Find the flavors of Hong Kong right here in Phoenix while partaking in this yummy Cantonese tradition. An important tip: Arrive early to avoid long waits, but be prepared for a smaller selection of goodies; or, arrive later to be spoiled for choice, but find yourself sipping more tea in between carts. Either way, enjoy the experience.
1 C-Fu Gourmet
C-Fu in Chandler serves dim sum between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. every day. Some of their specialties include eggplants and peppers stuffed with shrimp, steamed broccoli with oyster sauce, sweet and sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves, steamed rice noodles with shrimp or beef, char siu bao (barbecue pork buns), sugar cane shrimp, an egg custard tart, and of course, all kinds of delicious dumplings, such as shrimp, pork, scallop and even shark's fin. The soups here are good choices to tide you over in between bites of dumplings -- choose from sliced abalone with chicken; fish maw with crab meat; crab meat with asparagus; hot and sour; sizzling rice; and minced chicken cream corn soup, to name a few.
2051 W. Warner Road, Suite 13, Chandler, AZ 85224 480.899.3888 web
2 Phoenix Palace
We can't visit Phoenix Palace often enough, frankly. The restaurant serves delicious dim sum daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., including spare ribs and other barbecued meats, congee, rice noodles, shrimp siu mai (shrimp in wonton wrappers), turnip cakes, chicken feet (they're spicy!), and every kind of steamed dumpling you can think of. Their dim sum menu also offers a number of sweet little treats -- small, round pastries filled with coconut and meat or vegetables, with custard, or something else just as tantalizing. One word of advice: We recommend hitting this place up on the weekend, rather than a weekday, as the selection somehow tends to be better on Saturdays and Sundays.
2075 N. Dobson Road, Chandler, AZ 85224 480.855.4047 web
3 Golden Buddha
Located in the Chinese Cultural Center, Golden Buddha provides guests with more than just first-rate dim sum, they also get a fully immersive dining experience, surrounded by the Chinese gardens, Chinese-style architecture, koi ponds, waterfalls and more. The jasmine tea is a must for sipping along with your meal. There are fewer fishy items here than at some of the other dim sum restaurants -- the selections at Golden Buddha are almost all pork, chicken or shrimp -- but you may be so busy deciding what to snack on next that you don't really notice. The variety is still there. Enjoy char siu bao and the addictive pork sui mai, authentically fried egg rolls, rice noodles, sticky rice and some wonderful pineapple bun pastries for dessert. Dim sum is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the weekends and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week.
668 N. 44th St., Phoenix, AZ 85008 602.286.9888 web
4 China King
The dim sum at China King is known for being some of the most reasonably priced (most dishes are $2.18 each) yet biggest in flavor across the Valley. The service is fast, too, whether you're dining in-house or just walking in to order dim sum to go. (They have a handy to-go menu for you at the front counter, and the process is similar to the process of checking off dishes on a sushi menu.) You'll find all your usual favorites here: congee, spare ribs, siu mai, barbecue pork buns and the like, in addition to curry beef turnovers, sesame balls, mongo pudding, Chinese doughnuts, sticky rice and shrimp balls, baked egg tarts and more. Call for dim sum hours.
1050 W. Ray Road, Chandler, AZ 85224 480.899.8099 web
5 Great Wall
Dim sum of the seafood variety is more prevalent here. (The giant fish tank present will be your first clue.) The sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves is arguably the Valley's best, and the dumplings are perfectly fluffy with moist centers of pork or shrimp. The selection includes meats wrapped in flat rice noodles, spicy-sweet chicken feet, black bean spare ribs, eggplant and green pepper with shrimp, fried tofu, egg custard tarts and vanilla custard buns and other classic dishes. Just remember that this place gets packed, especially on the weekends, during peak dim sum times, so take a friend you haven't seen in a while and spend the time catching up, otherwise plan to arrive on the earlier side of early.