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a close-up shot of Chow Down in Chinatown admins dine on a table full of various Cantonese dishes at restaurant Mein, including noodles, dumplings, and fried green beans.
Mein is an Asiatown mainstay.
Black Frame Photos

18 Essential Asiatown Restaurants

Cantonese cuisine, dim sum, Korean barbecue, Malaysian cuisine, and so much more abound in Asiatown

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Mein is an Asiatown mainstay.
| Black Frame Photos

There’s no denying it: Houston’s Chinatown is one of the best in the country. What started out as a thriving community near East Downtown has blossomed into a pillar of Southwest Houston found around Bellaire Boulevard. The evolved and bustling Asiatown is home to a diverse population of residents and a dizzying array of Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, and Vietnamese restaurants.

As such, there are plenty of places to eat during your visit. But where do you start in one of Houston’s best dining neighborhoods? This map of the area’s 18 essential eateries combines neighborhood favorites, chef-approved picks, and newcomers that are poised to continue Chinatown’s reign as one of the finest places to dine in Houston.

Some notable places like Thien Thanh Restaurant, San San Tofu, Tony Thai, and Tiger Den have been rotated out to make room for newer gems, like Honey Pig, Two Hands, Dim Sum King, Ocean Palace, Tao Roll and Pancakes, and Northern Pasta.

Don’t see your favorite Asiatown restaurant on the list? Shout it in the comments.

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Mein Restaurant

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The crown jewel in restaurateur Mike Tran’s growing empire, Mein is one of the city’s best spots for Cantonese cuisine. The housemade noodles are a star of the menu, made from scratch daily and tossed in XO sauce or served with a variety of meats, veggies, garnishes, and broth on the side. The crispy duck leg, served with tender pancakes, is also a must.

Dim Sum King

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Located at 9160 Bellaire Blvd, Dim Sum King has been in operation for over a decade and continues to provide Houstonians with various dim sum dishes.  Whether it's their steamed shrimp dumplings, rice soup with pork blood, spareribs, chicken feet, or king crab shu mai, Dim Sum King offers an array of flavors and dumplings that don’t disappoint.

tins of steamed bao buns, shu mai, har gow, and a plate of crispy shrimp balls at Dim Sum King.
If seeking all-day dim sum, head to Dim Sum King.
Mai Pham

Honey Pig

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Launched in 2007 with the goal to share some of the most riveting aspects of Korean cuisine, this national restaurant chain is a top spot for Korean BBQ in Asiatown. Head to the Asiatown location in a group and start with an appetizer, like its warm tofu or kimchi and pork soup and an order of pan-fried or steamed dumplings. Then, dive into cuts of marinated barbecue beef, pork, and chicken that you grill in the middle of your table.

House of Bowls

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Indulge in Hong Kong-style Chinese cuisine at this popular Chinatown spot, where comforting bowls of congee and plates of beef chow fun are easy go-tos. Other highlights include the ridiculously crispy fried chicken wings and dangerously decadent French toast, served with your choice of peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk drizzle.

One Dragon Restaurant

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For the best soup dumplings and crispy-bottomed bao in Asiatown, no place holds a candle to One Dragon Restaurant. A mom-and-pop shop with just 10 tables, the husband is the cook, while the wife runs the front of the house. Staff are friendly, and there’s always a wait during peak hours. Beyond the dumplings, highlights on this Shanghainese menu include the braised pork belly, the seasonal vegetable plates, and the crispy red bean dessert.

Mala Sichuan Bistro

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Bring a crowd and order one of the excellently-priced group meals at this James Beard-nominated Sichuan eatery, which comes with a variety of dishes like water boiled fish, cumin beef, pot-roasted tilapia, and a selection of appetizers. For solo diners, the mapo tofu and red oil-tossed rabbit is not to be missed.

Mala Sichuan Bistro fish.
Mala Sichuan is a go-to for Sichuan cuisine.
Julie Soefer

Northern pasta

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Northern Pasta is one of the go-to places in the city for hand-pulled noodles. The care and attention that is placed on the noodles give added flavor and texture to dishes like their oil-splashed noodles, Liang Pi cold noodles, and their variety of dumplings. They also offer a Chinese hamburger with seasoned pork and crisp vegetables.

Sinh Sinh

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This beloved OG Asiatown spot does a little bit of everything. Want Chinese barbecue? Roast duck, roast pork, soy sauce chicken, and char siu can be eaten in or taken to go. Want live seafood? The tanks just inside the door house everything from live king crab to spot prawns and fresh fish. Hot pot and stir fry, fried rice, and noodles are also on offer. The key here is to order multiple dishes and share them all, family style.

Fried crab with veggies on a plate.
Family-style dishes make Sinh Sinh a restaurant perfect for groups.
Mai Pham

Hai Cang Harbor

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Since 2013, this Asian Town establishment has been offering its take on Chinese and Vietnamese seafood, with dishes like their peppercorn Dungeness crab being as visually appealing as they are delicious.  Its black pepper lobster, crab fried rice, king crab, and walnut shrimp are more than enough to satisfy a seafood lover, but if looking for a different form of protein, be sure to try their Peking duck with a side of snow peas.

Two Hands Corn Dogs

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Two Hands has taken social media by storm with its colorful variety of crunchy corn dogs that come clothed in elaborate and edible dressings. Whether ordering the potato dog — a corndog wrapped in potato cubes and fried — or the classic Seoul dog, its take on corndogs is sure to leave you satisfied and with a new dining experience.

Tao Rice Roll

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With three locations in Sugar Land, Plano, and Houston, this Taiwanese breakfast spot has earned rave reviews for its rice rolls and savory crepes filled with fix-ins like kimchi, egg, seafood, bacon, sausage, and more. Try their soy milk that’s offered as sweet or salted.

Crawfish & Noodles

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Viet-Cajun crawfish is a Houston staple, and this Chinatown restaurant offers up one of the city’s best takes. The bugs are big and juicy, the seasoning is spicy, and there’s plenty of beer to cool you off. If crustaceans aren’t your thing, there are a variety of noodle and rice dishes, plus more interesting fare like hot pots and curried goat on offer.

Three silver bowls filled of steamy crawfish and boiled corn on the cob at Crawfish & Noodles.
Crawfish & Noodles is not only an Asiatown favorite — it’s an essential Houston restaurant.
Ellie Sharp

Pho Binh

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Belly up to one of Houston’s best bowls of broth at this chef-endorsed pho spot. A dedicated crowd of regulars, including chef Justin Yu, swear by its noodle soup as one of the best lunches in town and an ideal hangover cure. If the pho craving strikes late, head to sister shop Pho Binh By Night for noodles from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Ocean Palace

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For traditional pull cart service and delicate dumplings, head to this dim sum haven that’s complete with truffle shu mai, tofu pork rolls with oyster sauce, and a delicious, steamed mushroom and chicken bao. Be warned — this place gets packed with lines winding outside of the building, but service is usually swift.

fried crab claws, har gow, egg tarts, stuffed rice noodles and more on a table at Ocean Palace.
Fill up on tender dumplings at Ocean Palace.
Mai Pham

Banana Leaf

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You’ll find the usual suspects like chicken fried rice on the menu at Banana Leaf, but the real gem is its casual Malaysian cuisine. The Penang assam laksa, or hot and sour noodles in a fish broth, are worth writing home about, as is plenty of the restaurant’s housemade roti served with an endlessly addictive curry dipping sauce.

Shabu Zone

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All-you-can-eat shabu shabu, or Japanese hot pot dishes, is the name of the game at Shabu Zone, where diners can stuff themselves silly with a selection of premium meats including certified Akaushi Wagyu. Choose from its seven broths, make your own combination of condiments at the sauce station and load up your pots from an expansive buffet of fresh vegetables and seafood ranging from blue crabs to large sweet shrimp. Added plus: dessert is included in the price.

A spread of meats, veggies, and broths at Shabu Zone
It’s encouraged to bring your appetite to this all-you-can-eat restaurant.
Mai Pham

Alpha Bakery & Deli

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Arguably the most popular banh mi spot in Hong Kong Mall 4, Alpha Bakery is a killer and budget-friendly lunch destination. Traditional oblong bread rolls are smeared with house-made pate and house-made mayonnaise and filled to the brim with your choice of protein like grilled pork or shu mai meatballs then topped with pickled carrots and daikon, jalapeno slices, cucumber, cilantro and a few dashes of Maggi. Try the thit nguoi cold cut, which is the most popular.

A chef assembles banh mi with meats and veggies.
Stop by this bakery for your banh mi fix.
Mai Pham

Nam Giao

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A highlight from David Chang’s Houston episode of Ugly Delicious, this modest family-run restaurant specializes in Central Vietnamese cuisine. People fall head over heels for the adorable steamed rice cake saucers called banh beo chen and the chewy glutinous shrimp dumplings (banh quai vac). Regional specialties like bun bo hue (spicy lemongrass beef noodle soup) and mi quang (turmeric noodles with pork and shrimp) are also solid.

A plate of steamed rice cake saucers, or banh beo chen
Nam Giao continues to be an Asiatown staple.
Mai Pham

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Mein Restaurant

The crown jewel in restaurateur Mike Tran’s growing empire, Mein is one of the city’s best spots for Cantonese cuisine. The housemade noodles are a star of the menu, made from scratch daily and tossed in XO sauce or served with a variety of meats, veggies, garnishes, and broth on the side. The crispy duck leg, served with tender pancakes, is also a must.

Dim Sum King

Located at 9160 Bellaire Blvd, Dim Sum King has been in operation for over a decade and continues to provide Houstonians with various dim sum dishes.  Whether it's their steamed shrimp dumplings, rice soup with pork blood, spareribs, chicken feet, or king crab shu mai, Dim Sum King offers an array of flavors and dumplings that don’t disappoint.

tins of steamed bao buns, shu mai, har gow, and a plate of crispy shrimp balls at Dim Sum King.
If seeking all-day dim sum, head to Dim Sum King.
Mai Pham

Honey Pig

Launched in 2007 with the goal to share some of the most riveting aspects of Korean cuisine, this national restaurant chain is a top spot for Korean BBQ in Asiatown. Head to the Asiatown location in a group and start with an appetizer, like its warm tofu or kimchi and pork soup and an order of pan-fried or steamed dumplings. Then, dive into cuts of marinated barbecue beef, pork, and chicken that you grill in the middle of your table.

House of Bowls

Indulge in Hong Kong-style Chinese cuisine at this popular Chinatown spot, where comforting bowls of congee and plates of beef chow fun are easy go-tos. Other highlights include the ridiculously crispy fried chicken wings and dangerously decadent French toast, served with your choice of peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk drizzle.

One Dragon Restaurant

For the best soup dumplings and crispy-bottomed bao in Asiatown, no place holds a candle to One Dragon Restaurant. A mom-and-pop shop with just 10 tables, the husband is the cook, while the wife runs the front of the house. Staff are friendly, and there’s always a wait during peak hours. Beyond the dumplings, highlights on this Shanghainese menu include the braised pork belly, the seasonal vegetable plates, and the crispy red bean dessert.

Mala Sichuan Bistro

Bring a crowd and order one of the excellently-priced group meals at this James Beard-nominated Sichuan eatery, which comes with a variety of dishes like water boiled fish, cumin beef, pot-roasted tilapia, and a selection of appetizers. For solo diners, the mapo tofu and red oil-tossed rabbit is not to be missed.

Mala Sichuan Bistro fish.
Mala Sichuan is a go-to for Sichuan cuisine.
Julie Soefer

Northern pasta

Northern Pasta is one of the go-to places in the city for hand-pulled noodles. The care and attention that is placed on the noodles give added flavor and texture to dishes like their oil-splashed noodles, Liang Pi cold noodles, and their variety of dumplings. They also offer a Chinese hamburger with seasoned pork and crisp vegetables.

Sinh Sinh

This beloved OG Asiatown spot does a little bit of everything. Want Chinese barbecue? Roast duck, roast pork, soy sauce chicken, and char siu can be eaten in or taken to go. Want live seafood? The tanks just inside the door house everything from live king crab to spot prawns and fresh fish. Hot pot and stir fry, fried rice, and noodles are also on offer. The key here is to order multiple dishes and share them all, family style.

Fried crab with veggies on a plate.
Family-style dishes make Sinh Sinh a restaurant perfect for groups.
Mai Pham

Hai Cang Harbor

Since 2013, this Asian Town establishment has been offering its take on Chinese and Vietnamese seafood, with dishes like their peppercorn Dungeness crab being as visually appealing as they are delicious.  Its black pepper lobster, crab fried rice, king crab, and walnut shrimp are more than enough to satisfy a seafood lover, but if looking for a different form of protein, be sure to try their Peking duck with a side of snow peas.

Two Hands Corn Dogs

Two Hands has taken social media by storm with its colorful variety of crunchy corn dogs that come clothed in elaborate and edible dressings. Whether ordering the potato dog — a corndog wrapped in potato cubes and fried — or the classic Seoul dog, its take on corndogs is sure to leave you satisfied and with a new dining experience.

Tao Rice Roll

With three locations in Sugar Land, Plano, and Houston, this Taiwanese breakfast spot has earned rave reviews for its rice rolls and savory crepes filled with fix-ins like kimchi, egg, seafood, bacon, sausage, and more. Try their soy milk that’s offered as sweet or salted.

Crawfish & Noodles

Viet-Cajun crawfish is a Houston staple, and this Chinatown restaurant offers up one of the city’s best takes. The bugs are big and juicy, the seasoning is spicy, and there’s plenty of beer to cool you off. If crustaceans aren’t your thing, there are a variety of noodle and rice dishes, plus more interesting fare like hot pots and curried goat on offer.

Three silver bowls filled of steamy crawfish and boiled corn on the cob at Crawfish & Noodles.
Crawfish & Noodles is not only an Asiatown favorite — it’s an essential Houston restaurant.
Ellie Sharp

Pho Binh

Belly up to one of Houston’s best bowls of broth at this chef-endorsed pho spot. A dedicated crowd of regulars, including chef Justin Yu, swear by its noodle soup as one of the best lunches in town and an ideal hangover cure. If the pho craving strikes late, head to sister shop Pho Binh By Night for noodles from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Ocean Palace

For traditional pull cart service and delicate dumplings, head to this dim sum haven that’s complete with truffle shu mai, tofu pork rolls with oyster sauce, and a delicious, steamed mushroom and chicken bao. Be warned — this place gets packed with lines winding outside of the building, but service is usually swift.

fried crab claws, har gow, egg tarts, stuffed rice noodles and more on a table at Ocean Palace.
Fill up on tender dumplings at Ocean Palace.
Mai Pham

Banana Leaf

You’ll find the usual suspects like chicken fried rice on the menu at Banana Leaf, but the real gem is its casual Malaysian cuisine. The Penang assam laksa, or hot and sour noodles in a fish broth, are worth writing home about, as is plenty of the restaurant’s housemade roti served with an endlessly addictive curry dipping sauce.

Related Maps

Shabu Zone

All-you-can-eat shabu shabu, or Japanese hot pot dishes, is the name of the game at Shabu Zone, where diners can stuff themselves silly with a selection of premium meats including certified Akaushi Wagyu. Choose from its seven broths, make your own combination of condiments at the sauce station and load up your pots from an expansive buffet of fresh vegetables and seafood ranging from blue crabs to large sweet shrimp. Added plus: dessert is included in the price.

A spread of meats, veggies, and broths at Shabu Zone
It’s encouraged to bring your appetite to this all-you-can-eat restaurant.
Mai Pham

Alpha Bakery & Deli

Arguably the most popular banh mi spot in Hong Kong Mall 4, Alpha Bakery is a killer and budget-friendly lunch destination. Traditional oblong bread rolls are smeared with house-made pate and house-made mayonnaise and filled to the brim with your choice of protein like grilled pork or shu mai meatballs then topped with pickled carrots and daikon, jalapeno slices, cucumber, cilantro and a few dashes of Maggi. Try the thit nguoi cold cut, which is the most popular.

A chef assembles banh mi with meats and veggies.
Stop by this bakery for your banh mi fix.
Mai Pham

Nam Giao

A highlight from David Chang’s Houston episode of Ugly Delicious, this modest family-run restaurant specializes in Central Vietnamese cuisine. People fall head over heels for the adorable steamed rice cake saucers called banh beo chen and the chewy glutinous shrimp dumplings (banh quai vac). Regional specialties like bun bo hue (spicy lemongrass beef noodle soup) and mi quang (turmeric noodles with pork and shrimp) are also solid.

A plate of steamed rice cake saucers, or banh beo chen
Nam Giao continues to be an Asiatown staple.
Mai Pham

Related Maps