By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Feb 05, 2024 at 6:40 PM Photography: Lori Fredrich

It's almost time to celebrate the Lunar New Year, which kicks off Feb. 10.

The holiday, which is observed by East and Southeast Asian countries including China, Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore is also known as Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, Tet Nguyen Dan or Seol-Nal.

It's a holiday that has traditionally marked the end of the coldest part of winter, offering up an opportunity to look forward to warmer months. It's also a time seat aside for making amends, seeking reconciliation and re-establishing old ties. Unsurprisingly, it's also a festival celebrated through family gatherings and the consumption of foods, which are believed to bring good luck in the upcoming year.

According to Chinese tradition, 2024 is the Year of the Dragon and it is predicted to be a year of luck, wealth and power. Overall, the year is expected to play out very differently from 2023 (Year of the Rabbit), which brought feelings of hesitation, introspection and general unease. Instead, 2024 is predicted to bring favorable conditions for change, growth and progress, making it a great year for new beginnings and long-term success for all 12 Chinese zodiac signs. 

Whether or not you believe those predictions, the Lunar New Year is a great time to learn more about – and exercise an appreciation for – Asian culture. And here are four (delicious and fun) ways you can do just that.

1.  Plan a special night out

You can celebrate by dining out at any of the area’s Asian restaurants. But here are several eateries offering entertainment or special menus that fit the occasion!

360 E. Erie St., (414) 488-8036
[Read more]
On Feb. 9-10, Dandan will be offering a special menu of themed items meant to bring forth the best new year possible.  View the full menu and learn more about their monthly Chinese dinner series.

Golden Gate Restaurant
1427 E. Racine Ave., Waukesha
Head to Golden Gate Restaurant on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. and experience a traditional Lion Dance to ring in the Year of the Dragon! Invite prosperity in 2024 with a celebration that crackles with firecrackers, drum beats and lucky red envelopes filled with gifts (including cash). Be sure to stay for dinner!  Service will be available for guests within 30 minutes following the celebration.

Momo Mee
110 E. Greenfield Ave., (414) 316-9003

Momo Mee will be offering a variety of special dishes to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Options include Crispy Momo (filled with chicken, glass noodles, vegetables), $15; Jiozi dumpling soup ($22); Bo zai fan (spiced pork sausage, chicken, bok choy, fried egg and rice cooked in a clay pot), $24; Clay pot Korean spicy ramen (choice of chicken, pork sausage or beef $22-$24); Bone-in five spice duck, $38; and Pineapple gulaorou (Hong Kong style sweet and sour pork), $24.  The menu is available now through Feb. 25.

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
1721 W. Canal St., (414) 847-7335 

Enjoy a special Lunar New Year menu at Ruyi from Feb. 10-24. Specials include Enoki Beef and Red Dragon Rolls, live lobster, honey walnut shrimp and more. Take a look!

2. Indulge in treats

Prosperity cakes
Fa gao (prosperity cakes)

Lucky Bakery & BBQ
11078 W. National Ave.,  West Allis, (414) 329-2688

Lucky Bakery will be offering a variety of special New Year’s cakes including nian gao (sticky rice cakes) and fa gao (prosperity cakes). Pre-ordering is recommended. Of course, you can try any one of their delicious treats, from sweetheart (wife) cakes to sesame balls, lotus paste filled pastries and custard egg tarts. While you’re there, be sure to pick up some of their delicious roast duck, pork belly or honey glazed pork ribs.

3. Eat dumplings for prosperity


According to an ancient legend, the more dumplings you eat during the New Year celebration, the more money you’ll make in the coming year. Here are some great spots to get your fill: 

Dumpling Bao House
Inside Tanpopo Ramen & Sushi
5191 S. 108th St., (414) 525-2266 

Choose from chicken, beef, shrimp and pork or vegetable dumplings

Fusion Cafe
1427 S 108th St, West Allis, (414) 257-1199

Try any of their handmade dumplings (including those stuffed with pickled cabbage and pork or egg and chives)

207 E. Buffalo St., (414) 271-7788

Try their steamed dumplings or xiao long bao (soup dumplings)

Momo Mee
110 E. Greenfield Ave., (414) 316-9003

Try their xiao long bao (soup dumplings) or steamed shao mai

Sze Chuan
11102 W National Ave., (414) 885-0856

This is the spot for spicy Szechuan pork dumplings

4. Spring for spring rolls

Spring rollsX

Much like dumplings, spring rolls are said to bring wealth and good fortune. So, eat up! And be sure to order spring rolls; they’re lighter and flakier than egg rolls thanks to their thin rice flour wrappers.

There are many spots to indulge in these delicious fried rolls, but here are a few suggestions.

Emperor of China
1010 E. Brady St., (414) 271-8889

Fortune Chinese Restaurant
2945 S. 108th St., (414) 328-9890

Golden Gate Restaurant
1427 E. Racine Ave., Waukesha

Lucky Liu's
1664 N. Van Buren St., (414) 223-1699

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.