The Best Dim Sum Spots In Austin

Where to find siu mai, har gow, xiaolongbao, and more.
The Best Dim Sum Spots In Austin image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

“Where can I find good dim sum in Austin?” It’s a question we get asked often. It’s true that Austin might not have as robust of a dim sum scene as somewhere like Houston or New York City (sorry, no rolling carts here), but that doesn’t mean you have to rely on Trader Joe’s and your microwave for a sad alternative. Austin has plenty of options for siu mai, har gow, xiaolongbao, and more—because dim sum is more than just dumplings. It’s small plates of custard tarts and sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves. It’s tofu skins and turnip rolls. And it’s one of the best options for eating out with a large group of friends or family. The term dim sum roughly translates to “warming the heart,” and if these delicious little plates of food don't have that effect on you, you either need to see a doctor or you might be The Grinch. 


photo credit: Richard Casteel


Downtown Austin

$$$$Perfect For:Small PlatesBrunchDinner with the Parents
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If you're craving dim sum downtown, head to Qi. It’s from the same people behind Lin Asian Bar and a few other spots in town, and much like all of their concepts, the dumplings here are some of the best in the city. During lunch and dinner, order from a short dim sum list that includes scallop caviar siu mai and crab meat fish maw soup dumplings. And during weekend brunch, that list grows significantly to almost three dozen options. Qi isn’t really the type of place you casually show up to with a crew on a Saturday morning—it’s a little too pricey for that—but it’s well-suited for a brunch dim sum date. 

The menu at 1618 on East Riverside pulls a little bit from Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Singaporean, and Southeast Asian influences, which means you get to decide just how classic (or inventive) you want to go with your weekend dim sum brunch. Start with some obligatory xiao long bao, har gow, and siu mai, then throw in some sugar cane shrimp and grilled lemongrass duck skewers, just to add a little variety. There’s a liveliness to the dining room that makes the whole meal feel exciting. Maybe it’s the half-pineapples filled with fried rice dotting half the tables, maybe it’s the brunch-friendly cocktails and mimosas, or maybe it’s the flaming cheesecake dessert that arrives on tables still fully engulfed in flames. 

There was a time when you could head to Shanghai Chinese Restaurant in Highland and order off big metal carts roaming the dining room, packed full of dim sum specialties every weekend. The cart days are gone, but the full menu is still available a la carte. And we’ve found that you can recreate part of the experience by ordering three to four more items than you need—all at once—and then play a game of plate Tetris to fit everything onto your table. It’s also one of the more reasonably priced spots on this list, meaning it won’t be long until this is in your weekly rotation. 

photo credit: Richard Casteel



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Very few spots in downtown Austin attract quite as big of a crowd as Wu Chow during Sunday brunch. Because while you can order a few dim sum options off the lunch or dinner menu—including Wu Chow’s signature Shanghai soup dumplings—Sundays from 11am-3pm are when the menu comes alive with dozens of options. Just make sure to grab reservations for brunch well in advance, otherwise you may find yourself going through a few too many tiki cocktails while you wait for a table to open up. 

The menu at Jade feels like one of those long scrolls that just keeps unraveling to reveal more and more dishes, spanning everything from Vietnamese shaken beef to Thai basil chicken to Shanghai soup dumplings. But on that endless scroll, you’ll also find a pretty long list of dim sum options that are available on the weekend. Try to arrive early in the day—we’ve had less-than-stellar experiences with late-afternoon arrivals. This is also one of the cheapest spots in town to eat your weight in dumplings. And if you happen to find yourself out in West Lake, it’s one of the few options for dim sum in the area. 

Lin is from the same team as Qi, but despite the half-mile proximity and the significant menu overlap, the two places feel worlds apart. Part of that is probably the old, remodeled house that Lin is set in, which adds a sense of crowded intimacy to the experience. During dinner, you’ll be able to order from a menu of about a dozen different dumplings, baos, and egg rolls, but on the weekends during brunch that expands to about 30+ options. Soup dumplings should definitely be a part of your order, and if you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can order a giant soup dumpling that’s about the size of four normal ones. Just keep in mind that dim sum here—dumplings in particular—comes at a hefty Clarksville premium. 

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