5 Asian American-owned restaurants to add to your Austin foodie agenda

Dina Barrish

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the April 16 issue of The Daily Texan.

With every savory, satisfying slurp of Pho Thaison’s chicken pho, Lucy Lopez said she couldn’t believe how she had lived without pho for so long. Since her first bite, she’s returned to the restaurant almost every day.

Eating at Asian American owned restaurants is an easy, fun and delicious way to support the Asian American community and culture. The Daily Texan has compiled a list of five unmissable Asian American owned restaurants in Austin.

Pho Thaison
Owned by Vi Tran
1908 Guadalupe St.

Enjoy a combination of Vietmanese, Thai and Japanese staples such as pho, curry and spring rolls at Pho Thaison. Journalism sophomore Lucy Lopez said she found Pho Thaison while walking back from a failed two-hour wait at Raising Cane’s during Winter Storm Uri.

“Growing up in a Mexican-dominated area and only ever eating Mexican plates, I thought any other type of food wouldn’t be able to compare,” Lopez said. “Pho is officially the way to my heart.”

LooK Noodles & More
Owned by Ricky Chen
1914 Guadalupe St.

Located right off campus, LooK Noodles serves Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Open seven days a week, their most popular dish is spicy fried rice. Server Karina Soto said she looks forward to seeing UT students every day.

“Students always come in and start small talk,” Soto said. “It’s nice to build a connection when I see the same familiar faces.”

Wok ’N Express
Owned by Cindy L. Tran and Tang T. Tran
4413 Guadalupe St.

In May 2012, Cindy and Tang Tran opened Wok ‘N Express to provide everything from fresh, hot Chinese food to convenience store necessities for the Austin community. Linguistics senior Alex Brown said she loves the food and the atmosphere.

“I really like the grungy vibe of the place,” Brown said. “The food reminds me of my first year of college, because my friends and I would meet there really late after doing homework.”

Madam Mam’s
Owned by Art Hanwong and Sone Srisngnam
510 W 26th St.

Nothing cures Sunday scaries like a heaping portion of Madam Mam’s pad sea ew. Along with his wife Sone Srisngnam, Art Hanwong opened the Thai cuisine restaurant in March 2015 to expand a 14-year-old family business started by his mother, Chatfuang “Mam” Hanwong.

Genzhel Gaygon, manager of the West Campus location, said she often laughs when UT students try negotiating prices.

“When students are really hustling, it brings me back to my old days in college when we also used to hustle for food, asking for discounts and all that,” Gaygon said “I appreciate the hustle.”

China Family Restaurant
Tiantian Tan
1914 Guadalupe St., Suite B

Whether you’re craving fried dumplings, shrimp lo mein or szechuan chicken, China Family Restaurant will satisfy your taste buds with its authentic Chinese cuisine. This hidden gem is casual, cost efficient and close to campus — a great option for students.