Dim sum in Minneapolis?
If you thought you had to fly to China or New York City to get authentic dim sum, think again!
We’ve got some AWESOME options in our very own backyard.
Today, we’re having a local group meeting and brainstorming our five favorite dim sum restaurants around the Twin Cities!
But first, what is Dim Sum?
Oh you poor, poor soul who’s asking this question.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to have your mind sufficiently blown by the delicious bites that make up a dim sum meal, perhaps an explanation is in order.
Dim Sum (pronounced just how it sounds) is a Chinese meal that consists of many small plates intended to be enjoyed with hot tea and plenty of friends and family.
Translated literally, it means “touch the heart.” Yes, this food is so good it’ll touch your soul!
At most dim sum restaurants, you’ll also hear the Cantonese phrase yum cha which means “to drink tea.”
A dim sum meal usually starts by ordering a tea for the table, and then sampling lots of small plates costing no more than a few bucks a piece.
Most often, those plates are served up on a rolling trolley cart, which fly by wafting their delicious sights and smells. See something you like? Smell something you like? Just ask for a plate, and they’ll add it to your tab.
It’s basically Spanish Tapas, but with more tea for sipping, dumplings for munching, and BBQ Pork buns for falling in love with. 😉
Naturally, it’s an experience that’s best enjoyed in groups of 3-4. You know, just to spread out the samples, lest we have to wheel you out on a forklift…
Just typing this is making our mouths water, so let’s jump into the best dim sum around Minneapolis!
Map of the Best Dim Sum around Minneapolis
1. Mandarin Kitchen (Bloomington)
When it comes to dim sum, it’s hard to argue that anything besides Mandarin Kitchen is the #1 Twin Cities pick.
This massive restaurant is features a maze of rooms capable of seating up to 300 diners at a time. When showtime starts (that’s 10 AM, every Saturday and Sunday) the dim sum carts start flying through those rooms and dishing out the area’s largest selection of Chinese small plates.
Forget a menu, it’s all about pointing and taking whatever drive-by food looks tastiest. With enough patience, you’ll have the full selection of all the dim sum classics, including perfectly steamed dumplings (both pork or shrimp), BBQ pork buns, and lotus leaf-wrapped rice. And for the truly adventurous, prepare yourself for some truly authentic dim sum options, like fried chicken feet, tripe, and more!
Over the years, we’ve brought many-a-friends here. Friends who pride themselves on the dim sum houses of New York City. Eventually though, after enough selections off that magical Mandarin cart, they’ll reluctantly confess that this unassuming spot in Bloomington, MN was just as tasty, if not better, than anything they’ve found in all their travels.
In our minds, for the true dim sum experience, it doesn’t get any better. Not just in Minneapolis, but anywhere!
- Address: 8766 Lyndale Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55420
- Website: Mandarin Kitchen
2. Yangtze (St. Louis Park)
If you’ve ever driven by this St. Louis Park hole in the wall and seen a line out the door, that’s just the eager crowds, ready to chow on Yangtze’s authentic dim sum menu.
Yangtze serves awesome dim sum every weekend, from 10 AM to 2 PM. The vibe is smaller and cozier, with extra friendly servers and a dining room that makes you feel like you’ve just sat down in the living room at the house of your best Chinese friend.
Once you get to tasting, you’ll immediately realize why that line was so long. From delicious steamed pork buns to perfect sticky rice, with lots of fried favorites in between, Yangtze absolutely does dim sum right.
- Dim sum hours: 10 AM to 2 PM, Saturday & Sunday
- Address: 1417 4th St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
- Website: Yangtze Restaurant
3. Jun (Minneapolis – North Loop)
Jun is Minneapolis’s newest contender in the dim sum scene. That’s thanks to the owners Jessie and Jackie Wang, who snatched up Chef Young Xie back in 2017.
Chef Xie has been a dim sum chef for over 35 years, dating back to his time working in Hong Kong kitchens as a 16 year old. Today, he’s putting all that experience to use in Minneapolis, of all places, and serving up some truly awesome dim sum. Lucky us!
But there’s another factor that makes Jun stand out among this list. While most of the dim sum places around Minneapolis serve the specialty under limited hours, Jun promises to offer theirs all day, every day.
When they’re busy, that means the dim sum cart will be zooming around the restaurant. But even if you don’t see the cart, don’t panic. You can always choose from the dedicated dim sum section of the menu.
That dim sum menu includes all the classics, including Sticky Rice Dumplings, Congee (a traditional rice pourridge far more delicious than it sounds) and the grandaddy of dim sum – Xiao Long Bao. (The juicy, soup-filled dumpling just begging to be carefully bit into.)
- Dim sum hours: All day.
- Address: 730 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401
- Website: Jun
4. Pagoda (Minneapolis – Dinkytown)
You had us at dim sum. But all-you-can-eat dim sum? PLUS bottomless mimosas?
That’s what you can find for $29.99 at Pagoda in Dinkytown, 7 days a week.
And while O.J. and Champagne might not be the classic accompaniment to Chinese dim sum, here’s to pushing boundaries!
But don’t worry. If that all sounds a little too intimidating, you can always order off the carts and simply pay per plate. With that approach, Pagoda is some of the cheapest and best dim sum you can find in the Twin Cities. Which makes sense, considering the Dinkytown location makes this joint a favorite among the college crowd.
- Dim sum hours: 11 AM – 3 PM, everyday.
- Address: 1417 4th St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
- Website: Pagoda Dinkytown
5. Tea House (Minneapolis – University + St. Paul – Eastside)
Okay, this one isn’t technically dim sum. (Tea House ended their official weekend dim sum meals a few years ago.)
Then again, we’ll take every excuse we can to recommend this beautiful Chinese restaurant, featuring a stunning interior space and some of the most authentic Chinese food in the cities. And thankfully, you can still grab many of their dim sum favorites off the appetizer menu. (The spicy Szechaun Dumplings, Meizhou Pork Buns, and Shanghai Pork buns are all classics.)
The O.G. location sits on University Ave in Minneapolis, but they’ve also added a St. Paul location, about 3 miles east of downtown.
- Dim Sum Hours: No dedicated hours, but appetizers always available.
- Minneapolis Address: 2425 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
- Website: Tea House
- St. Paul Address: 1676 Suburban Ave, St Paul, MN 55106
- Website: St. Paul Tea House