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One One Dumpling aka Luscious Dumpling’s crispy pan-fried dumplings shown from the bottom up on a white oval plate.
Pan fried pork dumplings at Luscious Dumplings
Wonho Frank Lee

Where to Find the Tastiest Damn Dumplings in LA

16 glorious destinations for meat and vege wrapped in carbs

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Pan fried pork dumplings at Luscious Dumplings
| Wonho Frank Lee

If there was a power ranking for foods that require way too much effort for how quickly they're consumed, handmade dumplings have to be near the top of the list. If you've ever had to wait in line at a Din Tai Fung, you've invariably peered through those giant glass windows to see how each little xiao long bao is handmade and felt a mixture of incredulousness (all that for ONE?) and, well, existential guilt. You just ate a solid 10 minutes of skilled human labor in 2 minutes, and you didn't even blow on the dumplings to cool them down, did you?

Well, if you're the type of person who's into that type of thing (and don't worry, there's a ton of us), Los Angeles is your dumpling mecca. From Chinese guo tie, to Japanese gyoza, to Korean mandu, to Georgian khinkali, to Himalayan momo, to Russian pelmeni, to whoever's going to take credit for manti, seriously. You get the point.

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Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung

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Din Tai Fung enjoys mythological status in the L.A. area, owing in large part to its perfectly hand-pleated xiao long bao. The soup is visible through the impossibly thin wrappers and each little delicate bite is famously consistent, whether you've had two pieces or 2,000 in your lifetime across multiple international locations.

Boiled Sole Dumpling (Chinese Parsley) at Qing Dao Bread Food

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Eater contributor Lucas Peterson extolled the virtues of Qingdao Bread Food's boiled sole dumpling with Chinese parsley (and that garlic sauce that it comes with), and though I've always favored QDBF's potstickers and beef noodle soup, on a recent visit it finally clicked: This is an experienced dumpling eater's nirvana. Nice, substantive chunks of sole are peppered with what tastes like coriander. Add that garlic sauce, and it's something you can literally never get sick of eating. It's the best Chinese dumpling in Los Angeles. Fight me.

Hui Tou Dumplings at Hui Tou Xiang Noodles House

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The hui tou potsticker is unlike any other potsticker I've ever tasted, owing to a strong taste of white onion that sticks around throughout. It's a welcome taste that plays nice with the juicy pork filling. The tightly folded, flattened box shape gives it optimal surface area for pan frying, which lends it a slightly crunchy exterior.

Spicy Wontons at Mama Lu's Dumpling House

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The contrarian's xiao long bao hideout in Monterey Park serves as solid a rendition as you'll find of the soup dumpling, but the spicy wonton proved even more remarkable on a recent visit. Red pepper and coriander deliver a show-stopping punch before the juicy pork filling rounds out the experience with a satisfying, savory finish.

Pan Fried Dumplings at Luscious Dumplings

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SGV OG Clarissa Wei described Luscious Dumplings' rapid hand-made dumpling process in a feature on Eater, but don't mistake the speed with which they're made as impugning on their quality. The pan fried guo tie have a bronzed, crunchy bottom that's unlike any other you'll run into, with regions of Maillard-ized goodness running along the edges like glorious borders to flavor country.

Pan Fried Dumpling at 101 Noodle Express

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The guotie (Chinese potstickers) are a standout at this SGV mini-chain. Scalding, heavy on the ginger with a nice, thick wrapper that delivers the perfect potsticker texture, it's a textbook potsticker in a city that's rich in more esoteric specialties.

Juicy Pork and Crab Bun at Long Xing Ji

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Possibly the worst English translated name dish on this list, the Juicy Pork and Crab Bun at Long Xing Ji is actually a tangbao, the xiao long bao's basketball-playing cousin. With a thicker, almost leathery wrapper, you're supposed to sip the soup with a straw and dismantle the rest of the dumpling as you eat it.

Sheng Jian Bao at Kang Kang Food Court

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Let's just get one thing out of the way: You're going to burn the roof of your mouth. If you've found a way to enjoy an optimal sheng jian bao experience without doing so, please show me your sorcerous ways. What else is there to say about it that hasn't been said? A deep, porky flavor that's almost reminiscent of SPAM (in all of the good ways), that extremely crunchy-fried underside and that perfectly soft upper wrapper is all but scientifically proven excellence at this point.

Gyoza at Nikuman-ya

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What started out as a weekend-only stand is now a 7-day-a-week operation (still cash only, amazingly), and for good reason. Nikuman-Ya is running the gyoza racket in Gardena, and that should really say enough. Sure, the cheese-pork-bun sounds a little stunt-dumpling, but the original gyoza is gingery, juicy goodness that's just seared on the bottom and warrants a taste if you're in the area.

Kimchi Steamed Dumplings at Dumpling House

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Though I never really understood kimchi dumplings, they have an ardent following. One of the standout qualities of Dumpling House's steamed kimchi dumplings is their beautiful circular construction that evenly distributes that extra al dente bite of the steamed wrapper.

Joshua Lurie

Wang Mandu at Myung In Dumplings

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Anthony Bourdain picked himself a true OG in the Korean Dumpling game when he visited this hole-in-the-wall. Myung In dumplings are the standard by which dumplings are judged in the L.A. area. Their famous pleated dumplings are crafted with exceptional care and where other dumpling houses might go a little too bready on their wang mandu, Myung In strikes a nice balance by having a thinner skin.

Gogi Mandu at Naemamdu Mandu (Inside Zion Market)

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This small corner mandu shop inside the Zion Market appears to be a one-lady-operation. It currently features possibly L.A.'s first stunt-dumpling (corn cheese dumplings, anyone?), but don't be fooled. Traditionalists rave about the standard entries including the kimchi wang mandu and what some call the best gogi wang mandu (meat bread dumpling) in Koreatown. It matches Myung In's optimal wrapper-to-filling ratio and ups it with a savory filling that's neatly balanced flavor-wise. The archetype of a proper Korean dumpling.

Spicy Shrimp Dumplings at Pao Jao Dumpling House

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Korean-Chinese shrimp dumplings are hard to come by even in L.A.'s sprawling Koreatown, but Pao Jao's saewoo mandu is a winner, with nice chunks of shrimp and that standard green onion and glass noodle filling.

Khinkali and Pelmeni at Old Village

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Old Village is famous for their khinkali (pictured), but it's also one of the only places you can get pelmeni in Los Angeles. The boiled Russian dumpling resembles tortellini in size, and it's topped with sour cream, mustard or vinegar and it's traditionally eaten with vodka (I'm not taking the bait on that punchline).

Khinkali at Tumanyan Khinkali Factory

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Georgian dumpling king TKF gives khinkali the white-tablecloth-and-full-bar experience it so thoroughly deserves. The khinkali is a pleated dumpling bearing strong resemblance to the Chinese xiao long bao, insofar as there's a lot of heat and juice trapped inside, in addition to the belief that the more pleats there are, the better constructed it's considered to be. In the case of the khinkali, however, you're not supposed to eat the area where the pleats meet (called the "kudi" in Georgian), just the dumpling underneath. Also, feel free to ditch the fork and use your hands, as is the custom.

Monta at Su Beoreg and Monta Factory

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A little bigger with a more substantive wrapper than the ones you'll find at Mante House, the Monta at Su Be'oreg can be ordered by the oven-ready tray, so you can get the party started when you're ready... and not almost burning them and ending the party prematurely.

Joshua Lurie

14" Mante Dish at Mante House

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Mante House treats its thin-skinned miniature mante like pizzas, and the analogy isn't that far off, to be honest. Both are considered primetime party food (I've never been invited to one of these mante-having parties, but I imagine they're rather lit). At Mante House, they come in pizza boxes of pizza-sized diameters (14" for $14.99 aka shut up and take my money) and can have toppings like Hot Cheetos and nacho cheese. I think I gained 5 pounds just writing that.

Chicken Momo at Himalayan Cafe

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The momo is a Nepalese take on traditional steamed dumplings, and they're served with a positively zesty sesame seed achar at Pasadena's Himalayan Cafe. It's every bit as addictive as their counterparts, but that nutty sesame seed achar takes it to the next level.

Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fung enjoys mythological status in the L.A. area, owing in large part to its perfectly hand-pleated xiao long bao. The soup is visible through the impossibly thin wrappers and each little delicate bite is famously consistent, whether you've had two pieces or 2,000 in your lifetime across multiple international locations.

Boiled Sole Dumpling (Chinese Parsley) at Qing Dao Bread Food

Eater contributor Lucas Peterson extolled the virtues of Qingdao Bread Food's boiled sole dumpling with Chinese parsley (and that garlic sauce that it comes with), and though I've always favored QDBF's potstickers and beef noodle soup, on a recent visit it finally clicked: This is an experienced dumpling eater's nirvana. Nice, substantive chunks of sole are peppered with what tastes like coriander. Add that garlic sauce, and it's something you can literally never get sick of eating. It's the best Chinese dumpling in Los Angeles. Fight me.

Hui Tou Dumplings at Hui Tou Xiang Noodles House

The hui tou potsticker is unlike any other potsticker I've ever tasted, owing to a strong taste of white onion that sticks around throughout. It's a welcome taste that plays nice with the juicy pork filling. The tightly folded, flattened box shape gives it optimal surface area for pan frying, which lends it a slightly crunchy exterior.

Spicy Wontons at Mama Lu's Dumpling House

The contrarian's xiao long bao hideout in Monterey Park serves as solid a rendition as you'll find of the soup dumpling, but the spicy wonton proved even more remarkable on a recent visit. Red pepper and coriander deliver a show-stopping punch before the juicy pork filling rounds out the experience with a satisfying, savory finish.

Pan Fried Dumplings at Luscious Dumplings

SGV OG Clarissa Wei described Luscious Dumplings' rapid hand-made dumpling process in a feature on Eater, but don't mistake the speed with which they're made as impugning on their quality. The pan fried guo tie have a bronzed, crunchy bottom that's unlike any other you'll run into, with regions of Maillard-ized goodness running along the edges like glorious borders to flavor country.

Pan Fried Dumpling at 101 Noodle Express

The guotie (Chinese potstickers) are a standout at this SGV mini-chain. Scalding, heavy on the ginger with a nice, thick wrapper that delivers the perfect potsticker texture, it's a textbook potsticker in a city that's rich in more esoteric specialties.

Juicy Pork and Crab Bun at Long Xing Ji

Possibly the worst English translated name dish on this list, the Juicy Pork and Crab Bun at Long Xing Ji is actually a tangbao, the xiao long bao's basketball-playing cousin. With a thicker, almost leathery wrapper, you're supposed to sip the soup with a straw and dismantle the rest of the dumpling as you eat it.

Sheng Jian Bao at Kang Kang Food Court

Let's just get one thing out of the way: You're going to burn the roof of your mouth. If you've found a way to enjoy an optimal sheng jian bao experience without doing so, please show me your sorcerous ways. What else is there to say about it that hasn't been said? A deep, porky flavor that's almost reminiscent of SPAM (in all of the good ways), that extremely crunchy-fried underside and that perfectly soft upper wrapper is all but scientifically proven excellence at this point.

Gyoza at Nikuman-ya

What started out as a weekend-only stand is now a 7-day-a-week operation (still cash only, amazingly), and for good reason. Nikuman-Ya is running the gyoza racket in Gardena, and that should really say enough. Sure, the cheese-pork-bun sounds a little stunt-dumpling, but the original gyoza is gingery, juicy goodness that's just seared on the bottom and warrants a taste if you're in the area.

Kimchi Steamed Dumplings at Dumpling House

Though I never really understood kimchi dumplings, they have an ardent following. One of the standout qualities of Dumpling House's steamed kimchi dumplings is their beautiful circular construction that evenly distributes that extra al dente bite of the steamed wrapper.

Joshua Lurie

Wang Mandu at Myung In Dumplings

Anthony Bourdain picked himself a true OG in the Korean Dumpling game when he visited this hole-in-the-wall. Myung In dumplings are the standard by which dumplings are judged in the L.A. area. Their famous pleated dumplings are crafted with exceptional care and where other dumpling houses might go a little too bready on their wang mandu, Myung In strikes a nice balance by having a thinner skin.

Gogi Mandu at Naemamdu Mandu (Inside Zion Market)

This small corner mandu shop inside the Zion Market appears to be a one-lady-operation. It currently features possibly L.A.'s first stunt-dumpling (corn cheese dumplings, anyone?), but don't be fooled. Traditionalists rave about the standard entries including the kimchi wang mandu and what some call the best gogi wang mandu (meat bread dumpling) in Koreatown. It matches Myung In's optimal wrapper-to-filling ratio and ups it with a savory filling that's neatly balanced flavor-wise. The archetype of a proper Korean dumpling.

Spicy Shrimp Dumplings at Pao Jao Dumpling House

Korean-Chinese shrimp dumplings are hard to come by even in L.A.'s sprawling Koreatown, but Pao Jao's saewoo mandu is a winner, with nice chunks of shrimp and that standard green onion and glass noodle filling.

Khinkali and Pelmeni at Old Village

Old Village is famous for their khinkali (pictured), but it's also one of the only places you can get pelmeni in Los Angeles. The boiled Russian dumpling resembles tortellini in size, and it's topped with sour cream, mustard or vinegar and it's traditionally eaten with vodka (I'm not taking the bait on that punchline).

Khinkali at Tumanyan Khinkali Factory

Georgian dumpling king TKF gives khinkali the white-tablecloth-and-full-bar experience it so thoroughly deserves. The khinkali is a pleated dumpling bearing strong resemblance to the Chinese xiao long bao, insofar as there's a lot of heat and juice trapped inside, in addition to the belief that the more pleats there are, the better constructed it's considered to be. In the case of the khinkali, however, you're not supposed to eat the area where the pleats meet (called the "kudi" in Georgian), just the dumpling underneath. Also, feel free to ditch the fork and use your hands, as is the custom.

Related Maps

Monta at Su Beoreg and Monta Factory

A little bigger with a more substantive wrapper than the ones you'll find at Mante House, the Monta at Su Be'oreg can be ordered by the oven-ready tray, so you can get the party started when you're ready... and not almost burning them and ending the party prematurely.

Joshua Lurie

14" Mante Dish at Mante House

Mante House treats its thin-skinned miniature mante like pizzas, and the analogy isn't that far off, to be honest. Both are considered primetime party food (I've never been invited to one of these mante-having parties, but I imagine they're rather lit). At Mante House, they come in pizza boxes of pizza-sized diameters (14" for $14.99 aka shut up and take my money) and can have toppings like Hot Cheetos and nacho cheese. I think I gained 5 pounds just writing that.

Chicken Momo at Himalayan Cafe

The momo is a Nepalese take on traditional steamed dumplings, and they're served with a positively zesty sesame seed achar at Pasadena's Himalayan Cafe. It's every bit as addictive as their counterparts, but that nutty sesame seed achar takes it to the next level.

Related Maps