There’s something about the pandemic that has me craving Asian dumplings right now. The combination of cold, dreary weather and the fact that we’re still mostly SIPing has me yearning for the comfort of soft, slippery dough stuffed with flavorful, aromatic yumminess. Each one is like a little present. Here’s a look at some of the best spots for dumplings.
Open less than a month, this bare-bones operation in midtown serves a nice selection of dumplings, bao, wontons and potstickers. Fillings, in addition to the standard pork-and-vegetable, include pork/chive, chicken/corn, kimchi pork, shrimp/chicken, and beef. You get anywhere from eight to a dozen per order, depending on style. I really want to try the giant pork soup bao ($6), but it’s available for dine-in only. Everything else is available for takeout. 2330 J St.; (916) 942-9588
Dumpling & Tea House
Pan-fried dumplings—aka potstickers—are among the offerings at this Land Park eatery. Order a combination of fried and boiled dumplings and tack on some cream cheese wontons and vegetable egg rolls for a delightful dinner of stuffed foods. Yum. 3000 Freeport Blvd.; (916) 917-5862; dumplingteahouse.com
Hao Bao Dumpling House
This Stockton Boulevard dumpling shop uses the Chipotle model: You choose your filling (beef, chicken, pork or veggie), sauce (teriyaki, sesame or house) and style (pan-fried, deep-fried or boiled). Orders come in two sizes: eight or 16 pieces. You can also order dumplings with house noodle soup. Two locations: 6821 Stockton Blvd.; (916) 661-6581; and 1021 K St.; (916) 431-7746; haobaodumpling.com
Journey to the Dumpling
This Elk Grove eatery specializes in Shanghai-style dumplings, such as the steamed, soup-filled xiao long bao. Also available: siu mai (little pork, shrimp and mushroom purses), har gow (steamed shrimp dumplings with bits of asparagus), wonton in chili oil, pan-fried pork buns and vegan “impossible” dumplings. 7419 Laguna Blvd., Elk Grove; (916) 509-9556; journeytothedumpling.com