Dynamite dumplings: Best dim sum restaurants in Calgary

Something like Cantonese tapas, if you haven’t done dim sum lunch, you are missing out. Calgary’s dim sum spots serve an excellent array of these hot and fresh small plates and steamer baskets that rivals the dim sum scene in any other Canadian city.

T.Pot China Bistro

1
100-9650 Harvest Hills Blvd NE, Calgary, AB T3K 0B3

A real taste of Hong Kong-style dim sum, this very busy restaurant at Harvest Hills Boulevard and Country Hills Road Northwest serves some seriously good dishes from Chiu Chow and siu mai dumplings to pan-fried pork buns and steamed spare ribs. Upon arrival, head straight for the hostess, take your number and receive an electronic disc that’ll buzz when your table is ready. Service is brusque: don’t take it personally, just eat and enjoy.

Golden Central Chinese Cuisine

2
5016 Centre St NE, Calgary, AB T2K 0S8

A contemporary dim sum hall serving north-central Calgary, Golden Central serves beautifully crafted dim sum dishes minus the carts. Its shrimp, beef and barbecue-pork rice crepes are especially good, as are the siu mai (pork and shrimp dumplings), but also try less common dishes such as the Chinese sausage rolls and sweet bean-paste birthday buns.

U & Me Restaurant

3
201-233 Centre St SW, Calgary, AB T2G 2B7

This cozy second-floor Hong Kong-style eatery overlooks Centre Street in Chinatown. It’s a sunny and cheery spot to order dim sum direct from the kitchen. Servers deliver dishes to your table, forgoing cart service. Its especially lengthy dim sum menu features many standards as well as dishes you may not find elsewhere.

Central Grand Restaurant

4
295-1623 Centre St NW, Calgary, AB T2E 8S7

On the second floor of the Central Landmark shopping centre on the corner of 16th Avenue Northwest and Centre Street, Central Grand lives up to its name. A beautifully appointed Cantonese dining hall, servers circulate carts loaded with hot, fresh dim sum favourites with satisfying frequency. Sample steamed shrimp dumplings and barbecue pork buns as well as meat- and seafood-filled rice crepes that are second to none.

Silver Dragon Restaurant

5
106 3 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B6

The very attentive dim sum cart service here includes a tall fry cart serving items such as pork dumplings, shrimp crepes and ground shrimp on pepper halves direct from the grill to your table. A Chinatown landmark with a loyal clientele, you’re best advised to arrive early on weekends, as lineups are the norm at lunch hour.

Regency Palace Restaurant

6
328 Centre St SW, Calgary, AB T2G 4X6

Occupying most of the second floor of Chinatown’s Dragon City Mall, Regency Palace serves dim sum that befits its scale. Carts circulate with standards such as pan-fried pork dumplings and shrimp crepes plus bamboo steamers of garlic squid and sticky rice. Hungry patrons can also pick up these dishes at the buffet counter. An additional delicious grill station produces hot specialty dim sum items on weekends

Forbidden City Restaurant

7
220-999 36 St NE, Calgary, AB T2A 7X6

Located in Pacific Place Mall on 36th Street Northeast just south of the Trans-Canada Highway, Forbidden City is a spacious and polished Chinese seafood hall that serves dim sum by day. Its contemporary variations on standard dishes include steamed shrimp and scallop squid-ink siu mai, curry and wasabi steamed shrimp dumplings and steamed green tea custard buns. Dim sum is served a la carte.

Ginger Beef Bistro House

8
400-388 Country Hills Blvd NW, Calgary, AB T3K 5J6

This Country Hills Village restaurant is located next to Landmark Cinemas. Its dim sum selection is solid, including favourites such as har gow (shrimp dumplings) and siu mai (shrimp and pork dumplings garnished with roe), stuffed green onion cakes and barbecue pork buns. A long list of larger chef’s special dishes includes Cantonese chow mein, fried Shanghai-style house-made noodles, satay beef ho fan and scallops with masago (roe) fried rice. Find a second location in Haysboro on Macleod Trail.

Great Taste

9
123 2 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B2

Serving authentic Chinese cuisine that emphasizes savoury, spicy Shanghai and Sichuan dishes, Great Taste delivers on the promise its name implies. In view of its glassed-in kitchen, patrons can also enjoy a short yet satisfying à la carte dim sum menu. Recommended dishes include Beijing-style dumplings (stuffed with pork and shrimp), cumin and satay lamb kebabs, pan-fried onion cakes as well as salty or sweet Shanghai sticky rice (weekends only).

Dragon Chinese Restaurant

10
200-118 5 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0E2

This cozy second-floor spot opposite The Bow building on Fifth Avenue Southeast serves a greatest-hits collection of tried and true dim sum dishes. These include steamed Chiu Chow (pork and peanut) dumplings, sticky rice in lotus leaves, baked custard tarts and rice crepe rolls filled with shrimp, barbecue pork and beef. Large-serving dishes include fried rice and fried noodle plates as well as congee (rice porridge) bowls and more.

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