After 12-year hiatus, Noodle Fest brings North Beach and Chinatown communities together

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- After a 12-year hiatus, a food festival returned to San Francisco, with the goal of uniting two neighborhoods.

Noodle Fest kicked off Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month on Saturday, April 30. Nearly 30 restaurants from both Chinatown and North Beach came together to showcase their specialties.

The event, put on in part by the Office of Economic Workforce Development and the Chinatown Community Development Center among others sold out in two days. Hundreds of ticket holders sampled foods and learned how to make dumplings during live demos.

One young woman, Sarah Chang said, "it's really fun because I probably wouldn't have gone to all of these different restaurants otherwise."

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The event was meant to show the world both neighborhoods were back in business after a tough few years.

"Businesses are trying to get back on their feet so we thought it would be important to show people we're open we're here and we're so excited," said the President of the North Beach Business Association Beamed Ida Zoubi.

Martin Yan, legendary chef and cookbook author could hardly contain his excitement.

"We're great neighbors, North Beach and Chinatown and all of us should be united and bring people back," said Yan.

Noodle Fest was last held in 2010. Back then, neighborhoods competed against each other for which dish would reign supreme. But this time judges like Yan and the San Francisco Chronicle's food writer Soleil Ho doled out awards to both communities in an effort to show togetherness and solidarity for brighter days ahead.

Organizers tell ABC7 News they're already planning to hold another Noodle Fest in 2023.

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live

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