Favorite Austin Restaurants For Chinese Cuisine

Austin certainly has no shortage of Chinese restaurants. If your tastes run to General Tso's chicken and beef with broccoli, you have many places to choose from.

But suppose you want authentic Chinese food, the kind your picky Chinese immigrant friend would approve of. Now your choices are a little more limited.

A tongue-in-cheek saying is, “Austin’s best Chinese food is in Houston,” which is two to three hours' drive away. That's a little exaggerated; there are some good local choices, and more will likely appear as the Austin population continues to grow.

Below is a short list of favorites.

Our Favorites

Din Ho
8557 Research Blvd. Ste. 116, Austin TX 78758
(512) 832-8788
map website One of the more 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.

View a short video about Din Ho:

6718 Middle Fiskville Rd., Austin TX 78752
(512) 458-8088

Shanghai Restaurant

Good place to get dim sum in Austin, served weekends for lunch until 2:30. 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 (e.g. shu mai, har kow, roast pork baos), there are more exotic items like chicken feet that are also good and there’s a wide selection of vegetarian dishes and desserts. Total comes out to $10-$15 per person. The service is efficient and friendly.

Rice Bowl Cafe
11220 N. Lamar St. C306, Austin TX 78758
(512) 835-8888

Coco’s Cafe
8557 Research Blvd. Ste. 118, Austin TX 78758
(512) 833-6588
map website

1910 Guadalupe St., Austin TX 78705
(512) 236-9398
map website

CoCo's Cafe downtown location

Rice Bowl Cafe and Coco's Cafe are good places for casual, authentic Chinese-Taiwanese dining. We think Rice Bowl has better and larger dishes, but Coco's has a wide selection of juices, teas, smoothies, and shaved ice, and is a good place to meet and socialize. At Rice Bowl, everything tastes fresh and is not overly seasoned; the staff is friendly and attentive and the restaurant is immaculate. Coco’s is staffed with friendly, enthusiastic young Asian ladies and has free self-service soup with entrees. The Research Blvd. Coco's location is less crowded and easier to park; the downtown location is often filled with University of Texas students.

Rice Bowl Cafe's Beef Roll

Rice Bowl Cafe's popular Beef Roll dish - tasty and tastefully presented

Ho Ho Chinese Barbecue
13000 N IH-35 Bldg. 6, Austin TX 78753
(512) 339-9088
map website 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. Our native Chinese friends sometimes come here for lunch.

First Chinese Barbecue
10901 N. Lamar Blvd. Ste. 401, Austin TX 78753
(512) 835-8889
map website

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. It was one of two Austin restaurants named among the 50 best Chinese restaurants in the U.S. by CNN Travel in 2012. Delicious, reasonably-priced Chinese food. The combination rice with chicken, roast duck, and roast pork is good, especially with duck sauce. So is the fried noodles with seafood. The dining room is not huge, but there’s ample seating for groups of various sizes. Chinese barbecue meats are available for takeout at the entrance.

Here's a short video about First Chinese Barbecue:

Asia Cafe
8650 Spicewood Springs Rd. #115, Austin TX 78759
(512) 331-5788
map website
Asia Cafe

This was the other Austin restaurant named as one of the 50 best Chinese restaurants in the U.S. by CNN Travel. An extensive menu of delicious Chinese entrees. Pay first, then pick up your own water, tea, and silverware and find a table and wait for your number to be called. Large dining room but still gets crowded especially at lunchtime on weekdays. Large servings.

First Wok
603 W. Stassney Ln., Austin TX 78745
(512) 444-0077
map website

First Wok

OK, maybe not all the dishes are 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.

Need More Choices?

View this map for other Chinese restaurant choices around town.

Click here for a list and map of Austin Chinese restaurants (opens in a new tab).

Austin Chinese Restaurant News

Exploring new concepts in Austin Chinese cuisine

Two new Chinese restaurants are appearing on the Austin scene, at opposite ends of the Chinese cuisine spectrum.

At one end is A-OK Chinese, operated by Chef John Bullington on South Lamar Blvd., which specializes in casual Chinese-American dishes like five-spice ribs, crispy wonton chips in Kung Pao sauce, and fried rice. Customers sit at tables or at a counter or order take-out or delivery.

At the other end is Wu Chow, opening at the ground level of the IBC tower at 500 West Fifth St. Operated by the same group as Swift's Attic, Wu Chow aims to introduce Austin diners to traditional Chinese dishes like Peking duck, ginger scallion lobster, and sesame noodles, served in an atmosphere of understated elegance. Partner C.K. Chin has invited one of his uncles, an established Shanghainese chef in Houston, and his grandmother to teach the kitchen staff their recipes.

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Love Shanghai Not rated yet
I really love the dim sum at Shanghai. Good shou mai. The place does get packed on Sunday at lunchtime though.

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