The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on restaurants and the hospitality industry. Beginning on Wednesday, August 26—Women's Equality Day, the 100th anniversary of the adoption of Nineteenth Amendment—you can support an important segment of the industry: women-owned restaurants. Women's Restaurant Week, which runs through Monday, August 31, features specials at women-owned restaurants across Chicagoland, and evolved out of the James Beard Foundation's Let's Talk Forum, which is spearheaded by Rohini Dey of Chicago's Vermillion and is meant to help restaurants workers support each other and discuss ways to survive the pandemic.
In addition to Vermillion, which is offering a four-course meal on its patio, Women's Restaurant Week includes some twenty restaurants, bars, bakeries, and more. Beverly Kim is promoting her Bing Bread cookbook, which features a recipe for her restaurant Parachute's adored potato-and-pork-stuffed bread, Diana Dávila is selling Mi Tocaya Antojería merchandise, and Northbrook's Prairie Grass Cafe has curbside dinner specials from Sarah Stegner. Julia Momose, who was integral in pushing for the legalization of to-go-cocktails in Illinois during the pandemic, will honor a boundary-pushing woman in the saké world at Kumiko with a package including saké, Japanese fried chicken, and pickles. Other participating establishments include Pretty Cool Ice Cream, Demera Ethiopian Restaurant, Brindille, Floriole, HaiSous, and Saigon Sisters.
Women's Restaurant Week is supported by Choose Chicago, the Illinois Restaurant Association, and the James Beard Foundation.