The Lunar New Year begins on Sunday, January 22, kicking off just over two weeks of celebrations. It also ushers in the Year of the Rabbit, the fourth animal in the Chinese zodiac associated with longevity, peace, and prosperity, with 2023 predicted to be a year of hope, as well as the Year of the Cat on the Vietnamese zodiac calendar and promises ahead of good luck and easy progress.
Lunar New Year celebrations are finally returning again to restaurants and community centers across Atlanta after most festivities were canceled or significantly scaled back due to the pandemic over the last two years. Food is always a big part of these celebrations, with dumplings, spring rolls, longevity noodles, steamed fish, and sweets like nian gao or new year cake playing vital roles at the table.
From food specials and chef pop-ups at restaurants to catching performances of traditional lion and dragon dances and reserving festive family feasts for home, here’s where to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Atlanta.
Know of a Lunar New Year food special, pop-up, or food event Eater missed? Send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check back for updates through January 19.
One of Atlanta’s biggest and most beloved Chinese New Year celebrations typically takes place at Atlanta Chinatown Mall in Chamblee. While it’s unclear whether festivities will finally return in 2023, stalls at the food court offer everything from dumplings and noodles to streamed fish dishes and succulent roast ducks. Pop by Family Baking to pick up some sweet treats for the home festivities. Eater reached out to representatives for Atlanta Chinatown to inquire about the status of the celebration this year.
Asian Square (Doraville) and Orient Center (Chamblee)
While a date has yet to be set, the Chien Hong School of Kung Fu typically performs the traditional dragon dance and offers kung fu demonstrations at both Asian Square and Orient Center on Buford Highway. Be sure to check out the restaurants at both complexes, including spots like La Mei Zi, Mings BBQ, Mamak, and treats from Sweet Hut Bakery at Asian Square and Vietnamese restaurant Phở Bắc and Mist Snack Bar for dessert at Orient Center.
The Vietnamese comfort food pop-up is offering celebratory dishes for Lunar New Year for pick up on January 21 at the Bakery Atlanta and Rebel Tea House. Click here for more information.
Several restaurants and complexes up and down Buford Highway as well as cities and cultural centers throughout metro Atlanta are hosting Lunar New Year events, starting January 21. Check We Love Buford Highway Instagram for more details.
The Inman Quarter Korean restaurant and bar plans to celebrate the Lunar New Year on Friday, January 20, with its annual celebratory blowout that evening.
The city of Decatur is once again celebrating the Lunar New Year at Legacy Park on Saturday, January 28, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Expect a marketplace with craft booths, performances, a lion dance performance, and plenty of food from vendors like Taiwanese-American pop-up Mighty Hans and Filipino pop-up Adobo ATL.
The Grant Park, Virginia-Highland, and Emory locations of Doc Chey’s will once again host an annual Lunar New Year celebration on Tuesday, January 24, during lunch and dinner. The day features special fortune cookies with prizes inside each, including a chance to win a pair of Atlanta United tickets.
This year, the Reynoldstown Asian seafood restaurant is hosting a Lunar New Year party on Friday, January 20, starting at 8 p.m.
The Asian street food restaurant and brewery in Chamblee is hosting a dragon dance at 5:30 p.m. on January 21 to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Look for firecrackers and red pocket envelopes and a special food menu that day.
The Cabbagetown restaurant is planning a special all-day brunch to kick off the Lunar New Year celebrations, Sunday, January 22. The gong hei fat choy celebratory menu includes dumplings, steamed branzino, thit heo kho trung (caramelized pork and eggs), longevity noodles, and more. Reservations required.
The Taiwanese pop-up bakery is selling special rabbit candy Rice Krispie treats in honor of the Lunar New Year. Order online.
The dumpling-heavy menu at Northern China Eatery is where to find everything from baskets full of warm and savory soup dumplings to pork and fennel-filled fried dumplings. During the first days of the Chinese New Year celebrations, the Buford Highway restaurant typically offers a special menu that includes longevity noodles and spicy griddled fish. Eater reached out to inquire about Chinese New Year plans for 2023. Northern China Eatery also sells bags of frozen dumplings to continue the New Year celebrations at home.
The Laotian pop-up from Molli Voraotsady is now in residency on Sunday and Monday evenings at OK Yaki in East Atlanta. Voraotsady is planning a Lunar New Year menu for Sunday, January 22, and Monday, January 23, to include ginger steamed fish, beef chow fun, turnip cakes, dumplings, egg rolls, and her mother’s egg custard for dessert. Expect cocktails from bartender and owner of forthcoming wine bar Long Snake Joshua Fryer. First come, first served. 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Candy Hom, aka @soupbelly on Instagram, is hosting a Chinese New Year pop-up Sunday, January 22, at the SmoQ’n Hot Grill stall inside Collective at Coda this year in Midtown. The seven-course feast for two people consists of dishes like Cantonese steamed fish with ginger and scallions, walnut shrimp, truffle oil har gow, and Cantonese sticky rice with Hom’s mother’s cured pork belly. Diners can also purchase a special gift bag with engraved chopsticks, frozen dumplings, a red envelope, and matcha and black sesame shortbread cookies. Tickets are $80. Tickets required.
Lunar New Year events and festivities are taking place at the park January 20 - January 22 and January 27 - January 29, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. each day, to include lion and dragon dance performances, a parade, storytelling, puppetry, a light show, and traditional celebratory foods. Tickets are $19.95 per person.
The Poncey-Highland restaurant, owned by siblings Anita and Howard Hsu, is offering a Lunar New Year dim sum feast for takeout this year to include its popular WuTang wings, pimento cheese wontons, shrimp dumplings, siu mai, smokey egg drop soup, and sha jiang pork poodles. There’s also fortune cookies and Chinese egg tarts for dessert, along with a red envelope containing a gift from the Hsu family. Order by Sunday, January 22, for pick up Monday, January 23.
The Summerhill Thai restaurant is back again this year hosting an annual Lunar New Year dinner, Sunday, January 22. This year, Talat Market is teaming up with chef Li Zheng to create a celebratory a la carte menu that includes coral fried black bass, pan-fried, half-moon rice dumplings, braised pork belly, and silken tofu for dessert, among the many special dishes planned for the evening. First come, first served.