Where to Find the Best Dumplings in Boston

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.

Banyan pork and leek dumplings

Pork and leek dumplings at Banyan. / Photo provided

Banyan

Pull up an after-work seat at this modern, pan-Asian gastropub any day of the week for two-for-$1 pan-fried, pork-and-leek dumplings from chef Scott Jensen. The deal is on daily from 4-6 p.m. plus Fridays and Saturdays from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. (and anytime it snows). They’re also on the Sunday dim sum brunch menu—and they pair well with great cocktails.

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

Bess’s Cafe

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

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 like Broken Spanish, with blanco tequila, creamy coconut, and avocado.

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

Bring all of your friends to navigate the carts roaming 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

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’s at home in Cambridge, too, with 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; 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

“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

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 Wednesday: Dollar dumplings are on the menu from 5-7 p.m.

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

Gourmet Dumpling House

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

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

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

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.

Night Market

With cross-cultural, street food-inspired snacks like daikon radish fries, curry carnitas tacos, and black vinegar collards, chef Jason Tom’s menu at this Harvard Square hideaway is anything but predictable. Stop in to see what “dumpling of the day” he’s folding up—it could be anything from beef dumplings in chili vinegar, to house-smoked tofu with oyster mushroom, scallions, and pickled mustard greens.

75 Winthrop St., Cambridge, 857-285-6948, nightmkt.com.

Qingdao Garden

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.com.

Tasty Momo's chili momo

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

Tasty Mo:Mo:

Sophie Thakali introduced Nepali dumplings, or momo, to Somerville when she opened this Magoun Square spot in 2015. 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.

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

Zoe’s Chinese Restaurant

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.