In 2009 my husband, then boyfriend, and I quit our jobs in New York and traveled the world…concentrating most of our travels in Asia. We came to love the culture, the pace, and most importantly, the food. I still dream about the fresh herbs in my street pho in Ho Chi Minh City that cost $2, the spicy Thai basil and Thai chilis in northern Thailand, the jackfruit and dragon fruit we ate every morning, not to mention the delicious curries, noodles and fresh seafood that Asia has to offer. These flavors and spices were not something we could replicate ourselves (not for lack of trying) so we made it our mission since moving to Dallas to seek and discover the most authentic Asian restaurants in town and expose our children to these unique flavors.
Here are our favorite spots:
Located near Preston and Royal. This restaurant is the full package for an easy and delicious dinner with the family. They offer ramen, dim sum and authentic Chinese cuisine with gluten free options. It is a kid friendly environment with an open kitchen so the kids can watch the dumplings being made before they eat them. There is also a large fish tank which can also serve an entertainment for hungry kiddos.
A family-style Sichuan restaurant located in Richardson’s Chinatown on Greenville Ave. You can sit at a large round table with a lazy Susan and enjoy a unique family-style Sichuan meal. Some highlights are the Chuang Dumplings, Mongolian Beef, green beans and boc choy. You get huge portions for your money so there will be plenty to bring home for lunch the next day.
Tucked away in Richardson’s Chinatown and owned and operated by a Chinese family the authenticity of this place is unreal. Down to the pots of green tea they serve and their clientele. You do not feel like you are in Richardson, TX when you eat here. Dim sum, soups, and sizzling hotplates are our favorites, and the juicy steamed soup dumplings are a hit with adults and kids alike. It is a large restaurant and very loud so no need to worry about keeping the kiddos quiet.
Authentic Thai food at its best – owned by an American man and his Thai wife, who met and married when he was on R&R in Thailand during Vietnam. She is the executive chef and her food is perfection. The restaurant is hard to find and off the beaten path in Addison but well worth it. They have kid friendly portions at a reasonable rate as well as kid silverware and plates so you don’t have to worry about anything breaking. This place is always packed so its best to get there before the lunch or dinner rush. For dessert don’t forget to try the mango sticky rice — you’ll never forget it.
Right off George Bush Turnpike in Richardson, TX this gem serves some of the best Pad Thai I have had outside of Thailand. We pick up take out at least once a week from here. This is my oldest sons favorite restaurant in the world. He is thoroughly entertained the entire time by the wait staff. Last time we were there he was picked up and passed around the restaurant from one waitress to the next. They even taught him some Thai words that he will hopefully use when we travel back to Thailand with him.
Off of Plano Road in Richardson, TX. Here you want to eat Pho, a Vietnamese staple of steaming hot pots of noodle soup topped with fresh herbs. There is seriously every kind you could ever think of on their menu or request your own concoction. Your kids will enjoy slurping up noodles and fishing for meat with child friendly training chopsticks.
Mot Hai Ba
Located in Lakewood off of Skillman. Banh mi sandwiches, papaya salad, fresh squeezed juices, and fresh herb and shrimp imperial rolls are the highlights here. This is a more upscale Vietnamese restaurant but they offer covered outdoor seating, which is always great for kids at lunch.
Nammi Food Truck
Can be found parked outside of Klyde Warren Park. They serve three items with 5 different meat options: Banh Mi, Veitnamese Taco and a rice bowl and they are done to perfection. This is our favorite place to eat after a long morning of playing at Klyde Warren Park. I actually find myself thinking up excuses to go downtown sometimes just to get some lemongrass chicken Vietnamese tacos! Yum!
2021 Update: Now with 2 trucks, but your best bet is to head to their brick and mortar spot at the Dallas Farmers Market.
We look forward to traveling back to Asia someday with our kids and broadening their horizons even more. If you think your children cannot enjoy a variety of food…give these a try! Even the pickiest eater can find something delicious at one of these fantastic Dallas area Asian restaurants.