10 Must-Visit Asian Restaurants in Austin
Austin hasn’t always had the best reputation for Asian cuisine – especially compared to cities like Houston – but in more recent years, chefs, food truck owners, and restaurateurs are working tirelessly to change that perception. Those efforts mean that Austin diners can now enjoy quality Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and fusion cuisine all over the city. We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite places to enjoy Asian and Asian-inspired dishes, from Downtown Austin to North Austin to South Austin and beyond.
Qi Austin Modern Asian Kitchen
835 West 6th Street, Unit 114
Chef Ling Qi Wu has a long and accomplished history as a top figure in Austin’s Chinese food scene, and her sexy and stylish downtown restaurant Qi Austin Modern Asian Kitchen is an ideal setting for Wu’s vibrant and bold cooking style. This Asian restaurant is especially destination-worthy for fans of dim sum; Wu’s exceptional Shanghai Soup Dumplings are the stuff of local legend, and bites like Akaushi beef potstickers and Har Kaw shrimp dumplings with sea cucumber shouldn’t be missed.
500 W. 5th St. & 3800 N. Lamar Blvd.
Wu Chow is the restaurant where Chef Ling Qi Wu first made her mark in Austin, and although she’s no longer crafting her impeccable dim sum there, the restaurant’s two locations in Downtown Austin and Rosedale remain top choices for excellent and polished Chinese cuisine. Wu Chow’s menu leans in a Sichuan direction with plenty of tingly Sichuan peppercorns bringing the heat to dishes like fried tofu and chicken. But one of the most iconic dishes at this Asian restaurant is the Thursday-Saturday dinner-only Beijing Roasted Duck. Guests must order 72 hours in advance to give Chef Ji Ping Chen enough time to create this dish of juicy brined and roasted duck with crisp flash-fried skin and served alongside moo shu pancakes, hoisin sauce, and green onions.
House of Three Gorges
8557 Research Boulevard Suite 144
If you ask any Chinese food aficionado for the most regionally-correct Sichuan cuisine available in Austin, they’ll almost certainly point you in the direction of House of Three Gorges, an unassuming strip mall spot in North Austin that never skimps on flavor or spice. Don’t skip the lauded cumin lamb, super spicy “jumping” fish, and hard-to-find-in-Austin offal dishes.
601 W. 2nd St.
The Uchi empire has been reigning over Austin’s dining scene for 20 years, and their newest venture Uchiba is plain proof that Tyson Cole and his talented team haven’t lost their touch. This Downtown Austin boîte pulls influences from Japanese izakaya and adds stylish aesthetic choices that turn Uchiba into an ideal place to grab a bite, to enjoy a cocktail, to gather with friends, or to connect with a date. Nigiri, sashimi, cold tastings, hot rock offerings, maki rolls, yakitori skewers–you’ll find all that and more at Uchiba, along with inventive cocktails that make use of Asian-inspired ingredients like sake, Japanese whisky, yuzu, and jasmine tea.
6929 Airport Blvd #146
Sazan may not be the recognizable name in Austin ramen, but fans of this Highland restaurant know that Sazan is the place to find paitan ramen, a style of this soup that features a rich and creamy chicken broth akin to pork-based tonkotsu broth. This Asian restaurant features a luscious broth and springy noodles that are topped with a perfectly-cooked egg and garnished with optional pork or chicken chashu and peppery arugula for a bowl with deep and satisfying flavors and ideal balance.
1600 S. 1st Street, Suite 100
A white-hot recent addition to the bustling South 1st Street dining scene, Underdog brings Korean-inspired cuisine and natural wine together in a beyond-harmonious union. Underdog’s thoroughly modern menu combines traditional Korean flavors and techniques with French accents and some Texan twists. The Korean fried chicken served with shiso ranch and pickles, the vibrant kimchi selection, and the shiitake mushroom & scallion pancake are all huge hits, but the showstopper on the menu of this Asian restaurant has to be the Hansik option, in which guests can enjoy a prix-fixe spread of banchan, charcoal-grilled meats like pork collar and tomahawk steak, and an assortment of other dishes chosen to complement the meat and banchan.
4204 Manchaca Road
Even since Chef Lakana Sopajan-Trubiana opened the Dee Dee food truck in East Austin back in 2016, heat fiends from all over the city have raved about her bold, spice-driven, and complex dishes. Sopajan-Trubiana builds her menu around the cuisine of Northeastern Thailand (where she’s from), and her Isaan fare is so celebrated that Dee Dee’s relocation to Radio Coffee & Beer on Menchaca Road did nothing to discourage her regulars from continuing their Dee Dee habit, and it attracted a whole new crowd of admirers. There isn’t a single dud on Dee Dee’s menu, but be sure to order the Laab Moo, a bright, herbaceous, and very spicy salad of minced pork, lime, mint, cilantro, and roasted Thai chiles.
11601 Rock Rose Avenue
If you love piquant Thai street food, then a trip to the Domain wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Thai-Kun. This stylish Asian restaurant and cocktail bar offers Thai takeout staples like pad Thai, but if you spot a red chili pepper next to a dish like papaya salad, short rib panang curry, or pad ka prow, just be prepared for a serious level of heat.
6507 Burnet Road
Indonesian cuisine is sadly underrepresented in Austin’s food landscape, but chef/owner Yeni Rosdiyani is prepared to change that with her eponymous truck parked at beloved dive bar The Aristocrat Lounge on Burnet Road. Rosdiyani opened her Yeni’s Fusion food truck in 2021 to immediate enthusiasm and acclaim from curious diners and critics, and dishes like bakso (meatball soup with vermicelli noodles, fried dumplings, and stuffed tofu), bubur ayam (rice porridge with lemongrass-infused chicken broth, grilled chicken, and coconut), and Indonesian fried rice with a fried egg and a choice of protein prove that Austin diners have a serious appetite for Rosdiyani’s engaging flavors.
RAS Modern Indian
2700 S Congress Ave & 4410 Menchaca Rd.
At first glance, Cork & Brew Market’s two locations on South Congress and on Menchaca Road seem like fairly polished corner stores with well-curated collections of local beers and international wines. And they do deliver all of those things, but co-owner and chef Raj Singh also uses his markets as locations for an ambitious pop-up restaurant project that twists typical perceptions of corner deli grub. RAS Modern Indian offers a playful spin on Indian street food favorites like samosas, dosas, and pakoras. They also serve curries, biryani bowls, and other hearty entrees with soaring flavors and quality ingredients, all at exceedingly reasonable prices.