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Across the country, people are celebrating American Asian Pacific Islander Month by embracing their local communities, the local businesses and, most important, their restaurants. Eateries that have been started by members of the AAPI community have made an impact on their local communities and cities; it is now our time to embrace them even more and support them through this pandemic. Since Covid-19 hit, many small businesses have been hurt and subjected to closing. Especially during AAPI month, and the recent attacks on the AAPI communities, we can show our support to them by supporting their businesses. These popular restaurants are in more popular cities across the U.S. Do your part and support your local AAPI businesses.
Sweet Basil Thai Restaurant
Albany, New York
Albany, NY, has many restaurants to eat at run by a member of the AAPI community. One particular Thai restaurant is Sweet Basil, run by Rasamee Amy Smithynunta. It is one of the top-rated AAPI restaurants in this community and, from personal experience, has delicious food. Cooked and delivered to perfection, this restaurant is a personal favorite.
Mei Jin Ramen Restaurant
New York City
If you’re in New York City, they have plenty of places to eat and maybe too many options for the weary traveler to choose from. One ramen place that breaks the reviews is called Mei Jin Ramen. Located near 82nd street, this eatery is known for its funky ramen, its eclectic vibes, and all-around fantastic food. Mei Jin Ramen is voted one of NYC’s best ramen eateries. Co-Owned by Chef Koji Miyamoto, he specializes in Beef Ramen, which is a rarity in Japan.
Bao Bao Bakery
Boston had a thriving Chinatown before the Pandemic hit, but several eateries and small businesses owned by working-class immigrants have closed down since then. Bao Bao Bakery is still one of the eateries open, known for its delicious cakes and bubble teas; this bakery is still thriving. They use intricate flavors like scallion buns, pork turnovers, and more. Bao Bao Bakery is a family-run business owned by two sisters Emily and Gloria Chin, who also own Double Chin.
In Washington DC, a fusion between Cambodian and Taiwanese has inspired James Beard-nominated Chef Erik Bruner-Yang, to open his restaurant. Maketto, a 60 seat restaurant that he says “is our interpretation of Cambodian and Taiwanese cooking inspired by the people and flavors of those respective cultures.” This is a great way to taste authentic Taiwanese food and to also experience cooking from a celebrated chef.
Cafe Bunn Mi
In SanFrancisco, where the weather is mild, but the food is hot, there is a Vietnamese cafe called Cafe Bunn Mi. Specializing from Bahn Mi to Pho to rice plates, this cafe brings a ton of flavor. It only accepts cash and usually has a wait, but all the customers agree it’s worth it. The Bunn Mi sandwich that they specialize in is one of the best items on the menu.
Although we celebrated AAPI month during May, it doesn’t mean we have to stop. Embrace your local eateries, their cultural differences, and their cuisine. Keep supporting the people you love, and your communities (bellies) will benefit from them. Especially with these local restaurants recovering from the COVID-19 Pandemic, they will genuinely help sustain their businesses.
To help find these kinds of restaurants, many apps have been created to ease into categories. Btwn, Trip Advisor, Yelp, and more have launched more accessible search categories on their apps for AAPI month. There are many other ways you can support the APPI community right now by supporting these organizations:
Which AAPI restaurant is your favorite? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.