Favorite Austin Restaurants For Asian Cuisine
Austin’s Asian population is growing rapidly, and Austin currently has the second-highest number of Asians in Texas, behind Houston. Austin does have a lot of Asian restaurants, of varying quality and value. Below are our favorites in various ethnic categories.
Austin has no shortage of Chinese restaurants, but if you want authentic Chinese food, the kind your picky Chinese immigrant friend would approve of, your choices are fairly limited. A tongue-in-cheek saying is, “Austin’s best Chinese food is in Houston,” which is 2 to 3 hours away. But that’s starting to change as the population continues to grow. Below is a short list of local favorites.
One of the most authentic Chinese restaurants in Austin. Asian locals take their visitors from Taiwan and the Chinese mainland here. The food is consistently well-prepared. It’s best to come here with a larger group and order a number of dishes to share “family-style”. The seafood, especially the lobster, and the Peking Duck are recommended, as is the hot and sour soup. There are also Chinese dishes more familiar to Americans like General Tso’s Chicken and fried rice. Servings are large. Next to the cash register they have Chinese barbecue, like roast pork and roast duck, which you can order to take out.
Good place to get dim sum in Austin. The rest of the menu is nothing special, but the dim sum, served weekends for lunch until 2:30, is wonderful. This accounts for the large crowd that shows up on Sundays, so reservations are definitely recommended, especially if you have a larger group. Along with the familiar dim sum selections (shu mai, har kow, roast pork baos, etc.), there are more exotic items like chicken feet that are also good and there’s a wide selection of vegetarian dishes. Total comes out to $10-$15 per person. The service is efficient and friendly.
Rice Bowl Cafe / Coco’s Cafe
Two good places for casual, authentic Chinese-Taiwanese dining. At Rice Bowl, everything tastes fresh and is not overly seasoned. Everything from their sesame chicken to pig’s feet and beef tripe are good. Service is fast and friendly. Coco’s has free self-service soup with entrees. They also have smoothies, teas, and fruit drinks. The I-35 location is less crowded and easier to park; the downtown location is often filled with University of Texas students.
Ho Ho Chinese Barbecue
Another good place for authentic Chinese food. The seafood is fresh (note the tanks near the entrance). The wonton soup comes recommended. As the name suggests, there’s also Chinese barbecue for ordering or takeout. Service sometimes leaves something to be desired, though.
First Chinese Barbecue
This is a recently-opened branch of the popular restaurant in the Dallas area by the same name, with the same owners. Delicious, reasonably-priced Chinese food. There’s Chinese barbecue available for order and takeout by the entrance. The combination rice with chicken, roast duck, and roast pork is good, especially with duck sauce. So is the seafood noodles. The dining room is not huge, but there’s ample seating for groups of various sizes.
Not fancy or really authentic Chinese, but tasty, very-reasonably-priced food and great service. A small, family-run place with friendly owners and staff, and really good egg drop soup, cashew chicken, Kung Pao beef, shrimp fried rice, General Tso’s chicken, and other Chinese staples. Delivery is available.
Below is a longer list of Chinese restaurants in Austin.
- Asia Cafe 8650 Spicewood Springs Rd. Ste. 114-A, 331-5780
- Asia Chinese Restaurant 1931 E. Ben White Blvd. (512) 445-5117
- Asia Market 8650 Spicewood Springs Rd. #115, 331-5780
- Beijing Wok 8106 Brodie Ln. Suite 109 (512) 282-1442
- Buffet Palace 4608 W. Gate Blvd. (512) 892-1800
- C J Wong Restaurant 6800 W. Gate Blvd. (512) 416-9888
- Chen's Noodle House 8650 Spicewood Springs Rd. #127, 336-8888
- Chi Chinese Buffet 9900 South IH35, 292-0303
- China Cafe 6406 N. Interstate Hwy. 35 (512) 458-3531
- China Cafe 3901-B Spicewood Springs, 345-1938
- China Cafe 13729 Research #695, 331-7747
- China Dynasty Restaurant 2110 Slaughter Ln W, Ste 101 (512) 280-3777
- China Emperor 111 W. William Cannon #312, 443-2922
- China Express 1913 E. Riverside Dr. (512) 448-3633
- China Garden Supper Buffet 4410 E. Riverside Dr. (512) 385-8858
- China House 9505 Burnet, 834-0788
- China Pacific Restaurant 107 RR 620 S. #107, 266-9328
- China Palace 6605 Airport, 451-7104
- China Sea 3742 Far W Blvd. (512) 338-6003
- China Town 735 Hill Country Dr., Kerrville, 830/896-6688
- China Town Austin Restaurant 3300 Bee Caves Rd. Suite 200
- China Wok 3005 S. Lamar, 445-6466
- Chinatown 3407 Greystone Dr. (512) 343-9307
- Chinatown - Westlake 3300 Bee Cave Rd. (512) 327-6588
- Chinatown Center 10901 N. Lamar, 343-3688
- Chinatown Downtown 107 W. Fifth, 637-8888
- CoCo's Cafe 1910 Guadalupe, 236-9398
- CoCo's Cafe North 8557 Research #118, 833-6588
- Din Ho Chinese BBQ 8557 Research #116, 832-8788
- Dong Nai 4211 S. Lamar Ste. E-1, 444-1593
- Dragon Express and Pizza To Go 14300 FM 969 #C, 276-9441
- Dragon Gate By Phoenix 3801 N. Capital of Texas Hwy. (512) 732-7278
- Dragonfly Restaurant 11200 Lakeline Mall Dr. Ste. EU-1, Cedar Park TX, 996-9809
- Fire Bowl Cafe 5601 Brodie, 899-8998
- First China Chinese Restaurant 3005 S. Lamar Blvd. (512) 445-6466
- First Chinese B-B-Q 10901 N. Lamar #401, 835-8889
- Food Shui 1700 W. Parmer #610, 339-4545
- Get Sum Dim Sum 4400 N. Lamar Blvd. (512) 458-9000
- Golden Wok 500 Canyon Ridge Ste. 500-I, 228-3688
- Hao Hao 1901 W. William Cannon #115, 447-8121
- Hao-Hao Restaurant 2025 Guadalupe St. Suite 254 (512) 505-0155
- Hea Cafe 500 E. Ben White, 804-2310
- Ho Ho Chinese B.B.Q. 13000 N. I-35, Bldg. 6, 339-9088
- Hoa-Hoa Restaurant 2025 Guadalupe #254, 505-0155
- Hunan 1940 W. William Cannon, 443-8848
- Hunan Lion Restaurant 4006 S. Lamar Blvd. Suite 1000 (512) 447-3388
- Ichiban 7310 Burnet Rd. (512) 452-2883
- Jade Chinese Restaurant 3704 Interstate 35 Frontage Rd.
- Joy East Chinese Restaurant 2410 E. Riverside Dr. (512) 693-8833
- Kim Phung Chinese & Vietnamese Restaurant 7601-I N. Lamar, 451-2464
- Lake Hills Hot Stuff Pizzaria 1500 N. Cuernavaca Dr. (512) 263-9709
- Little China 1921 Cedar Bend Dr. Suite 101
- Lotus Hunan Restaurant 3201 Bee Caves Rd. Suite 109 (512) 327-7776
- Mama Fu's 100 Colorado St. (512) 637-6774
- Mandarin Chinese Restaurant 212 E. Oltorf, 445-2225
- Mandarin House 8929 N. Lamar, 837-6361
- Masala Wok 10515 N. Mopac, Ste. A-155, 296-2977
- Ming's Cafe 2604 Guadalupe St. (512) 476-8888
- Mongolian Grille 117 San Jacinto, 476-3938
- Mongolian Grille 12636 Research Blvd., 335-8888
- Mongolian Grille 115 Sundance Pkwy., Round Rock TX, 716-1900
- New China Restaurant 908 W. 12th St. (512) 478-1163
- Oma's Kitchen at Dobie Mall 2025 Guadalupe St. Suite 226 (512) 472-8018
- Oriental Express 7517 Cameron Rd. Suite 13 (512) 323-6512
- P.F. Chang's China Bistro 201 San Jacinto Blvd. (512) 457-8300
- P.F. Chang's China Bistro 10114 Jollyville Rd. (512) 231-0208
- P.F. Chang's China Bistro 201 San Jacinto, 457-8300 (512) 339-8434
- Panda Express 2405 Nueces St. (512) 457-9701
- Panda Express 4400 N. Lamar Blvd. (512) 458-1077
- Panda Express 7718 Burnet Rd. (512) 371-9899
- Pao's Mandarin House 2300 Lohmans Spur #134, Lakeway, 263-8869
- Pei Wei 4200 S. Lamar Blvd. (512) 382-2990
- Pei Wei 1000 E. 41st St. (512) 382-3860
- Pei Wei Asian Diner 12901 N. I-35, 691-3060
- Pei Wei Asian Diner 4200 S. Lamar, 382-2990
- Peony Asian Cuisine 5308 Balcones, 459-3341
- Pho 888 Vietnamese & Chinese 911 W. Anderson #114, 302-5433
- Saigon Kitchen 3899 South Dr, #Ih35 (512) 326-3969
- Saigon Kitchen 4323 S. I-35, 326-3969
- Samurai Sam's Teriyaki Grill 9003 Waterford Centre Blvd. (512) 977-9988
- Shanghai Chinese Restaurant 6718 Middle Fiskville, 458-8088
- Sichuan Garden 110 N. I-35 #240, Round Rock TX, 238-0098
- Snow Pea 3706 Jefferson, 454-3228
- Snow Pea Chinese Restaurant 3706 Jefferson St. (512) 454-3228
- Sun Hing 2801 Guadalupe St. (512) 478-6504
- Sun Hing 2801 Guadalupe #4, 478-6504
- Super China 11657 Research #107, 527-8888
- Suzi's China Grill & Sushi Bar 7858 Shoal Creek Blvd., 302-4600
- Suzi's China Grill & Sushi Bar 2745 Bee Caves Rd., 347-7077
- Suzi's Chinese Kitchen 1152 S. Lamar Blvd. (512) 441-8400
- T & S Chinese Restaurant 10014 N. Lamar Blvd.
- T&S Seafood Restaurant 10014 N. Lamar Blvd. (512) 339-8434
- Taipei 3200 N. Main, Taylor TX, 352-6380 Chinese
- Taiwan Chinese Restaurant & Bar 420 William Cannon Dr, 445-0077
- The Magic Wok 2716 Guadalupe St. (210) 474-7770
- The Magic Wok 2716½ Guadalupe, 474-7770
- Tien Jin N Lamar Blvd Service Rd
- Tien Jin Chinese Restaurant 4534 Westgate Blvd. #105, 892-6699
- Tienman's Vietnamese food trailer E 7th St. and Trinity St. (512) 771-1266
- Wanfu 2400 E. Oltorf St. Suite 1 (512) 462-3535
- Wanfu III 6801 Airport, 459-5200
- Wanfu Too! 1806 Barton Springs Rd. (512) 478-3535
- Wok & Roll 3600 Presidential (at the airport), 530-ABIA (2242)
- Wok on Fire 9901 Brodie, 291-8886
- Wok This Way 314 W. 17th St. (512) 473-2965
- Wokery Texas Union, 24th & Guadalupe
In Austin, Japanese food largely means sushi. Here are several favorite choices.
Uchi / Uchiko
Arguably the best place in town for serious sushi lovers. Uchi is an upscale Japanese sushi restaurant with a trendy, noisy atmosphere, excellent service, and an upscale price. Expect to spend $50 to $100 per person. The executive chef (an American) has over 20 years of experience, has trained in New York and Tokyo, and recently won a James Beard award for best chef in the Southwest. Uchiko is his second, recently opened restaurant. He excels at standard sushi fare like unagi and spicy tuna role, but also is highly creative which results in unique dishes like pork jowl, Hamachi Nabe (poached egg on top of seared baby yellowtail). Sushi is not very filling - expect to get your taste buds pampered but don’t expect to get filled up. Also, reservations are a must, every night of the week. The places are packed, even late into the night.
Musashino Sushi Dokoro
Tucked in an inconspicuous location under another store, Musashino looks from the outside like a Japanese bath house; inside, though, it’s comfortable, intimate, and well appointed with soft lighting and candles. Many say it has the best sushi in Austin. Not as many exotic creations as Uchi, but it has more of the customary sushi items and excels at all of them. The tempura is also good. Service is acceptable.
Piranha Killer Sushi
Trendy, loud, modern decor with an open dining room and sushi bar in the center and a young crowd. Great sushi, some think it the equal or even superior to places in San Francisco or L.A. Excels in the standard sushi items and also has some special creations. Recommended is the Marry Me roll (strawberry flavor with jelly flavor underneath and sauce at the bottom). Piranha Killer also appeals to non-sushi-lovers with other Japanese dishes like excellent steamed dumplings and shrimp and vegetable tempura. Tempura Ice Cream is also good as a dessert (two scoops of ice cream in a crispy sweet shell covered with chocolate sauce). Not as pricey as Uchi and there are good deals with the Happy Hour specials. Good service; the sushi bar staff is particularly helpful.
The number of Korean restaurants in Austin has risen dramatically in the last few years as the population has grown. We’ve uncovered the small, privately-run places that have the best food. Here are some current favorites. New additions might be coming soon.
Inconspicuously located in a small shopping mall next to an Alamo Draft House, Korea House is sparsely decorated but serves consistently good Korean food at a reasonable price. Tasty pork and chicken bulgogi. Grilled items are also good, as is the sushi. An excellent value for the price. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the Bi Bim Bop (raw egg on raw beef). Friendly, if not always attentive, waitstaff.
Manna Korean Restaurant
Located on a main Austin thoroughfare next to a Korean grocery store. Basic, no-frills Korean dining. Good place for a quick, tasty, satisfying, low-priced meal. Menu includes beef, pork, fish, rice, and noodles dishes and soup. All you can eat kimchee. No credit cards accepted.
Small, quiet restaurant in a convenient northwest location with a super-friendly, family-like atmosphere. Staff is very warm and attentive; some people come just for that. But the food is excellent too. Some consider it the best Korean food in Austin. Bulgogi is especially good - chicken, beef, pork, and seafood kinds are available. All of the side dishes have been good. Very reasonably priced – around $8 per person.
ChiLantro BBQ / Coreanos
These are food trucks that serve Korean and Mexican fast food, modeled after the food trucks famous throughout Southern California. Both are very popular for light meals or snacks. ChiLantro was one of the first such trucks opened here in Austin. Its spicy tacos, spicy pork, and kimchee fries are particularly favored. Although ChiLantro was the original, many say Coreanos is better. Their specialty is the OG Burrito: Korean bbq beef short ribs, crispy fries, and kimchee for $7. Also very popular is the three wise fries (fries and onions, combined with chicken, beef, and pork, and spicy mayonnaise). Tacos are also recommended, including the short rib taco and spicy marinated chicken taco.
Mom’s Taste (for a change of pace)
If you want to try cooking Korean dishes in your own kitchen, Mom’s Taste is for you. Not a restaurant, it’s instead a supermarket of prepackaged Korean dishes, ready to take out and cook at home. Sort of like a Papa Murphy’s for Korean food. All the items are labeled in English with ingredients listed, so it’s easy to make. The quality of the entrees, soups, and side dishes is top notch. They also do catering.
Many Austinites judge the quality of a Vietnamese restaurant by the quality of their pho. Here are several places to get good bowls, as well as excellent rice and vermicelli dishes.
Pho Saigon has eight locations in Houston and one here in Austin. It’s a trendy, brightly lit restaurant that has consistently great Vietnamese food and fast service. The pho, rice dishes, and spring rolls are excellent, and so are the vermicelli bowls. The portions are large. Conveniently located in the Chinatown shopping center, it gets crowded at lunchtime. When you’re ready to pay, go up to the cashier and give your table number. Don’t wait for the check; you’ll be waiting forever.
A less crowded alternative to Pho Saigon, located in the same vicinity. Atmosphere is slightly more plain but the food is top notch. Many consider Pho Dan their favorite Vietnamese place in Austin. The food is top quality, the restaurant is immaculate, and the service is efficient. The portions are large - even the small bowl is quite large. Their spring rolls and egg rolls are among the best in town, though a little small. They also have good rice dishes. The grilled pork cutlet is fresh, well marinated, and sliced. Prices are reasonable. Free wi-fi.
Many consider this the best place for pho in Austin. The restaurant is small and simply furnished. It is in a convenient northside location but a little hard to find as it’s hidden behind another building. But the pho has good, satisfying broth and fresh ingredients, and the bun bo hue (spicy noodle soup) is good on a chilly winter day. Also recommended is the iced coffee. The place does get crowded, but the owner and staff are friendly and attentive, portions are large, and prices reasonable.
If you’re looking for banh mi, those special Vietnamese sandwiches, here are a couple of good choices.
Tam Deli & Cafe
A smallish, slightly odd restaurant in a north Austin strip mall that has great Vietnamese food and very friendly service. Slightly odd only because of the quirky decor. Good banh mi; instead of cucumber and carrots they use lettuce, tomato, and mayo. They come in many different types including lemon grass beef, shrimp garlic, and vegetable tofu. Also very tasty spring rolls, noodle bowls, and good cream puffs.
Here the banh mi are more like long, thin hoagies. They come in different varieties including deli combo, Chinese barbecue pork, and vegetable. The baguette is very tasty – crunchy outside, tender and moist inside. The meats and vegetables are fresh and delicious.The place is rather small but immaculate and well appointed, and the service is fast. Place your order with the guy at the counter and several young Vietnamese ladies in the back quickly make your banh mi. $3 to $4 for a sandwich almost a foot long. Great for lunch or a quick snack. Bread loaves are also sold separately.
Titaya's Thai Cuisine
A large and loyal following calls this the best Thai food in Austin. As you might expect, it gets crowded. They close in the middle of the afternoon and when they open for dinner there’s often already a line (the place is not that big). The Thai chicken wing appetizers are recommended. Also good are the different types of curry dishes, and the coconut ice cream. Despite the crowd, service is good.
Subsin's Authentic Thai Food
At Subsin's people go for the food, not the ambiance. The place is in a smallish, standalone building next to a major street in south Austin, between a parking garage and a bank. It's hard to tell if they're even open. Inside, there's plain wooden furniture, a small TV, and karaoke machine. Often you find yourself the only customer, and there's only one person acting as hostess and waitress. But the dishes are uniformly delicious. Some say it's the most authentic Thai food in Austin. Everything from spring rolls and pad thai to more exotic selections is good. Choose from different levels of spiciness. The server is very friendly and attentive. And it's byob.
Little Thai Food
A food truck that serves tasty, low-priced Thai food. Two Thai ladies run the place. All dishes are cooked fresh. Good fried rolls and fresh curries. Even people who are from Thailand are impressed with the food quality.
Great Thai food in north Austin. Top notch, fresh dishes, excellently prepared. Gets crowded at lunchtime. Appetizers, curries, fried rice – all are good. All dishes can be made vegetarian, and are just as good as the originals. Service is attentive even when it’s crowded. Lunch specials ($8) come with all-you-can-eat soup and salad.
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