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The 8 best spots to eat dumplings in DC

China. We spend too much time worrying about their ascendancy as a global superpower and not nearly enough eating their delicious dumplings. So as Chinese New Year approaches and panda-monium (!) continues with Bao Bao’s debut, fix that by devouring DC’s best Bao Bao-endorsed (we assume) dumplings.

Laura Hayes
The Source
The Newseum, Pennsylvania Ave
For the best dumplings in DC go straight to The Source, where two-inch thick bao buns cradle sticky fried lobster. Pick up these girthy bundles of tastiness from Scott Drewno, and you can snag them along with four other dishes for just $32 at their Saturday Dim Sum Brunch, which might make Bao Bao reconsider that bamboo diet.
Ping Pong Dim Sum
Ping Pong Dim Sum
Chinatown/Dupont Circle
Try and work your way through the whole menu -- griddled, steamed, fried, and baked -- but make sure you don't miss their fresh take on xiao long bao (those delicious bursting soup dumplings). Please resist regaling your dining companions with Thailand ping pong stories. If you don’t follow, it's for the best.
Laura Hayes
Full Kee Restaurant
Chinatown
Yes, it smells a little like wet dreadlocks thanks to too many disparate proteins being cooked under one roof for decades. However, the shrimp dumpling soup is so comforting it'll make you forget about any unpleasantness, olfactory related or otherwise. That is, until you run out of dumplings.
Laura Hayes
Bangkok Joe's
Georgetown
There are three dumplings at Bangkok Joe's that make your inevitable Georgetown parking ticket worth getting: the Panang Chicken Bun, Lobster ‘n Pine Nut Shu Mai, and Winter Squash Potstickers. Grab a seat at the dumpling bar to watch intense little ladies make everything from scratch. Don't try to distract them. They're more focused than the Queen's Guard. AND they're making your dumplings!
Laura Hayes
Toki Underground
H Street
We’re not dumpling discriminators -- Japanese gyoza deserve some love, too. Every proper noodle shop in town offers gyoza to tide ravenous ramen eaters over until their bowl arrives. Toki Underground just happens to do them the best. Their pouches are packed with meat and a pleasantly surprising amount of heat before getting pan-fried. Choose from beef, pork, chicken, veggie, or seafood. Pro tip: get there early to beat the line and eat ALL the dumplings.
Laura Hayes
People’s Bao
Silver Spring
You’ll find Peter, one of DC’s hardest working bao builders, dishing out freshly filled buns from a cart outside of the Discovery Channel building. The Shanghai native says his duck, pork, and edamame puree baos are packed with "super food" health benefits. Which is all well and good, but you'll be more interested in the sticky onion marmalade they're topped with. Bonus: they cater.
Bob’s Shanghai 66
Bob’s Shanghai 66
Rockville, MD
We’re giving them the official tagline "Your Mid-Atlantic XLB Headquarters" because they crush it at the aforementioned tricky delicacy. Use a pointy chopstick to pop it open, releasing soup onto your spoon for slurping before daintily (or not daintily) eating the dumpling whole. Don't bother asking who Bob is. Some things are best left mysterious.
Vicky Gu
Mandu
Adams Morgan/Mt. Vernon Square
The only thing that tastes better than a Mandu dumpling is a Mandu dumpling during happy hour. So get a set of cylindrical Korean dumplings for $4 every day from 4-7pm and take your time soaking up the dipping sauce. 
Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Come check me out from 10am-430pm, but expect lines longer than at Toki Underground. I’m worth it.
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1. Bangkok Joe's 3000 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Bangkok Joe's understands that the only thing better than eating delicious dumplings is getting to belly up to a dumpling bar and watch those tasty little suckers being made. Get your usual favorites or go for some of their funkier creations, like Lobster ‘n Pine Nut Shu Mai or Winter Squash Potstickers.

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2. The Source 575 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

This Asian fusion resto at the Newseum's brought to you by Wolfgang Puck, and serves up tasty fare like garlic chive dumplings, curried crab shumai, and something called "lacquered" Chinese duckling. Ooh, shiny!

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3. Ping Pong Dim Sum 900 7th NW, Washington, DC 20009

Pong covers 7000sqft of dark wood tables, low-hanging lamps, and lattice-work accented bars, and is serving up delicious dim sum alongisde Eastern-inspired cocktails.

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4. Full Kee Restaurant 509 H St NW, Washington, 20001

Found in Chinatown, Full Kee Restaurant is the place to go for authentic Cantonese cooking, delicious noodles, and perfectly prepared pork, chicken, and duck. They're open late too (2am!), so you can fix yourself up after a boozy night out with a comforting shrimp dumpling soup.

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5. Toki Underground 1234 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

As one of the first authentic ramen joints in DC, Toki Underground has Taipei inspired noodles and dumplings that rival your grandma's best. Like most meals, Toki's ramen is best enjoyed with intermittent saki bombs or any of their house-made cocktails.

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6. Bob's Shanghai 66 305 N Washington St, Rockville, MD 20850

Bob's Shanghai 66 in Rockville is your destination for delicious, inexpensive, not-super-greasy-and-filled-with-preservatives Chinese food. The menu is huge, so if you're looking for a place to start, check out the xiao long bao (soup dumplings) -- theirs are some of the best in the region.

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7. Nu Mandu 453 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

This is the larger, Downtown location of Dupont's Korean diner -- rocking decorative wooden ducks and bamboo flooring that creeps up to the ceiling, the spot's serving latenight eats like Korean Tacos.

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8. People's Bao 8520 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910

This delicious oasis of bao feeds weary travelers from 11am-130pm outside of the Discovery Communications building on Georgia Ave (between Ellsworth Ave and Colesville Rd). Duck, pork, and edamame puree fill the center of fluffy, perfect Asian buns -- make sure you get some of bao master Peter's onion marmalade too!

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