50 Chicago-area restaurants take part in Asian American Pacific Islander Restaurant Week

Wednesday, May 22, 2024
50 local restaurants take part in AAPI Restaurant Week
Fifty Chicago-area restaurants are taking part in Asian American Pacific Islander Restaurant Week to celebrate food and culture.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- During this Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 50 local restaurants are taking part in AAPI Restaurant Week.

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The unique seasonings of Nepalese cuisine come through at Chicago Curry House.

"This is spreading Asian and culture and heritage," said Bala Ghimiri with Chicago Curry House & Nepal House. "This is very important. That heritage month should be highlighted more and more."

OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates started AAPI Restaurant Week, which is now in its third year, originally as an effort to support local businesses during the pandemic.

"It's really about supporting local businesses," said Mabel Menard with OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates. "Having talked to them, especially during COVID, it's being really difficult for them. I know some that have closed, and I think it's really important to showcase them."

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Menard is the president of the Greater Chicago Chapter of OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates.

"We have bakeries food trucks regular restaurants take out only," Menard said.

Hawaiian culture is on display in the South Loop at AO Hawaiian Hideout. A wife and husband own the business, and they honor Betty Hlavka's Hawaiian heritage as well as her parents legacy in the restaurant industry. They hope new diners will be adding to their loyal customer base during AAPI Restaurant Week.

"I welcome anyone and everyone to join us on this journey to the tropics and enjoy ono grinds and boosey libations," Hlavka said.

Foodies can sample some of the specialties and share in the rich AAPI cultures during the restaurant week event, which ends Sunday, but the restaurants can still be enjoyed year-round.