The Best Dumplings In Seattle guide image


The Best Dumplings In Seattle

Where to go when you want delicious dumplings.

Dumplings are like gifts, except you can enjoy them while they’re still wrapped. And whether you’re in the mood for momos, pelmeni, or just feel like popping seven or more soup dumplings into your mouth, this guide has you covered. It has 17 spots you should try right now—or, at least, add to your Seattle dumpling checklist.


Dough Zone Dumpling House

Dough Zone is a household name in dumplings, with a stacked menu of steamed, pan-fried, and boiled dumplings to choose from. The Q-bao (formerly known on Dough Zone’s menu as jian buns) are their greatest contribution to the world, but you also can’t go wrong with their pork xiao long bao, chicken wontons in hot and sour sauce, or anything seared.

Fighting over the last gyoza at Maneki is a favorite Seattleite pastime of ours, up there with drinking espresso and convincing out-of-towners that the rain really isn’t that bad. These plump potstickers at the oldest Japanese restaurant in Seattle are absolutely delicious, complete with a pan-seared crust, flavorful pork, homemade dipping sauce, and a sweet cabbage salad. Plus, the filling is so juicy that getting tasty drippings in the sauce mid-dunk might just be the best part about the Maneki gyoza-eating experience.

Annapurna’s stellar peanut chutney and Tibetan momos are a perfect combo—there's something about the creamy, peanutty sauce doused on tasty ground chicken that does it for us. And while everything served out of this glorious basement on Broadway is amazing, our table (or takeout bag) is never complete without these round, meat- or spinach-stuffed momos.

The buta dumplings at Tamari Bar are small yet mighty. There’s not a ton of pork filling, but it’s quite tasty, and the delicate wrapper ends are the best vehicles for pickled mustard greens, chili threads, and the earthy black garlic oil drizzled on top.

The prize of best chili oil-coated dumplings we’ve had so far in Seattle goes to Chengdu Taste, a Sichuan staple from Los Angeles that recently made its way to the PNW. Their slightly-garlicky chili oil is pleasantly slick, gritty with flavorful crushed peppercorns, and seasons each bite of pork wonton flawlessly.

You're in great hands with any of the dim sum options at Jade Garden, but the pork-stuffed potstickers are our favorites. These dough pouches at this ID institution are huge, have a blistered sear on the top, and require at least three bites to finish. But don't ignore the jumbo prawn dumplings, with their chewy rice wrapper and tender shrimp. Either way, douse them all in some vinegar and Jade Garden's homemade chili sauce.

Nothing at Din Tai Fung will ever be as phenomenal as the dry-fried garlic green beans, but their many different types of wontons, potstickers, and xiao long bao come close. Din Tai Fung is a great move if you want to order a big spread, especially when getting delivery.

Speaking of oversized gyoza, the ones at Ooink, a ramen shop on Capitol Hill, are also excellent. They’re crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, with chives adding a bright oniony flavor and some diced celery for crunch. You could eat these on their own, or slide them right into your bowl of ramen.

Korochka Tavern

For Russian dumplings, Korochka Tavern is the grand champion. This former Lake City bar is now open in Wallingford after changing locations, and a big bowl of their boiled pork dumplings covered in sour cream and a few drops of housemade hot sauce is one of the most comforting dishes you can eat. If you are still mourning the 2015 closing of Vostok Dumpling House, know that these pelmeni are even better. Especially chased with something involving beet-infused vodka.

Sure, Lotus Pond's BBQ pork soup is a massive bowl of broth, chewy egg noodles, and tender hunks of delicious meat. But we're really in it for the shrimp and pork wontons that are also submerged inside. The filling is generously seasoned, and when the wrapper edges get plump with schmaltzy broth, it's a beautiful thing. We also can't get enough of the tapioca dumplings, with their extremely chewy exterior, tasty shrimp and pork on the inside, and fish sauce for dipping, which pairs well with the sticky texture.

This South Lake Union Sichuan spot specializes in noodles, but it's impossible to forget about the dumplings here. There's only one type, and they rule—complete with delicious ground pork and chives, firm dough, and creases meant to catch stray herbs and swirls of hot and sour broth. Said broth pooled at the bottom is so tangy and delicious that we save it as a dip for the noodles.

This natural wine bar serves both pork and potato pelmeni, and we’re here to wax poetic about the potato version. The middle is fluffy, the wrapper is firm and chewy, and when tossed in adjika hot paste and butter, these dumplings are a little spicy, a little sweet, and perfect with a can of spritzy piquette.

Never underestimate the power of pork fat. It’s what makes New Luck Toy’s shrimp dumplings pretty superb. The spicy Sichuan sauce, fresh cilantro, crispy shallots, and toasted sesame seeds balance out everything and add some texture, too.

Szechuan Noodle Bowl

The long and crunchy potstickers from Szechuan Noodle Bowl are great, especially because this ID spot cuts holes through their takeout containers to let the steam out. But if you’re in the mood for a softer dumpling, consider their pork and chive option. They’re wonderfully flavorful, juicy, and packed with an ideal amount of spring onion.

Kastoori Grill also serves very excellent momos filled with chicken, but their dipping sauce is tomato-based. This bright chutney, along with some herbs in the momo filling, keeps these dumplings light and delicious.

Usually, we’re stopping by this Pike Place dim sum stand to snack on delicious BBQ hum bao buns and wave hello to the staff as they spoon pork filling into dumpling wrappers. Mee Sum also serves some of the best siu mai in town, plump with well-seasoned shrimp, wood ear, and roe.

There’s a large variety of dumpling fillings at this Shoreline spot, from eggs and scallop to pork and fennel—not to mention you can order any of them in potsticker form, complete with a brittle and crunchy cornstarch crust that carpets the entire plate. We’re fans of the pork and chive, as well as anything that comes in a pan-seared bun.

This Sichuan spot in Queen Anne serves a great dumpling appetizer, coated with a tangy black vinegar-spiked chili oil and stuffed with seasoned ground pork. It pairs perfectly with Tyger Tyger’s spicy rockfish and putting your feet up on the couch (if you're grabbing takeout).

Little Duck’s dumplings are so good that they don’t need any soy sauce or vinegar. Filled with pickled sour napa and pork, they’re perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of fat and tang—no dip needed. And as an order of 15 for $12.99, it’s also not a bad value. Even though this guide is about dumplings, Little Duck happens to be one of our Best New Restaurants Of 2019, and you should definitely add on some double-cooked pork slices and dry-fried hot chicken to your order.

This Lake City spot offers many different types of dumplings, from chicken xiao long bao to pork and eggplant buns, and everything we’ve had here has been delicious—particularly the wontons in chili oil and soup dumplings that we could eat on repeat for weeks. But if you stop by for nothing else, make sure the beef potstickers make their way into your order. The beef’s richness makes them the best dish on the menu.

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photo credit: Nate Watters

The Best Dumplings In Seattle guide image