The Dim Sum @ Ton Kiang, San Francisco

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A Few of Ton Kiang’s Greatest Hits: Shrimp-stuffed crab claws, pot stickers, foil-wrapped chicken, and steamed pork buns.

Living here in the Napa Valley, San Francisco’s Richmond District has been my gateway to the city over the years. For those who aren’t well-versed in San Francisco’s traffic culture, the Richmond District is definitely the “easiest” neighborhood in the city: There are no hills, there are very few one-way streets, parking is relatively plentiful, and the north-south avenues are all numbered. Add on the fact that it’s the first neighborhood that you encounter when taking the first exit from the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Richmond District feels almost like a San Francisco suburb, despite its geography. It’s a great way to visit the city without going (not just) knee deep into the mayhem.

Although you can find either cheaper (Good Luck) or better (Yank Sing) dim sum in San Francisco, it’s tough to top Ton Kiang for its excellent price-to-value ratio. I consider this restaurant to be one of the true gems of the Richmond District, along with Aziza (right across the street) and Burma Superstar. I’ve eaten dim sum (and only dim sum) at Ton Kiang several times over the years, and it always provides a proper fix. Its location in the Richmond is merely a bonus, and reason enough to visit the city on a whim.

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Chinese donuts are a must. A must.

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