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photo credit: Brit Finnegan

Dumpling Story image
8.4

Best New Restaurants

2023

Dumpling Story

Chinese

Pacific Heights

$$$$Perfect For:LunchCasual Weeknight Dinner
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Dumpling Story fits right in with Pacific Heights, the neighborhood known for designer dogs and mansion dwellers. The white walls, shiny mirrors, and arched windows make this Chinese spot look more like a fancy perfume boutique. Still, don’t get it twisted—you’re not here to score at a trendy sample sale, but to witness dumpling mastery.

Dumpling Story image

photo credit: Brit Finnegan

Let’s get this out of the way: Dumpling Story is the sister spot to Dumpling Home in Hayes Valley, a beloved restaurant that attracts a crowd nightly. They hit copy-and-paste on the menu for this second outpost, so don’t expect revolutionary changes, aside from new additions like gong bao chicken dumplings and numb-and-spicy pan-fried pork bao. And, like the original, Dumpling Story is showing off Olympic-level precision. 

Dumpling Story image

photo credit: Brit Finnegan

Dumpling Story image

photo credit: Brit Finnegan

This place serves every boiled, steamed, and pan-fried dumpling imaginable, all of which are hand-folded behind a glass wall in the back of the dining room. You’ll slurp up textbook xiao long bao and bite into the juiciest shengjianbao in town. As for the non-dumpling menu, it’s mostly smash hits. Creamy dan dan noodles stretch as high as you can reach, the cucumber salad is a garlicky dream, and sticky dry-fried wings make all wings look like underachievers. But the beef pockets and ginger garlic noodles are forgettable and less exciting. At the end of the day, Dumpling Story is for dumplings. Focus on those to leave satisfied.

You could count on less than one hand the number of dumpling spots there are in Pacific Heights. So the people of Fillmore Street have struck gold. If you’re not one of them, or aren’t planning on coming to the area to inhale the aroma of monogrammed candles, find a way to get here.

Food Rundown

Dumpling Story image

photo credit: Brit Finnegan

Juicy Pork Bao

Come to Dumpling Story, order these. It’s that simple. The chewy, thick dough is beautifully fried on the bottom. One bite of these will send a Bellagio-fountain-amount of hot soup spray all the way across the table, so proceed with caution.

Dumpling Story image

photo credit: Brit Finnegan

Pork Xiao Long Bao

Another non-negotiable. Translucent skin, rich soup, and fall-apart meat filling make these some of the best dumplings on the menu.

Dumpling Story image

photo credit: Brit Finnegan

Dry Cooked Green Beans

Not as crisp as their counterparts at Dumpling Home, but still pretty good beans nonetheless.

Dumpling Story image

photo credit: Brit Finnegan

Dry-Fried Chicken Wings

These arrive soaking in a pool of sticky, caramel-like sauce. They should definitely be on the table.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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