AAPI Month is a month where we recognize the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. The first Japanese immigrant arrived in the United States on May 7, 1843, and in 1990 May was first declared AAPI month. Two years later, in 1992, it was declared as a permanent commemorative month that would be celebrated annually.
The celebration of the achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans is something we should be doing throughout the entire year, however—not for just one month. AAPI-owned businesses nationwide were the most negatively impacted throughout the pandemic, and there are tons of these businesses that contribute to the culture of NYC that we can be supporting every day. Here are 32 AAPI-owned restaurants and businesses in NYC:
1. Jungsik, Tribeca
This highly acclaimed two-starred Michelin restaurant from world renowned Chef Jung Sik Yim highlights a seven-course signature menu alongside an award-winning wine list and craft cocktails. Chef Jung Sik Yim was the first to introduce New Korean cuisine to New York, and on the menu you’ll find a unique play on contemporary Korean cuisine.
Where: 2 Harrison St.
2. Four Four South Village, Multiple Locations
Four Four South Village is named after Taiwan’s first military dependent’s village, and their signature dish, Taiwanese beef noodles, are a delicacy that originated from this village. Cooked by winners of the International Section of Taipei International Beef Noodle Festival, their beef noodles are a must-try.
Where: Flushing – 38-06 Prince St. / East Village – 11 E. 7th St. / Hell’s Kitchen – 368 W. 46th St.
3. ICHIRAN, Multiple Locations
ICHIRAN is the world’s leading expert in Tonkotsu Ramen. The classic Tonkotsu broth is made with pure filtered water and pork bones and is rich in natural collagen. This family-owned business started out as a simple ramen stall in 1960 and has since grown to have 83 locations throughout Asia and 3 in NYC. Their solo dining booths are designed in a way so guests can focus solely on their ramen to savor the full dining experience.
Where: Williamsburg – 374 Johnson Ave. / Midtown – 132 W. 31st St. / Times Square – 152 W. 49th St.
4. noreetuh, East Village
Michelin-recognized modern Hawaiian restaurant noreetuh serves dishes with influences from Asia and the Pacific Rim. Designed by Hawaiian-native Executive Chef-Partner Chung Chow, the menu features delicious dishes such as a wide selection of musubi, a popular Hawaiian snack made with rice and various ingredients and wrapped in a sheet of nori seaweed, Kimchi Fried Rice, and Sea Urchin Cavatelli.
Where: 128 1st Ave.
5. Hortus NYC, NoMad
Michelin-recognized Hortus NYC is reinventing the way modern Asian cuisine is approached, blending the cuisines of many countries, including China, Thailand, and Korea, to create a fresh menu that combines these flavors in a unique way. This stylish restaurant features a bi-level dining room and hidden garden that offers comfortable seating regardless of the weather.
Where: 271 5th Ave.
6. Honest, Greenwich Village
Honest began as a street food cart owned by Ramesh Gupta at a popular open air food market Ahmedabad, India in the late 1960’s. Since then it has opened up 60 locations in Gujarat, India, 2 in Canada, 2 in Australia, 2 in Thailand, and 31 in the United States. Their vegetarian menu features dishes such as Bhaji Pav, a vegetable curry with a potato base and spices served with buttered dinner rolls, and Indo-Chinese dishes such as Paneer Chili Gravy, cottage cheese tossed with peppers and onions in Indo-Chinese sauces.
Where: 176 Bleecker St.
7. MIFUNE, Midtown
This Michelin-recognized Japanese restaurant focuses on Neo-Washoku cuisine. The chefs’ signature style is infusing French culinary techniques and flavors into Japanese cuisine and is served as an 8-course omakase tasting menu that changes nightly, creating an entirely unique dining experience for each seating.
Where: 245 E. 44th St.
8. Sushi AMANE, Midtown
Hidden in MIFUNE’s subterranean level is Michelin-starred Sushi AMANE, an eight-seat sushi bar where Chef Tomoyuki Hayashi has full reign to put his creativity on display. Only using wild fish from Japan and other countries around the world, Chef Hayashi’s omakase sushi experience consists of four small dishes, nine Nigiri, tamago, hand roll, and miso soup. It changes daily based on market availability.
Where: 245 E. 44th St.
9. aRoqa, Chelsea
This contemporary Michelin-recognized Indian restaurant specializes in small, shareable plates and delicious craft cocktails. Owner Monica Saxena created this intimate, romantic restaurant serving delicious dishes (including vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free options!).
Where: 206 9th Ave.
10. Jaz, Hell’s Kitchen
Owner Jaz Rupall greets every guest as if they are visiting her home at her restaurant that offers a British interpretation of northern Indian fare. Serving a delicious selection of seafood, meats, and vegetarian dishes alongside a selection of artisanal cocktails and a wine program, Jaz is a must-visit.
Where: 813 9th Ave.
11. MáLà Project, Multiple Locations
Owner Amelie Kang first opened MáLà Project in East Village at 23 years old to demonstrate the originality of her hometown Chinese cuisine and has since opened two more locations with the fourth on the way. She is recognized for leading the wave of new Chinese restaurants in the East Village. MáLà Project’s mission is to bring unaltered, original Chinese dishes to NYC in a 90’s China-inspired ambiance.
Where: East Village – 122 1st Ave. / Bryant Park – 41 W. 46th St. / Midtown – 245 E. 53rd St.
12. Purple Yam, Flatbush
Owners Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan reimagine Filipino food at Purple Yam, along with some Chinese and Korean-inspired dishes. Some of their popular dishes include Pancit Bihon Noodles, Philippine rice noodles with chicken, pork, and veggies, Tocino, sugar-achuete cured pork with garlic fried rice and eggs, and Lechon Kawali, deep fried pork belly with pickled papaya.
Where: 1314 Cortelyou Rd, Brooklyn
13. Chef Katsu Brooklyn, Clinton Hill
Chef Katsu Brooklyn used to host just pop-up events, but husband and wife owners Katsu and Chiemi were eventually able to make their dream come true and open a brick-and-mortar location. Some dishes you’ll find on the menu include a Salmon Teriyaki Bowl, and Dashi Chazuke, Shin Koji marinated salmon on a bed of rice, nori, green onion, rice cracker, shiso, and goma.
Where: 143 Greene Ave, Brooklyn
14. Bonnie’s, Williamsburg
Brooklyn-born and raised Bonnie’s owner Calvin Eng named this Cantonese-American spot after his mother who he learned everything he knows about Cantonese food and cooking from. Offering vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free items, on the menu you’ll find dishes like dao gok, chinese long beans with fermented bean curd, garlic butter, and yauh ja gwai, and dao si heen jing sui dan, clams with black bean garlic sauce, savory egg custard, and sizzling herbs.
Where: 398 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn
15. Ihawan, Jackson Heights
Ihawan in Jackson Heights serves some of the best Filipino barbecue. They sell many classic dishes from the Philippines along with Kapampangan cuisine—one of the eight major dialects of the country. You can’t go wrong no matter what you order whether you try their BBQ pork or chicken, deep fried milkfish, or anything else.
Where: 40-06 70th St.
16. Xi’an Famous Foods, Multiple Locations
Xi’an Famous Foods is a family-run restaurant that serves authentic Western Chinese dishes across NYC. The original location, established in 2005, was the first restaurant to bring the cuisine of Xi’an (of Shaanxi Province of China) to the U.S., with its signature Liang Pi “Cold-Skin Noodles,” “burgers” with housemade flatbread stuffed with stewed pork or spicy cumin lamb, various biang biang hand-ripped noodle dishes, and other specialties.
Where: Multiple locations
17. Lamoon, Elmhurst
In Thai language, Lamoon means “delicate, deliberately, well-taken care of” and that’s exactly what the owners strive to do—serve delicious food while providing patrons with an amazing dining experience.
Where: 8140 Broadway
18. Shanghai Red, Parkchester
Shanghai Red is a Chinese Latin fusion restaurant offering a wide array of dishes and signature cocktails that blend the two cuisines harmoniously for a taste unlike any other. After opening in March of 2019 Shanghai Red quickly became a local favorite among the community for those looking to expand their food horizons.
Where: 127 Westchester Ave., Bronx
19. Ceetay, Mott Haven
Ceetay is an Asian fusion restaurant with sushi, noodles, and rice dishes. The most popular dishes include the Tuna Bruschetta, made with guacamole and spicy tuna on a crispy rice cracker, and the Kawasaki Roll, made with oven-baked crab topped with avocado, crunchy tempura flakes, and a sweet sauce.
Where: 129 Alexander Ave, Bronx
20. Lakruwana, Staten Island
Family-owned Lakruwana serves deliciously authentic Sri Lankan food in Staten Island. Most of the dishes are made using spices native to Sri Lanka, and on the menu you’ll find dishes such as Biriyani, Mulligatawny Soup, a traditional soup prepared with chicken and vegetables, and different kinds of curries.
Where: 668 Bay St, Staten Island
21. Piggyback by Pig & Khao, Chelsea
Piggyback (a restaurant by the folks of Pig & Khao) is pan-Asian spot serving all sorts of delicious Southeast Asian street food! We suggest stopping in before an event at MSG (since it’s down the block) or any other time you’re in Midtown and are searching for elevated eats! This spot is also hosting a Drag Dinner this month to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, featuring NYC drag diva, Hibiscus. On May 24, you’ll be able to enjoy a show-stopping performance from an all-Asian cast of local drag queens, a specially curated menu of Filipino-American fusion dishes, as well as Piggyback’s signature cocktails! Learn more and reserve your spot here.
Where: 140 W 30th St
22. The Red Pavilion, Bushwick
This newly opened teahouse by day, and Neo-Noir club is founded by creative director Shien Lee and Chinese Medicine chef Zoey Gong, with a mission to amplify the representation of Asian voices and cultural identity. Alongside their goal of supporting the cultural visibility of the AAPI community in NYC, they also provide immersive food and beverage experiences. For AAPI Heritage Month, they are hosting Heart of Dim Sum Brunch, a weekend tradition of tasty dim sum dishes, such as steamed dumplings, pork buns, and egg tarts! Join them for a yummy meal and help join their great cause since 20% of their brunch sales this month will go towards an AAPI-focused charity Heart of Dinner. Make a reservation here.
Where: 1241 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn
23. Pecking House, Prospect Heights
We highly suggest Pecking House, a Chinese-Taiwanese fried chicken restaurant that’s the brainchild of head chef Eric Huang. After being a pop-up for a while, a Brooklyn flagship was finally established in the fall of 2022! Now, they serve all kinds of Southern dishes with a Chinese spin, including the famed Chili Fried Chicken with Tianjin chilis, Szechuan peppercorns and duck fat; Salted Egg Yolk Fried Chicken with salted duck egg yolks, butter and black pepper, plus so much more! Check out their menu and plan your visit here.
Where: 244 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn
24. Yu and Me Books, Chinatown
Yu and Me Books is a bookstore, café, and bar that focuses on the strong, diverse voices of our community with a focus on immigrant stories. The initials of the bookstore, YM, are the owner’s mother’s initials to showcase the stories and love in different languages that have been passed down for generations.
Where: 44 Mulberry St.
25. Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, Chinatown
This family-run ice cream store has been serving up homemade ice cream in the heart of New York Chinatown since 1978, and they now have 3 locations (one in Flushing and one in Essex Market). Legends attribute the invention of ice cream to the Chinese during the Tang Dynasty, and Chinatown Ice Cream Factory is often referred to as an “unofficial NYC landmark.”
Where: 65 Bayard St.
26. Essex Farm, Essex Market
In 1993, James Lee and his partner opened up Essex Farm after moving to New York from South Korea. They have become a staple in the market, offering a wide selection of groceries where shoppers can find fresh and organic produce and international goods. With their new website you can also get fresh groceries delivered right to your door.
Where: Essex Market
27. Alimama Tea, Chinatown
Alimama Tea serves the most delicious mocha desserts and cold brew teas. Their donuts blend traditional ingredients with modern flavors, such as salted caramel Nutella and matcha toasted rice krispies, and their cold brew teas are made with the most premium organic ingredients.
Where: 89A Bayard St.
28. Malai Ice Cream, Carroll Gardens
Malai Ice Cream draws inspirations from South Asian ingredients. Their ice cream is eggless, handcrafted, and churned with very little air, resulting in purer, more robust flavors, as well as the creamiest textures you can find. Malai brings a taste of India in every bite and every cone, through its spice forward flavors, and they’re inspired by the traditions, culture, and heritage that India brings.
Where: 268 Smith St.
29. Wing On Wo & Co, Chinatown
Wing on Wo & Co. (W.O.W.) is the oldest continuously operating store in Manhattan’s Chinatown boasting a five-generation long legacy in the heart of the neighborhood. The shop works to breathe new life into cultural craft by reinterpreting tradition through an Asian American lens, and there you’ll find primarily porcelain ware and cultural goods.
Where: 26 Mott St.
30. Pearl River Mart, Multiple Locations
In 1971, a group of young overseas Chinese men and women decided China had much to offer America and worked together to open a small “friendship” store in New York City’s Chinatown. Months after the store’s opening, Pearl River made history as the world’s first Chinese American department store.
Where: SoHo – 452 Broadway / Chelsea Market – 75 9th Ave.
31. Lichen NYC, Williamsburg
Ed Be and Jared Blake teamed up in 2017 to merge the worlds of furniture, interior design, industrial design, music, style, arts and contemporary culture, thus creating Lichen NYC. They deliver to the five boroughs on Wednesdays, or you can pick up items you’re interested in from their workshop.
Where: 98 Moore St, Brooklyn
32. Rooted, Online only
Co-founders Ryan and Kay started Rooted in 2018 after moving to NY and feeling disconnected from the lush environments of California and Hawaii. Their mission is now to connect people to nature. They no longer have a retail location but through their online store they provide affordable plants homegrown at their greenhouse shipped free to buyers, along with fresh, educational content to guide you on your journey.
Where: Online only