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Best dim sum

A cart of tasty treats makes its way around the dining room at Canton House, which topped both the readers' list and our list for best dim sum in and around Atlanta. Photo: Elissa Eubanks,

A cart of tasty treats makes its way around the dining room at Canton House, which topped both the readers' list and our list for best dim sum in and around Atlanta. Photo: Elissa Eubanks,

1. Canton House
You say, “There are tons of options, most of which are centered in or around the Asian food destination we are lucky to have here in town called Buford Highway. My favorite is by far Canton House!”

2. Oriental Pearl
3. Happy Valley
4. Royal China
5. BBQ Corner II

1. Canton House
The AJC dining team’s specialist in International Cuisine Gene Lee says, “Canton House and China Delight were very neck and neck with being my top choice for dim sum in metro Atlanta. In the end, the larger variety at Canton House is what ultimately edged out China Delight. Although, I found both places the highest in quality and execution.”

2. China Delight
3. Oriental Pearl
4. East Pearl
5. Royal China

75 comments Add your comment


April 11th, 2011
12:16 pm

Canton House

Mary B

April 11th, 2011
12:25 pm

many places on Buford Hwy that I don’t know the name of

Esther H

April 11th, 2011
12:48 pm

Royal China on Chamblee Dunwoody Rd


April 11th, 2011
12:56 pm

Oriental Pearl has the best, outdoing Canton House by far and away.


April 11th, 2011
2:00 pm

The Royal China on Chamblee Dunwoody

Jenn P.

April 11th, 2011
2:03 pm

Happy Valley on Jimmy Carter


April 11th, 2011
2:05 pm

In Marietta?

Atlanta Native

April 11th, 2011
2:06 pm

Kowloon Seafood Restaurant on Buford Hwy is a good newcomer (not as good as First China which it replaced)
Oriental Pearl is better than Canton House in my opinion, also.

Atlanta Native

April 11th, 2011
2:07 pm

Where was the photo taken? I want to go there!


April 11th, 2011
2:09 pm

Happy Valley


April 11th, 2011
2:13 pm

These are great suggestions. I went to Canton House and enjoyed it, but I can’t ever go back to Canton House until they drop the Shark Fin Soup from the menu.


April 11th, 2011
2:14 pm

China Delight and Oriental Pearl. Kowloon is decent but not extensive.


April 11th, 2011
2:24 pm

Having had 3 native Cantonese friends visit I can honestly say there is no great dim sum in Atlanta. I took them to Canton House and they were appalled. Hong Kong Harbor was also a huge disappointment. There were only two places that came anywhere close and were acceptable to them and those are BBQ Corner II (at Asian Square on Buford Hwy) and East Pearl Seafood in Duluth. Perhaps for American tastes the stuff at Canton House, Royal China, and Oriental Pearl are OK, but don’t fool yourself into thinking it is “authentic” or equivalent to what can be found in cities like New York or San Francisco.


April 11th, 2011
2:34 pm

I agree with Edward! That said, I haven’t tried his recommendations but have tried Royal China and Canton House. Canton House is the best of those two, I think. Having grown up in NYC and lived there much of my adult life, I have found that we had to make do with what we have here until something better comes along, and little by little the food scene in ATL has improved over the past decade. Here’s looking forward to the next few years of culinary improvements!

Atlanta Native

April 11th, 2011
2:36 pm

@ Edward I thought BBQ Corner II had quit serving dim sum.
First China was great! I was sad to see them go.
The limited offerings at Kowloon are pretty good and Anglos are clearly in the minority there.


April 11th, 2011
2:42 pm

Hong Kong Harbor


April 11th, 2011
2:46 pm

I love Hong Kong Harbour dim sum. It’s delicious, and they will make dim sum dishes that aren’t currently out on the carts if you ask.


April 11th, 2011
2:58 pm

Royal China on Chamblee-Dunwoody

Troy McCoy

April 11th, 2011
3:02 pm

I live in Savannah and the only Dim Sum is at a Vietnamese restaurant. Go figure.


April 11th, 2011
3:24 pm

Nothing in Atlanta – it’s sad. I want to know where the picture above was taken.


April 11th, 2011
3:29 pm

#1 Super Happy China Buffet in Buford. Dey nock yo sox off and ‘dim sum’.

Kung Pao!


April 11th, 2011
3:32 pm

China Delight especially on Sundays. great food, great selection and a respectable health inspection score!

Dim Sum

April 11th, 2011
3:35 pm

I would also vote for Royal China over Canton House, but agree that it is far from an authentic experience. It is relatively inexpensive, however, and certainly edible.

like an alt neighbor

April 11th, 2011
3:40 pm

good on you edward for telling the truth #itain’teasy


April 11th, 2011
3:44 pm

Oriental Pearl, chamblee

Typical Redneck

April 11th, 2011
3:45 pm

I’ve only tried it once down at BH and Claimont. I forget the name of the place.


April 11th, 2011
9:14 pm

Royal China is by far the best tasting of all I tried in Buford Highway area. Most authentic, flavorful and always served fresh and hot. I’ve been to China and Hong Kong, and tasted dim sum throughout the U.S. including San Francisco’s China Town. They are my favorite. Ask for Yang as she is always friendly an helpful.


April 11th, 2011
9:19 pm

One has to go to Guangzhou or Hong Kong to get the real thing – Dim Sum made to order and no
carts! That said, Atlanta Dim Sum is okay at best – go to East Pearl, Royal China, China Delight, or Happy Valley if you must. BBQ Corner II is excluded because the parking at Asian Square bites….


April 11th, 2011
9:31 pm

Oriental Pearl or Happy Valley


April 11th, 2011
9:39 pm

Used to love Hong Kong Harbor until the roach ran up the wall next to our table. Haven’t been back. Plus, the bathrooms are disgusting.


April 11th, 2011
10:11 pm

Happy Valley on Jimmy Carter


April 11th, 2011
10:16 pm

Well remember Edward this is the south and the born and raised southern mentality doesn’t exactly welcome other cultures/races/ethnicities. When it’s all said and done the only thing holding the south back is southerners!


April 11th, 2011
10:20 pm

BBQ Corner II doesn’t serve an “official” dim sum, but when I was there with my Cantonese friends, they ordered dim sum dishes and they were amazing. I was told that was about the most authentic Cantonese food they had tried in Atlanta. They talked extensively with the people working there.


April 11th, 2011
10:23 pm

BBQ Corner 2….

I’ve had better in Atlanta but it was home made. NYC, San Fran, Honolulu still have Atlanta beat.


April 11th, 2011
11:06 pm

Oriental Pearl consistently has a terrible health rating.


April 11th, 2011
11:39 pm

China Delight is great if you go there with someone Chinese. If you don’t then they give you the stuff they scraped off the floor. Been both ways. Can’t say I’ll ever go back.


April 11th, 2011
11:51 pm

Nothing in atlanta can match the Northern States or Canada. I’m Canadian — lived in Vancouver and Toronto where they serve EXCELLENT dim sum.


April 12th, 2011
12:12 am

If you have had Dim Sum in the larger cities like London, Toronto, NYC, San Francisco, or Seattle the one thing you come to accept is that there is no good Dim Sum in Atlanta. It’s just a cruel fact of life here in the South. Most of the restaurants probably buy the frozen stuff from the Asian marts and reheat them………

yum dim sum

April 12th, 2011
12:35 am

East Pearl in Duluth – by far the best. Most of the ones on Buford Hwy are just scary…and I love Chinese food on Buford Hwy, but there’s something about the main dim sum places there that are just scary.


April 12th, 2011
12:38 am

Right….I thought that BBQ Corner 2 and Canton House were decent, until I visited Hong Kong a couple of years ago.
They were not even close……… :-(


April 12th, 2011
12:39 am

Like Angel, I am also Canadian (from Calgary) and I have been spoiled with amazing Asian food. I’ve been in Alpharetta for a little over a year now and I am searching for the best dim sum the city has to offer. I’m hoping to find something at least a bit comparable to the carts from Silver Dragon. Will have to check out some of the more positively recommended places although I have this sinking feeling I will find nothing close to what I am used to from a lot of the comments here already.


April 12th, 2011
12:44 am

Been in Atlanta for 15 years and love it here, but have been consistently disappointed by the city’s dim sum offerings. Doesn’t even come close to Boston, Vancouver, SF, or other North American cities with large Chinese populations. But to answer the question at hand, Oriental Pearl is probably the best and still the favorite of the Cantonese community in ATL. Royal China is probably next. East Pearl is decent for dim sum OTP. Other places: avoid for reasons of price and authenticity. China Delight? There’s a reason why it’s nearly empty and there are not many Chinese people in there… just sayin’.


April 12th, 2011
1:35 am

Like Angel and Annette, I am Canadian from Ontario, but have been living in the south for over 25 years. Unlike them, I am married to a Canadian Chinese from Montreal; I may not be an expert, but Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver or Surrey have THE best Dim Sum. Atlanta cannot compare, but we have resigned ourselves a long time ago and so we like Happy Valley on Jimmy Carter and BBQ house. Andy says that Canton House serves shark fin soup?? I’m NEVER, ever going there to eat.

Mike H

April 12th, 2011
2:13 am

As far as I know they all serve shark’s fin soup. Go check out the dried shark’s fin proudly displayed at Oriental Pearl and Royal China.

FYI all the restaurants use the same frozen stuff for their dim sum! Oriental Pearl seems to be the only one that make a few things from scratch.

You can tell that photo was not taken in Atlanta. We don’t have dim sum that look that good! (plus none of the restaurants here use bamboo steamers).


April 12th, 2011
9:40 am

Appears that not everyone read the article that specified the best dim sum in ATLANTA. There are tons of options, most of which centered in or around the Asian food destination we are lucky to have here in town, called Buford Hwy. My favorite is by far Canton House!!


April 12th, 2011
10:39 am

Canton House was better BEFORE their makeover. Oreintal Pearl is ok, but not what it was before its short-lived time as a buffet (sic, food trough). Atlanta definitely needs a Yank Sing like the ones in San Francisco… It can turn even the biggest skeptic into a Dim Sum fan.


April 12th, 2011
11:16 am

Doc Chey’s!


April 12th, 2011
12:23 pm

The same comments year after year after year. it’s like a broken record. Same 5 places, same 5 opinions. Anyone who thinks HK Harbor is good dim sum is only embarrassing themselves, it’s only passable when you’re hungover and because it’s intown. Rest of their menu is hit or miss. Kowloon’s dim sum is ok but the selling point is that all plates are $1.99.

btw- Yank Sing is dim sum for white people, nothing authentic or dishes that will scare them. Over priced and not very good. All you have to do is look around you and who’s eating there.


April 12th, 2011
5:20 pm

I find the whole you have to go to New York, San Fran or Boston discussion overplayed and exaggerated. Do you all think that people at Canton Cooks and East Pearl etc are from Fayetteville? Are they putting collard greens and macaroni and cheese in the dim sum down here? To be frank, and I have eaten at dim sum restaurants in all of the above cities, the pretty good places in all of these cities are pretty similar. True the top couple in each of NYC, San Fran, Boston may be better, but this whole thing about how bad it is down here is exaggerated and really doesnt make sense. Do only the asian families who dont know how to cook move to the south to start their family restaurants?


April 13th, 2011
8:02 am

HAPPY VALLEY!!! So many good dim sum times there over the years! Living in Central Florida now, and still miss the food there!