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Philly’s Favorites for Cantonese Breakfast

Dumplings are forever.

Bing Bing/Facebook


Though you might not think of dumplings as breakfast food, the parade of little dishes known as "dim sum" came about on the Silk Road as snacks that travelers ate with tea along their journeys — day or night. Today, here in Philadelphia, dim sum is alive and well, day or night, and it remains one of the best meals in town regardless of the time of day.

Below, a trio of Eater Philly's dim sum favorites:


Imperial Inn

imperial inn

This is your go-to when you've got a large group to feed. Big tables? Check. Lazy Susans to facilitate plate passing? Check. Carts of steamers constantly circling the dining room? Absolutely. The food begins to arrive the minute you settle in, so there's no waiting for orders to make their way from the kitchen. It's just there, hot and ready to go. Particularly good at Imperial Inn are the tips of salt and pepper squid, lightly tossed in batter and fried. And their sticky rice, studded with scallions and cubes of roast pork, might easily be the best version in town.


Dim Sum Garden

Though Dim Sum Garden's original location under the overpass on Arch between 11th and Filbert has officially been, er, rearranged, they're turning out more dumplings than ever in their bright new home over on Race Street. Do not miss their xiao long bao, soup dumplings filled with pork and crab or their exceptionally flaky scallion pancake. Fair Warning: the restaurant will likely be wall-to-wall busy any time you walk in. But things tend to move quickly, and once you're seated the table's yours for as many soup dumplings as you can bear to slurp.


Bing Bing Dim Sum

Bing Bing Dim Sum is not authentic, in fact chef-owner Ben Puchowitz tried for years to stage in Chinese kitchens in Philly, New York, and Portland, Maine, but he was completely shut out. Instead he learned to make xiao long bao from watching YouTube videos, tweaking the recipe for the past 7 years. Now, a year in at Bing Bing, his dumplings sing, and it's easy to build a meal full of their plates of dumplings, noodles, and vegetables.

Bing Bing Dim Sum

1648 East Passyunk Avenue, , PA 19148 (215) 279-7702 Visit Website

Imperial Inn

146 N 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 627-2299 Visit Website

Dim Sum Garden

1020 Race Street, , PA 19107 (215) 873-0258 Visit Website