A Taste of History: Oldest Asian-Owned Restaurants In Hawaii And Montana Honored For Culinary Achievements

Being recognized as part of the America’s Classics Award is a significant achievement, with over a hundred restaurants already having been bestowed with this honor since its inception in 1998.

The Manago Hotel, located in Captain Cook Town on the slopes of Mauna Loa, has been serving its patrons since 1917 and is the oldest continually operating restaurant in Hawaii. What started as a simple udon, jam, and coffee shop has since expanded its menu to include local delicacies like ‘ōpelu, liver, and onions. According to NextShark, the restaurant is now being run by sisters Britney and Taryn, the fourth generation of the Manago family. 

Inside Manago Hotel Restaurant via Manago
Three generations of owners via Britney Manago / NextShark

Meanwhile, Pekin Noodle Parlor in Butte, Montana, has been a fixture in the community since 1911 and is the country’s oldest continually operating Chinese family restaurant. The restaurant’s menu boasts 16 different varieties of chop suey, egg rolls, chow mein, and pineapple fried rice, representing the experience of Chinese American immigrants and their will to survive. Ding K. Tam bought the restaurant from his grandpa in the 1950s, and now his son, Jerry Tam, runs the establishment as per NextShark. 

Inside Pekin Noodle Parlor via John Warner

The winners will be feted at the James Beard Awards’ Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on June 5 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, regarded by many as the Oscars of the American culinary scene.

Featured Image Source: Louise Johns / The New York Times