Best dim sum in seattle (for people in a hurry)

Dim sum is one of our favorite ways to enjoy weekend brunch.  It’s a style of Chinese cuisine consisting of a variety of sweet and savory small plates. But it’s more than just tasty dishes of dumplings, buns and pastries. It’s an entire eating experience with its own unique sights, sounds and delightful madness. 

Popular dim sum

Popular dim sum

In dim sum restaurants, ladies (because it’s usually ladies) push carts filled with delicious, bite-sized foods.  They call out their goods like vendors advertising hotdogs at a baseball game.  Meanwhile, hungry diners point to what they want to eat on the cart and are promptly served.  Nothing beats the instant gratification!  In all, it’s a happy, lively affair where friends and family gather and talk too loud and eat too much.

The thing about dim sum, though, is that to partake in the food you must commit to the whole experience.  You need a weekend morning with a couple of hours to spare (to eat… and then to recover) and a bunch of friends to go with so you can indulge on as many different types of dishes as possible.  Plus, you’ve got to be in the mood for the crowds, the wait, the noise and the (reliably) spotty service. 

Dim Sum King in Seattle’s International District

Dim Sum King in Seattle’s International District

Sometimes, we just want to enjoy things on our own time and in our own way, especially when life gets busy. The same reasons that drove us to start Trade Eights Cocktails – the desire to have a great cocktail at our convenience – led us to appreciate Dim Sum King, a little restaurant nestled in Seattle’s International District (617 S Jackson St.).  When you have the craving for dim sum, but not the time for the whole experience, this is a great place to go.

What we love about Dim Sum King:

  • You can enjoy it solo on your own schedule. There’s no need to get the whole crew together and wait until the weekend. You can stop by during lunch or on your way home from work. The takeout option enables you to eat anywhere you like.

  • It’s good and cheap. With most of the menu items averaging $0.80, $5 will go a long way in filling you up. We particularly like the meat footballs. Don’t let the name trip you up! It’s bite-sized pieces of fried dough-y goodness filled with ground pork. We’re also fans of the creamy, buttery egg tarts and the savory lotus leaf sticky rice.

  • All items (dumplings, buns, pastries and rolls) are priced per piece. With the flexibility to buy just one or two pieces at a time (instead of committing to a whole plate), you can easily try something new or just satisfy a snack craving.

  • No etiquette rules to trip up on, like self-consciously chasing down the ladies with the carts if you missed them. Just order your food at the counter, cafeteria style, and be on your way.

Next time you’ve got a craving for something seriously delicious, cheap and fast, head over to the International District and grab some dim sum to go.  Eat well, drink well and be happy.  Cheers!