Herschell Taghap chows down at Honey Court in the before times.

My final #HellaRice recipe for Seattle Met celebrates an underrated favorite from countless Sunday morning sessions of dim sum. Which got me reminiscing. The world (and my family's ability to gather up with our friends) may have changed since the pandemic, but the quality of food hasn’t. My family pretty much orders everything we used to, as takeout, but that ride home may affect the overall flavor or texture. An attempt last summer to pick up a meal and eat it near a park in the trunk of our Subaru Outback proved a frustrating and messy failure. Nevertheless, here are some of my favorite spots, nearly all in Chinatown–International District.

Dim Sum King

They open at 7am, thus creating my longtime weekday morning “heading into work” tradition. Mark your order on a sheet with a tiny golf pencil. I get the spareribs with rice, whatever looks good, a ramekin of hot sauce, and two fried pork footballs. You can order by the piece here, so make a random choice to change it up from time to time. Chinatown–International District

Harbor City

Right across the street from Jade Garden. We mainly stick with the basics above but like to be adventurous when we see something we haven’t tried before. The steamed tripe dish and plate of pea vines here are especially tasty. I crave their salt and pepper squid 24-7. Chinatown–International District

Homestyle Dim Sum

The family behind A+ Hong Kong Kitchen, one of my favorite restaurants, also owns this place. Also open at 7am. They make their own rice noodle rolls fresh to order and they’re perfect. My son loves the taro bread from the small pastry case.  I always order the beef rice noodle roll with no egg, a milk tea with light sugar, and stuffed tofu skin. 664 S Weller St, Chinatown–International District, 206-340-6122

Jade Garden

The OG. The lines (were) long, but when we have visitors from out of town we want to catch up with anyway, it’s never a big deal. Also, if we have guests, I can order the honey walnut prawns without getting in trouble with my wife. LOL. It doesn’t really matter, but I prefer the big tables in the room upstairs. I regard this spot and Harbor City with the same respect. They have a killer dinner menu too. Chinatown–International District

Jade Garden's had a tough year, but you can still order food to go.

Image: Jane Sherman

Mee Sum Pastry

This counts...right? This open-air takeout bakery serves huuuuuge baked and steamed buns filled with traditional meats like chicken and barbecue pork, but I loved to crush a baked curry beef bun while running to my cook shift at Seatown Restaurant in Pike Place Market. Pike Place Market

Honey Court

We don’t normally head here for dim sum as it is both our family’s Thanksgiving to-go spot AND the champion of late night end ups, but the honeycomb tripe and a big bowl of century egg and salted pork congee have saved my hungover Sunday mornings more than once. Chinatown–International District