Where to Get the Best Dumplings in Denver
The ultimate comfort food.
There’s just something joyful about dumplings. Maybe it’s that they come in so many forms and flavors, leaving you giddy with possibility. Pepperoni pizza toppings enveloped in a bouncy dough? Count us in. Traditional xiao long bao ready to burst with steaming hot broth? Yup, we’ll take that too. In Denver, there is no shortage of dumplings. So your mission—and you should definitely accept it—is to eat your way through chili oil-laden plates and crispy pan-fried goodness to Denver dumpling nirvana. Just in time for Lunar New Year, which starts on February 12.
Lao Wang Noodle House
Chung-Ming and Tse-Ming Wang are now in their 80s, but despite the challenges of COVID, they continue to run their small family-owned eatery nearly on their own. In order to keep the couple healthy (and cooking), they’ve become a takeout only spot during COVID times, but their cult-favorite status remains the same. While their xiao long bao (soup dumplings) are a staple, they can be tough to enjoy takeout-style. Instead, opt for another standout dumpling: the expertly crisped, pork-filled potstickers in all their golden, caramelized glory.
How to order: They are currently only accepting online orders for pickup via Toast.
It can be tough to score eats from chef and owner Penelope Wong’s popular food truck with pre-orders often selling out in minutes. But, friends, the hype is real. Yuan’s signature item, chile garlic wontons with Szechuan chile oil that will leave your mouth tingling, are a must try, but so is literally anything Wong adds to the menu, so order one of each and order often. From shu mai to giant XL-xiao long bao, any dumpling from this truck is going to be handmade, flavor-filled perfection.
How to order: Keep an eye on their Instagram stories for a heads up on when the online ordering will open (you’ll see a 404 error when it’s not live)—and be quick, they typically sell out fast
Ace Eat Serve
The “Serve” part of Ace’s name comes from their ping-pong tables, and while those are temporarily closed, there are plenty of other reasons to visit this modern-Asian eatery on 17th. Exhibit A: Dumplings, in the form of potstickers, xiao long bao with chili crab and shrimp, miso butter broth, and herbs, and fried sichuan shrimp wontons with crispy shallots, Sichuan chili garlic sauce, and cilantro. Enjoy them on Ace’s winterized patio where you can reserve private igloos or sit fireside. Go on a Saturday afternoon for live music weekly from 3:30 - 6:30 pm.
How to order: Order on their website for pickup and delivery, or make a reservation via OpenTable
Fortune Wok Table
This split level concept was designed to be two restaurants in one: casual, street-style food on the first floor and a more formal, fine dining experience on the second floor. Right now, they’re only offering the main floor options, which is perfect for you, because that’s where you’ll find their handmade Shanghai-style dumplings. Choose your filling—pork, beef, or vegetable with spinach, bok choy, and vermicelli, all available steamed or pan-fried in orders of seven.
How to order: Visit in person or order delivery via Postmates
While the action at chef/owner Tommy Lee’s Chinese food destination has moved outdoors for now, the food remains some of the best in town. Eating family-style is the way to go so that you can try as many of the menu options as possible. Guest favorites like the bone marrow fried rice have become menu staples, although you’re sure to find new additions regularly. Right now your dumpling go-to here is the Hong You Chao Shou, boiled dumplings filled with pork & pickled cabbage then topped with not-messing-around level spicy chili oil, smoked soy, and peanuts.
How to order: Order online via Toast for pickup, get delivery via Postmates and DoorDash, or make a reservation for outdoor dining in their heated private tents via Resy
Dill and Dough
Chef Bo Porytko has been keeping Denver’s food scene exciting for years—perhaps you were lucky enough to nosh on a whole pig’s head at his now shuttered Rebel Restaurant. Or maybe you’ve munched on creations like crab cake okonomiyaki and shepherd’s pie croquettes served from Misfit Snackbar which he runs out of Middleman’s kitchen. In 2020, with restaurants shut down, Porytko launched another food venture focused on pierogi (and whatever other dumpling projects he’s got on his mind). Options range from pepperoni pizza pelmeni (pierogi’s smaller cousin) to the Slavic/Denver mashup of green chile braised pork stuffed pierogi. You’ll have to keep an eye on Instagram to find out when they’re available, but there’s really no better reason to stalk social media than scoring really, really delicious eats, right?
How to order: Order via Dill and Dough’s website for pickup at Middleman
A strip mall in the Tech Center may not be the first place you’d look for traditional Sichuan food in Denver, but inside the space that still sits under the sign bearing the name of its predecessor (Blue Ocean), that’s exactly that you’ll find. At first glance, Little Chengdu’s offerings look like traditional Chinese-Amerian fare, but ask for the Chinese menu and suddenly you’ll be swimming in hand pulled noodles, hot pot, map tofu, and—yes—dumplings. Specifically, their pork-filled Sichuan wontons in chile oil which should kick off every meal here and are basically the best possible reason to ever venture to DTC.
How to order: They do have their Chinese-American dishes available for pickup online and via delivery on GrubHub and Postmates, but you’ll have to visit in person to order from the Chinese menu
Chef/owner Lon Symensma has been serving up his take on Asian cuisine using French techniques at the original Cholon location in downtown Denver for a decade.This Denver culinary favorite now has two locations, and lucky for us, both serve one of the Mile High’s long standing favorites: French onion soup dumplings filled with piping hot sherry-infused broth, sweet caramelized onions, and, of course, melty Gruyère cheese goodness.
How to order: Visit their website to choose your nearest location and get links to order online for pickup and to make reservations for dining in