While Orlando attracts visitors from around the world, the local community is a vibrant mix of global citizens, including Asian Pacific American communities. In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Visit Orlando has gathered information on Asian-owned restaurants and special events for visitors and locals to enjoy this month and throughout the year, which will be continually updated on VisitOrlando.com/AAPI.
Visit Orlando also asked me to do a quick “Tour a Tasty Trio of Asian-American Restaurants in Orlando” that can be found here (and featuring Dochi, Kabooki, and Hawkers): https://www.visitorlando.com/blog/post/asian-american-restaurants-orlando/
Here is more from Visit Orlando:
“Orlando is a better place to live, work and visit because of the many contributions of our Asian Pacific American community,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Visit Orlando. “While May is the month designated to celebrate our Asian Pacific American friends, neighbors and colleagues, it is important to recognize this community year-round and the benefits they bring to our destination.”
“Orlando offers visitors and locals so many options to explore and celebrate the Asian Pacific American community through food,” said Ricky Ly, founder of local food blog TastyChomps.com. “From a hot bowl of pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) to steamed shrimp dumplings at one of the local Chinese dim sum restaurants, visitors will find dishes made from recipes passed through many generations and unique takes from younger generations now leading the family business.”
Orlando is an expanding enclave of authentic Asian food markets and restaurants. Just northeast of downtown, Mills 50 is home to the largest Vietnamese American community in Florida, with an expanding roster of authentic Asian restaurants, shops and markets. While people of Vietnamese descent make up the largest portion of Orlando’s Asian Pacific American population, many other cultures and countries are represented, including sizable Chinese, Asian-Indian, Filipino and Korean communities, plus smaller groups representing Thailand, Laos, Japan, Indonesia and Pakistan, among others. From James Beard nominated chefs to traditional cuisine and creative twists on classic dishes, visitors will find Asian influence throughout the entire destination.
- Chi-Kin Korean Fried offers a twist on Korean Fried Chicken with each piece double fried and tossed in a signature sauce. Other menu items include bulgogi waffle fries, bim-bim bowls and signature sandwiches.
- Dochi Doughnuts specializes in Japanese mochi doughnuts, a blend between the sweet and chewy Japanese rice dessert and the classic American fried doughnut.
- Domu serves up house-made ramen, seasonal cocktails and creative takes on small plates, including the city’s most well-known Korean chicken wings.
- Hawkers Asian Street Fare offers an eclectic Asian menu, along with beer and wine, with recipes from across Asia served up in a unique, sharing-encouraged gastropub environment.
- Kabooki Sushi features pan-Asian cuisine and Japanese dishes from James Beard nominated chef Henry Moso. This modern eatery even offers a six-course meal customized by the chef called omakase.
- Mamak Asian Street Food incorporates influences from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia. The menu is an homage to traditional Southeast Asian street food and has become a one-stop-shop for street-style eats unique to each country.
- Seito Sushi is an award-winning upscale restaurant featuring a contemporary Asian menu, from sushi to new and inventive Japanese cuisine.
- Tori Tori Pub echoes traditional Japanese pubs from atmosphere to menu, where visitors can find classic cocktails with a Japanese twist and unique bar bites like pork belly gyozas and grilled flying Japanese squid.
For more restaurants to explore, go to Visit Orlando’s blog.
Special Events and Exhibits:
- At Disney Springs West Side, a new art installation piece inspired by “Raya and the Last Dragon” has been created by a Malaysian Walt Disney Imagineering Concept Designer. Meanwhile, The Art of Disney, located at Disney Springs Marketplace, features a spotlight series with a focus on Asian Pacific American filmmakers, artists, authors and screenwriters who have worked at the Walt Disney Animation studios.
- Orange Country’s 9th Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration (May 21) will feature Mayor Jerry Deming’s welcome and proclamation along with cultural performances, art contests and awards, viewable on Orange TV.
- Asian Cultural Festival Virtual Celebration 2021 (May 22) will be hosted by the Asian American Heritage Council of Central Florida. This virtual celebration will showcase a variety of Asian American cultures and serves as a fundraiser for the Asian Student Achievers’ Scholastic Awards.
About Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando is The Official Tourism Association® for Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States and Theme Park Capital of the World®. A not-for-profit trade association that brands, markets and sells the Orlando destination globally, Visit Orlando represents member companies comprising every segment of Central Florida’s tourism community.