Where to Find the Best Dumplings in Austin

From saucy food hall newcomers to Southeast Asian standbys and the best dim sum in town.

As the Lunar New Year approaches, our sights are set on all things Far East delicious. Austin’s Asian culinary scene is slowly expanding, and, y’all, the dumplings are only getting juicier. We’re not quite sure what it is that makes them so darn comforting. It could be the warm fillings, the pillow-shaped cuteness, the broth that trickles out when you poke them with a chopstick, or just that they’re the best hot dish to down on a chilly winter’s day. Whatever it is, we’ll pair that debate with some heavenly dough and ground pork, because here are the absolute best places to nibble on dumplings in Austin.

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Little Wu
Photo courtesy of Little Wu

Little Wu

Downtown
$$$$

There aren’t many decent casual Chinese eateries downtown, so you can only imagine how hard we cheered when Little Wu joined Fareground’s lineup in 2021. The dumpling and noodle counter is stocked with dim sum table faves, like Tenderbelly Pork and Shrimp Shumai and Shanghai Pork Soup Dumplings bursting with roasted pork and vegetable broth. More to slurp? Toss in the Sichuan Red Braised Beef Lamian and you’ll be cozy enough to enjoy patio seating after sunset. The potstickers deserve an honorary mention, too—veggie, beef, and pork options are available, best dipped in their spicy soy, and for a twist on the traditional shumai, try the Chicken and Shiitake. Combo platters provide a sample of everything, and don’t forget an order of eggrolls on the side.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Xian
Photo courtesy of Xian

Xian

Multiple locations
$$$$

Suspicion is understandable when you’re faced with a roster that encompasses just about everything under the Asian umbrella from sushi to General Tso’s Chicken, but we attest that Xian knows what they’re doing when it comes to dumplings, all handmade on site. There are multiple locations, each with a slightly different menu, but first-timers should head to the Domain, which takes the humble wonton and presents it steamed and spicy, or fried and cheesy, for your pleasure (there’s also the standard wonton noodle soup). Other non-dumpling dim sum staples include Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf (goes great with their Shui Mai), BBQ Pork Buns, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, Braised Chicken Feet.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

99 Ranch Market

Airport Blvd
$$$$

If you love Asian food and can actually cook, let 99 Ranch Market be your Trader Joe’s. Before heading for the bean sprouts and Pocky treats, turn right at the entrance and fuel up at the hot deli counter. You’ll find steamed buns, turnip cakes, sticky rice, and of course, lots of dumplings. Flavors vary, but you’ll usually find shumai, steamed beef balls with tofu skin, and har gao (AKA shrimp dumplings), alongside seasonal specials. Be sure to grab frozen dumplings from the grocery section while you’re at it.
How to book: Stop by for counter service.

Wu Chow

Downtown
$$$$

The Shanghai Soup Dumplings at Wu Chow are so legendary that there was a time when the restaurant limited each table to two rounds apiece. Luckily, that era has since passed, but our love for their warm little bundles of broth and pork shoulder will never be extinguished. There are also a variety of other flavors for the discerning dumpling aficionado. The Steamed Chicken Dumplings made with chicken thighs and the “Never Ever” Beef Potstickers masterfully hit all the notes of sweet soy and garlic goodness.
How to order: Order takeout via Toast or get delivery via Favor.

Available for Reservations

Elizabeth St. Café

Bouldin Creek
$$$$

While this mainstay Vietnamese cafe and French bakery might be best known for pho and savory banh mis, true Austinites would never roll by Elizabeth Street Cafe’s blue-and-pink patio without grabbing an order of Ginger-chili Oil Dumplings. Marinated in a sauce with just enough spice, these pillows of dough are packed with pork, shrimp, water chestnuts, and herbs—each ingredient achieving the goal of being both distinct yet seamlessly melded into overall yumminess. Wash down each bite with a sip of the mezcal-based Hibiscus Paloma for a quick, buzzy palate cleanser.
How to order: Order takeout via Toast or get delivery via Favor.

Available for Reservations

Hai Ky

East Riverside
$$$$

You’ll be drooling before you even enter the doors of this Vietnamese specialist, as you can smell the delicious spiced aroma from as far away as the parking lot. If it isn’t love at first whiff, it will most certainly be love at first dip thanks to their variety of dumplings and accompanying powerhouse sauces. The Pork Pan-fried Dumplings come with a soy-based sauce that will literally have you licking the container for every last drop, while the Veggie Pan-fried Dumplings, generously packed to the brim with colorful greens, are brightened by the addition of a ginger and citrus elixir.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or get delivery via Uber Eats.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Fat Dragon

Barrington Oaks
$$$$

If there’s any place in Austin that could be described as a mecca for dumpling super-fans, it would have to be Fat Dragon—the sheer number of dumplings available on their menu (13 varieties!) is enough to give even mystical beasts a happily bloated belly. Besides traditional offerings, Fat Dragon also provides unique takes on the dough-and-filling model. Both savory wonders like Cilantro Lamb Dumplings as well as sweet numbers like the Coconut Milk Chocolate Soup Dumplings are sure to dazzle the palate.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or get delivery via Uber Eats.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Julie's Noodles

Wooten
$$$$

For dumpling newbies unsure where to begin, Julie’s Noodles is the spot to start, as their ever-popular Dumpling Mix Order gives you a selection of surprisingly large dumplings for you to sample. With options like Pork and Chives, Pan-fried Beef and Carrot, and Chicken Pot Stickers, however, narrowing down your favorite might just result in a draw—regardless, it’s a win-win situation for you.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

The fresh, local ingredients Lin uses for its dumplings is evident after even the tiniest nibble—the fan favorite Basil Chicken Dumpling is loaded with tender, juicy bites of protein accentuated lovingly with a splash of herbs. Lin offers a variety of dumplings on the day-to-day, such as Shanghai Soup Dumplings, which carry a sweeter taste than others on this list, alongside Steamed Spinach Dumplings and the intriguingly named Shanghai Jumbo Seafood Soup Dumpling. But for the most dedicated dumpling fanatics, we recommended the Dim Sum Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, which carries such a fine assortment of treats you’d be forgiven if you forgot to order a round of scallion pancakes.
How to order: Order takeout via Toast or get delivery via Uber Eats.

Available for Reservations

Asia Cafe

Barrington Oaks
$$$$

If your extreme use of hot sauce has routinely caused looks of confusion and alarm, the Zhong Dumplings from Asia Cafe may be right up your alley. The restaurant specializes in Sichuan cuisine—which takes its name both from the Sichuan Province in China (in which the cuisine originated), as well as the fiery Sichuan chili pepper used in many of its dishes. Zhong Dumplings, sometimes referred to as Sichuan Dumplings, pack this pepper alongside pork, soy sauce, and spices for a kick sure to leave your mouth buzzing with the star chili’s signature tingling.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or get delivery via Uber Eats.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Molly Moltzen is a contributor for Thrillist.
James Wong is a contributor for Thrillist.