Great Wow – Hillcrest – San Diego, CA

Recently Jake and I had a little lunch outing at a place called Great Wow in Hillcrest. I was feeling like dumplings and noodles and discovered this place on Yelp. Woo!

Great Wow - Hillcrest - San Diego, CA

It’s located in the heart of Hillcrest, right off Fifth Ave and University Ave. They have a bright and clean interior.

Making fresh noodles at Great Wow - Hillcrest - San Diego, CA

There’s a little window next to the bar area where you can see them working on fresh batches of noodles! 

Jake at Great Wow - Hillcrest - San Diego, CA

We got there before noon and avoided the lunch rush. The place was just about full when we left. 

Menu - Great Wow - Hillcrest - San Diego, CA

Great Wow’s menu, side one.

Menu - Great Wow - Hillcrest - San Diego, CA

And the flip side.

Tea Menu - Great Wow - Hillcrest - San Diego, CA

Great Wow also offers a tea menu. Our waiter told us about some special items and made some recommendations to us. We told him we don’t like our drinks to be super sweet and he lowered the sugar content in our teas for us. 

Dan Dan Noodles at Great Wow - Hillcrest - San Diego, CA

Jake and I both wanted to try Great Wow’s Dan Dan Noodles [$10.99]. It comes with minced pork on top, those homemade noodles, and some bok choy.

Noodle Pull - Great Wow - Hillcrest - San Diego, CA

This is my attempt at doing a noodle pull. I’m not as good at it as others. Noodles are kind of slippery! 

The dan dan noodles were excellent. I loved the chewy texture of the noodles and the mix of pork, the semi spicy sauce, and the fresh bok choy. It was a great combination of flavors though my lips were a little spicy after eating these noodles. The spiciness didn’t get into the back of my throat though at least. The best part is the noodles though! Cooked just right! 

Honey Milk Tea and Lychee Tea at Great Wow - Hillcrest - San Diego, CA

These are the teas that Jake and I ordered. Honey Milk Green Tea [$4.49] for him and Summer Special Lychee Tea [$3.00] for me. I think my tea was different than what’s on the menu since it was a little cheaper and our waiter said it was a secret menu item, but I can’t remember what he called it now. I just remember it had a really bright and tasty lychee flavor. It was still a touch on the sweet side for my tastes (I told him to make it with just a little sweetness) so I could have gone no sugar personally. Jake’s honey milk green tea was really delicious! He got it with no sugar (just the honey) and it was perfect. The boba was also great – it tasted fresh and had a great chew to it. 

Dim Sum at Great Wow - Hillcrest - San Diego, CA

We also shared Great Wow’s Dim Sum Combo [$10.99] which comes with three different types of dumplings to sample. You get three Xiao-Long Bao soup dumplings, three Crystal Shrimp dumplings, and three Pork Shao Mai. 

XLB Soup Dumplings at Great Wow - Hillcrest - San Diego, CA

Here’s a closer look at the Xiao-Long Bao Soup Dumplings. I bit off a little bit of the top so you could peek inside! A little soup spilled out when I did that. This had a fair amount of hot soup in them and a nice juicy pork mixture inside. The wrapper was a nice, chewy dumpling and it had a pretty good flavor. I enjoyed this version! 

Shrimpy - Great Wow - Hillcrest - San Diego, CA

I got the Crystal Shrimp all to myself since Jake doesn’t like shrimp. I’m not sure what was up with these but they tasted kind fishy to me which is really weird. There was a fishy aftertaste that I did not enjoy and normally I love this kind of dumpling. I would pass on this next time.

Pork Shumai at Great Wow - Hillcrest - San Diego, CA

Great Wow’s Pork Shao Mai came stuffed with pork and steamed sticky rice. I hadn’t seen shao mai with rice in it before. I think I’d rather it just be an all pork filling like the soup dumplings. They were not terrible, but I didn’t think they were really great either. The soup dumplings were my favorite of the dim sum bunch.

Jake and I will definitely be back since we really really enjoyed the noodles and the tea! Kind of iffy about the dim sum overall, but there’s plenty of other things to sample on Great Wow’s menu. 

Great Wow
3865 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103

Author: Mary

Mary is a San Diego native and has been a food blogger for 12+ years. She is an avid reader, a lover of puppies, and loves trying new food. Foods she loves: sweets, peanut butter, pasta, Triscuit crackers with cream cheese, and extra nuts on top of her sundaes. Food she dislikes: pickles, really spicy food, runny eggs, olives, and too much arugula.

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