What we may love most about food is the power it has to bring people together. It ignites conversation, bridges gaps, and gives a reason to gather.
As we recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we explore + celebrate diverse cultural expressions through food and the contributions + influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans. This category of cuisine is full of flavor, history, and storytelling.
In advance of Street Eats – a 2022 festival event celebrating Asian street food – we connected with local Chef + Owner Thai Phi on Asian culture + cuisine and how it translates into his cooking at Pink Bellies.
“My entire style of cooking comes from my family. From the recipes passed down to moments we shared over food. In December 2019, I was cooking with my aunts in Saigon and they told me to learn all of their recipes and let it inspire my food in a way that only I could cook. My cooking is pretty simple. I use all of my family recipes, blend them with any ideas I have, and use the best local ingredients.”
We’ve curated a list of a few amazing AAPI-owned restaurants in Charleston. Let us know where you’ll be dining next.
Phuong Vietnamese Restaurant
This North Charleston restaurant is known for authentic + delicious Vietnamese pho and spring rolls.
Red Orchids China Bistro
Red Orchids knocks their mission of “serving simple, delicious, and affordable food that keeps people coming back” out of the park. A great spot for lunch specials!
Kanpai is known for Chef Sean Parks amazing + quality sushi, but offers a full and delicious menu.
Located in the heart of downtown, Hot Mustard creates delicious takeout + delivery.
Little Miss Ha
This Vietnamese restaurant serves delicious dishes and always wows with daily specials. Vegan and gluten free meals are noted on the menu!
Ko Cha Korean Restaurant
This West Ashley spot is often considered a hidden gem, but offers some of the most delicious Korean cuisine in Charleston. Make sure to try the General Tso’s!
A King Street favorite, Mama Kim’s keeps things consistently fresh and is known for their bowls and Hibachi steak + chicken.
Ding Tea & Ha Long Café
Whether you go for the Tiawanese Bubble Tea or stay for the Vietnamese cuisine, Ding Tea is a spot you don’t want to miss.
843 Korean BBQ & Sushi House
843 is a great spot for dine in or takeout; later in the evening you may even hear some karaoke!
H&L Asian Market
H&L is great for shopping, but make sure to try Pho #1 located inside!
This King Street hotspot wows with its garlic noodles!
OId Li’s Restaurant
Don’t miss the dumplings!
This Park Circle spot has an atmosphere just as good as the food. Don’t miss out on the specials and make sure to try a cocktail or two.
Located on James Island, make sure to get a bowl of pho and spring roll (or two).
Charleston’s only Korean fusion food truck, and the only place in Charleston that offers authentic Korean corn dogs!
Bok Choy Boy
Located in food + brew hall, Port of Call, this Asian fusion spot is inspired by heritage + experience and is a direct reflection of what Chef and Owner Setrini Sison likes to cook at home.
By sharing mandu with the community, Sarah and Nate are giving folks a taste of Korea, in many instances, for the first time. They hope that the story rolls the beauty of adoption, cultural similarities, and deliciousness into one lil’ dump that’s cute AF.