Milwaukee will host its first Asian Food Week in May, during what has been a difficult year for restaurants.
The week is May 16-22. ElevAsian, a group from Milwaukee, is promoting the week to encourage diners to try restaurants owned by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The name of the group is an elevation game; the goal is to elevate the AAPI community in Milwaukee. Founded about four years ago, ElevAsian has 168 members and 441 followers on Facebook.
The week does not involve discounts or special menus, as some catering weeks do. Rather, it is a celebration of the many kitchens under the AAPI umbrella, said Jenny Lee, member of ElevAsian and operator of the AAPI. Ephemeral restaurant Perilla Kitchen.
A guide to many AAPI restaurants in the area can be found on the ElevAsian website, elevasianwi.com, and they are listed below.
“We just want to encourage people to check out the list and try as many restaurants as possible in May and beyond,” Lee said. May is United States of America and the Pacific Islands Heritage Month.
“This year has been tough for Asian restaurants” beyond the financial toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee said, noting instances of racist remarks and attacks nationwide. In Milwaukee, the Lower East Chinese-Japanese restaurant Lucky Liu’s closed briefly at the start of the pandemic; he cited verbal insults from his employees.
In addition to compiling the restaurant list, ElevAsian plans to feature businesses and chef-owners on its public Facebook page, facebook.com/ElevAsianWI.
The group has organized their broad list by cuisine, so diners who are in the mood for, say, Chinese or Lao, can browse the list for ideas.
Note that some restaurants remain take out only because of the pandemic; call ahead to inquire. A number of restaurants offer online take-out orders.
Asian fusion cuisine, 1609 E. North Ave. (414) 273-6688 asianfusionwi.com
Fortune, 2945 S. 108th St. (414) 328-9890 fortunerestaurant.net
Fusion coffee, 1427 S. 108th St., West Allis. 414-257-1199 fusioncafe101.com
JJ Chen’s restaurant, 10722 W. Oklahoma Ave., West Allis. (414) 329-8333 jjchens.com
Jing’s, 207 E. Buffalo St., first floor of the Marshall Building. (414) 271-7788 jingsmke.com
Lucky bakery and barbecue, 11078 W. National Ave., West Allis. (414) 329-2688 facebook.com/westallisuas
Sze Chuan, 11102 W. National Ave., West Allis. (414) 885-0856 szechuanwestallis.com
Meat in the street, 1125 N. Ninth St., in the Eleven25 building. (414) 477-6717 wordscatisation.com
Ono Kine Grindz, 7215 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa. (414) 778-0727 okgrindz.com
Jackie Cafe, 3902 N. 76th St. (414) 249-5672 facebook.com/jackiesysc Catering
Oh so good 6309 N. 76th St. (414) 979-0043 facebook.com/EATOSOGOOD
Coffee India, 2201 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. (414) 837-6121; 605 S. First St. 414-224-5444 cafeindiamke.us
Garden of India, 2930 N. 117th St., Wauwatosa. (414) 235-9220 indiagardenwauwatosa.net
Taj Mahal, 5114 S. 108th St., Hales Corners. (414) 427-5900 tajmahalindianrestauranthalescornerswi.com
Pakistani and Indian
Anmol, 711 W. Historic Mitchell St. (414) 672-7878 eatanmol.com
Peshawar, 7510 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield. (414) 800-4226 peshawarrestaurant.com
Lively Indian cafe in Ruta, 2238 N. Farwell Ave., in Crossroads Collective. (414) 763-9081 rutas.in
Indonesian and Chinese
Chief of Beijing, 8673 N. Port Washington Road, Fox Point. (414) 228-8222 pekingchefwi.com
Kyoto, 7453 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield. (414) 325-1000 kyotomke.com
Hungry Sumo Sushi Bar + Asian Bistro, 2663 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue (414) 595-9656 hungrysumosushibar.com
Tanpopo Ramen and Sushi, 5191 S. 108th St., Hales Corners. (414) 525-2266 tanpoporamen.com
Japanese and Thai
Rice n Roll, 1952 N. Farwell Avenue (414) 220-9944 ricenrollbistro.com
Stone bowl grill, 1958 N. Farwell Ave. (414) 220-9111 stonebowlgrill.com
Swiss chard, 222 E. Erie Street (414) 885-2611 chardmke.com
Merge Korean Fried Chicken + Soju Bar, 1932 E. Kenilworth Square. (414) 226-5160 mergemilwaukee.com
Lao and Thai
Bamboo, 3427 W. National Ave. (414) 316-9023 facebook.com/bamboorestmwke
Vientiane noodle shop, 3422 W. National Ave. (414) 672-8440 Vientianenoodles.com
Sweet basil, 6509B S. 27th St., Franklin. (414) 301-4126 sweetbasilmke.com
C&D Thai Food Truck, location varies. (414) 998-8268 facebook.com/cdthaifood
SapSap, pop-ups in Racine and Milwaukee; permanent location at 2343, rue Mead, Racine. sapsapeats.com
Thum, 2238 N. Farwell Ave., in Crossroads Collective. (414) 763-9081 crossroadscollectivemke.com
Sticky rice, 1000 E. Locust Street (414) 226-6483 stickyricemke.com
Several Asian cuisines
Lucky Liu’s, 1664, rue N. Van Buren (414) 223-1699 luckylius.com
Mekong Coffee, 5930 North West Avenue (414) 257-2228 mekong-cafe.com
Milwokee (coming soon), 2342 N. Farwell Ave. (414) 800-4105 milwokeeasianstreetfood.com
Momo Mee, 110 E. Greenfield Avenue (414) 316-9003 momomeerestaurant.com
Mr. Wok, 2128 Silvernail Road, Pewaukee. (262) 521-9780 places.singleplatform.com/mr-wok/menu
Nana Asian Fusion & Sushi Bar, 4511 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood. (414) 967-8888 nanashorewood.com
Taste the Roti d’Amir Malaysian Food Truck, 3353 S. 13th St., but locations may vary, (414) 595-8994 facebook.com/tasteourfood
Bento Xpert, 1125 N. Ninth St., in the Eleven25 building. (414) 935-2823 facebook.com/Bentoxpert
Phan Garden, 1923 W. National Ave. (414) 384-4522
Xankia, 222 W. Wells Street (414) 817-0241 xankiawi.com
Pho Viet, 5475 S. 27th St., Greenfield. (414) 282-8852 facebook.com/PH0VIET
Pho Saigon, 10534 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis. (414) 828-9698 phosaigon-mke.com
Vietnamese cuisine from Evie, N89-W16851 Appleton Avenue, Menomonee Falls. (262) 415-5540 facebook.com/EviesBistro
Vietnamese noodles from Mequon, 1380 W. Mequon Road, Mequon. (262) 241-1999 facebook.com/VietnameseNoodlesofMequon