Dim Sum (點心), which translates to “touch the heart” in Cantonese, is undeniably the most iconic dining experience in Hong Kong. A visit to the city wouldn’t be complete without indulging in these delectable delights.

Dim Sum offers a diverse array of dishes, ranging from savory to sweet. Among the must-try classics are Char Siu Bao (叉燒包), featuring fluffy steamed buns filled with barbecued pork, and Har Gow (蝦餃), delicate steamed shrimp dumplings. Siu Mai (燒賣) presents a mouthwatering blend of pork and shrimp, while Xiao Long Bao (小籠包) enchants with its soup-filled dumplings. But of course, there much more Dim Sum you can try in Hong Kong. These dishes are an integral part of Yum Cha (飲茶), a treasured social tradition in Hong Kong society.

What is Yum Cha?

Yum Cha, derived from Cantonese, is much more than simply “drinking tea”. It’s a cultural experience that goes beyond the act of sipping tea. This tradition involves sharing a morning or early afternoon meal of dim sum, which consists of small and diverse bite-sized dishes, all accompanied by tea. Unlike dim sum, which refers to the dishes themselves, Yum Cha specifically refers to the entire experience of enjoying a meal with dim sum.

When enjoying Yum Cha, the initial step is to select the tea after you’ve taken your seat. Pouring tea for your friends and/or relatives before yourself, particularly when showing respect to elders, is considered a polite gesture. If someone serves you some tea, you can perform a “Finger Kowtow” – a subtle bowing of the finger – as an expression of gratitude. This is a respectful gesture towards the person serving the tea.

In the past, dim sum was served by servers who pushed carts and called out the freshest dim sum available. While this particular practice is rare today, the essence of Yum Cha remains an immersive journey into Cantonese culinary traditions. It’s a social and delicious way to enjoy a variety of small, delectable dishes with friends and family while appreciating the rich cultural heritage of Cantonese cuisine.

Tim Ho Wan — Multiple Locations

michelin starred dim sum tim ho wan hong kong restaurant in Sham Shui Po
Tim Ho Wan offers an array of Michelin-starred dim sum delicacies (© Tim Ho Wan)

Known as the world’s cheapest Michelin-star restaurant, Tim Ho Wan is a Hong Kong favourite for both locals and expats alike. Aside from the prestigious title awarded to this restaurant, people flock here for the Baked BBQ Pork Buns, which are unlike the pork buns found at other dim sum restaurants. The pork buns at Tim Ho Wan are baked in a crispy, almost sweet pastry, as opposed to being steamed. Service is prompt, albeit a bit rough around the edges (especially for those who do not speak Cantonese), and you should expect a queue when you arrive if you’re there on the weekends.

Price Range: $
Signature Dish To Try: Baked BBQ Pork Buns
Location: Sham Shui Po, Central, North Point, Olympic, West Kowloon Station, Tseung Kwan O
Contact: Website | +852 27881226

Maxim’s Palace City Hall — Central

maxims palace dim sum hong kong
The Maxim’s Palace City Hall branch is a classic go-to dim sum place for many (© Maxim’s Palace)

If you’re looking to get more of a true Hong Kong dim sum experience, Maxim’s Palace is the place to go. Though there are a handful of branches in Hong Kong, the most well-known branch is located at City Hall in Central. Varying drastically from the previous two dim sum shops, Maxim’s Palace City Hall is a banquet-style restaurant that seats over 600 diners surrounded by ornate decor. Expect to see little trolleys being carted around – have a peek as it passes your table and grab whatever dish suits your fancy. Just remember to be quick and have a bit of patience, as the staff aren’t exactly friendly. Thankfully, for all us non-Cantonese speaking diners, the trolley has English writing on it (though there are no prices listed), so you know what’s coming.

Price Range: $$
Signature Dish To Try: Rice Roll, Turnip Cake
Location: 2/F, City Hall, 5-7 Edinburgh Place, Central
Contact: Website | Facebook | +852 2521 1303

See also
10 Best Restaurants For Yummy Cantonese Food In Hong Kong

Social Place — Central

social place dim sum hong kong
Chef’s recommended charcoal custard bun (© Social Place)

For contemporary dim sum done right, check out Social Place. The restaurant boasts a spacious dining area with modern chic decor. Try the popular vegetarian truffle shiitake buns that look identical to a steamed mushroom, making it an Instagram-worthy picture. For something a little more westernised, opt for the sweet and sour pork with fresh pineapple, which will not disappoint. Social Place also offers dim sum workshops, which is perfect for those who enjoy cooking food just as much as eating it.

Price Range: $$$
Signature Dish To Try: Vegetarian Truffle Shiitake Buns, Sweet and Sour Pork with Fresh Pineapple
Location: 2/F, The L. Place, 139 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Contact: Website | Facebook | +852 3568 9666

Duddell’s — Central

duddells dim sum hong kong
Free-flow dim sum brunch with a selection of Cantonese delicacies and drinks (© Duddell’s)

Two words can often sum up people’s weekend plans in Hong Kong: champagne brunch. If you’re looking for a boozy brunch that’s a step above your standard buffet affair, try their weekend salon brunch. The salon is very hip and chic, and many of the dim sum dishes also reflect this in their presentation. Aside from the salon, you can also eat outside in their beautiful outdoor terrace, making it a perfect spot to dine on a warm, sunny day. If a boozy dim sum brunch isn’t your thing, Duddell’s also has an a la carte dim sum menu available in their restaurant and a separate dim sum & snacks menu at their salon.

Price Range: $$$$
Signature Dish To Try: Deep-fried Pork and Shrimp Wonton, Pan-fried Fungus Bun
Location: Level 3, 1 Duddell Street, Central
Contact: Website | Facebook | +852 2525 9191

One Dim Sum — Prince Edward

The storefront of One Dim Sum Prince Edward branch (© One Dim Sum)

Incredibly popular with locals and expats alike, this is one dim sum experience not to be missed. While this place boasts some of the best dim sum in Hong Kong, be prepared to either arrive early/at an off time or spend a solid chunk of time waiting in the long queue (especially if you plan on going during the weekend). Wondering how One Dim Sum became so popular? The little dim sum shop actually earned one Michelin Star back in 2011 and 2012. Ever since then, it’s remained very popular – and for good reason. The dim sum here is both incredibly delicious and very affordable.

Price Range: $
Signature Dish To Try: Shrimp Dumpling, Lotus Leaf Rice
Location: G/F, 209A – 209B, Tung Choi Street, Prince Edward
Contact: Facebook | +852 27892280

Yum Cha — Causeway Bay

yum cha dim sum restaurant hong kong
A delicious selection of super cute and Instagrammable dim sum at Yum Cha (© Yum Cha)

Yum Cha is one of our favourite restaurants to take guests to when they’re visiting Hong Kong thanks to their innovative and very Instagrammable dim sum. If you’ve ever scrolled through social media and saw a photo of dim sum and thought, “ah, that’s so cute!”, it’s likely from Yum Cha. Some of their signature dishes include BBQ Piggy Buns, Hot Custard Buns (you’ve likely seen videos of people poking a hole for a mouth and then squeezing the custard out of them), and the Doggy Sausage Rolls. Yum Cha also comes up with fun new seasonal dishes throughout the year to spice things up. Aside from dim sum, Yum Cha also serves up a solid selection of must-try Chinese dishes, like sweet and sour pork.

Price Range: $$$
Signature Dish To Try: BBQ Piggy Buns, Hot Custard Buns
Location: Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, Causeway Bay
Contact: Facebook | +852 37088081

Sun Hing Restaurant — Sai Wan

sun hing restaurant dim sum hong kong
Sun Hing Restaurant is a local dim sum joint in Kennedy Town (© Doung PINMAIrypa Lungingae via WikiCommons)

This hidden gem in Kennedy Town draws in a large university student crowd thanks to its cheap, delicious dim sum and opening hours. Sun Hing starts serving up fresh dim sum at 3:00 am and stays open until 4:00 pm. Don’t expect top notch service or much English here. This old school joint serves their dim sum from a cart, so be prepared to push your way to those fresh siu mai and bbq pork buns. Head to Sun Hing if you’re looking for a no-frills, real-deal local dim sum experience in Hong Kong.

Price Range: $$
Signature Dish To Try: Thousand-layer Cake
Location: Shop C, G/F, 8 Smithfield Road, Sai Wan
Contact: +852 28160616

See also
10 Michelin Bib Gourmand Restaurants In Hong Kong You Must Try

Dim Sum Library — Admiralty

Dim Sum Library’s signature Black Garlic Siu Mai (© Dim Sum Library)

Had your share of traditional dim sum and looking to try a more modern take on the classics? Head to Dim Sum Library (perhaps after a few hours of shopping around the mall) for a range of innovative Instagram-worthy dim sum dishes like black garlic siu mai, dan dan xiaolongbao, wild mushroom and beetroot dumplings, and more.

Price Range: $$$
Signature Dish To Try: Black Garlic Siu Mai, Dan Dan Xiaolongbao
Location: Shop 124, Level 1, One Pacific Place, Admiralty
Contact: Website | Facebook | +852 36430088

Yan Toh Heen — Tsim Sha Tsui 

Yan Toh Heen dim sum restaurant hong kong
Enjoy delicious dim sum dishes with amazing views of the Victoria Harbour (@ Yan Toh Heen)

This upscale, two Michelin-starred modern Cantonese restaurant situated inside Regent Hong Kong boasts fantastic cuisine paired with incredible views of Victoria Harbour. Although the dim sum selection on Yan Toh Heen’s menu isn’t as robust as some of the other restaurants, the quality more than makes up for that. We recommend trying the Yan Toh Heen Superior Dumplings and Yan Toh Heen Trio, which gives guests a selection of dumplings and other dim sum dishes.

Price Range: $$$$
Signature Dish To Try: Yan Toh Heen Superior Dumplings, Yan Toh Heen Trio
Location: G/F, The Regent Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui 
Contact: Website | Facebook | +852 23132243

Luk Yu Tea House — Central

The tea house is one of the most famous restaurants in Hong Kong (@ Wpcpey via WikiCommons)

Dating back to 1933, this traditional tea house and dim sum restaurant’s three-story dining area fill up fast. The colonial-esque decor and old school charm is mainly found on the first floor where, rumour has it, the area is ‘reserved’ for the restaurant’s local clientele while others are sent to the less charming upper floors. As with most of the other traditional dim sum houses, expect less than friendly service and enjoy your meal quickly. One bit of history that tends to draw some people to Luk Yu Tea House is the 2002 shooting of a businessman eating his breakfast at point-blank range.

Price Range: $$$
Signature Dish To Try: Egg Tart, Phoenix Claws
Location: 24-26 Stanley Street, Central
Contact: +852 25235464

Fook Lam Moon — Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui

Fook Lam Moon serves up some of the most authentic traditional dim sum (@ Fook Lam Moon)

If you’re looking for a more refined authentic dim sum experience, head over to Fook Lam Moon. The restaurant has been coined a ‘canteen for the rich’ and serves a solid range of the most popular dim sum dishes (think steamed BBQ pork buns, pan-fried turnip cake, steamed traditional brown sugar sponge cake, and more). Since this is a higher-end dim sum restaurant, expect prices to be quite a bit more than the other local restaurants, with standard dim sum dishes averaging around HK$60-$80.Price Range: $$$$
Signature Dish To Try: Steamed BBQ Pork Buns, Pan-fried Turnip Cake
Location: Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui
Contact: Facebook | +852 28660663

DimDimSum — Multiple Locations

dim dim sum restaurant hong kong
Braised dim sum chicken feet (@ DimDimSum)

Another popular local dim sum shop is the DimDimSum Dim Sum Specialty (try saying that five times fast) restaurants. What makes this shop unique and more appealing for some is their range of traditional dim sum dishes alongside modern fusion dishes that are both very affordable and well-executed. Service at DimDimSum is efficient and you’ll likely see a good mix of both locals and expats inside.

Price Range: $$
Signature Dish To Try: Braised Dim Sum Chicken Feet
Location: Jordan, Mong Kok, Wan Chai, Sha Tin
Contact: Website | +852 35687455

See also
11 Best Seafood Restaurants In Hong Kong With Fresh Daily Catches

LockCha Tea House — Admiralty and Central

lock cha tea house dim sum hong kong
Lok Cha Tea House offers vegetarian dim sum paired with quality Chinese teas (@ Lok Cha Tea House)

Dim sum is typically not the most veggie-friendly meal out there (most dishes typically have bits of dried meat or fish in them), but thankfully there’s a great vegetarian option in Hong Kong: LockCha Tea House. All dishes on the dim sum menu are vegetarian and they offer up some creative versions of these typically traditional items such as Steamed Emerald Vegetable Dumpling, Pan-fried Beancurd Skin with ginger, Steamed Barbecue Sauce Bun, and more along with other traditional dishes like steamed turnip cake.

Price Range: $$
Signature Dish To Try: Steamed Emerald Vegetable Dumpling, Pan-fried Beancurd Skin with Ginger
Location: Admiralty and Central
Contact: Website | Facebook | +852 22765777

Mott 32 — Central

Mott 32 dim sum restaurant hong kong
Scrumptious dim sum dishes served at the gorgeous Mott 32 (@ Mott 32)

If you’re looking to take your dim sum experience up a notch, head to Mott 32 for one of the fanciest dim sum experiences you can have in Hong Kong. Many people flock to Mott 32 for their Peking Duck, which is also available on their dim sum menu so be sure to order it one day ahead of time. As for the dim sum dishes, the menu is divided into BBQ, steamed dim sum, baked dim sum, fried dim sum, and dessert with a great selection of classics with a modern twist.

Price Range: $$$$
Signature Dish To Try: BBQ Pork, Water Chestnut Dumplings
Location: Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, Central
Contact: Website | +852 28858688

Lung King Heen — Sheung Wan

lung king heen dim sum restaurant four seasons hong kong
Lung King Heen’s master dish – Baked Barbecued Pork Buns with Pine Nuts (© Four Seasons Hong Kong)

This three Michelin-starred restaurant inside the Four Seasons hotel offers an extensive dim sum menu with both a la carte options, set lunch menus, and yum cha gourmet set lunches with tea pairings. At Lung King Heen you’ll find classic dim sum dishes alongside more modern versions to suit just about any palette, as well as beautiful views of Victoria Harbour. The dim sum experience at Lung King Heen is perfect if you have family visiting or you’re celebrating a special occasion.

Price Range: $$$$
Signature Dish To Try: Baked Barbecued Pork Buns with Pine Nuts
Location: Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Sheung Wan
Contact: Website | +852 31968888

Ding Dim 1968 — Central

A casual dim sum joint offers various set menus.
A casual dim sum place offers various set menus. (© Ding Dim 1968)

Ding Dim 1968 is a charming spot next to the Heritage and Art Museum, Tai Kwun. With over 50 years of culinary mastery, the dim sum chefs curate exquisite menus, featuring must-tries like Shrimp Dumplings and Crab Roe Siu Mai. They have an English menu with pictures to simplify the ordering. Despite its modest indoor space, the warm ambience and local popularity create an authentic experience. It is a local hotspot where you arrive for dim sum and depart with newfound favourites. They also offer Dim Sum Bento for One with over 10 diverse set menus, each packing in 5 different dim sum delights. Perfect for a quick and easy takeaway.

Price Range: $$
Signature Dish To Try: Beef Ball, Crab Roe Siu Mai
Location: 59 Wyndham Street, Central
Contact: Website | Facebook | +852 23261968

Golden Leaf — Central

A must-visit destination for fans of dim sum.
A must-visit destination for fans of dim sum. (© Golden Leaf)

Led by Executive Chef Tony Wan, Golden Leaf is an award-winning dim sum restaurant that offers excellent Cantonese cuisine. Nestled in the Conrad Hotel, this restaurant features high ceilings and simple, sophisticated decorations. Three private dining rooms cater to groups of 12 to 16, ensuring an intimate experience. With over 30 years of experience, Chef Wan creates dim sum delights, such as shrimp dumplings adorned with gold leaf and steamed pork dumplings with abalone. The Chef’s signature lunch menu includes a dim sum platter showcasing the best of the best.

Price Range: $$$$
Signature Dish To Try: BBQ Pork, Shrimp Dumplings topped with Gold Leaf
Location: 88 Queensway Lower Lobby Level Central
Contact: Website | Facebook | +852 28228870

Duen Kee Tea House — Tsuen Wan

Unique self-service dim sum place on Tai Mo Shan.
Unique self-service dim sum place on Tai Mo Shan. (© Platts Vienn, Joan Lam, Michelle Lee via Google Map)

Perched on Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong’s highest peak, Duen Kee Tea House offers a truly traditional Yum Cha experience. It’s self-service, allowing you to pick and wash your utensils, pour your tea, and even grab your favourite dishes. Open from 6 am to 2 pm, this nostalgic spot provides a peaceful breakfast away from the city hustle. A village-style dim sum with fresh ingredients, it’s a blend of tradition and authenticity, attracting both locals and tourists. Don’t expect high-class cuisine, but the unique ambience and vibe make it a must-visit for an authentic old Hong Kong dim sum style.

Price Range: $
Signature Dish To Try: Turnip Cake, Chiu Chow Dumplings, Tofu Pudding
Location: G/F, 57-58 Chuen Lung Estate, Route Twisk, Tsuen Wan
Contact: +852 24905246

Hong Kong’s food scene is a rich fusion of tradition and innovation, offering a wide array of delectable flavours. To know more about Cantonese food, have a look at our guides on the best foods and snacks, the most iconic street food, the best drinks in Cha Chaans Tengs, the best desserts in Hong Kong, the best pastries or the best Dai Pai Dong dishes to try in the 852.

Header image credits: Peachyeung316 via Wikiemedia Commons (bottom) and ctktiger1018 from Getty Images / Canva (top)

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