By: Molly Schramm
CINCINNATI — Cincinnati will be celebrating Asian Food Fest this weekend at Court Street Plaza.
The annual food festival is taking place Saturday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, April 30 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. This year’s celebration marks the 12th Asian Food Fest in Cincinnati.
“You get to walk around and just see what you run into,” said Brendon Cull, president and CEO-elect of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. “And that’s a great feeling about Asian Food Fest. It’s a great feeling about all of our events is that you discover new things, discover what’s happening in the community. That’s the kind of experience we’re trying to provided for everybody.”
This year’s Asian Food Fest marks the largest since its creation, with nearly 50 vendors representing 15 different countries and 170 different menu items. This year will also showcase a bigger secret menu from some of its participating restaurants.
Some of the participating restaurants include Over-the-Rhine’s Pho Lang Thang, Lotus Street Food, Deme Kitchen, Neko Sushi, Milk Jar Cafe and Boba Cha, to name just a few.
Qorinah Wardhani, co-chair for Asian Food Fest, said the festival started because of the love of food.
“In our culture, food is how you show love,” Wardhani said. “Food is how we connect with each other.”
From that, Wardhani said the festival has evolved to “so much more” to celebrate the different cultures.
The festival will return to Court Street Plaza for its third year. The festival was previously held at OTR’s Washington Park.
“It really is an event where the entire community shows up and you really get to see the greatness that makes up the city of Cincinnati,” said Rob Weidle, senior producer of events and experiences with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.
Other than its food options, Asian Food Fest will also offer an authentic Asian entertainment lineup featuring more than 100 entertainers and performers over the two days. Attendees can expect to see taiko drumming, various forms of dance, singers and more. New this year, there are also some AAPI comedians performing.
There will also be family-friendly activities, including a chopstick challenges, sand rangoli or art as well as play-doh making of mooncakes and dumplings.
Click here to see a full list of Asian Food Fest’s vendors and entertainment lineup.