The wait: Only 15 minutes, surprisingly
The order: Wontons in soup (馄炖), sweet tangyuan dumplings (汤圆)
The vibe: Low-key hostile. Seats are at a premium and getting a spot requires a game of musical chairs; no food until you're seated. The retina-piercing white lights and the high noise level don't make for a very pleasant environment if, say, you're nursing a hangover. Fortunately, the food arrives as soon as you nab a seat.
Worth it? Just about. The wontons are thick-skinned, plump and flavorsome, and the tangyuan, filled with sweetened black sesame, bob around in a sugary broth. Meixin has had plenty of time to refine their recipe over the past 93 years (established 1925). I struggle to pinpoint exactly why these wontons are good enough to ruin my commute every morning, but they sure do warm your insides when you've spent half your lunchtime standing outdoors in December.
Meixin Dianxin, 103 Shaanxi Bei Lu. Open 7am-7pm, except 10am-10.30am and 1.45pm-2.15pm.