Lunar New Year — also known as Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, Tết Nguyen Dan, or Seol-Nal — officially begins on Sunday, January 22, kicking off the Year of the Rabbit. Celebrated by a variety of countries around the world, including China, Vietnam, Korea, and Taiwan, the celebrations typically feature family gatherings, parties, and dances full of auspicious foods and money-stuffed red envelopes.
For the holidays, Austin bakeries, restaurants, and breweries are offering all sorts of markets, parties, and takeout food and drink specials 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 sweets from OMG Squee and My Happy Place, markets hosted by stationery shop Paper Craft Pantry, dishes from Wu Chow, and plenty of dumplings and noodles.
Cookie Wookie Kitchen
While the bakery’s first run of Lunar New Year cookie boxes sold out already, there will be another run available. The box includes a White Rabbit candy-flavored cookie, White Rabbit truffle, an egg tart, and mochi cake, among others.
How to Order: The next batch of preorders will be available starting on Sunday, January 14 at 10 a.m. Place orders online.
My Happy Place
The bakery is offering two sweet boxes for Lunar New Year: a cookie one with black sesame shortbread cookies, matcha butter cookies, Chinese almond cookies, and red bean macarons in the shape of rabbits; and a macaron box with flavors ranging from red bean to matcha to pandan (with two rabbit-shaped ones).
Prices: Cookie box is $20, macaron $15
When: Pickups will take place on Friday and Saturday, January 20 and 21; deliveries take place on the afternoon of Sunday, January 22.
How to Order: Place orders online. The deadline for orders is on Monday, January 16.
3210 Palm Way, Suite 100, Domain
The national cupcake vending machine-slash-bakery with an Austin location is offering a special cupcake created with nonprofit Gold House. The Gold Bunny Almond Red Velvet Cupcake is a red velvet cupcake with an almond filling, topped with an almond cookie crust and almond cream cheese frosting. There’s also a special cupcake box with comes with red envelopes.
When: Monday, January 16 through Sunday, January 29
How to Book: Place orders online or in person.
Dia’s Market, 812 Justin Lane, Crestview
The bakery pop-up’s Lunar New Year mochi doughnut set includes flavors like sweet red bean, yuzu, and ube.
Price: Boxes are $25.00, single doughnuts $4.50
When: Thursday, January 19 through Saturday, January 21, with timed pickups
How to Order: Place orders online.
Sweets & Events
4607 Bolm Road, Suite A, Govalle
Tex-Asian bakery OMG Squee is offering two Lunar New Year macaron boxes, available after it returns from its vacation. There’s the gold box which includes eight macarons such as the Gold Money Bunny in black sesame cream and the Squee White Rabbit with a White Rabbit candy ganache; and the pink box with six of the eight macarons available. The bakery is also hosting its combination anniversary and Lunar New Year event with Kaiju Cut and Solid Soaps, including a market, lion and dragon dance, a DJ set, and special treats and drinks.
Prices: The gold box is $48 and the pink box is $36; the market is free to attend.
When: Macaron box pickups take place starting on Thursday, January 19; the market is on Saturday, January 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
How to Book: For the macaron boxes, place orders online
Austin Beerwork’s Lunar New Year
3001 Industrial Terrance, North Burnet
The brewery is hosting a Lunar New Year’s celebration featuring a collaboration beer created with fellow brewery Meanwhile Brewing and local Japanese leather shop Kaiju Cut and Sew: the roasted barley tea-infused gold lager, the Social Harmony. Also on the deck’s a special menu by its on-site food truck, a market, and a lion-dragon dance.
Price: Free to attend
When: Saturday, January 21, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
West China Tea’s Lunar New Year Festival
4706 North I-35, North Loop
The tea shop is hosting a special all-you-can-drink tea service for Lunar New Year. The ticket includes a take-home tea cup, food vendors, a market, a lion dance performance, and an art show.
When: Saturday, January 21, 6 p.m.
How to Book: Online
Lunar New Year Festival
1023 Springdale Road, Building 6A, MLK-183
Stationery store Paper + Craft Pantry and illustrator Kathy Phan are hosting its second Lunar New Year event with food from vendors such as Cookie Wookie Kitchen, Banh Babes, and Cookie Counter alongside a retail market, a lion dance performance, and activities for children. VIP tickets grant early entry and a goody bag.
Prices: VIP tickets are $50, and general admission is a $5 to $10 suggested donation
When: Sunday, January 22, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (VIP starts at 10 a.m.)
How to Book: Online
Austin Tết Festival
The Holy Family Catholic School, 9400 Neenah Avenue, Near Brushy Creek
Nonprofit the Vietnamese American Community of Austin, Texas is hosting a Vietnamese New Year celebration complete with food, a raffle, a lion dance, a children’s fashion show, and more.
Price: Free to attend
When: Sunday, January 29, 1 to 5 p.m.
Events & Food Specials
Wu Chow’s Year of the Rabbit Celebration
500 West Fifth Street, Downtown
The Chinese restaurant’s Chinese New Year festivities include appetizers, cocktails, a photo booth, and lion dancers, all benefitting Austin Pets Alive. The restaurant will also offer Lunar New Year dishes on the regular menu, including dim sum on Sunday.
Price: $10 suggested donation
When: The party is Monday, January 23 from 5 to 9 p.m.; the food specials are available on Sunday, January 22, and then from Tuesday, January 24 through Saturday, January 28
How to Book: For the party, online
1628 East Cesar Chavez Street, East Austin
The Korean-American restaurant is hosting a Lunar New Year party with marketing agency company Good Union, which actually helped redesign the restaurant’s newly renovated patio. A percentage of all long weekend sales will go back into the restaurant to help pay for mental health services for the staff. The party will feature a collaboration beer made with Hold Out Brewing, which will be paired with soju, plus there will be bites and other drinks. And then the restaurant will offer Korean New Year dishes during the party and regular service, including sweet and sour sticky pork ribs; a hot pot soup with shrimp/pork dumplings, rice cakes, brisket, and eggs; and whole grilled fish; plus desserts like silken tofu cheesecake.
When: The party is on Thursday, January 19, and reservations can be made online; the food specials are available from Friday, January 20 through Sunday, January 22.
Both locations of the Chinese-American restaurant will host dragon dances as well as offer Lunar New Year dish specials. Of the latter, expect dumplings, noodles, whole fish, and vegan fare.
When: The Burnet Road restaurant’s event takes place on Saturday, January 21 at 5 p.m. and the East 11th Street restaurant’s event takes place on Sunday, January 22 at 7 p.m.;
How to Book: Book reservations online or call (737) 222-6637
The Peached Tortilla
5520 Burnet Road, Suite 100, Allandale
The Southern-Asian restaurant is offering a Chinese New Year menu with food specials such as tamarind pork spare ribs, salt and pepper crispy squid, char siu, and chewy sesame balls. There are also accompanying drinks like the Sage from the East made with sage-infused bourbon, scotch, and vermouth.
When: Friday through Sunday, January 20 through 22, dinner only
Fil N’ Viet
2903 East 12th Street, East Austin
The Vietnamese-Filipino truck is offering half-off discounts on its crispy spring rolls — stuffed with pork, shrimp, and wood ear mushrooms — for the Lunar New Year. The truck also plans on handing out red envelopes with coupons for future meals and dishes.
When: Sunday, January 22
Update, January 17, 8:30 a.m.: This article, originally published on January 9, has been updated to include more events and specials.