Honoring AAPI Heritage Month in Chicago

May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) Month, and we can celebrate our AAPI neighbors with establishments in the Rogers Park and Gold Coast areas. From dining to physical fitness to arts & entertainment, there’s no shortage of AAPI culture in our beloved city of Chicago.

Shanghai Terrace: For high-end dining, venture to the Gold Coast and visit Shanghai Terrace at the Peninsula Hotel. The restaurant shines a spotlight on regional Chinese cuisines, with contemporary spins on Shanghainese, Cantonese, and Sichuanese favorites. Visitors can dine al fresco on The Terrace in warmer months, hold a special event in the private dining room, or have dinner in the richly decorated main dining room.

The Peninsula, 108 E Superior St

bopNgrill: bopNgrill is a fast-casual Korean-influenced restaurant that offers an eclectic menu, including rice bowls and creative burgers. Diners can sample loaded kimchi fries with a chicken katsu bowl or an umami-packed duxelle burger – or choose classic comfort food with a good old-fashioned American cheeseburger. bopNgrill is a press favorite and has been featured multiple times on Food Network shows. 

6604 N Sheridan Rd

Blowfish: In nearby Edgewater, Blowfish features fine Japanese cuisine with traditional dishes and contemporary Asian-fusion dishes. Purists will find sashimi, signature sushi rolls, and authentic ramen noodle soups on the menu. Those in the mood for an adventure can try unique appetizers like “chips & fish,” a combo of guacamole and chips with sushi and ponzu sauce.

1131 W Bryn Mawr Ave

Freddie’s Modern Kung Fu: To work off all the delicious dining while experiencing ancient martial art, work up a sweat at Freddie’s Modern Kung Fu. Founder Sifu Freddie Le has created a curriculum of twelve different martial art forms and offers personal training, meditation classes, and Kung Fu for kids. The center has flexible options, including group classes, private online sessions via Skype, and class variety from kickboxing to Traditional Chinese Lion Dancing and Drumming. 1642 W. Howard St.

Hōkūleʻa Academy of Polynesian Arts: Hōkūleʻa offers an array of opportunities to participate in, learn about, and enjoy the culture of Polynesia. The academy provides performers for festivals and events across Chicago, and hosts can also book performers or entertainment for private events. The academy has offered workshops, seminars, and classes in Polynesian dance, music, and fine arts and is currently accepting new dance students. Look for Hōkūleʻa performers across Chicago this summer!

5180 N. Elston Ave.

Visit a fifteen-block stretch of Devon Avenue, known as “Little India,” which offers a wide array of Indian and Pakistani restaurants, grocers, boutiques, and AAPI-owned businesses. Visitors can buy home décor, get a henna tattoo, and dine on regional South Asian cuisines.

Devon Avenue, beginning at Sheridan Road

These are just a few of many places to experience and celebrate AAPI culture across Chicago – we hope you enjoy these opportunities and discover some more!