Get some dim sum

Like a Chinese version of tapas, dim sum is just plain fun to eat family style. It’s also fun to get to have a little taste of everything. Oh, and ordering on the fly as things that look good pass by keeps things interesting all meal long. Hone your chopsticks skills at these BARTable sit-down dining experiences where small bites in steamer baskets (often placed on that Lazy Susan rotating table) mark a satiating and soy sauce-soaked Bay Area brunch.

You’ll find classic banquet tables dressed in white linen and a crowded fish tank at Peony Seafood Restaurant in Oakland’s Chinatown, a quick walk from 12th St./Oakland City Center BART Station. Order from passing carts or off the picture menu to enjoy siu mai, egg custard tarts and all the standards.

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Peony Seafood Restaurant

12th St. Oakland City Center

Hearty portions are a highlight at Hong Kong Flower Lounge in Millbrae. While the packed room makes the carts work hard through tight aisles, when they finally make their way to your table you’ll be pleased. Want less noise? Book the spacious private room for your next party.

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Fine dining for the Financial District scene in San Francisco, Hakkasan is dim sum done swanky. Artistic dishes pop with color against the dark nightclub aesthetics, and upscale cocktails serve as city alternatives to the traditional tea.

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Hakkasan

Montgomery St. (SF)

Just outside Rockridge Station, Becky’s adds dim sum to bustling College Avenue and is a favorite amongst vegetarians too. Its hanging wooden boats and Chinese lanterns create a sweet ambiance that make it stand out from the usual dim sum pack. Other signatures? The potstickers and wonton soup.

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Becky’s Chinese

Rockridge (Oakland)

Beware of Sunday crowds at Hayward’s choice place for dim sum where the tables are spotlighted by natural light streaming through large windows. After you select your preferred Cantonese morsels off the extensive menu you can simmer in the goodness of your seaweed salad, pea shoot and shrimp dumplings, and sesame fried balls.

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