clock menu more-arrow no yes

Where To Find LA's Best Chinese Soup Dumplings

View as Map

eaterla2008_10_hasmaps.jpgFolks all over the planet line up for Din Tai Fung's xiao long bao or little Chinese soup dumplings. With the fourth branch of Din Tai Fung set to open at South Coast Plaza, more and more Angelenos will be tempted to line up for their meticulously folded buns. After all, they squirt, they burn, they amuse, they demand instructional videos. Herewith are some great places to eat xiao long bao in Los Angeles that aren't Din Tai Fung.


Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. P.P. Pop

Copy Link
127 N Garfield Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 307-7351
This is the joint to slay your post-clubbing xiao long bao craving. The house-wrapped baos are available until 1:00 AM on the weekends. The soy sauce aspic squirts prodigiously out of thin wrapper. For $4 this is the best 8 XLB you can have.

2. Shanghai Dumpling House

Copy Link
227 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776
This shop relocated from Monrovia. The sign clearly state it’s a Nan Xiang (famous for being birth place of XLB)-style XLB, which means it attemps to resemble the baos at Yuyuan Garden (Shanghai) with its thin skin and extremely juicy interior. Prices hovers in the middle of the market; a great rendition.

3. Fortune No.1

Copy Link
138 E Garvey Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91755
(626) 569-9592
The restaurant known for fluffy steamed buns also has great xiao long bao. It's $5 for 10 and the simple, freshly wrapped xiao long bao has a thicker wrapper. The soupiness ranks top five in SGV.

4. Shanghailander Palace

Copy Link
1695 S Azusa Ave
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
(626) 839-7777
Shanghailander's complex dumplings tastes of pork with a hint of ginger and scallion. There’s plentiful juice, but not enough to overwhelm a bite. Here the XLB droops nicely and is wrapped fresh; a top 3 contender.

5. Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Village

Copy Link
250 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 282-1777
The best place to order xiao long bao during dimsum hours is here, for obvious reasons (see: the name). These are the platonic ideal of xiao long bao, not too soupy, not too many, not overpriced, not too thin.

6. J & J / Jin Jian Restaurant

Copy Link
301 Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 308-9238
Crab xiao long bao is cheap and soupy here. Skin is thin, not quiet DTF thin, but the seafoody XLB has become a mainstay and a benchmark in the SGV.

7. Yi Mei

Copy Link
943 W Duarte Rd
Monrovia, CA 91016
(626) 275-8785
The second and more modern branch of Yi Mei is couple of miles away from Din Tai Fung. When the weekend brunch wait at DTF is simply unacceptable, venture to Yi Mei for some solid xiao long bao, wash it down with the excellent fresh soy milk. If that’s still not enough, one can always default to the fun Taiwanese sticky rice "burrito".

8. Mandarin Chateau

Copy Link
970 N Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 625-1195
Visit Website
Chinatown's best XLB option is right here. It compares rather favorably with SGV middlings. Apparently all the Miss Chinatowns patronize Mandarin Chateau for soup dumplings.

9. Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant

Copy Link
3939 Rosemead Blvd
Rosemead, CA 91770
(626) 288-3939
Here, XLB are served in individual foils, and one can get them at 8 a.m. Before the arrival of Shanghai No. 1, Seafood Harbor used to serve the best XLB in SGV at a dimsum house.

10. Shangdong Dumpling

Copy Link
227 Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA
It's $6 for 8 flavorful tasty, balanced, slightly salty with no soup at all. Some people really like little buns with no porky jus. This is perfect for those people.

11. Mama's Lu Dumpling House

Copy Link
501 W Garvey Ave, # 101-103
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 282-2256
Out of all the branches of Mama's Lu Dumpling, this is the most spacious. The recipe here is the same as all others: porky soupy dumplings with the unmistakeble taste of chicken bouillon. Still, people love it. The hot and sour soup is also tremendous.

12. ROC

Copy Link
2049 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 235-2089
ROC dumplings has nearly types of xiao long bao fillings, more than any other restaurant in LA. The prices are definitely Westside, but not one single UCLA student is complaining.

13. Kuan's Restaurant 悦來

Copy Link
2809 Via Campo, #8
Montebello, CA 90640
(323) 887-7007
Kuan's runs a permanent buy-one-get-one special on xiao long baos. $7 gets 2 baskets, so 8 xlb for $3.5. Better bring someone unless you want to eat nothing but xlb. Only 9 folds here, there is a hint of soupiness, but the rustic dough lacks opagueness and bounce.

14. Kang Kang Food Court - Shau May

Copy Link
27 E Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 308-3898
This is an honorary xiao long bao inclusion. They do not wrap their own, and sometimes the top of the folds get a bit dried from being oversteamed. but if anyone’s jonsing for ten xiao long baos at 10: P.M., this is the quickest option. Just try to not touch the tables.

15. Giang Nan

Copy Link
306 N Garfield Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 573-3421
Giang Nan sells perhaps the most famous crab meat XLB in SGV, and every xiao long bao sits on napa cabbage. For a comfortable sit-down basket of baos, Giang Nan still delivers.

16. Wang Xing Ji

Copy Link
140 W Valley Blvd, Ste 211
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 307-1188
Visit Website
The "sweet" XLB here borders cloying, and can put a diabetic go into hyperglycemia. Stick to the regular, which actually isn't too extraordinary. The mini baos aren’t too porky, tastes of scallions, and are moderately soupy. They're freshly wrapped showing 16 pleats, just shy of Din Tai Fung. A basket of 8 is $6 and arrives in 8 minutes flat.

17. 101 Noodle Express

Copy Link
1025 S Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007
(626) 446-8855
The Arcadia branch of 101 Noodle Express is walkable from either branch of Din Tai Fung. If you don’t mind a side of stilted service with cheap xiao long baos almost in the style of Din Tai Feng, try this instead.

18. The Palace Chinese Restaurant

Copy Link
2112 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 667-1595
Visit Website
XLB here has the gummy texture of an overboiled dumpling. The inconsistent prep means some will have soup, others hardly at all. However, the fact that one can get soup dumplings in Los Feliz should make anyone listening to the comedy open mic while drinking mai tais feel rather hipster smug.

Loading comments...

1. P.P. Pop

127 N Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754
This is the joint to slay your post-clubbing xiao long bao craving. The house-wrapped baos are available until 1:00 AM on the weekends. The soy sauce aspic squirts prodigiously out of thin wrapper. For $4 this is the best 8 XLB you can have.
127 N Garfield Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91754

2. Shanghai Dumpling House

227 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776
This shop relocated from Monrovia. The sign clearly state it’s a Nan Xiang (famous for being birth place of XLB)-style XLB, which means it attemps to resemble the baos at Yuyuan Garden (Shanghai) with its thin skin and extremely juicy interior. Prices hovers in the middle of the market; a great rendition.
227 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776

3. Fortune No.1

138 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91755
The restaurant known for fluffy steamed buns also has great xiao long bao. It's $5 for 10 and the simple, freshly wrapped xiao long bao has a thicker wrapper. The soupiness ranks top five in SGV.
138 E Garvey Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91755

4. Shanghailander Palace

1695 S Azusa Ave, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
Shanghailander's complex dumplings tastes of pork with a hint of ginger and scallion. There’s plentiful juice, but not enough to overwhelm a bite. Here the XLB droops nicely and is wrapped fresh; a top 3 contender.
1695 S Azusa Ave
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

5. Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Village

250 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776
The best place to order xiao long bao during dimsum hours is here, for obvious reasons (see: the name). These are the platonic ideal of xiao long bao, not too soupy, not too many, not overpriced, not too thin.
250 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776

6. J & J / Jin Jian Restaurant

301 Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776
Crab xiao long bao is cheap and soupy here. Skin is thin, not quiet DTF thin, but the seafoody XLB has become a mainstay and a benchmark in the SGV.
301 Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776

7. Yi Mei

943 W Duarte Rd, Monrovia, CA 91016
The second and more modern branch of Yi Mei is couple of miles away from Din Tai Fung. When the weekend brunch wait at DTF is simply unacceptable, venture to Yi Mei for some solid xiao long bao, wash it down with the excellent fresh soy milk. If that’s still not enough, one can always default to the fun Taiwanese sticky rice "burrito".
943 W Duarte Rd
Monrovia, CA 91016

8. Mandarin Chateau

970 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Chinatown's best XLB option is right here. It compares rather favorably with SGV middlings. Apparently all the Miss Chinatowns patronize Mandarin Chateau for soup dumplings.
970 N Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012

9. Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant

3939 Rosemead Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770
Here, XLB are served in individual foils, and one can get them at 8 a.m. Before the arrival of Shanghai No. 1, Seafood Harbor used to serve the best XLB in SGV at a dimsum house.
3939 Rosemead Blvd
Rosemead, CA 91770

10. Shangdong Dumpling

227 Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA
It's $6 for 8 flavorful tasty, balanced, slightly salty with no soup at all. Some people really like little buns with no porky jus. This is perfect for those people.
227 Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA

11. Mama's Lu Dumpling House

501 W Garvey Ave, # 101-103, Monterey Park, CA 91754
Out of all the branches of Mama's Lu Dumpling, this is the most spacious. The recipe here is the same as all others: porky soupy dumplings with the unmistakeble taste of chicken bouillon. Still, people love it. The hot and sour soup is also tremendous.
501 W Garvey Ave, # 101-103
Monterey Park, CA 91754

12. ROC

2049 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
ROC dumplings has nearly types of xiao long bao fillings, more than any other restaurant in LA. The prices are definitely Westside, but not one single UCLA student is complaining.
2049 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

13. Kuan's Restaurant 悦來

2809 Via Campo, #8, Montebello, CA 90640
Kuan's runs a permanent buy-one-get-one special on xiao long baos. $7 gets 2 baskets, so 8 xlb for $3.5. Better bring someone unless you want to eat nothing but xlb. Only 9 folds here, there is a hint of soupiness, but the rustic dough lacks opagueness and bounce.
2809 Via Campo, #8
Montebello, CA 90640

14. Kang Kang Food Court - Shau May

27 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801
This is an honorary xiao long bao inclusion. They do not wrap their own, and sometimes the top of the folds get a bit dried from being oversteamed. but if anyone’s jonsing for ten xiao long baos at 10: P.M., this is the quickest option. Just try to not touch the tables.
27 E Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91801

15. Giang Nan

306 N Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754
Giang Nan sells perhaps the most famous crab meat XLB in SGV, and every xiao long bao sits on napa cabbage. For a comfortable sit-down basket of baos, Giang Nan still delivers.
306 N Garfield Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91754

Related Maps

16. Wang Xing Ji

140 W Valley Blvd, Ste 211, San Gabriel, CA 91776
The "sweet" XLB here borders cloying, and can put a diabetic go into hyperglycemia. Stick to the regular, which actually isn't too extraordinary. The mini baos aren’t too porky, tastes of scallions, and are moderately soupy. They're freshly wrapped showing 16 pleats, just shy of Din Tai Fung. A basket of 8 is $6 and arrives in 8 minutes flat.
140 W Valley Blvd, Ste 211
San Gabriel, CA 91776

17. 101 Noodle Express

1025 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007
The Arcadia branch of 101 Noodle Express is walkable from either branch of Din Tai Fung. If you don’t mind a side of stilted service with cheap xiao long baos almost in the style of Din Tai Feng, try this instead.
1025 S Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007

18. The Palace Chinese Restaurant

2112 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
XLB here has the gummy texture of an overboiled dumpling. The inconsistent prep means some will have soup, others hardly at all. However, the fact that one can get soup dumplings in Los Feliz should make anyone listening to the comedy open mic while drinking mai tais feel rather hipster smug.
2112 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Related Maps