20 Essential AAPI-Owned Businesses to Support in Atlanta
For AAPI Month and beyond, here’s how to support Asian American and Pacific Islander businesses, restaurants, grocery stores, and more in Atlanta.
For almost two decades, May has been designated Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, during which AAPI culture and history is recognized across the country—but the impact of Atlanta’s Asian American and Pacific Islander community is felt on the city each and every day. Even in a town known for its eclectic food options, our Asian cuisine stands out from the rest, and Atlanta is the site of countless indispensable AAPI-owned businesses, including bookstores, boutiques, creative arts studios, grocery stores, coffee shops, and so much more. More than a year on from the tragic events of March of 2021, Atlanta’s AAPI community has shown inspiring resilience and resolve, and one simple way for Atlanta to show its gratitude and support is by patronizing local AAPI businesses—like these 20, which you should visit no matter the day or the month.
Owned and directed by Yu-Kai Lin, this gallery has been dedicated to promoting both up-and-coming and established artists in Georgia for upwards of a decade. Housing several artists’ work, Kai Lin Art is a place to view some beautiful pieces, or it can serve as the perfect setting for parties, weddings, receptions, or any special occasion for that matter. It also offers commission opportunities for collectors, along with professional installation services for your home or office.
How to support: Take advantage of any of their services, or purchase art here.
This restaurant is a sushi lover’s dream. Established in 2018, Eight puts a modern spin on old word Japanese cuisine. For starters, you can’t go wrong with any one of the bruschetta options, and the Salmon Cake is the best thing you can even buy for $16. The Seared Scallops are a go-to item on the dinner menu, and the Miso Steak pairs well with the Kikusui Funaguchi Gold, or the Heaven Sake 12.
How to support: Make a group reservation this weekend.
Opened in November of 2018, this novelty toy store contains a unique selection of science, art, and cultural items for children. The store’s products include stickers, stuffed animals, books, puzzles, coloring utensils, and more. Throughout the year, Hello Rainbow also throws family friendly events such as multi-cultural book fairs and themed readings at its location in Duluth.
How to support: Visit the storefront in Duluth or purchase products through their website.
Old Fourth Ward
A quick walk from Ponce City Market, Ruby Chow’s opened right before the pandemic hit in 2020. The Asian fusion restaurant survived because of its great service and its even better food. The assortment of small plates leaves most with a tough decision. The food options include seared scallops, walnut shrimp, pork belly and grits, Lion’s Head meatballs, and more. There’s also a worthwhile list of noodles, and some mango sticky rice if you want a different type of dessert.
How to support: Order from their online menu.
Located in West Midtown, this Asian market is located below the popular restaurant on 14th Street. The grocery store features primarily Japanese items, but also has a variety of Chinese and Korean products. You can purchase dry foods, snacks, baked goods, as well as some East Asian fruits and veggies. Currently, the store is open on Wednesday - Sunday from 12 pm to 9:30 pm and contains some of the best sake in the city.
How to support: Pull up to the West Midtown location or check them out online.
This nail and skin care salon has been in business for over 20 years and continues to deliver phenomenal service to all its customers. They provide your traditional manis and pedis, full sets and fill-ins, body waxing, and eyebrow threading. For about $70, Buckhead Nail & Toe Spa also offers one-hour facials and for $90, you can get a full body massage. Along with your complimentary drink, this place is relaxation at its finest.
How to support: Follow their social and book your visit right here.
If you ever take a trip to Atlanta Chinatown, make sure to check out Maomi’s Bookstore AND café—yup, it’s the best of both worlds. Here, you can find items to create Chinese calligraphy, purchase some amazing tea sets and/or cookies, and even find some of the world’s greatest books (there’s a copy of Tales from Shakespeare available in Mandarin). They even offer cool things to do like paper cutting and calligraphy workshops.
How to support: Check them out on IG or hit Atlanta Chinatown in Chamblee.
What a unique food company. Foodcation offers catering services for brunch or full course dinner, customizable grazing boards for up to four people, and tables that serve over 50, and private cheffin’ from the man Viv himself. This mobile business also holds pop up shops every now and again, and the bake sales feature some delicious pastries. Pork, steak, chicken, desserts—Foodcation has it all.
How to support: Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order catering or a custom Grazing Board.
Nestled in the heart of Inman Park, this Asian BBQ joint has a swanky atmosphere, a large drink selection, and grilled items that are second to none. The beef selections are all 28-day aged Angus, and the grilled combos are the perfect combination of protein for any food lover. On Saturdays and Sundays, pop in for brunch and order the Korean Steak & Eggs, and you can wash it all down with one of the restaurant’s unique cocktails or sake.
How to support: Reserve a table on their website.
Ponce City Market & Lenox Mall
Eleven TLC personifies wellness at its best. With two locations—one in Ponce City Market and the other in Lenox Mall—the AAPI-owned business has adopted the mantra “feel good from the inside out.” In order to ensure top-notch quality, company owners Hea Wun Chun and Charles Harris have collaborated with authorities in mixology, medicine practitioners, medical professionals, and the like. For about 15 bucks you can get one of their liquid tinctures to fit your health needs or a small batch from the Grassroots Coffee Company. Eleven TLC also offers echinacea, milk thistle, lion’s mane and reishi in capsule form.
How to support: Order from their collection online.
Since 1991, Junko Hair Studios has been the place to be for all your hair needs—regardless of texture. This establishment specializes in styling natural hair, perms, hair coloring and Japanese Thermal Reconditioning. They also provide services such as cutting for men and women, scalp treatments, hair extensions, and they even offer a bridal package for $90+ (depending on size). Junko’s is one of the top-rated salons in the Buckhead area.
How to Support: Call for an appointment, or book on their site.
In 2019, this spot made our Best New Restaurants list and was also a James Beard Award finalist the following year, so it’s safe to say that Lazy Betty started with a bang. The menu created by Chef Ron Hsu depends on the season, and is a mixture of Chinese culture and Southern cuisine, making for a special dining experience. The restaurant features high quality wine and spirits, and its $20 Left Turn at Albuquerque is an amazing blend of gin, carrot, cinnamon lemon, agave, and walnut bitters.
How to support: Book a reservation for you and a friend.
Le Fat brings a taste of Vietnam to the city of Atlanta in a real way. In terms of architecture, the dining area’s look was influenced by the French-colonial vibe in Southeast Asia during the early 1900s, and its food menu includes starters such as their Goi Cuon, Crispy Spring Rolls, Banh Mi Toast, and the Wonton Dumplings. The Pho Broth with beef, onions and cilantro is a must-try, and the Clay Pot—which offers variations of chicken, steak, tofu, shrimp, or salmon—is a popular choice for many customers. For a drink, the $12 Singapore Slim is money well spent.
How to support: Join the team or go there to eat.
Inspired by the hawker markets in Asia, PH’EAST contains six different vendors—Poke Burri, Fan T’Asia, Lifting Noodles Ramen, Kung Fu Tea, 26 Thai Kitchen, and Taps—each adding a special twist to the establishment. Poke Burri’s sushi burritos, pizza, or donuts taste great and make for a cool picture on the ‘Gram, and the Strawberry Lemonade at Kung Fu Tea is better than the Braves when they won the World Series.
How to support: Go to a game at Truist Park then make your way to PH’EAST.
This Filipino-inspired restaurant blends the historical structures of the Philippines with the vibrant pop of a Los Angeles Hotel. For under $15, you can enjoy any one of their Starboxes, or try one of their lumpias for about $8. On Wednesday - Friday afternoons, you can only order takeout, so if you’re looking to chill you have to show up on the weekends.
How to support: Follow them on Instagram, then make a reservation.
The Talat Market puts out a fresh menu weekly, and while their food is on-point—specifically the Pork Soup, Seafood Pancake, and Soft-Shell Crab—it’s their drink menu that keeps the masses coming back for more. From 5 - 7 pm every day Talat offers $10 red and white wine, a whisky highball, or a martini, and their cocktails meld classic Thai ingredients with Georgia produce—similar to the kitchen’s approach when it comes to the food.
How to support: Either pull up for a drink or cop some of their merch.
Straight from the heart and soul of Chef Nan Niyomkul, the food here features upscale Thai dishes, drinks, and desserts. The Pla Sahm Rod is a sea bass filet with chili sauce that is like none other, and for $36 you eat their slow-braised lamb shank with red curry, peanuts, potatoes, and jasmine rice. For all the slow sippers out there, Nan’s has a large selection of cocktails, cognac, champagne, and wines. If you and your crew are in a celebratory mood, you can also choose from the restaurant’s private cellar.
How to support: Buy some of their great food to-go.
Masterpiece on Buford Highway in Duluth serves Sichuan and Hunan dishes, with a wide variety of seafood, beef, lamb, chicken, duck, and vegetable combos. Their cold dishes are also pretty good, especially the Jelly fish with black vinegar sauce. Tsingtao pairs perfectly with the Onion Spicy Dry Pot Chicken for $16.95.
How to support: Place an order here.
Midtown’s Mononoki has tasty rice bowls, sandwiches, salads, and small plates. This place also has a full-service bar filled with sake, wine, and Japanese brews to choose from. The café inside has excellent coffee, lattes, and teas, while the brunch menu boasts their breakfast croissant, which is Japanese sausage links, eggs, cheese, and greens between the popular French pastry.
How to support: Go to the restaurant or have your next event catered.
Founded by the youthfully exuberant Skye Lin, this flower shop puts a new twist on your typical boutique. It’s an 827-square foot storefront in Buckhead Village, and it provides a truly interactive experience, and combines music and floral installations for a one-of-a-kind work of art, because no flower design is like another. Lin, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, uses flowers from local growers, which adds to the freshness of the product.
How to support: Stop in and smell the roses, or contact Skye via email.