The whole month of May is Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Heritage Month. The best way to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Island immigrants’ contribution to our society is through food. That’s why we’ll give you the finest Asian/American restaurants and their exquisite cuisines where to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month around Atlanta.
What is AAPI?
For a month-long celebration, what is AAPI really? AAPI Month or Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month originated in Congress.
In 1977, House Joint Resolution is introduced to proclaim the first 10 days of May as AAPI Week.
A decade later, the US House and Senate with the succeeding American presidents signed the annual proclamation for the AAPI Week. Up until Public Law 101-283 is issued to declare AAPI Week started May 4, 1990.
In 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-450 to yearly designate the month of May for the commemoration which expanded the AAPI Heritage Month celebration.
The month of May is selected to honor the first Japanese immigrants who came to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to celebrate the first Chinese immigrants who constructed the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.
Based on US Census of American Community, as of 2020, around 24 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders live and work in the US.
Our passion for eating and dining are among the usual things to share about whether you’re an American, an Asian, or a combination. To continue the celebration, we’ll have the best AAPI restaurants within the Atlanta area.
Best Restaurants to Celebrate AAPI Month in Atlanta
Poor Calvin’s in downtown Atlanta
Poor Calvin’s is definitely a-must Asian fusion restaurant to visit in Atlanta. The lobster fried rice, its bestseller, is a sure fire.
Mouth-watering seafood you can try is lobster wonton, seafood spring roll, squid ink seafood, Thai curry, etc. Chicken, beef, and duck menus are also served.
The place is spacious and Instagram-ready. The ambiance is perfect for date night or family dinner. Live music also gives a great vibe along with the dining experience.
Plus, the complimentary valet parking is superb. No parking hassles anymore. It’s like having fine dining just close to a busy city.
Hawker’s on the Atlanta Beltline
Filling your bucket list for Asian food? Hawker’s is highly recommended. Hawker’s is a Pan Asian resto set at the Atlanta Beltline Buford Highway.
Start off with appetizers like fresh green papaya and shrimp salad. Next, go for their famous dishes like Korean twice fried wings, pad Thai, Po Po Lo’s curry, curry laksa soup, and others. End it with Hawker’s roti canai bread and some drinks in their bar.
Surely that you’ll come back to the taste of their exotic menu offers like a popular lobster wonton.
Hawker’s has a great interior with an option to take a seat inside, al fresco, or in the bar area. Watch our YouTube video to review Hawker’s menus at this link.
Related – Buford Highway restaurants that you must try!
Mamak Malaysian Resto at Buford Highway in Atlanta
Situated at the Asian Square mall, Mamak is a family-owned and vegan-friendly Malaysian Chinese restaurant.
Roti canai is one of the favorites that you can try first. This Malaysian traditional flatbread is lightly fried until golden brown. The flavorful taste of this popular dish is something you come back for more.
Some other must-try chicken and beef noodles like Hainanese chicken noodles, curry laksa, Hokkien Mee, and Indian Mee Goreng.
Mamak also has savory meals to include in your food adventures such as black pepper seafood combo, chicken satay, pork chow fan, beef chow fun, curry beef, Hainanese chicken rice, and more.
Oriental Pearl Seafood Restaurant at Atlanta Chinatown Mall
So hungry for quick late lunch or dinner? Oriental Pearl is a great place to go. Staff can serve you authentic Chinese meals quickly in minutes for affordable prices.
A dim sum cart with tasty pans and buns is amazing. Try shrimp and pork sui mai, steamed fish balls, and steamed pork buns. Have decent rice dishes such as beef chow fan, rice noodle rolls, BBQ pork, and pork fried rice.
This place is usually packed on weekends. Better be here minutes before 11:00am opening time, Hawker’s staff can serve food earlier.
Salaryman in Toco Hills – Atlanta
Looking to satisfy your craving for delicious eats near Decatur? Check out the new location of Salaryman in Toco Hills. The beautiful open air restaurant has an entire bar of Japanese whisky and a mix of different types of Asian cuisine like sushi, ramen steamed buns and even Korean influenced pizza. Why pizza? The previous space had pizza ovens and they decided to keep them but put their own spin on it. For example, you’ll find Pork Kimchee pizza and Bibimbop pizza. It isn’t just about food at this spot, there are fantastic cocktails like this unique drink called the TKO (undiscovered Korean Boy Band). It is made with Aperol, lychee, hibiscus, lemon and sparkling wine.
For starts, get the sashimi wth 6 pieces of sushi. The pork belly buns are great with a pecan powder as well. If you love shrimp, the Rock Shrimp is an excellent choice.
For entrees at Salaryman, the options. areas diverse as the appetizers. Choose from sandwiches, pizzas, ramen and more. We had a healthy mix of the Beef garlic noodles, Spicy Ramen and the Wagyu burger.
Beef noodles with garlic are pictured above. The beef is tender, you don’t even need a knife. The ramen dish, is plentiful and with all the appetizers we ordered we barely made a dent in it. It is ok as this just gets better after it sits for a day. So great for leftovers. I did polish off my Wagyu burger. It doesn’t come with it, but I’d recommend asking for a side of the Kimchee mayo they make in house!
J’s Mini Hot Pot Atlanta
If it is a cold and chilly season, nothing beats a go-to hot pot like J’s Mini Hot Pot. Every table has its own electric burner to keep your soup hot.
Just pick the broth you like, and have the meat option, vegetarian option, or combo mix in your pot. Vegetable side dishes are too many to choose from.
The vegetable brings with the meat combos on your hot pot. The meat options come with beef and lamb, too!
So Kong Dong Tofu & BBQ at Buford
It’s common here to get your tofu soup boiling hot! Try beef tofu soup, seafood tofu soup, or combo tofu soup. Don’t forget to crack your egg while your soup is still piping hot.
Have some Korean BBQ, short ribs, bulgogi, seafood pancake, and kalbi. The Korean banchan (side dishes) are generously served too.
Ginya Izakaya in Atlanta
If you’re looking for a mix of small plates of Asian dishes, sushi and ramen, check out Ginya Izakaya. If you aren’t familiar with the term, an Izakaya is a mix of Japanese dishes. The restaurant, located off Northside drive has easy access and free parking in a large lot. Though it may be hard to get parking on weekend nights.
Bring a group and order a plethora of dishes. There’s the Octopus balls with eel sauce, salmon or yellowtail collar, lotus chips and a chef’s sushi selection. We love this Izakaya in Atlanta as you can eat so much for little. An order of eight small plates was only around $100. Note that you can also book this and other lovely Asian restaurants through Seated App for additional savings.
Pho Dai Loi 2 in Buford Highway
If you’re craving some Asian Vietnamese exotic flavors, this resto you won’t be missed. Pho Dai Loi 2 is a popular Vietnamese restaurant in the NE Atlanta area.
Lemongrass chicken is a sure hit. Along with your hot Pho meals like Pho #20 a small or a big bowl of brisket noodle soup, you can also order a fresh steamed spring roll with peanut sauce.
Add to your list some of their appetizing cuisines such as fried spring rolls, pork rice bowl, beef rice bowl, and vermicelli with grilled shrimps.
All their dishes are served hot. You can also have cold beverages like jackfruit smoothies, bubble tea, etc. Never have to get hungry from these satisfying delectable dishes.
Woo Nam Jeong Stonebowl House in Atlanta
Woo Nam Jeong Stone bowl won’t fail to bring you authentic Korean dishes like bibimbap, vegetable pancakes, and bulgogi. But definitely, a stone bowl meal is a star here.
A hot stone bowl of beef or dolsot bibimbap is delicious. These stone bowl meals are served hot like a mushroom stone bowl, Ohjingoh bibimbap, squid bibimbap, yuk gaejang, budae jjigae, or Korean army stew, and galbi tang or rib bone stew.
Order a Nine Treasure Plate (Gujeopan), a variety of vegetable side dishes together with kimchi as a combo to your main dishes.
Food Terminal at Atlanta’s Buford Highway
Food Terminal located on Buford Highway is a Malaysian and Chinese resto. Ready your palate in yummy dishes like Szechuan beef noodles, tom yum rolling hot plate, and chicken curry.
The beef bone broth soup is absolutely to die for. This soup menu is so rich and flavorful. Enjoy sipping the tasteful bone marrow.
Also try Food Terminal’s vegan lovers’ dishes which include roasted mushroom noodles, chicken garlic spinach, mango chicken, spot peas, red beans in coconut sauce, Chinese broccoli, and a lot of tofu meals. Green tea ice cream is so refreshingly delicious too!
If you’re looking for a family-sized meal, Food Terminal has it. Portion sizes are enough to share and enjoy.
Snackboxe Bistro at Peachtree Road
Diet-conscious? Try Snack Boxe Bistro’s bestseller – Nam Khao. It’s a crispy coconut salad with fermented tofu or pork, served with lettuce wrap.
Other Asian fusion dishes to try are papaya salad with crab and shrimp, Lao sausage, beef jerky, and Laap dishes.
As a Lao Asian restaurant, Snack Box Bistro is a true gem hidden near Buford Highway and H-mart shopping. The parking slot here won’t be a problem.
Lee’s Bakery (cheap eats in Atlanta)
Buford Highway is a good place for authentic Vietnamese cuisines with a twist like Lee’s Bakery.
The Bahn min sandwiches are to die for just like their Pho. The sandwich selections are delectably delicious. The bread here is soft and chewy, not too crisp or hard.
Get a chicken, tofu, or vegetable Bahn Min sandwiches for vegetarians. Pork Bahn min and beef Bahn min sandwiches are in the house for meat lovers, too! The grilled pork sandwich is the best.