In this week’s episode of Dining on a Dime, host Lucas Peterson heads to San Francisco’s Chinatown, the largest and oldest Chinatown outside the continent of Asia. It’s also one of the most densely populated areas in the nation. It was originally established when Chinese immigrants from the Guangdong region came to the United States in the 1800s — the port of entry soon became known as Chinatown. Many early workers labored on the railroads, or were attracted to the prospect of striking it rich during the Gold Rush.
The Hang Ah Tea Room, which is hidden in an alleyway at 1 Pagoda Place, claims to be Chinatown’s oldest dim sum restaurant, having been in service since 1920. It serves classic dim sum, southern Chinese small bites that are frequently steamed or fried. Items such as har gow (steamed shrimp dumpling) shu mai (a steamed dumpling filled with pork and shrimp), and char siu bao (barbecue pork bun) are all on the menu. Watch as Peterson indulges in a classic Chinese brunch.