Where to Find the Best Dumplings in Boston Right Now

From Chinatown stalwarts serving up juicy soup dumplings to pan-Asian cocktail bars riffing on gyoza.

Seasoned meat, vegetables, broth, or a combination all wrapped up in dough, dumplings are beloved around the world—and definitely here in Boston. Our local dining scene is brimming with simple and savory staples from cuisines across Asia in particular, whether steamed, pan-fried, or soaked in chili oil. From Chinatown stalwarts serving up juicy soup dumplings to pan-Asian cocktail bars riffing on gyoza, here’s where to find the best dumplings in Boston, with a couple of our new faves listed above the classics.

Chalawan Asian Eatery

This barely year-old addition to Cambridge is a first-class cruise through regional Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisines and preparations—from the Sumatran-style beef cheek to Malaysian-inspired calamari to a soft shell crab dish representing flavors of Vietnam. China’s Yunnan province, meanwhile, gets a nod via stellar steamed snapper dumplings with chili and black vinegar sauce.

1790 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-547-8888, thechalawan.com.

Dumpling House

Fast. Cheap. Delicious. Three words that are music to our ears in the era of treating ourselves to too-much-takeout. This Cambridge stalwart hits all the right notes with pork, beef, chicken, seafood, and veggie dumplings that are all delicious—and don’t lose a lick of flavor in traveling from Dumpling House to home.

950 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-661-8066, dumplinghousecambridgema.com.

Mary Chung

You’ll need to wait a little bit longer to slip back into the red vinyl seats inside Mary Chung, a wonderfully old-school, inconspicuous Cambridge institution since the 1980s. It’s takeout-only service at present, so stock up on chive and pork dumplings, steamed ravioli, and other variations to devour on whatever-color living room couch you’ve got.

464 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-864-1991.

Mimi’s Chūka Diner

Founded by Barbara Lynch group alums Ted Woo and Jon Awerman, one of Boston’s newest pop-up operations focuses on chūka cuisine: Japanese-style takes on Chinese plates. That includes delicious dumplings (filled with pork, cabbage, and spicy sauce) that can be preordered frozen for pickup in Quincy or delivery in certain areas of Boston. You might find some hot and fresh ones at the South End restaurant Black Lamb, where Mimi’s is now staging weekly Sunday appearances from 5 to 9 p.m., pairing creative plates to tiki-inspired cocktails from resident beverage guru Ryan Lotz.

mimischukadiner.com.

The 14 Best Places to Find Dumplings in Boston

You know ’em, you love ’em—and they’re back in action. Here’s our recap of the best places to find dumplings in Boston, with details on the availability of takeout, delivery, and on-site dining. Watch this space for more updates!

Banyan pork and leek dumplings

Pork and leek dumplings at Banyan. / Photo provided

Banyan

Status: Open Tuesday through Sunday for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery. 

Pull up an after-work seat at this modern, pan-Asian gastropub for the “Dumpling Party” happy-hour special: dollar-apiece pan-fried, pork-and-leek pockets from chef Scott Jensen. (The deal is on daily from 4-5 p.m.) Anytime, though, you’ll find excellent chili-oil dumplings available to spice your night.

553 Tremont St., Boston, 617-556-4211, banyanboston.com.

Bess’s Cafe

Status: Open Tuesday through Sunday for takeout and delivery. 

This homestyle, humble little spot strives for healthy renditions of noodles and more from chef Jenny Chin’s native Jiang Nan region of China. That includes a short but strong list of dumpling options, both pan-fried and steamed, wrapped in a delicate, just-thick-enough rice dough made in-house every day. Don’t skip the steamed chicken dumplings swimming in spicy Sichuan sauce, or the light wonton soup.

224 Cypress St., Brookline, 617-879-0993, besscafe.com.

Blossom Bar

Status: Open daily for indoor and outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Nothing cuts the intense, numbing spice of chili-oil slicked dumplings quite like a luscious, refreshing cocktail. Ran Duan kept this in mind when he revamped his retired parents’ Brookline Village stalwart Sichuan Garden into this cool bar, maintaining menu-staple steamed pork dumplings with chili vinaigrette and adding destination-worthy drinks—available at present in bottled, to-go form, as well.

295 Washington St., Brookline, 617-734-1870, blossombarbrookline.com.

China Pearl Dim Sum Chinatown

Dim Sum at China Pearl. / Photo by Adam DeTour

China Pearl

Status: Open daily for indoor dining and takeout.

Alas, during the pandemic you won’t be able to navigate the dim sum carts that normally travel table to table at this Chinatown classic. You’ll be able to share perfectly pinched “shark fin” dumplings (filled with pork, shrimp, and aromatics), shrimp har gow, steamed pork-and-shrimp shumai, and more.

9 Tyler St., 617-426-4338, chinapearlboston.net.

Dumpling Daughter

All locations are open for takeout only. Brookline location is open daily. Cambridge location is open Monday through Friday. Weston location is open Tuesday through Sunday.

Owner Nadia Liu Spellman was inspired by her parents’ cooking when she first opened this fast-casual dumpling house in Weston in 2014—but instead of high-end Chinese cuisine the elder operators put on the map at their bygone waterfront restaurant, Sally Ling’s, Spellman focuses on the homestyle fare her mother made at home. Now, Spellman is at home in  Cambridge and Brookline locations, too, offerings comforts like chewy, petit chicken dumplings in slow-cooked Sichuan sauce; and the bright and spicy XO Cantonese wontons.

73 Ames St., Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-577-8886; 1309 Beacon St., Brookline, 617-383- 5282; 37 Center St., Weston, 781-216-8989, dumplingdaughter.com.

Mini juicy buns with pork and crabmeat at Dumpling Cafe

Mini juicy buns with pork and crabmeat at Dumpling Cafe. / Photo by Christine T. via Yelp

Dumpling Cafe

Status: Open daily for indoor dining and takeout.

“Mini juicy buns,” as chef Peter Wang calls his xiao long bao, is a misnomer: There’s nothing tiny about these beloved soup dumplings. The steaming-hot broth fills your entire spoon with umami, and the thin wrapper and pork-and-crabmeat filling are eminently craveable. Luckily, this spot serves late—and Wang also offers juicy buns at Dumpling Palace, in the Symphony area; and Dumpling Kingdom in Allston. We’re also quite fond of Dumpling Cafe’s crispy, cigar-shaped, Taiwan-style pan-fried dumplings, which are also a menu staple at Wang’s other Chinatown spot, Taiwan Cafe.

695 Washington St., Boston, 617-338-8859.

Fat Baby

Status: Open daily for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Creative maki rolls and cool cocktails might bring you in, but the pan-Asian menu also offers a range of eclectic and tasty dumplings, such as “Surf & Turf” gyoza-style pork dumplings in lobster ginger sauce; and mushroom dumplings with a chili-dashi broth. Check out this Southie sushi bar on a Monday: There’s unlimited maki on the menu for $27 from 5-10 p.m.

118 Dorchester St., Boston, 617-766-3450, fatbabysouthboston.com.

Gourmet Dumpling House

Status: Open daily for takeout. 

Don’t let a probable line deter you from making a meal out of dumplings here. Crispy-chewy Shandong-style pockets are a must-order, and the juicy soup dumplings don’t disappoint, either.

52 Beach St., Boston, 617-338-6223, gourmetdumplinghouse.com.

Jo Jo Taipei

Status: Open daily for takeout. 

Dumpling lovers, direct your attention to the “homemade flour corner”—that menu section is where you’ll find spicy Sichuan wontons, crispy pan-fried dumplings, delectable shumai, and rich and sensuous special soup dumplings.

103 Brighton Ave., Boston, 617-254-8889, jojotaipei.com.

Lemongrass pork dumplings, the Pork Rossi scallion pancake sandwich, and complimentary crab Rangoons at Mei Mei

(Clockwise from left) Lemongrass pork dumplings, the Pork Rossi scallion pancake sandwich, and crab Rangoons at Mei Mei. / Photo by Jacqueline Cain

Mei Mei

Status: In October, Mei Mei’s closed dining room ended hot-food takeout and now offers exclusively prepared, reheatable food—including its famous dumplings. 

Though “mei” is the Chinese word for “little sister”, the menu-staple “Three Sisters” dumplings actually refers to the three important, symbiotic crops in North American indigenous agricultural traditions: winter squash, corn, and beans. The vegan-friendly dumplings are a great example of the reinvented Chinese-American comfort food that’s earned chef Irene Li much acclaim: Classic technique (those folds!) combined with innovative flavors, New England sensibility, and high-quality ingredients.

506 Park Dr., Boston, 857-250-4959, meimeiboston.com.

Myers + Chang

Status: Open daily for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Of all the pan-fried pork-and-chive dumplings in this town, Mama Chang’s are the ones we dream about. Luckily, her daughter—James Beard Award-winning chef Joanne Chang—included the recipe in her cookbook, Myers + Chang at Home.

1145 Washington St., Boston, 617-542-5200, myersandchang.com.

Qingdao Garden

Status: Open Wednesday through Monday for takeout and delivery. 

As they do in northern China, where wheat is a staple crop, dumplings abound on the menu at this northern Cambridge favorite. Pork-and-leek are done especially well here, and there is a venerable vegetarian selection, too.

2382 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-492-7540, qingdaogarden.net.

Tasty Momo's chili momo

Classic and chili momo at Tasty Momo. / Photo by Trupti T. via Yelp

Tasty Mo:Mo:

Status: Open daily for takeout and delivery. 

Sophie Thakali introduced Nepali dumplings, or momo, to Somerville when she opened this Magoun Square spot in 2015. (In August 2019, she moved it across the street to a larger location.) Soaked in a subtly sweet and spicy sauce, the chili momo (filled with your choice of protein) are the way way to try her plump, pretty pleats.

508 Medford St., Somerville, 617-764-0222, tastymomo.com.

Zoe’s Chinese Restaurant

Status: Open Tuesday through Sunday for takeout and delivery.

House-made dough makes for pleasantly thick steamed dumplings drenched in Sichuan chili oil and crunchy peanuts, pan-fried pork buns, and the most flavorful Peking ravioli in Somerville.

296 Beacon St., Somerville, 617-864-6265, zoeschinese.com.