I’ve always had a soft spot for dim sum. There’s something about the small, steaming baskets of dumplings and buns that feels like a hug for your stomach. So, imagine my delight when I discovered that Cincinnati, Ohio, of all places, is home to a vibrant scene of dim sum restaurants. It’s like finding hidden treasure in your own backyard.

From bustling, traditional eateries to modern, fusion-inspired spots, Cincinnati’s dim sum scene is as diverse as it is delicious. I’ve spent many a weekend morning hopping from one restaurant to another, sipping on jasmine tea and feasting on everything from succulent shrimp dumplings to sweet, fluffy custard buns. And let me tell you, it’s an adventure I’d recommend to anyone with a taste for exploration and a love for good food.

Traditional Dim Sum Restaurants in Cincinnati

In my quest to uncover the best traditional dim sum in Cincinnati, I’ve been fortunate to stumble upon a handful of spots that truly capture the essence of this cherished dining experience. These are places where the food speaks directly to the soul of dim sum, offering authentic flavors that transport you straight to the bustling streets of Hong Kong.

One of my first stops was Golden Palace, a restaurant that’s been a cornerstone of Cincinnati’s dim sum scene for years. Walking in, I was greeted by the familiar clatter of dishes and the steamy aroma of fresh dumplings. Golden Palace standouts include their shrimp dumplings, so delicate and perfectly seasoned, and their pork siu mai, which are simply irresistible. But what really set them apart for me was their beef rice roll. The perfectly steamed rice noodle, combined with tender beef and sweet soy sauce, was a melody of textures and flavors.

Next on my adventure was Jade Garden, a spot that locals raved about. Here, the atmosphere was buzzing, with families and friends gathering around large tables, eagerly awaiting their next round of dim sum. The char siu bao, or barbecue pork buns, were a highlight at Jade Garden. The bread was fluffy and light, with a savory-sweet filling that melted in my mouth. Their chicken feet, a dish not for the faint-hearted, were cooked to perfection and rich in flavor, a testament to their commitment to authenticity.

Restaurant Name Must-Try Dish Unique Feature
Golden Palace Beef Rice Roll Known for its delicate shrimp dumplings
Jade Garden Char Siu Bao Popular for its fluffy BBQ pork buns

I can’t talk about traditional dim sum without mentioning Bamboo Grove. This place is a bit off the beaten path but well worth the journey. Their har gow, or shrimp dumplings, were unlike any I’ve ever tasted. The wrapper was so thin and translucent, yet it held together the juiciest shrimp filling. Pairing that with their unique taro dumplings, which had a crispy exterior and a soft, savory interior, made for an unforgettable dining experience.

Diving into these traditional dim sum spots in Cincinnati has been an adventure in itself. Each restaurant brought its own charm and a deep respect for the art of dim sum.

Modern Fusion Dim Sum Spots to Try

After delving into the authentic dim sum offerings around Cincinnati, I couldn’t help but explore the modern twist some establishments have begun to inject into this traditional cuisine. It’s fascinating how chefs are blending classic dim sum techniques with contemporary flavors, creating something entirely new yet familiar. Let me take you through a few modern fusion dim sum spots that have caught my attention and palate.

Bao and Noodle House stands out for its innovative approach to bao buns. Here, traditional bao is reimagined with fillings like Korean BBQ beef and Buffalo chicken, each offering a burst of modern flavors wrapped in the classic, fluffy exterior we all love. Their creativity doesn’t stop with bao; they also serve up Miso Maple Scallops in wonton cups, a dish that’s as delightful to the taste buds as it sounds.

Dim Sum Fusion Kitchen is another must-try, especially for those who appreciate the subtlety of blending cultures on a plate. Imagine biting into a Crispy Duck Taco, where the duck is prepared with the same care and technique as traditional dim sum, but served in a taco shell with a side of hoisin sauce. It’s dishes like these that make Dim Sum Fusion Kitchen a testament to culinary innovation.

Lastly, The Wonton Project has quickly become one of my favorite spots. It’s here that I found Truffle Edamame Dumplings, a dish that effortlessly combines the earthiness of truffles with the freshness of edamame, all encased in a delicate dumpling wrapper. They’ve also introduced a Charcoal Shrimp Bun that’s as visually striking as it is delicious, with activated charcoal giving the bun its unique color and a slight twist on the traditional flavor profile.

Must-Try Dim Sum Dishes in Cincinnati

When exploring the vibrant culinary scene in Cincinnati, particularly its dim sum offerings, I’ve stumbled upon a plethora of dishes that have left an indelible mark on my taste buds. Navigating through these, I’ve compiled a list of must-try dim sum dishes that promise an authentic taste of this Chinese tradition fused with a dash of Midwestern charm.

Bao and Noodle House quickly became a favorite of mine, where their Peking Duck Bao stands out. This dish combines succulent duck, perfectly roasted to achieve that crispy skin, with sweet hoisin sauce, all stuffed into a fluffy bao bun. It’s a delightful experience, biting into the rich flavors that this dish offers.

Another remarkable contender is the Lobster Shumai from Dim Sum Fusion Kitchen. Rather than the traditional pork filling, this place surprises with a generous portion of tender lobster meat, delivering a luxurious twist on the classic shumai. The harmony between the subtle sweetness of the lobster and the savory dumpling wrapper is simply sublime.

At The Wonton Project, their Spinach and Cream Cheese Wontons have me coming back time and again. They’ve mastered the balance of creamy cheese and earthy spinach, all encased in a crisp, golden wonton wrapper. It’s comfort food, elevated to an art form.

And how could I forget about Dim Sum Go Go? Their Crystal Shrimp Dumplings are a sheer spectacle. Transparent wrappers reveal the vibrant pink of the shrimp nestled inside, tempting you even before you take that first bite. The shrimp is seasonally fresh, and the dumpling, steamed to perfection, melts in your mouth, making it an unforgettable must-try.

Restaurant Dish Description
Bao and Noodle House Peking Duck Bao Crispy duck with hoisin in a fluffy bun
Dim Sum Fusion Kitchen Lobster Shumai Luxurious lobster filling in traditional shumai
The Wonton Project Spinach and Cream Cheese Wontons Creamy, earthy filling in a crispy wrapper
Dim Sum Go Go Crystal Shrimp Dumplings

Exploring the Hidden Gems of Cincinnati’s Dim Sum Scene

Venturing deeper into Cincinnati, I discovered some hidden gems that my tastebuds will forever cherish. These spots might not be on every tourist’s radar, but trust me, they’re worth the detour.

Golden Lotus is one such haven that caught me by surprise. Tucked away in a quaint neighborhood, it’s like finding a chest of treasures for any dim sum lover. Their Xiao Long Bao, or soup dumplings, are nothing short of spectacular. Each dumpling is a delicate balance of rich broth and tender pork, encased in a gossamer-thin wrapper. It’s a sensory delight that bursts with flavor the moment you take a bite.

Next up, Serenity Dumplings takes a contemporary twist on traditional dim sum. Here, the fusion menus thrive. Their Green Tea Infused Har Gow stands out—a harmonious blend where the subtle taste of green tea gently complements the fresh shrimp filling. It’s innovation meets tradition in the most delicious way possible.

But perhaps, the most extraordinary find was at Hidden Dragon. This unassuming spot offers a rare delicacy—Truffle Siu Mai. Yes, you heard that right. The umami of truffles integrated into the classic siu mai brings an unparalleled depth of flavor. It’s a luxurious take on dim sum that I’d argue is a must-try for anyone visiting Cincinnati.

At each of these spots, I’ve not only indulged in amazing food but also gained a deeper appreciation for the craft behind dim sum. It’s the artful blend of flavors, the meticulous preparation, and the joy of sharing small plates that truly embody the spirit of dim sum dining. And in Cincinnati, these hidden gems are keeping that spirit alive, each bringing their unique flair to the table.

So, if you’re up for an adventure, I’d say venture beyond the well-known names. Cincinnati’s dim sum scene is vibrant and diverse, with each hidden gem offering a unique taste experience. From the traditional to the innovative, there’s a dim sum to match every palate, and the journey of discovery is all part of the fun.


I’ve had the pleasure of taking you through the vibrant dim sum scene in Cincinnati. From the spectacular Xiao Long Bao at Golden Lotus to the unique Green Tea Infused Har Gow at Serenity Dumplings and the luxurious Truffle Siu Mai at Hidden Dragon, it’s been a journey of delightful discoveries. Venturing into these hidden gems has shown me the depth and innovation present in our local dim sum offerings. So next time you’re craving some delicious bite-sized treats, remember there’s a world of flavors waiting for you right here in Cincinnati. Let’s keep exploring and supporting these incredible spots together. Happy eating!


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