***Written by guest blogger Olivia Arnold, @foodistagirl***
Dumplings typically come fours, sixes, or eights, so I am going to take the average and tell you about six unique dumpling spots in Atlanta. I do not profess to be a dumpling expert (but I am an experienced food explorer!), so this is a simple guide for the food-loving, casual-foodie, adventurous ATLien. If you are any of those things, keep reading!
Le Fat (West Midtown): The Wonton Dumplings
Chef Guy Wong’s legendary wonton dumplings at this West Midtown Vietnamese hot spot are must-haves. These shrimp and pork wontons are plump and bathed in a savory chili oil sauce that adds a salty edge to each melt-in-your-mouth bite. They are also topped with fried shallots and cilantro for a crispy accent that complements the soft, thin wonton wrapper. Note: these are not in a soupy broth like some wontons; instead, they sit in a flavorful sauce.
Photo credit: Olivia Arnold, dish name is “Wonton Dumplings”
Royal China (Chamblee): The Dim Sum Cart Dumplings
If you are looking for the traditional Chinese dim sum brunch experience complete with more dumpling options than you can count on ten fingers, then check out Royal China on Buford Highway on Sunday afternoon. The place will be packed, but the line moves quickly, and the dim sum cart service is immediate when you sit down. As the carts wheel by, raise your hand for a few baskets of shrimp shumai. These come by four, and you’re definitely going to want a few rounds of these bites. The pork dumplings are also tender and tasty. You are guaranteed to have fun flagging down the various carts and stuffing yourself full of dumplings.
Photo credit: Olivia Arnold, dish name is “Shrimp Shumai”
Yong He Zhi Jia (Buford Highway): The Soup Dumplings
The xiao long bao (soup dumplings) at this bright and bustling Buford Highway spot have recently become the ATL foodie favorite. The soup dumplings have a sturdy shell that encases hot soup and pork inside of the dumpling. When you take a bite off the top, you can then slurp the soup out of the dumpling and pop the remaining dumpling in your mouth. These dumplings are not just delicious, they are also really fun to eat!
Photo credit: ATL Bucket List, dish names are “Shang Hai Juicy Buns” & “Lamb Noodle Soup”
Northern China Eatery (Buford Highway): The Assorted Dumplings
This hole-in-the-wall restaurant on Buford Highway is not immediately visible from the street, but it is definitely worth finding. Northern China has a very authentic vibe, and the menu offers an extremely wide array of dumplings and unusual – but scrumptious – combinations. The lamb and zucchini dumplings or the pork and fennel mixes are interesting, unique, and full of mouth-watering flavor. Also, though they are not listed in the “dumplings” section of the menu, the “Shanghai Juicy Buns” – Northern China’s soup dumplings – are also a must-eat. These piping hot bites hold a small bite of meat soaked in a savory broth. You get around 8 – 12 dumplings per dish depending on the order, so be prepared to eat a lot!
Photo credit: Olivia Arnold, dish name is “Shanghai Juicy Buns”
Gu’s Dumplings (Inman Park): The Takeout Dumplings
Nestled in bustling Krog Street Market in Inman Park, this dumpling counter serves both pork and vegetable dumplings in a sweet yet spicy sauce with minced garlic. The dumplings are sprinkled with sesame seeds and zesty green onion, and they come in either a 6 or 10 piece quantity depending on how hungry you are. Walk the Beltline and build up an appetite; your reward at the end of the walk is Chef Gu’s specialty! Grab an order of dumplings, take your container outside, and eat on the wide wooden tables under the market’s covered porch. There is plenty of people-watching from this popular vantage point.
Photo credit: Olivia Arnold, dish name is “Zhong Style Dumplings”
Nikolai’s Roof (Downtown): The Russian Dumplings
This scenic restaurant overlooking all of Atlanta from its Downtown perch atop the Hilton Hotel offers an intriguing mix of Russian and Belgian food designed by Chef Stephanie Alderete – all of which is artfully plated and delicious. Order the piroshki, which are essentially the Russian version of dumplings. Nikolai’s round baked buns have a flaky shell and are stuffed with braised beef and topped with black sesame seeds. The meat inside is a tender and flavorful surprise past the delicate layers of crust. Dip the piroshki in the accompanying Béarnaise sauce for a seriously tasty bite.
Photo credit: Olivia Arnold, dish name is “Braised Beef Piroshki”
Which one of these dumplings are you now craving? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!