clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Ultimate Guide to Dim Sum in Austin

New, 4 comments

Get ready to pick and choose dumplings, turnip cakes, egg custard tarts, and more

The dim sum cart at Old Thousand
The dim sum cart at Old Thousand
Old Thousand [Official]

While Austin doesn’t have as many dim sum options as taco trucks, there are still several great choice restaurants for marvelous Chinese meals full of dumplings, buns, and egg custard tarts.

With that, here is Eater’s guide to best dim sum restaurants in Austin, with everything you need to know about the Chinese weekend meal. Choose wisely.

For similar eats, scope out Austin’s best Chinese restaurants and great spots for dumplings.

New Fortune

Service Style: Carts plus a hot bar filled with dishes, like noodles and clams, an experience reminiscent of high school cafeteria days but much tastier.
The Details: New Fortune has every dim sum requirement: a full-frenzy room with plenty of carts dangerously rolling through the haphazard aisles, each one filled with steaming delicacies of goodness. Perhaps the best part is the plastic tablecloths laid over in layers on each table, which means that free-wielding chili oil is encouraged. The menu is full of classics and inventive dishes that are seldom seen at most dim sum destinations, like coffee-glazed ribs. If you want to avoid the weekend rush, there’s a limited dim sum menu available for dinner and weekday lunches.
Recommended Dishes: Staffers walk around with specialty items, ranging from Peking duck to salt-and-pepper shrimp. Those items are usually hot, fresh, and fancier than the normal fare. Stick to the traditional dishes, though. Be sure to get the Cantonese dumplings, chicken feet, bean curd skin in oyster sauce, and sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf from the steam carts (not to be confused with the sticky rice served in a bowl). The steamed egg cream bun for dessert is perfect — a wildly hot bun filled with creamy, indulgent custard.
Location: 10901 North Lamar Boulevard, Suite A-1, North Lamar
Dim Sum Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday


Dim sum at Shanghai
Dim sum at Shanghai
Shanghai/Facebook

Shanghai

Service Style: Carts and online orders
The Details: Shanghai feels like a family-run establishment. During any visit, you’ll inevitably see the same person handling the cashier desk at the front of the restaurant. The selection is extensive and full of the classics. While there aren’t any gussied-up specials, there are plenty of tried-and-true classics. Arrive early, especially on Sundays, for the freshest, hottest choices.
Recommended Dishes: The steamed dumplings are a good standard choice, sturdy and filled with bright shrimp. The spare ribs are meaty and full of black bean sauce. When served hot and fresh, the turnip cake is perfectly crisp on the outside and filled with specks of Chinese sausage. Save room for dessert, the egg tarts are luscious and satisfying.
Location: 6718 Middle Fiskville Road, Highland
Dim Sum Hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday


Wu Chow’s spread
Wu Chow’s spread
Wu Chow/Facebook

Wu Chow

Service Style: Menu
The Details: Wu Chow brought in chefs who were born and trained in China, so it’s no surprise that the food is traditional and authentic. The prices might be higher than other dim sum destinations, but the downtown location, hip, buzzy vibe, and seriously good cocktails almost make that worth it. As a bonus, you can also make reservations for dim sum service, which is a rare find.
Recommended Dishes: Wu Chow’s xiao long bao, aka Shanghai soup dumplings, are arguably some of the best in Austin. The turnip cakes are savory with crispy exteriors, and the shrimp and leek dumplings are very good, too. Be sure to sprinkle the chef’s secret chili oil on top.
Location: 500 West 5th Street, Downtown
Dim Sum Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday


Lin Asian Bar and Dim Sum Restaurant

Service Style: Menu
The Details: The original dim sum chef of Wu Chow, Ling Qi Wu, opened her own restaurant in Clarksville, and it’s been jam-packed with people in search of delicious dim sum. So, yes, there’s often a wait. The dim sum menu isn’t super-lengthy, but, yes, her famed soup dumplings are available.
Recommended Dishes: Said soup dumplings, of course. There is also the ginormous Shanghai seafood soup dumpling that’s worth sharing.
Location: 1203 West 6th Street, Clarksville
Dim Sum Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday


Chinatown

Service Style: Carts and menu
The Details: Though there are several locations around Austin, it’s only the MoPac location that serves dim sum. The restaurant looks more like a lush steakhouse than a dim sum destination, with red tablecloths and dark wood. Pan-fried items are cooked partially in the kitchen and then finished tableside on a mobile grill, which means that items are very hot and crispy, as it ought to be. Other dishes are also freshly steamed.
Recommended Dishes: The shrimp cheong fun is the best rendition in town, with wide noodles thick enough to blanket the sweet shrimp, but still thin enough that it doesn’t feel like a glob of dough. There are also other more inventive dim sum dishes, like coffee-glazed baby back ribs and stuffed snow crab claws, both worth the splurge.
Location: 3407 Greystone Drive,
Dim Sum Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday


Dim sum at Jade
Dim sum at Jade
Jade/Facebook

Jade

Service Style: Menu
The Details: The dim sum from the same owners of New Fortune offers up a comparatively more limited menu in a more upscale-than-usual setting.
Recommended Dishes: Jade's main focus is dumplings, from soup dumplings to assorted pan-fried ones, which are worth a taste.
Location: 3801 North Capital of Texas Highway, Davenport Village
Dim Sum Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Sunday


Dim sum at Old Thousand
Dim sum at Old Thousand
Old Thousand [Official]

Old Thousand

Service Style: Carts and menu
The Details: The dim sum menu at the cool Central East Austin Chinese restaurant comes via cart and made-to-order items. There are mostly fusion dishes, like Cubano spring rolls, chili wontons filled with hot chicken, and chicken served with duck-fat waffles.
Recommended Dishes: Dumplings and wontons, especially the meaty versions, are a must, as is the brisket fried rice.
Location: 1000 East 11th Street, Central East Austin
Dim Sum Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

With updates by Nadia Chaudhury.

Wu Chow’s chicken bao

New Fortune Chinese Seafood

10901 North Lamar Boulevard, , TX 78753 (512) 832-9992 Visit Website

Old Thousand

1000 East 11th Street, , TX 78702 (737) 222-6637 ext. 1 Visit Website

Shanghai Chinese Restaurant

6718 Middle Fiskville Road, , TX 78752 (512) 458-8088 Visit Website

Wu Chow

500 West 5th Street, , TX 78701 (512) 476-2469 Visit Website

Jade Restaurant

3801 North Capital of Texas Highway, , TX 78746 (512) 956-8816 Visit Website

Chinatown [Mopac]

3407 Greystone Drive, Austin, Texas 78731 (512) 343-9307 Visit Website

Lin Asian Bar

1203 W 6th Street, Austin, TX 78703 Visit Website

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Austin newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world