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How to Ring in Lunar New Year With Food and Drinks in Austin

Welcome the Year of the Ox with dumplings, noodles, hot pot, and cocktails

Rainbow soup dumplings from Lotus Chinese
Rainbow soup dumplings from Lotus Chinese
Lotus Chinese [Official]

Lunar New Year — also known as Chinese New Year and Spring Festival — officially begins on Friday, February 12, kicking off the Year of the Ox. Because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, celebrations that typically featured big family gatherings, parties, and dances can’t really happen this year. However, there are still plenty of money-stuffed red envelope drop-offs and household group meals full of auspicious foods to be had.

Austin restaurants are offering all sorts of takeout food and drink specials, as well as virtual events, for Lunar New Year. Eating special dishes such as oranges or noodles is believed to bring good luck for the new year based on the food’s appearance or pronunciation.

There are vegan dim sum sweet boxes from Plow Bao, Lunar New Year boxes with food and cocktails from Daijoubu, a hot pot meal kit and virtual dinner with Gan Bei Gals, and plenty of dumplings and noodles. Be sure to wear a mask, tip well, and, if you’re ordering delivery, try to order directly from the businesses themselves.

Plow Bao

The vegan dim sum truck is offering a sweets box for both Valentine’s Day and Lunar New Year. The array will include a take on egg tarts.
Price: $20
When: Friday to Sunday, February 12 to 14
How to Order: Instagram direct-message for preorders. The deadline is Tuesday, February 9.
How to Pick Up: Pickups take place at the truck; there are Uber Eats deliveries available as well. Host site Buzz Mill has reopened for patio dine-in service.
Location: Buzz Mill, 1505 Town Creek Drive, East Riverside

Daijoubu

The lauded Asian cocktail pop-up is putting together Lunar New Year boxes full of cocktails and foods from like-minded businesses. There are cookable dumplings from Steamies, mochi doughnuts from Bom Bakeshop, fried vermicelli noodles and tofu from Penang Shack, a chili oil, and two bottled cocktails. Alas, all of the non-alcoholic boxes are already sold out.
Price: $60
When: Friday, February 12, 4 to 7 p.m.
How to Order: Online
How to Pick Up: Pickups take place at Drink.Well.
Location: Drink.Well, 207 East 53rd Street, North Loop

Gan Bei Gals

For Lunar New Year, the Asian-American pop-up is offering a virtual hot pot dinner with accompanying meal kits. The hot pot kits will come with the soup base plus ingredients, and there’s a vegan option as well. Add-on items are pandan and black sesame tang yuan (sweet dumplings in hot syrup).
Prices: $30 for meal kits; $5 for tang yuan; $20 for soup base shipping
When: The dinner takes place on Saturday, February 13, 7 p.m.
How to Order: Reservations can be made online with payments sent through Venmo to @ganbeigals.
How to Pick Up: Pickups take place on Saturday, February 13, from noon to 5 p.m. The soup bases are available for shipping for people outside of Austin.
Location: Pickup locations to be disclosed to purchasers.

Chop Chop

Frozen noodle soup company Chop Chop is offering a Lunar New Year-pegged special. The resulting Lunar Firecracker noodle soup is made with a Korean ox bone-based broth with noodles and spicy ox and shrimp mandu.
Price: $12.90
When: Friday, February 12, from 5 to 7 p.m.
How to Order: Online.
How to Pick Up: Pickups take place at Oseyo, which has reopened for dine-in service.
Location: Oseyo, 1628 East Cesar Chavez Street, East Austin

Lotus Chinese

The Domain Northside Chinese restaurant is offering a whole bunch of dumplings for Chinese New Year. The five options include pork-cabbage, sweet potato, chicken-basil, jalapeno-cream cheese, and cheeseburger. Also on special will be bags of frozen rainbow soup dumplings, and fresh Taiwanese beef noodle soups and Sichuan chili noodles.
Prices: Varies
When: The week of Friday, February 12
How to Order: Pickup orders can be placed online or over the phone at (512) 334-9387
How to Pick Up: Pickups take place at the restaurant, which has reopened for dine-in service.
Location: 11501 Rock Rose, Suite 152, Austin

Old Thousand

Both locations of the Chinese-American restaurant are offering Chinese New Year dishes this upcoming weekend. This includes oxtail items, char siu, dumplings, and noodles.
Prices: Varies
When: Friday through Sunday, February 12 to 14
How to Order: Call (737) 222-6637
How to Pick Up: Pickups take place at both restaurants. Both have reopened for dine-in services.
Locations: Two locations

Bao’d Up

The Chinese mini-chain is offering brisket bao — spicy marinated brisket and onions — for the new year, with an ox decoration.
Price: $3.09
When: Friday through Sunday, February 12 to 14
How to Order: Place pickup orders at each location’s respective site. Some locations patios are open for dine-in services.
Locations: Multiple locations

Tso Chinese Delivery

The takeout/delivery-only Chinese restaurant is dedicating its monthly special to Chinese New Year. The Happy Family meal comes with shrimp, chicken, and beef, mixed with an array of vegetables, from broccoli to baby corn to snap peas.
Price: $14
When: Through the month of February
How to Order: Online
How to Pick Up: Pickup and deliveries can be scheduled online.
Locations: Two locations

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