Think your little dumpling is not an adventurous eater? Think again. Dim sum is basically the Cantonese take on brunch, where shiny carts filled with dumplings, pork buns, sticky rice and other delicacies buzz around busy dining rooms. There are typically no menus or ordering formalities —simply summon the cart over and pick out what you’d like. At the end of the meal, you pay by the plate for everything you’ve sampled. Kids love it because a surprise lurks in every cart—and there are sweet treats as well as savory items to choose from. You may not know exactly what you are eating, but that’s part of the fun.

The good news is that you don’t have to run off to Hong Kong to try dim sum. There are some delicious and authentic restaurants right here in Atlanta. The traditional time for dim sum is on weekend mornings to early afternoon. Sunday between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the busiest, but it’s also when you’ll find some of the best variety.

Canton House

Canton House
When you talk about dim sum in Atlanta, Canton House is one of the first names that comes up. The restaurant has consistently won awards for Atlanta’s best dim sum and their packed parking lot often demonstrates just how much it is loved. You can get dim sum any day of the week here, though Sunday brunch is the most popular time to go. On the weekends, take some coloring books or activities and be prepared to wait. Once you’re seated, service moves quickly.

Details: 4825 Buford Highway, Chamblee, Ga 30341, 770-936-9030

oriental pearl

Oriental Pearl
Located in Chinatown Square, Oriental Pearl is another dim sum favorite.  While you can always order from the menu, dim sum carts are available seven days a week until 3 p.m. On weekends, arrive early to snag a seat and be ready to try a variety of items from a bevy of carts swirling around the busy dining room. Har gow or steamed shrimp dumplings (a dim sum standard) are a must. If you are super adventurous, try the chicken feet!

Details: 5399 New Peachtree Road, Chamblee, Ga 30341, 770-986-9866


Royal China
For a very authentic experience, try Royal China. Like Oriental Pearl, you can get dim sum every day of the week until 3 p.m., but the weekends are when it’s hopping. Aside from dumplings, buns and custards, you’ll find some more unusual fare like fried taro with meat and turnip cakes pan fried at your table. We swear it’s good!

Details: 3295 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, Ga 3034, 770-216-9933

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Harbour
This long-time Chinese restaurant is a fixture on Cheshire Bridge Road and one of the few “ITP” places you’ll find dim sum. The dim sum menu is always available, but the carts are rolling every weekend until from 10:30-3:30 p.m. It is smaller and doesn’t offer quite the variety of the Buford Highway area restaurants, but if you are craving dim sum in a hurry, it’s a solid option. Try the crab claws and sweet pork buns.

Details: 2184 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, Ga 30324, 404-325-7346

Do you like to eat Dim Sum with your family? Share your secret spots with us in the comments section below!

—Rachel Quartarone

Photos courtesy of Caroline G. via Yelp, Brett Y. via Yelp, Liz D. via Yelp, Kitty L. via Yelp, Jang C. via Yelp, Tanya H. via Yelp