Taipei and Beijing may think they have the monopoly on great dumplings, but here in “The 626” we have some pretty amazing dumpling houses too. So to celebrate National Dumpling Day, I’ve put together a list of my favorite dumpling spots.
1. Din Tai Fung (1088 S. Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA)
When it comes to dumplings, most locals immediately think of Din Tai Fung. They use the freshest and highest quality ingredients, which makes up for the expensive prices. I am particularly fond of their fish dumplings – the fish is so fresh you would think it was soft chicken. The variety, however, is very limited. Due to their popularity and overflowing crowds, they built two back to back locations on Baldwin Avenue in Arcadia in order to handle the constant flow of customers.
2. 101 Noodle Express (1025 S. Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA)
On the same street as Din Tai Fung, there are two other places where I have tried the dumplings. 101 Noodle Express has 22 varieties of dumplings. The dumplings are clearly larger than the ones at Din Tai Fung, and there are so many different kinds to choose from. I personally love their hot and sour soup, while my three daughters absolutely adore their delicious beef noodle soup.
3. Dumpling House (921 S. Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA)
The other dumpling place on Baldwin Avenue is Dumpling House. Unfortunately, Dumpling House only has around six different types of dumplings, but the prices are very low and affordable.
4. Mama’s Kitchen (153 E. Duarte Rd, Arcadia, CA)
On Duarte Road, there is a little “hole in the wall” called Mama’s Kitchen. They used to be on Valley Blvd. in San Gabriel but they moved to Arcadia a couple of years ago. Mama’s Kitchen has been around for more than 30 years. The best part is how the don’t use MSG or any other additives for their dumplings, and they use whole-wheat flour to make the dumpling skin. I always feel so healthy eating their dumplings. The dumplings here are delicious, and they have a long list of varieties to choose from. Mama’s Kitchen is a family favorite (my daughters are obsessed with the dumplings). Some of the flavors here are unique, such as pumpkin with mushroom, pork with fennel, and lamb with carrot. The ambiance is not as nice, so I would recommend bringing the dumplings home – perfect for the whole family!
And there you have it! My four favorite San Gabriel Valley dumpling places. Why not treat yourself and your family to a night out tonight to celebrate National Dumpling Day? In fact, why not snap a photo of yourselves enjoying your favorite dumplings, and send it my way? Post it on the Linden Optometry, P.C. Facebook page so everyone can see it. And be sure to tell me how your dumplings were the next time you come to see me for an eye exam, or drop me an email, and tell me about your favorite dumpling restaurant!
Dr. M. Emily Linden, O.D.