Jiang Nan-style Chinese fare is on the menu at this takeout-focused Brookline gem. Bess’s Cafe features a selection of handmade dumplings, including Shrimp, Pork & Chive, and—our personal favorite—Chicken Dumplings with Sichuan Sauce. This dish entails delicate, Shanghai-style dumplings filled with ground chicken in a potent red sauce spiced with chilies and Sichuan peppercorns.
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Easy to eat and adaptable with many flavors, dumplings are one of the world's favorite comfort foods. These pockets of joy originated in China and have traveled the world. Boston boasts everything from the traditional pork or chicken-stuffed, swimming in Sichuan oil; to pierogi-inspired combinations of cheddar, scallion, potato. When you're craving Chinese-style bundles, here's where to go for the best dumplings in Boston.
Before it was a lauded cocktail hot spot, Blossom Bar was a long-running family-owned Chinese restaurant. Now this Brookline spot is both, shaking up gorgeous, textured drinks like the guava and mascarpone-enriched Bocadillo Sour alongside a large menu of Sichuan-style food. We love the sweet-and-savory House Special Eggplant with saucy minced chicken; and Hot Dry Beef—but the Steamed Pork Dumplings with Chili Vinaigrette are always part of our order.
From dim sum brunch on through date night, the South End staple Myers + Chang serves up craveable dumplings. Get a taste of chef-owner Joanne Chang‘s youth with Mama Chang’s Pork + Chive Dumplings with black pepper-scallion sauce, and delight vegetarians with an order of Edamame + Wasabi Dumplings with black vinegar aioli. There are also Lemony Shrimp Dumplings with kimchi-yogurt sauce, and usually a few exciting bao or seasonal pockets to choose, too.
Mei Mei Dumplings
Mei Mei means “little sister” in Chinese, but it’s also synonymous with dumplings around Boston. Mei Mei Dumplings is now based in South Boston (on the same block as Shy Bird), with a cafe serving up the signature Double Awesome scallion pancake-sandwich plus a range of dumplings. Some more traditional than others; think: Cumin Lamb, Cheddar Scallion Potato, and other seasonal flavors. The Southie factory also produces packaged dumplings for sale at various farmers’ markets, and it hosts dumpling-making classes.
The Allston outpost of an empire that also includes Chinatown’s Dumpling Cafe, Taiwan Cafe, and Dumpling Palace in the Symphony area, Dumpling Kingdom is a utopia for dumpling takeout and delivery. Mini Juicy Buns, as soup dumplings are called here, are in fact very plump buns, filled near-to-bursting with flavorful broth and pork, with or without crabmeat. They are a must-order, along with crispy Taiwan Style Pan Fried Dumplings.
Update by Jacqueline Cain