Asian Quick-Eats in Downtown Austin
As the weather gets nicer and summer quickly approaches, it’s the perfect time to go out and explore new restaurants around town with friends or family. For all our foodies out there, here are some of Austin’s best Asian quick-eats near downtown, from bakeries to street food and more.
85°C Bakery Cafe, dubbed the “Starbucks of Taiwan,” sells various breads, cakes and drinks. Make sure to try their famous brioche, egg tarts and buns (my favorite is the Matcha Choco Bun). Not a fan of sweets? Don’t fret, as plenty of savory options are available, too, such as their Cheese Dog, Ham and Cheese and Pork Sung Bun, a Chinese bakery classic. If you like milk tea, go for their Zebra Oolong Milk Tea. They also sell different coffee and tea drinks and even slushies and smoothies, so you’re bound to find something you like.
Location: 6929 Airport Blvd #197, Austin, TX 78752
Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday
Oh K-Dog, located in the same plaza as 85°C, recently celebrated its grand opening. The Korean mini-chain offers popular street foods like corn dogs, toast and spicy rice cakes, called tteokbokki. Don’t be fooled, though: Korean corn dogs and toast are on a whole different level.
I ordered their Potato Mozza Dog, which was filled with mozzarella cheese and topped with potato cubes, and it was just as good as it sounds. My friends also got the Oh! K Classic Hot Dog, which is lightly sprinkled with sugar. They also offer different toasts, like the Bacon & Cheese, Teriyaki Egg and Avocado Egg.
Location: 6929 Airport Blvd Ste 133, Austin, TX 78752
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Unique to the options mentioned here, this location operates exclusively out of a food truck, which is perhaps the essence of a quick-eat location in Downtown Austin. This hidden gem is located in West Campus near UT Austin, and serves authentic Chinese cuisine. Their most popular items include Liangpi (cold noodles), Chinese Hamburgers and Pork & Cabbage Dumplings. They also offer various chow mein (chicken, vegetable, egg and shrimp) and wonton soup, which are delicious options. With generous portions, great service and affordable prices, this place is by far one of my favorite Chinese quick-eats places in Texas.
Location: 907 W 24th St, Austin, TX 78705
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
Asahi Imports, Austin’s only (exclusively) Japanese market, offers a unique shopping experience. Visiting their onigiri corner is a must. Onigiri is made with white rice that’s formed into triangular or circular shapes and wrapped in seaweed, or nori. They’re made fresh every day, and you can even watch the staff make your order right in front of you. I got the kara-age onigiri, which was filled with fried chicken and Japanese mayo, but Asahi offers a wide variety, including salmon, tuna and vegetarian options. Asahi Imports also carries drinks, pastries, snacks, candy, bento boxes and condiments, so if you’re a fan of Japanese food, definitely stop by sometime!
Location: 6105 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757
Temporary COVID-19 hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday
Bao’d Up, as the name suggests, specializes in steamed bao buns (steamed or pan seared – your choice), but there’s a twist – their fillings are super unique and modern! For instance, they offer a pink cheesecake bun and even a Texas-inspired trio filled with pork, brisket and BBQ chicken. Their noodles are a great option too; they have the popular Szechuan spicy dan dan noodles and a classic Chinese favorite, sesame noodles. If you’re a fan of milk tea, they also sell a few drinks like lavender and strawberry matcha options and even Thai iced tea.
Location: 1920 E Riverside Dr Ste E-120, Austin, TX 78741
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of the week