maybe you're in love but don't have the guts to say it without some encouragement from a plate of yogurt-drenched ashak on South Street. That's where these 15 restaurants come into play. It's time to meet your dumpling destiny.


photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO


Spring Garden

$$$$Perfect For:KidsWalk-InsTakeawayDeliveryLunchSerious Take-Out Operation
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Philly has fewer places to get momo than Dollar Dog nights, but this isn’t our favorite place by default. It’s because these crisp-edged, doughy pouches are packed with the perfect combination of flavor and spice. The Spring Garden corner spot has a few tables for ordering the Himalayan veggie chili “hotter than hot,” while the rest is counter space for ordering takeout. It has a massive lineup of momo—we’re talking over 30—including fantastic vegetarian options. The must haves are the tandoori (either shrimp or chicken), which are smoky and delicious. Whether you walk-in for a casual dinner with friends or take a few to go, you’ll be muttering "momo" in your sleep by tomorrow.

The steamed skin on the fun kor at China Gourmet in Mayfair is so translucent, it might have you questioning if you've somehow developed X-ray vision. These plump dumplings come in orders of three, and are filled with scallions, bamboo shoots, ground pork, and shitake mushrooms. There's a little spice, a little juice drippage, and a high likelihood you're going to order a second round.

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo



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This South Street corner spot serves a whole range of Afghan dishes, but it’s their ashak that keeps us coming back. These scallion-filled dumplings are drenched in a garlic-heavy tomato sauce and a yogurt dressing that has a hint of mint. Each order comes with three pieces of bread, which you'll need to sop up all that peppery sauce.

Spring Garden’s Unit Su Vege is one of the few spots in Philly that exclusively serves vegetarian and vegan versions of Chinese classics (which are all kosher, by the way). We especially like the “shrimp” dumplings. These taste a little like imitation crab, with a specific crispness from ginger and nuttiness from bamboo shoots.

Head to Northeast Philly for an order of dumplings that could take down a sailboat. The massive khinkali at Georgian Bread come packed with a soupy mix of herbs, spiced beef, and pork. If you're newer to the universe of khinkali, know that these dumplings have thick, doughy skins. Navigating the chomping process may be more work than getting your SEPTA key card to read on its first swipe, but it's always worth the mess.

The half-moon-shaped mandoo dumplings at Seorabol Center City are deep-fried, packed with spicy kimchi and beef, and come with a sweet-salty-gently-spicy house dipping broth. In our experience, we usually put in a second order before even finishing the first.

It would be a mistake to only go to Ray’s Cafe & Tea House for their siphon coffee and rare teas. This daytime Chinatown shop also has the process of making chewy, thick-skinned dumplings down to a science. Come starting at 8am to eat deep-fried curry chicken dumplings and steamed pork and leek dumplings for breakfast instead of that basic mound of granola. And because range is never a bad thing, try the dumpling sampler if it's your first time here.

You know how BMW has seven series of the same car? The higher the number, the bigger it is and the more features it has. Well, the golf-ball-sized vegetarian siu mai at Chinatown’s Nom Wah is the 7 Series of dumplings. They’re a little bigger than most standard siu mai and have a filling that gets an earthy flavor from the shitake mushrooms and a nice kick from the ginger and scallions. They almost look like flowers, and they have a great color from the yellow lining and mix of vegetables.

Head to Dim Sum Factory in Northeast Philly for some incredibly savory soup dumplings. The supple, gone-in-three-bites pouches have a meat-to-broth that's perfectly balanced. It’s also a BYOB, so it’s a great option for a casual weeknight dinner with a group of friends and a few bottles where you can eat your weight in crab soup dumplings.

There are few things that motivate us to drive to New Jersey: cheaper gas and not having to pump it, the shore, and the soup dumplings at Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao in Cherry Hill. When you want range, go with the colorful assortment called “The Lucky 6,” which comes with a sampling of filling options like black truffle, scallop, and chicken. No matter which way you go, each bite will send a waft of fragrant steam straight to your face, which is worth the toll alone.

At this longtime dim sum spot, the crab soup dumplings are well-seasoned and spicy, and the skins stay slightly chewy. And since the place is located near Reading Terminal Market, you can grab a cannoli Termini Brothers after lunch, and head back to the couch for the rest of the day.

Dim Sum Garden is a tightly packed Shanghainese spot in Chinatown. In many ways, it’s like every dim sum spot in the neighborhood in that it has lots of sizzling meat or fried rice options, and you can get out for around $30 per person. But the soup dumplings are the dish to prioritize. Expect a wrapper that’s soft and chewy, a ton of broth inside, and a whiff of steam coming off the entire order.

Wokano on Washington has a menu as long as a CVS receipt, including a ton of dumpling options. We understand if you want to try them all, but it's the seafood crystal dumpling you'll be thinking about 48 hours after your meal. These soft, chewy dumplings taste sweet and onion-y at the same time, and you can see all the colors of the crab, shrimp, and vegetables through their paper-thin skin.

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

Dump-N-Roll image



Dump-N-Roll is a food truck that rolls all around the city (check their Instagram for weekly locations). They serve “Ooey-Gooey Mac Roll,” shrimp scampi ravioli, and grannie’s pierogi—all on the same menu. If you’re craving a cheeseburger, try the “Holy Phuck Wonton.” Served with a honey bourbon BBQ sauce, it’s the kind of dumpling order that will have you feeling full after just eating a few.

The beef potstickers at Center City's Ninja Bao give you the best of both worlds—soft insides and a crunchy exterior. Whether you order it as is, or get a trio with an extra kick of spice, the meat is always juicy and fragrant.

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15 great Chinatown restaurants for date night, group dinners, or dim sum.


Dim Sum Garden in Chinatown is affordable and BYOB, which makes it a serviceable spot anytime you want their excellent soup dumplings.

This is a food spread pic at Nepali Momo Kitchen.

Nepali Momo Kitchen is a Nepali restaurant just off Broad Street where you can get momos worth crossing town for.

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