A new Asian food festival is coming to the GTA

Asialicious to feature more than 100 participating restaurants

In the wake of coronavirus-fuelled discrimination, restaurants from all over the GTA are banding together to combat slow business with Asialicious, a new city-wide food festival.

A riff on Toronto’s Winterlicious, Asialicious is set to feature more than 100 Asian restaurants in Markham and across the GTA.

Asialicious was launched by Dr. Ken Ng of the Federation of Chinese Canadians in Markham (FCCM) and Catherine Hou of the Chinese Cuisine & Hospitality Association of Canada at a press conference in Markham last week.

Born out of Markham’s desire to bring business back to Chinese-run shops and restaurants, this festival was initiated to debunk the coronavirus rumours and misconceptions that have been circulating since the virus was declared a global health emergency by the WHO.



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“The outbreak of the coronavirus has hit our industry very badly. We can feel the hurt,” said Hou.

The mayor of Markham, Frank Scarpitti, is adamant that Markham’s Asian restaurants and small businesses need the support of their community and are safe places to dine.

“There have been a number of local restaurants and businesses that have seen a decline. This is a way of supporting them,” said Scarpitti. The Markham mayor went on to congratulate the restaurant industry, “for coming together to help deliver the message that it’s low risk, catching the virus.”

“It also gives people an opportunity to really go out and enjoy truly some of the best Chinese restaurants in all of North America,” he added.



Asialicious, which starts Feb. 14 and runs for two weeks, will showcase Asian food from across the continent. Each restaurant involved is set to implement its own promotions and deals. The festival will also include some contests and giveaways from certain restaurants, so keep your eyes on the Asialicious Instagram for details.

Beloved spots like Magic Noodle, Yu Seafood, Shinta Japanese BBQ among others are getting involved to show their support of the Chinese-Canadian community and to put people at ease in the wake of the social media attacks and xenophobic behaviour.

Since the festival was announced last week, restaurants from across the city have been joining the ranks every day.

This festival is not only to draw customers back into these restaurants but also to celebrate the rich and diverse Asian-Canadian culture in Markham and the GTA.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO