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Classic Kitchen's pork pot stickers

Image: Alice Levitt

Few things say comfort like hot dough stuffed with warm meat. There are countless iterations to be had in Houston, and many—but not all—of our favorites can be found at H Mart Plaza on Bellaire Boulevard, home to the city’s unofficial Dumpling Corridor. These are designated below; make a crawl of it and try them all in one outing!

Classic Kitchen

Dumpling hounds swear by the juicy, gingery pork pot stickers, which satisfy at any meal. The soup dumplings are rather less impressive; we prefer the shop’s other offerings, including youtiao (Chinese crullers), dan bing (egg-filled wraps) and a thousand-layer pancake made with flaky, crinkly pastry.

Doozo Dumplings & Noodles

Queuing up early is necessary to avoid a wait for these freshly steamed dumplings—one of the few homemade delicacies among the offerings inside the Shops at Houston Center. The coarsely chopped chicken creations are more interesting than the pork-and-scallion ones, but whatever you order, be sure to request the spicy sauce. For an extra $1.50, make it a meal with thick, hot soup or fried rice.

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Shanghai-style dumplings at Lucky Pot

Image: Alice Levitt

Lucky Pot

As long as you don’t expect the Shanghai dumplings on offer here to contain their traditional broth, you’ll be wowed by the Hershey Kiss–shaped pockets filled with light, gingery pork. The once-extensive dumpling menu is shorter these days, but what’s still available in the comfortable dining room, populated by families, is unique. Try the red-bean-and-millet bun, a cousin to the traditional dumpling, with a sweet, crumbly center contained in a ball of warm, chewy mochi.

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Mala Sichuan Bistro's red oil dumplings, hot-and-sour wontons and dan dan noodles

Image: Alice Levitt

Mala Sichuan Bistro

At the second, Montrose location of the Chinatown restaurant that taught Houston to love the sizzle of Szechuan, the menu’s street-food section contains two must-try dumplings. There’s hot-and-sour wontons, chubby packages of pork dressed in a spicy vinaigrette, and slippery, thin-skinned red oil dumplings, infused with the flavor of mouth-numbing Szechuan peppercorn.

Mandarin Cafe

This modest Korean-style Chinese restaurant serves extra-large dumplings that are neither specifically Korean mandoo nor Chinese jiaozi. Fist-sized and stuffed with either pork and cabbage or a blend of veggies, mushrooms and glass noodles, they can be steamed or pan-fried; we found them less breakable when fried. There are hand-cut Korean noodles on offer, too, so bring home some jajangmyeon, or black bean noodles, to go with your leftover dumplings.

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One Dragon's pork buns

Image: Alice Levitt

One Dragon Restaurant

Xiaolongbao means “little dragon dumpling,” so named because soup dumplings are meant to give eaters the power and virility of a dragon. The thin skins here are laudable, but chances are, you’ll gain even more strength from the tiny but juicy pan-fried pork buns, also native to Shanghai.

San San Tofu

Vegan and vegetarian diners who have never experienced the joys of biting into a thin-skinned siu mai or har gao can do so at this cafeteria-style restaurant and tofu factory—every filling is carefully crafted to mimic the texture of the real thing using homemade tofu. Other meat-free dim sum favorites include taro puffs and the fried pork dumplings known as ham sui gok. Vietnamese spring rolls and pork buns round out the fleshless pleasures.

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Sarah Place's xiaolongbao

Image: Alice Levitt

Sarah Place

Though the menu isn’t exclusively Shanghainese, this spot does the cuisine of China’s largest city especially proud. Xiaolongbao are uncommonly rich, with a soup sure to leave your lips sticky, while gingery wontons with paper-thin skins bob in a broth laced with seaweed. Of the other delicacies, Shanghai natives love the sticky rice mixed with red bean paste and candied fruit peels.

Xiong’s Café

Dishes from across China fill the menu at this, one of Chinatown’s friendliest restaurants. Order a big steamer of mixed dumplings, which has samples of pork xiaolongbao, likably gamy lamb, and bland but huge veggie versions. While you wait, grab some free millet porridge and mix your own dipping sauces at a station offering chile oils, garlic and ginger.

In this Article

Xiong's Cafe

$ Chinese 9888 Bellaire Blvd., Ste. 150

Xiong's Cafe in Chinatown is a Bejing noodle house. Customers have raved about Xiong's traditional Chinese food at a reasonable price. The beef noodle soup i...

Sarah Place

$$ Chinese 9968 Bellaire Blvd.

Though it's surrounded by modest holes in the wall, Sarah Place is not one by any measure. In an elegant setting, guests spin lazy Susans to pass around stea...

San San Tofu

$ Chinese, Vietnamese 6445 Wilcrest Dr.

Even ardent meat lovers find much to adore at this giant temple to tofu. Whether it's Vietnamese spring rolls stuffed with imitation shrimp that both look an...

Editor’s Pick

One Dragon

$ Chinese 9310 Bellaire Blvd.

The xiaolongbao, or soup dumplings, are exceptionally delicate here. Expect dark, meaty broth to burst from within the thin skin at first bite. The rest of t...

Editor’s Pick

Mandarin Cafe

$ Chinese, Korean 9486 Long Point Road

This modest Korean-style Chinese restaurant serves extra-large dumplings that are neither specifically Korean mandoo nor Chinese jiaozi. Fist-sized and stuff...

Editor’s Pick

Mala Sichuan Bistro

$$ Chinese Multiple Locations

Born in China and educated at the University of Texas at Austin, Cori Xiong, the young co-owner of Mala Sichuan, played it safe when the restaurant first ope...

Lucky Pot

$ Chinese 9888 Bellaire Blvd.

The once-extensive dumpling menu is shorter these days, but what’s still available in the comfortable dining room, populated by families, is unique. Try the ...

Doozo Dumplings & Noodles

$ Chinese 1200 McKinney St.

Deep in the downtown tunnels, office workers know to rely on Doozo for some of the city's best homemade dumplings. There are noodle soups and fried rice on t...

Classic Kitchen

$ Chinese 9888 Bellaire Blvd., Suite 108

Dumpling hounds swear by the juicy, gingery pork pot stickers at Classic Kitchen. The soup dumplings are rather less impressive; we prefer the shop’s other o...

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