There’s almost nothing more comforting than an order of good dumplings. And Philly has a huge range of spots where you can find them - there’s everything from soup dumplings and Korean mandoo to Georgian khinkali, Tibetan tingmo, and Afghan ashak. Since it’s the holiday season, why not gift yourself some that are steamed, pan-fried, or served in a soup? Here are 12 places in Philly to get your hands on some great dumplings.
With the sun taking its daily PTO at 3pm, the days are getting colder and forcing us into more layers than Ralphie’s brother on A Christmas Story. At this cash-only Chinatown spot, you can get the soul-warming spicy pork soup dumplings made with a chewy wrapper that have a perfect 50/50 pork-to-hot-broth ratio.
Only offering takeout from Monday through Saturday, this corner storefront shop serves up tasty Afghan dishes like their ashak dumplings. From the flavorful garlic and tomato sauce to the hint of mint in the yogurt dressing, the tender scallion dumpling has the perfect blend of spices. And you don’t need to worry about how to sop up the dumpling’s amazing sauce - each order comes with three pieces of Afghan bread.
Head up to Northeast Philly for an order of dumplings that will leave you questioning if your eyes are bigger than your stomach. The massive khinkali at Georgian Bread are packed with a soupy and spiced beef, pork, and herb filling. Navigating through the bite-to-suck process may be more work than getting your SEPTA key card to read on its first swipe, but it’s worth it since each dumpling has a great mix of heat and flavor in each bite.
While this popular Roxborough spot has plenty of momos to choose from (chicken, beef, vegetable, potato), the steamed bread bun called the tingmo is our favorite thing to get here. They’re fluffy as clouds and work great for soaking up sauces (try the momo sauce if you like your food spicy). It’s not often you visit a place just for the bread but you should make an exception for this airy, perfectly-layered, and spongy bun.
Each soft parcel of dough in the steamed crab meat and pork soup dumpling from Tom’s Dim Sum is bursting with flavor. The crab is well-seasoned and spicy, and the dumpling skins are slightly chewy making these some of the best soup dumplings in the city. They have an easy online ordering system, so you don’t have to worry about which food delivery app to choose from.
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 Nom Wah is the 7 Series of dumplings. They’re a litter 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 in their presentation, and they have a great color from the yellow lining and mix of vegetables.
Things aren’t simple at Wokano - there are more dumpling choices than coupons attached to a CVS receipt. Even though you’ll want to try them all, the seafood crystal dumpling is the one you should order. With a paper-thin skin that clings to the filling like your t-shirt does after you get stuck in the rain, you’ll see the color of the crab, shrimp, and vegetables peeking through the skin. These soft and chewy bite dumplings are both savory and sweet, and you get a blend of mild onion-y spice in each bite.
Speaking of see-through dumplings, the steamed fan kor at China Gourmet might have you questioning if you somehow picked up x-ray vision. The plump and juicy dumplings at this popular Mayfair spot come in orders of three and are filled with scallions, bamboo shoots, ground pork, and shitake mushrooms. The tasty and juicy filling gives the dumpling not only a crunchy texture but a spicy one as well.
Unit Su Vege is a Chinese restaurant that serves exclusively vegetarian and vegan dishes. One of our favorites on their menu is the “shrimp” dumplings, which has a similar taste to that of imitation crab. The soft and chewy dumplings have a nice hint of crispness from the ginger, a nutty flavor from the bamboo shoots, and can be ordered for takeout or delivery online.
Dump-N-Roll is truly a place where they decided, when in doubt, make it into a dumpling. This food truck has an “Ooey-Gooey Mac Roll,” shrimp scampi ravioli, and grannie’s pierogi all on the same menu. If you’re down to get Philly Elmo dancing in front of the trash fire levels of wild with your dumpling, try their “Holy Phuck Wonton.” Served with a honey bourbon bbq sauce, it’s definitely not the lightest dumpling on this guide. But if you’re dead set on having your cheeseburger in dumpling form, nothing else will do.
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. The golden dumplings are so undeniably good that you’ll hit their buy 10 meals online and get one free promo faster than your snooze button on Monday morning.
The aromatic and crispy beef potstickers at Ninja Bao give you the best of both worlds - tender sides and a crunch bottom. And whether you order it as is or get a trio with an extra kick of spice, the meat is tender and is covered in a juice that flows like lava with each bite.