You Voted: Here’s Your Top 5 Dim Sum Restaurants on O‘ahu

Fook Lam, Happy Days, Jade Dynasty, Mei Sum and Yung Yee Kee: Find out how you ranked them.


No way, Honolulu! In the entire history of Frolic reader polls (it’s only been about two years, but still), we have never seen voting as close as this. Unlike Saturday’s gubernatorial primaries, the results of our dim sum poll were anything but a landslide: A scant 1.8 percentage points separated your No. 1 and No. 5 picks for the island’s favorite dim sum restaurant. With more than 1,800 of you voting, that came out to a difference of just 31 votes. And you should see the razor-thin margin that separated your No. 3 and 4 picks.


So yes, we’re all passionate about our dim sum. And we’re lucky to live in a place where plump, juicy, traditional and inventive morsels abound: Your Top 5 includes neighborhood icons where dim sum carts loaded with yellow-robed siu mai, stuffed look fun and egg custard tarts roll between tables; and newer places where har gao shrimp dumplings and crispy-creamy taro puffs are cooked to order from morning until night. The oldest ones on this list date back about 20 years; the youngest has yet to celebrate its third anniversary. For the record, the top write-in pick was Harbor Village Cuisine in Hawai‘i Kai.


No. 5: Happy Days Chinese Seafood Restaurant


It’s about 20 years since this neighborhood favorite opened at the corner of 11th and Wai‘alae avenues. One of increasingly few places that still offers dim sum from carts (from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.), Happy Days garnered 11.2% of overall votes.

3553 Wai‘alae Ave., (808) 738-8666,



No. 4: Fook Lam Seafood Restaurant


Fook Lam Custard Bun Jason Chin

Fook Lam’s steamed custard buns. Photo: Jason Chin

The favorite of many of Honolulu’s avowed dim sum aficionados, this Chinese Cultural Plaza institution also has cart service and tied with Jade Dynasty with 11.7% of votes. But in raw numbers, Fook Lam came in one vote behind, landing it in fourth spot.

100 N. Beretania St., (808) 523-9168


SEE ALSO: A Dim Sum Crawl of Chinatown


No. 3: Jade Dynasty

Ala Moana Center

Jade Dynasty Shrimp Chive Bun Copy

Jade Dynasty’s shrimp and chive buns. Photo: Olivier Koning

The largest and most ornate eatery on this list beefs up its dim sum cooking crew by 50% to meet demand on weekends. Large extends to its dim sum menu, where about 50 offerings include signature dishes like Snow Mountain steamed char siu buns and these jade-hued shrimp and chive buns. Like Fook Lam, Jade Dynasty garnered 11.7% of the total vote, but its final tally of 213 put it one vote ahead.

1450 Ala Moana Blvd., (808) 947-8818,, @jadedynastyseafoodrestaurant



No. 2: Yung Yee Kee Dim Sum


Yung Yee Kee Dim Sum Gregg Hoshida

Yung Yee Kee. Photo: Gregg Hoshida

Honolulu’s newest dim sum restaurant opened next to a Burger King in early 2020 to long lines. The lines are still there, thanks to a solid dim sum menu crafted by a longtime veteran of Legend Seafood Restaurant (which came in sixth in this poll) in Chinatown. Standout dishes include the savory-sweet salted egg custard buns (bottom right in photo) and the stir-fried turnip cakes tossed in XO sauce (not pictured). The No. 2 pick in our poll got 12.1% of the overall tally.

1411 Kapi‘olani Blvd., (808) 955-7478,, @yungyeekeedimsum


SEE ALSO: Upscale Dim Sum Is Now on Kapi‘olani and It’s Excellent


No. 1: Mei Sum Dim Sum


Mei Sum Dim Sum Assorted Mari Taketa

Mei Sum. Photo: Mari Taketa

The casual dim sum eater has probably never heard of Mei Sum (“Where on Nu‘uanu?” is the constant question we’ve been getting), but the IYKYK tribe has spoken. In business for 20 years, the eatery moved from the corner of Smith and Pauahi streets, where Ginger & Garlic is now, to a set-back spot on the ground floor of a 22-story apartment building where it’s all but hidden from passing traffic. A menu of 150 Cantonese dishes centers around a core of dim sum standouts like succulent chicken and mushroom dumplings, pan-fried corn fishcakes and ephemeral, cloud-like baked taro buns. With 13% of the total, Mei Sum came in 0.9% or 15 votes ahead of its nearest competitor, which in this closely contested poll puts it solidly at the top.

1170 Nu‘uanu Ave., (808) 531-3268,, @meisumdimsum


Mei Sum Dim Sum Steamer Baskets Mari Taketa

Steamer baskets at Mei Sum. Photo: Mari Taketa