Philadelphia is lucky enough to have a thriving Chinatown, and so in turn we are lucky enough to have a pretty authentic dim sum scene. Perfect for that brunch outing that needs a twist, how can you resist the steamy baskets whizzing by on their carts? Laid back and satisfying, break out the chop sticks and taste test one of these top dim sum spots soon.
1 Dim Sum Garden
Known as much for its neon-lit windows as its soup dumplings (which have been known to make more than one area food critic a little weak in the knees), Dim Sum Garden serves up Shanghai-style favorites from house-made noodles to addictive scallion pancakes in a simple, albeit difficult-to-find spot.
2 Ocean Harbor
Recipient of a number of "best" dim sum awards, this place is popular, so be sure to grab a table well before noon for the best options and service. The vibe is ultra casual, so don't be afraid to flag down the cart with the raved about chicken feet. Also be sure to tuck into the pork buns and chrysanthemum tea.
3 Joy Tsin Lau
Directly across the street from Ocean Harbor and its rival (think the Chinese equivalent of Pat's vs. Geno's), Joy Tsin Lau is the smaller of the two, but loyal diners claim that means better service. Be sure to sample their perfectly tender pork shumai, zesty crab balls and tasty taro cakes.
4 H.K. Golden Phoenix
While this more modern, banquet hall-sized option recently did away with the classic carts, dim sum lives on with a list of options that you simply request and have delivered to your table, hot and straight from the kitchen. Hong Kong-style dishes focus more on simple ingredients and seafood, but go ahead and ask for your choices spicy if you prefer the northern heat.
5 Empire Buffet
Another dim sum experience that goes against the grain: buffet-style. Grab a plate, load up and leave happy (and perhaps a little too full). Perfect for first timers who are worried they'll accidentally point to the bamboo basket of tripe, clearly labeled trays of dumplings, red bean cakes and other classics are a great introduction.