Support Asian-Owned Eateries in Austin
Eight small restaurants we love to visit
With the threat of closure continuing to loom, this past year hasn't been easy for restaurants. But the pandemic has dealt a specific blow to Asian Americans, as scapegoating has led to a rise in hate crimes and targeted decline in business. Asian American communities across the country have been calling on allies to speak out. And one easy way to support is by visiting Asian-owned local restaurants.
In a humble stand in the back of the Hong Kong Supermarket, the Quach family first began their bánh mì making endeavors, proud to couple Thai tastes with Texas hospitality. Today, they're continuing this tradition in their own shop now, just a little farther up north. If you're willing to make the drive, just follow the smell of their baguettes, freshly handmade everyday to find a great selection of Thai classics.
13000 N. I-35, Bldg. 12; www.ngcafeatx.com
Steamies has your dumpling fix, wherever, whenever. At the farmers' market? Fresh pork and cabbage dumplings ready to eat, with a fresh scallion pancake "taco" at the Mueller location. Want to save some at home? Pick up your frozen panang curry dumplings in store with simple, easy-to-follow cooking instructions. With their use of local ingredients to hand-make each dumpling from scratch, including the dough, the Canadian Chinese family behind the business means it when they say their dumplings are made with love.
6929 Airport; www.steamiesdumplings.com
Cookie Wookie Kitchen
When life isn't a piece of cake, make one. That's food blogger Erica Yern’s motto and it seems to be working pretty well for her and the Cookie Wookie Kitchen. Here, the classic chocolate chip is one of the few offerings you will find elsewhere. Otherwise, this kitchen's unique infusion of Asian flavors makes its cookies one of a kind. Their menu features monthly rotations like February's Kulfi Rose as well as special "Asian American flavors" like black sesame cookies and cream, red bean mochi, and Vietnamese coffee. These cookies will leave your inner Cookie Monster in utter bliss.
Delivery only; www.cookiewookiekitchen.com
When New Taylor was laid off at the start of the pandemic, she didn't panic. She baked. What started as just a batch of Thai desserts shared with a friend turned quickly into a demand for more after that friend posted a picture on Instagram and one thing led to another. Hhombdee, which means fragrant in Thai, was born. With a monthly rotating menu stocked full of Thai classic desserts, New takes pre-orders on Sundays and delivers later in the week. Her most popular items include anything Pandan, her Thai crepes, and coconut pancakes. New didn't falter in the face of unemployment or in the face of the winter storm, as she offered free Thai desserts to people following the devastation.
www.instagram.com/hhomdee.atx (DM for pickup info and address)
Formerly known as Mirchi Restaurant, Zaviya Grill is an exciting modern take on Indo-Pak cuisine, featuring Indian, Pakistani, and Punjabi flavors. Led by Chef Kashif Taj, the restaurant boasts of freshly ground spices, local vegetables, and fresh cut halal meat with their menu featuring a variety of meats in their kebabs, curries, and samosas, as well as vegetarian options. Yet the best thing is Zaviya Grill's proven commitment to the Austin community, whether from partnering with Creative Arts Society to display the work of local artists or offering free hot meals to folks during the winter storm.
1212-A W. Parmer; www.zaviyagrill.com
Yes, they have latte art, specifically the foam cat smiling up at you from its coffee cup home before you drink it unforgivingly. Nuzzled in east Oltorf, the idea for a Vietnamese French cafe started with, well, a Vietnamese-French couple. Sue Duong and Cédric Theys were both pursuing a more creative scene and settled in Austin to bring an intimate cafe experience to the masses.
1834 E. Oltorf; www.cafecremeaustin.com
Bodhi Viet Vegan
Run by a group of Buddhist nuns and volunteers, Bodhi Viet Vegan's goal is to serve you peace on a plate, spreading their principles of wisdom through fresh and affordable food. And the food isn't the only wholesome thing on the menu. You can rest assured while eating that not only do 100% of profits go toward upkeep of the temple, but all meals are made from homegrown vegetables and cooked from scratch by this team of volunteers. Did we mention it's pretty wholesome?
2301 W. Parmer; www.bodhivietveggies.com
Little Mama's Authentic Filipino Food
In Tagalog, kamayan refers to the Filipino style of eating in community and without utensils, and the family behind Little Mama's embodies this. Hailing from the Bicol province in the Philippines, Nita Armildez was a single mother of three, working two jobs to support her family. She opened her kitchen in hopes of sharing her Filipino culture and keeping family at the center. Now, six years later, the business is still completely family run, serving regional dishes like Bicol Express and Gabi Laing (made with coconut milk and spicy chilies) as well as staples like adobo, lumpia and pancit.
2021 N. Mays, Round Rock; www.fb.com/littlemamas512
Check out the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce’s Restaurant, Food & Beverage Services for a full directory. www.austinasianchamber.org