Where to: Mei Mei Dumplings, a factory, cafe, and classroom featuring … dumplings!
Why: Because you love dumplings. They are made fresh at the factory and served in the cafe. You can also take a class and learn how to make them yourself.
The backstory: First Mei Mei was a popular food truck, launched in 2012 by siblings Andrew, Margaret, and Irene Li. Two years later, they added a brick-and-mortar location. The restaurant shuttered during the pandemic, but Mei Mei continued selling dumplings at area farmers’ markets. Marking Lunar New Year, Irene Li and managing partners Annie Campbell and Alyssa Lee opened their new South Boston facility Jan. 21; the company will soon begin shipping dumplings nationally. In addition to local, sustainable sourcing, Mei Mei emphasizes ethical and transparent business practices.
What to eat: All of the dumplings — with fillings such as lemongrass pork, cheddar scallion potato, five-spice tofu, and harvest truffle (with quinoa, sweet potato, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, miso, and truffle oil). Flavors rotate with the seasons; to try a few kinds at once, order the delightfully named Dumpling Party. There is also a crispy Sichuan tofu plate, and longtime Mei Mei aficionados will be glad to see the return of the Double Awesome, an egg-and-cheese sandwich on scallion pancakes.
What to drink: Right now: Spindrift seltzers. Coming soon: beer.
The takeaway: Pull up a brightly colored chair at one of the communal tables in the industrial-cute space, peek through glass at the dumpling-making equipment, and take in the beautiful dumpling-themed murals by artist Katelyn Lipton. Mei Mei is a hot stop for anyone who enjoys purchasing, making, or consuming dumplings. (Can be combined nicely with a visit to the Castle Island Brewing Co. taproom in the same development.)
Iron Works South Boston, 58 Old Colony Ave., South Boston, 857-250-4959, www.meimeidumplings.com
Devra First can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.