If loving dumplings is wrong, we don’t wanna be right, especially if said dumplings come off a wheeling cart during the ever-popular Chinese-style brunch, dim sum. And, while you may think Central Texas is the last place you would find mind-blowing soup dumplings, the Austin food scene is here to prove you wrong. Whether you’re brand new to the city, or have been around since the dawn of Willie Nelson, we rounded up the best places for the most delicious dim sum dishes around the Live Music Capital. So prepare your stomach for a feast of sauces, Szechaun, and scallion pancakes.
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Top 5 Dim Sum Restaurants in Austin
Address: 500 W 5th St #168
What to Order: Four words for you: Shanghai pork soup dumplings. This dish is so popular at Wu Chow that, in the early days of the restaurant, each table was limited to only two orders each. Besides their little magical pillows of broth and pork, their chicken and taro egg rolls deliver the perfect crispy bite. Don’t skimp on dessert either — the baked pineapple bao will send your mouth on a tropical trip.
What Makes this Place Special: Wu Chow is the perfect Downtown spot, a mix of hip decor, fashionable clientele, and food that will knock your socks off. We mean, the place is named after famous rap pioneers, Wu Tang Clan, so you know it’s already ten degrees cooler than your standard city hotspot. It would be a shame not to enjoy your dim sum selections alongside one of their signature tiki drinks, which come in adorable ceramic mugs depicting everything from a pineapple to a panda bear to a shark. Our favorite of all the libations, however, would have to be their My-Tie, Wu Chow’s take on the classic rum cocktail that comes in a parrot glass worthy of all the island vibes.
Lin Asian Bar + Dim Sum Restaurant
Address: 1203 W 6th St
What to Order: Lin Asian Bar + Dim Sum Restaurant is the brainchild of chef Ling Qi Wu, who worked as the original dim sum chef at previously-mentioned Wu Chow. What she should rightfully be called, however, is a dumpling master — the selection she offers at her own dim sum brunch is the best in the city. In addition to the options of delicious standards, like Sui Mai and beef potstickers, there is one item that stands above the rest, both physically and in flavor. That would be the Shanghai jumbo seafood dumpling, which requires a straw to sip out every last bit of the warm, comforting broth.
What Makes this Place Special: It’s hard to go wrong getting dim sum at a restaurant that includes said category in its actual name. Besides that though, the friendly, open atmosphere of Lin makes it perfect for taking out the parents, hanging with the crew, going on a date, and everything in between. The decor, featuring lots of paper lanterns in addition to more modern finishes, compliments the menu’s balance between traditional and innovative. It’s no surprise then, that, from the outside, the building which houses the restaurant looks like a standard family home — the whole place feels familiar, comforting, and cozy.
Address: 3801 N Capital of Texas Hwy C-200
What to Order: While dim sum purists may scoff at the idea of ordering an entree like Peking Duck during brunch hours, all one needs is a tiny morsel of Jade’s mouth watering protein to throw tradition out the window. With its thin, crispy skin and juicy meat, it is also something to be shared. The portions are particularly huge and make a solid meal for more than one (or, alternatively, a large amount of leftovers). You can compliment all that duck goodness with Jade’s scallion pancakes. These fried-dough wonders are the ideal consistency for sopping up all the extra soy sauce on your plate.
What Makes this Place Special: Long-time Austin locals were devastated when beloved dim sum haven, New Fortune Chinese, closed in spring of 2021. Luckily, there was hope at the end of the turnip cake tunnel. While New Fortune might be gone, its sister restaurant, Jade, is still alive and kicking. And, Jade has picked up its sibling’s mantle and reputation for classic Chinese dishes made exceptionally well. To add to it all, a trip to Jade ensures the most authentic dim sum service experience — we’re talking metal carts pushing around dishes piled high in bamboo steamers.
Address: 8650 Spicewood Springs Rd #109
What to Order: There’s no going to Fat Dragon and avoiding the dumplings — and, considering the sheer amount of them on their menu (13 different kinds!), why would you even try? Their savory sections run the gamut from traditional selections, like sui mai and vegetable, to some other-worldly flavor explosions, like ones made with cumin and lamb. But the real reason people come to Fat Dragon is to satisfy their sweet tooth. Their chocolate fudge soup dumplings will have you licking your fingers and might cause you to forgo the standard dumpling flavors forevermore.
What Makes this Place Special: For those who prefer to take their dim sum to-go, whether it be for consumption with friends at a brunch party, or just alone in sweatpants on the couch (no judgement here), Fat Dragon is the place to order. Their offerings hold up super well from kitchen to car to final destination — not to mention, after sitting in the fridge two days out. Although their dim sum plates are more than enough to satisfy your belly, Fat Dragon also serves exceptional ramen, udon, and fried rice as well. Their pineapple fried rice, especially, will check all the sweet and salty boxes for any foodie.
Address: 8650 Spicewood Springs Rd #114a
What to Order: If the collection of hot sauces on your kitchen counter has raised more than one person’s eyebrows in worry, Asia Cafe is your spot. Rarely does a menu contain as many red pepper symbols, indicating the spiciness of a dish, as theirs does. Accordingly, their Zhong dumplings, sometimes better known as Sichuan dumplings, are a must-try. Full of Sichuan chili pepper, alongside pork, soy sauce, and spices, each nibble will leave you with a hot, spicy, and flavorful tingle you won’t soon forget.
What Makes this Place Special: As previously mentioned, Asia Cafe is the place for those who enjoy their wings on a nuclear level. The restaurant specializes in Sichuan Cuisine, known for its intense spiciness. Their cooking references both the Sichuan Province in China as well as the use of the fiery Sichuan chili pepper. And, once you work your way through their entire dim sum menu, plenty of spicy goodness awaits you on the other side, like their five-alarm-worthy, Chong-Chin chicken.
After you feel stuffed to the brim with dumpling goodness, round out your weekend adventure by hitting the city streets to discover Austin’s best street art!
Moving to Austin
Now that you know where to get the most mouthwatering dim sum in Austin, get ready to call this city home. Explore Austin’s best luxury apartments. Then, reach out to AptAmigo, and we’ll set you up with an apartment expert dedicated to finding the best place for your needs. With our local insight, apartment expertise, and access to the best deals on the market, apartment hunting has never been easier. We’ll do all the hard work for you, from sifting through units that match your preferences, to scheduling a full day of tours. Why stress about moving when you don’t need to? Give AptAmigo a call for a full-service apartment hunting experience at no cost!