Nine AAPI-owned businesses to support this month

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is halfway over, but Madison has a ton of options to choose from to support our locally owned AAPI shops. Listed are just a fraction of the many Asian and Desi owned shops and restaurants in Madison.


Lao Laan-Xang

2098 Atwood, Ave. (608) 819-1040

Serving traditional Laotian food, Lao Laan-Xang has been in multiple locations since 1990 in Madison. The restaurant has a few typical food choices that can be found in most Asian restaurants. What sets it apart from others in Madison is its Curry Squash — a dish that has been listed consistently as one of the 30 Plates that Define Madison from the Wisconsin State Journal. 

The prized dish contains acorn and buttercup squash, zucchini, Thai eggplant and basil cooked in Lao Laan-Xang’s house curry sauce with coconut milk making it a sweet dish with a little kick of spice to experience the food of Laos.

 The restaurant is one of five Laotian restaurants in Madison.


6007 A Monona Drive. (608) 819-6950

Swad. Photo by Omar Waheed.

On the border of Madison and Monona, Swad brings North Indian cuisine as one of many options for Indian restaurants in Madison. Swad has been around for 10 years providing both staples in Indian cuisine and options that can only be found in the northern portion of India.

Enjoy the taste staples of butter chicken, curries and samosas or try out the chicken 65, a unique chicken dish from Chennai that has 65 different spices. Swad sets itself apart with dishes like mo-mo, a North Indian dish with steamed or deep fried pastry pockets filled with your choice of meat and a blend of spices.

Unique to Swad is also the seafood options. While India is surrounded by water, very little of its population eats or has its dishes containing seafood. Swad offers seafood varieties of its existing entrees like curry, moly, masala and sag.

Sa Bai Thong

2840 University Ave. (608) 238-3100

6802 Odana Road. (608) 828-9565

Bringing Thai cuisine to Madison, Sa Bai Thong was founded in the 1990s and currently has two locations, with one on University Ave and Odana Road.

Frequently listed as one of the best in Madison, the restaurant has all of the classics you can expect from a Thai restaurant along with monthly specials at each location. Its current specials are pineapple fried rice at its University location and mango curry and mango fried rice at its Odana location.

New Seoul Korean Restaurant

721 N High Point Rd. (608) 829-3331

Frequently voted as Madison’s best Korean restaurant, New Seoul has been around for 20 years.

 Dishes like tukbokgi, bokum and kimchi bring an authentic Korean taste to Madison’s thriving Asian restaurants. One of its most popular dishes is beef bokum. The dish has marinated beef, carrots, onion, green onions and mushrooms that gives it a spicy and savory taste.


410 East Wilson Street. (608) 230-6567

Hutong is a Chinese restaurant that specializes in noodle dishes. Hot and cold dishes make for cuisine that can be enjoyed year round with options like its popular Hutong beef bone noodle soup or its sesame cold noodles.

Enjoy staples like potstickers, egg rolls, scallion pancakes to pair with your noodles and finish off your meal with dessert by trying Hutong’s mochi ice cream.

Morris Ramen

106 King Street. (608) 416-5547

Francesca Hong of Morris Ramen. Photo by Robert Chappell.

An intimate spot to dine on innovative, flavorful ramen dishes, including the signature Morris, featuring chashu pork belly, ajitama and menma. Co-owned by State Rep. Francesca Hong, the first Asian American to serve in the state legislature, Morris Ramen now offers take-out as well as casual, first-come-first-served dining.

Grocery stores

Asian Midway Foods

301 S Park St. (608) 255-5864

Photo by Omar Waheed.

Gather your own ingredients from Asian Midway Foods to cook your own Asian cuisine at home. Asian Midway Foods is a general Asian grocery store that has items necessary to cook dishes from a variety of Asian countries.

Maharaja Grocery & Liquor

1701 Thierer Rd. (608) 246-2656.

Maharaja. Photo by Omar Waheed.

Not to be confused with its next-door neighbor Maharana Indian Restaurant, Maharaja Grocery & Liquor is a place to get your groceries and take a spin at cooking your own Indo-Paki food.

Convenient spice packets from brands like Swad and ready-made options like samosas and naan from brands like Deep allows for a home cooked experience. The grocery store is also Madison’s only Indian grocer that carries Indian imported liquors.

Oriental Shop

1029 S Park St. (608) 251-7991

Oriental Shop. Photo by Omar Waheed.

A Japanese grocery store, Oriental Shop’s windows are laden with teacups and its quaint small shop on South Park Street. The grocery store has frozen foods, produce and renown Japanese snacks like pocky to experience Japanese foods in your own home.