If you know me, I’m a foodie at heart and when you combine it with my marketing brain it means my excitement for describing delicious dishes at my favorite Austin Asian eats is ignited. At some point or another over the years, every time we talk about food I notice people starting to pull up a notepad around me. Then the next question is “Do you have a blog about this” Because let’s be real, the Austin Asian food scene is just now starting to truly blossom. Finding good Asian food is tough and if it’s your first time, it can be very intimidating to know what to order on the menu.
So you have asked, I have answered! Here are my top Austin Asian restaurants!
Background on me and how this list is organized:
I’m an Austin native, yes a unicorn, and have watched the food scene thrive in Austin over the past 10 years. Like y’all, I still remember having to FLY to Japan to get legit ramen because you can’t find it in Austin and that was the early 2010s. Since then, the ramen scene has exploded in Austin and we’re seeing different regional forms of ramen show up. My inner foodie loves this.
I’m a sucker for good authentic food that reminds me of sitting at home in my family’s kitchen and I like watching the fusion world thrive and create new creations. What I also love seeing is a new category emerge in Asian American cuisine.
Yes, Asian American is different from fusion because it’s not fusing multiple cultures together. Rather it’s a reflection of the Asian American culture where we create dishes that our parents have created since immigrating to the US. Because, history check, up until the early 2010s, there are actual spices that you couldn’t get imported to the US yet. So that means for us, our parents substituted and created dishes that are still like the authentic version with just maybe a slight ingredient twist. Not too much to where it’s fusing multiple cultures.
It is not, Americanized Asian food. For example, Americanized Chinese food which historically, was created by Chinese immigrants who were not chefs by training and had to work with what they had to serve other immigrants in the early 1900s. You actually do not find General Tso’s chicken in China y’all, that was something invented in the US. Yes, that also applies to Fortune Cookies, which interestingly is sourced back to Japanese immigrants in the 1900s.
If you’re Chinese American like me we know the difference of:
- Authentic Chinese – Regional specific from Southern like Sichuan vs Northern like Shaanxi vs Cantonese food
- American Chinese – General Tso’s
- Chinese American – Authentic Chinese dishes with slight adjustments
If you know me, I’m also an organization nerd. So here’s how it’s being broken down:
- Type of cuisine
- Authentic, Asian American, and Fusion
- I will also be including some specific dishes that I adore from restaurants
Note: This is based on my current experience of favorite eats, if it’s not mentioned then I have eithe yet to try it or it’s not a place that I would add to my favorites, and I will go back and update over time as I explore new restaurants and cuisines too.
Let’s dig in shall we?
For the record, there are many regions and countries that fall under this umbrella. I will be mainly including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Hands down my all-time favorite authentic Chinese food restaurant in town. Y’all, when I first found this place we went there 5 times in like a month because I was obsessed and had to bring everyone I knew with me there. The food is Si Chuan cuisine so they’re known for being spicy authentic dishes. It’s the numbing type of spice so if you haven’t tried it, don’t freak out if your mouth goes numb! They are smart to split the menu with Newbie and Foodie sections so if you’re new to the Chinese cuisine scene you can easily navigate their wide variety of food. We go to the Highland mall location. Favorite dishes: We do family style so ordering for us usually means two meals for two people
- Fish in Chili Oil
- Cumin Lamb – y’all this tastes like my hometown of Xi’an spices so I’m home
- Any of their griddle dishes
- Fish in Special oil without the chili
- Green Beans
- Moo shoo pork
- General Tso – the best we’ve had in town and yes that is Americanized Chinese food but better 😉
- Their rice is off the chain – yes I’m going to nerd out about rice here cause rice is an important part of an Asian meal. Their rice reminds me of Korean rice but it’s Jasmin rice and it’s about the way they prepare it.
Chinese BBQ and Cantonese cuisine. Y’all this is an oldie but a goodie. They have been around since I’ve been in middle school. Growing up in college we used to always come here and eat our favorites every Lunar New Year and we have kept that tradition going.
- Beijing Duck
- BBQ Pork
- Stirfried flat noodles
- Stir-fried lobster and crab
I love this one as well, backstory is that apparently the chef at Din Ho left and created Ho Ho. So a lot of locals say that the flavor that they used to like at Dinho has moved over to Ho ho.
- Beijing Duck – the full spread Cantonese style with buns and all
- Crab fish with fish maw soup 🌈
- Walnut Shrimp
- Stirfried Lobster
LOVE them and their hand-pulled noodles y’all it speaks to my northern Chinese heart. Everything is handmade and it’s like I get to eat food that my grandparents and grandaunts will make.
- Scallion pancakes
- Lamb Noodle Soup
- Spicy Chicken plate + Add noodles
- Soup Dumplings
- Hot pot noodles
If you’re up in Cedar Park, y’all are spoiled. Their noodles are freshly made and super good and their broth is very rich and packed with flavor.
- Beef Noodle soup is my favorite in town
- Soup dumplings
That’s a whole other world but my favorite place in Austin is Chinatown off of North Mopac they serve a pretty decent dim sum but you really need to go to Houston to get anything remotely close to the ones that are served in Hong Kong or in LA.
There are a few in town but my favorite has to be 85 Degree bakery even if it’s a franchise because the egg tarts are just so good.
I like that I can be able to find an upscale Chinese restaurant in downtown Austin that serves honestly some delicious foods with a little bit of a twist but not to the point that it’s considered fusion in my opinion.
- Wuchow Special Fried Rice
- Chicken and Taro Eggrolls
- Seafood’s Bird’s nest
- Bao’d up
- Normal meat buns
- Egg buns
So I put this under Asian American even though the chef is from China, a lot of the flavors are sweeter than the original to be compatible with the American palette. It’s not Americanized Chinese food as it’s not something that only exists in America.
- Black Bean Pulled noodles
- Beef noodle soup is so good
- Lian Pi is really hard to find in Austin and this is one of the few places in town where I can find this from my hometown. When I used to crave this I would have to make it myself.
Fusion or American Chinese food
I’m going to be adding Americanized Chinese food here as this is a separate style of its own and if you’re interested in the history of Americanized Chinese Food I highly suggest doing some googling and learning more about the history.
The best South Austin American Chinese food. Even their crab rangoons are good. If you crave Panda Express but feel judged for going there, don’t worry go to 1st Wok instead and you can’t be disappointed.
They have been around for 20 years in the Westlake area and you won’t be disappointed by their dishes. Personally, I like their Curry dishes as well as some of the American Chinese classics.
Also, some authentic Chinese restaurants that even do the Americanized Chinese dishes right include
- China Family
- Asia Cafe
Now while most people think of just Sushi and Ramen when it comes to Japanese food I do want to point out that there is so much more than that. It’s like trying to say all American food is hamburgers and hot dogs, y’all know that’s not the case. The beauty of the Asian food scene expanding in Austin means that we’ll be able to see specialties that are known regionally in the origin country come of the US.
One of my favorite places to go for Japanese comfort food. I love going during lunch where I can get great drinks and Japanese lunch menu style dishes
- Miso Saba – is the legit and grilled to buttery perfection
- Karage – They have the best karage in town
Y’all I love them this is my favorite place for sushi. This is where I go when it comes to all things related to getting the real o’toro that makes me feel like I’m Japan again.
- All of their nigiri pieces
- Grilled black cod is fantastic
- Their drinks are really good to
Yakatori is a specific style of Japanese food that is known as skewered food that is delicious and Fukumoto does it well. On top of their sushi and other dishes.
Talk about a fun bar place to try out fun drinks and bar foods. You feel like you’ve walked into a Japanese outdoor bar.
This is a category in itself and if you’ve been in Austin for a while you know there are a couple of fan-favorite spots in town. I personally have a list of my top favorites including:
My favorite place hands down in Austin. They’re the perfect combination between Michi and Ramen Tastuya. I personally love their Black Tonkotsu.
They have my favorite Sapporo ramen that reminds me of the style that you would get in Japan. I also love their seasonal cold ramen and when they do dine in, they have house-infused nigori sakes that are perfect for a date night.
The first Ramen shop to come into town and they’re really good with their dipping and their Brussel Sprouts are great too. Know that this is an eat-and-go space so not designed to hang around for awhile I do like the Domo Alley Gato next door to the one on East Side where you can get Ramen and then go get a drink to hang out more next door.
Located conveniently in the 99 Ranch shopping center they have pretty fun drinks and good ramen that makes it a fun eat spot to hang out after shopping at Daiso.
Special shout out Asahi
The cutest Japanese convenience store you’ll go to. If you want real wasabi, this is the place to find it y’all, and buy other Japanese items and groceries. If you’re interested in trying out their onigiri that’s made fresh and they do run out quickly!
One of my favorite coffee places to eat and work out of. Not only do I get to enjoy this jazz inspired place with great Ohayo coffee I also love their karage and toasts. Their food is a combination of fusion with some traditional staples like:
- Kara-age Plate with Potato Salad and Curry
- Sriracha Smoked Salmon Toast
All-you-can-eat sushi made fresh to order. We love this place, they do simple nigiri pieces really well as well as some fun fusion rolls. My advice is if you want to eat your fill avoid the super filling ones like Tempura or Baked rolls. We prefer to go to the Parmer location that’s bigger which means less of a wait time.
Galbi-jjim is life yall and they’ve been around for 20+ years serving the Austin community. I used to go there as a kid for BBQ and realized that their other menu items are fantastic and legit
- Galbi Jjim – we get it with cheese and spice
- Bibim naengmyeon
- Soondubu Jjigae
All-you-can-eat Korean BBQ – enough said. Just be careful because there is a LONG list and aim to have 3-4 people with you in order for you to try all of the rounds of good food.
Located in the HMart food court, you’d think food court food isn’t good but if I’m honest this is some of the best I’ve had in town
- Marinade whole beef rib
- Spicy Squid
If you watch Kdramas and you see the Korean corn dog and always wanted to do that long cheese string pull, guys go to Hmart or to the Airport location. Plus they have a really good egg toast.
- Sweet potato mozzarella dog
- Egg toast
I’ve only been here once but it’s really good with some of their more traditional dishes that you may not get to find unless you’re in korea.
- Seafood Cheese Dukboki
Korean fried Chicken
This needs a list on its own because there are so many Korean fried chicken popping up as the next best thing like Ramen is.
We love this place, not only is their whole team super welcoming the owners are there welcoming everyone in. They have great food and house infused soju and the ambiance makes you feel like you’ve walked into a Korean bar.
- Soju margarita drink
- Seafood Pajeon
- Korean fried chicken
- Cheese fondue with chicken nuggets
- Korean Army Stew – Jam packed with deliciousness
- Pork Belly and Octopus
If you just want a classic Korean fried chicken experience they do a really good job. This is a franchise but sometimes it’s nice to get to try the experience of what a full Korean Fried Chicken experience would be as if you’re in Korea.
- Golden original
- Soy Garlic
- Honey Garlic
- Gangnam Style
I get my birthday cake from here every year. Yes, it’s technically a Korean bakery chain but there is something delicious about Asian baked goods that is just airy and light. I personally don’t have a huge sweet tooth so their desserts are the perfect level for me. Plus you can get fun drinks like Green Tea Lattes and others.
They make really good mochi donuts, they’re pop up based and seasonal in flavors. Be sure to follow them on social media to get the latest updates on their flavors. I personally loved their Sprite and Strawbery one that they made last time.
If you want a place to go and have a fun night out with your friends while eating delicious Korean food, Oseyo is the place. I love how the owner, Lynn, created dishes including recipes from her mom that they may have tweaked over the years and added some fun flavors to traditional favorites. Their tteok is made fresh and they have fun creating fun creations like their drink specials and mango ice cream
- Banchan – you know a good Korean restaurant from their banchan
- Bossam – so crispy y’all it’s air-fried rather than the traditional style.
- Kimchi jjigae – This is the only place that I would order Kimichi Jjiggae from cause I love the kimchi that they have in-house.
- House-made ice cream including their black sesame, mango and gochujang, Pecan, rum, and Korean dates which is basically like patbingsu in icecream form
- Kalbi – The pieces are perfectly grilled to bring out the flavor.
- Jjajangmyeon leans more toward the Chinese version than toward what you see in normal Korean restaurants which personally I prefer.
- Bar – yes we have a separate list for the bar haha
- Oseyo fashioned – I love a Old Fashioned and combine with a splash of Baiju takes it to the next level
- Suntory Highball
- Korea Town
They’re one of my favorite Korean and Tex-Mex fusion places in town. It’s been really cool watching them start in Austin and expand into new areas like Houston.
- Kimchi Fries – they’re the OG
- Rice bowl with Bulgogi
- Korean Fried Chicken Wings
My all-time favorite – they have some great classics with more traditional menu items for those that want to explore more.
- Pad thai
- Pad seew – we go for the vermicelli version
- Special beef garee curry
- Massaman Curry
- Kua Kling Kradook Moo
- Tom Kaha
Similar vibe to Sap’s if you want the classics they are really well known for producing a good classic dishes.
- Pad thai
- Drunken noodles
- Pad won sen is my all-time favorite
They’re a classic in the Austin food scene where there is always a line but you can’t help but want to go as they have not only the classics but specialty dishes too.
- I love their basil fried rice
- Tom ka
- Seafood red curry souffle
This is a die-hard space that any St. Ed’s student goes to over the years they open till late and their food is delicious
- Seafood panang curry
- Seafood stir fried flat noodles
- Lettuce wrap
- Wonton egg noodle soup
The OG best place in town that I use as my standard and proud ot say that they recently featured on Mashed in top 10 places to try in the country.
- #3 Pho
- #55 Stir-Fried Flat noodles
- Fried rice
- Stir Fried egg noodles
- 888 Pan Asian
Alrighty y’all that was a lot and this list will continue growing as I will always be trying new places. Let me know your thoughts as you try them out.