I have lived in the Dallas area for over 20 years and have been able to try different cuisines all over the Metroplex. We’ve had four kids throughout this time so my going out to restaurants and having awesome adult food was severely limited (or frankly non-existent) for a while. Now that the twins are two, and my toddler is turning four, they are more self-sufficient (and whinier) so that gives my husband and me more incentive to get out of the house. We have quick lunches or a full on date night away from all the kids. In honor of celebrating AAPI Heritage month, I have decided to showcase my top Asian restaurants in DFW that we’ve had the pleasure of trying; they are listed in no particular order:
1. Dim Sum – Kirin Court in Richardson. This is hands down the best dim sum place I’ve found. Think of dim sum as tapas but with Asian food. The servers push cartfuls of delicious dumplings, vegetables, soup, and desserts all in small shareable plates ranging from $5-8 a serving. Bring friends so you can order a variety and share away. Other places do offer dim sum on their menu, but they aren’t as flavorful or fresh.
2. Korean Food – Mom’s Kitchen – The best Korean BBQ restaurant for the best value. Their lunch bento boxes have flavorful beef bulgogi, tempura, pickled side dishes and miso soup. My husband loves the kimchi jjigae, which is a spicy stew made out of kimchi and seafood. Seafood pancakes are a great appetizer or could be an entree depending upon how hungry you are.
3. AYCE Korean BBQ – Omi Korean Bar and Grill – The best All You Can Eat (or AYCE for the pros) located in “Korea town” in Carrollton, this little gem is tucked away in a corner. They have tasty cocktails, great food, fast service and delish side dishes. Korean food always comes with a variety of pickled and/or spicy side dishes that can make or break a meal. The quality of meat isn’t as high as Breakers or Gen BBQ, but their side dishes are on point! Make a reservation on the weekends because there can sometimes be a 45 minute or longer wait. My favorite side dishes are the Japchae noodles, kimchi, and pickled cucumbers.
4. Soup Dumplings – Fortune House in Irving has the best Soup Dumplings in the area. If you don’t know what soup dumplings are then prepare to be educated and then amazed once you taste this flavor bomb explode in your mouth. These pork dumplings have a wonderful broth filled inside so when you bite into the dumpling an explosion of flavor bombards your senses. (Pro tip: Use a soup spoon when eating so the excess soup is collected in the spoon and you don’t waste a drop of the liquid awesomeness).
5. Boba Tea – Kung Fu Tea in Carrollton is my favorite Boba tea shop in the area. There are a ton to choose from since Boba tea has really gained popularity with the American population over the years. My favorite part of this drink are the chewy, sweet tapioca balls at the bottom of the drink. Kung Fu Tea soaks their tapioca in honey so the sweetness permeates all the way through the tapioca. I love the Taro Green Milk tea with boba added and could literally drink this all day long. The sugar content is definitely not on any Keto diet, but it’s great for a cheat day!
6. Sushi – Densetsu in Plano will whet your appetite if you are hungry and looking for fresh sushi, huge rolls, and tasty food. Their sushi rolls are abnormally large so you only need 2 rolls to share and you can be full if sharing with another person. I also love to order just an Unagi Handroll which is their eel in one big handroll that you pick up and eat. It isn’t cut into bite-sized pieces, so it is good if you want a roll to eat by yourself. (Pro tip: I recommend dining in since the seawood tends to get damp if you order to go, and it isn’t quite as tasty.)
7. Sushi – Uchi in Dallas is the perfect place to celebrate that special occasion. My husband and I went for our anniversary and his birthday, and each time it hasn’t failed to impress. Their sushi and sashimi are fresh and flown in daily from Japan. The service is impeccable, and the drinks are super tasty. Now this place is a high end restaurant, so throw on your heels, put on those false eyelashes, and glam up for your night out on the town! (Pro tip: I highly recommend eating a small snack prior to dining so you aren’t sticker shocked by the bill after ordering all the amazing food).
8. Thai Food – Samui Thai in Plano has the best Pad Thai in town. Their curry is flavorful and spicy, the Pad Kee Mao is on point with lots of fresh basil, and the Fried Catfish with basil is crispy and packed with flavor. (Pro tip: Their drinks leave much to be desired so we have learned not to order mixed drinks since the current bartender isn’t a gifted mixologist).
9. Thai Food – Chili Thai in Carrollton is my “go-to” place whenever we can’t make it to Samui Thai and need our Thai food fix. Their Pad Woonsen dish is full of garlic, spices, and flavor; the Tom Kha soup has just the right amount of coconut and lemongrass; and their Pad Thai could rival Samui Thai.
10. Chinese Food – A1 Chinese BBQ is the best local place to order “authentic” Chinese food and Chinese BBQ. I am sure you are wondering, “What the heck is Chinese BBQ?” Well I will tell you, my friend, if you haven’t had it before, you are seriously missing out. I have childhood memories of going to the Asian grocery store in Asian town in Houston and standing in line while my parents put in their weekly order of food. You see the display of roasted duck, pig, soy sauce, or ginger chicken, and bbq pork in the window. My favorites are the roast pig and bbq pork with an order of the Beef Flat noodles (no sauce please) and Chinese broccoli. Their combination fried rice and wonton soup are also some of my favorites, and sometimes I order all of that food, and my family eats it for a few days (without any complaints, which is a miracle in my house!).
11. Vietnamese Cuisine – Cafe China and Pho has some of the best Vermicelli bowls in the area with rice noodles, pork, and pickled vegetables. Add some of the Vietnemese sauce on top, and you get a tangy and sweet dish with fresh vegetables like mint and cilantro mixed in. Their Vietnamese fried egg rolls are crispy and have the perfect ratio of meat, noodles, and vegetables.
12. Vietnamese Cuisine – Pho Pasteur II in Carrollton has authentic tasting Pho, which is a Vietnamese noodle soup. When I make this at home, it takes a minimum of 3 hours of boiling the broth to get the right amount of flavor and spices to come out of the bones. Add the fresh bean sprouts, mint, cilantro, and you have a bowlful of heavenly soup that will heat your bones and warm your belly.
13. Filipino Fried Chicken – Jollibee is the best fried chicken in the area and has replaced my old time favorites of Popeyes or KFC. Their chicken is lightly breaded, flavored thoroughly, moist and tender. The mashed potatoes topped with brown gravy is well seasoned, and I love keeping the leftovers to use for future homemade mashed potatoes. (Pro tip: Order the mango pies for dessert. You will thank me later!)
14. Korean Fried Chicken – Bonchon Chicken – The first time I had this chicken, I really had no idea what to expect. This is breaded, crispy fried chicken that is sweet and slightly tangy at the same time. Order with fries for a heavenly and calorie-loaded dinner that is well worth the splurge.
15. Ramen – Hanabi Ramen – What is better than a hot, steaming bowl of ramen on a cold spring day? We love ramen in the rich, flavorful broth with the pork Chashu, soft boiled egg and fresh bean sprouts. Check out this local ramen shop to have a delightful spot to warm your belly and check out the other places listed here, too!
16. Cajun Seafood – Crab Station located in Carrollton is hands down the best Vietnamese-inspired Cajun seafood place in the area. Their speciality is crab, crawfish, lobster, or shrimp tossed in a Cajun garlic butter sauce to compliment the seafood for a tangy, spicy, buttery taste. (Pro tip: Order your boiled seafood at the same time as your appetizer. Then let it sit in the spices while you eat. The longer it sits in the hot sauce, the more flavorful your seafood will taste!)
About the Author
Amy is mom of 4 boys, including twins who keep her on her toes. She enjoys cooking, baking, gardening, and is learning to crochet. She spent 20 years in the professional world as a Client Executive at IBM before retiring to become a SAHM, COO and CFO of the Schroeder household. Please support our local small Asian business owners in honor of AAPI Heritage month.