Restaurants Are Rallying Behind Ukraine With Donations, Messages of Support, and More

Kateryna Gaido in front of Gaido's | Credit: Gaido's

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the hospitality industry has sprung up in solidarity with Ukraine and its more than 1 million refugees (at the time of publication).

These declarations of support have surfaced in a myriad of fast-moving ways across the restaurant industry. They range from traditional fundraisers linked to specific Ukraine-themed menu items to staff members sporting Ukraine’s national colors and its national bloom, the sunflower, as emblems of awareness and alliance.

For some restaurateurs, like Nick Gaido, the proprietor of Gaido’s in Galveston, Texas, the conflict hits especially close to home: His wife, Kateryna, was born in Ukraine and worries about her immediate family members who still reside in the capital city of Kyiv. He’s also hired hundreds of Ukrainian employees over the past decade. “We’re focusing on the humanitarian side in Ukraine,” says Gaido, who saw almost $4,000 in donations stream in just 24 hours after setting up a digital fundraiser. “I’ve visited many times and have fallen in love with the country.”

The duo will also be donating proceeds from their popular seafood restaurant to Ukrainians, proof that what’s political is also deeply personal. “People think Ukraine is all the way across the world, but it’s just like here … these are people with families and careers,” Gaido adds.

If you’re looking for ways to contribute, consider dining at or ordering from one of these socially conscious breweries, restaurants, or tea rooms to show your support for a country in crisis.

Kachka (Portland)

Kachka is donating all proceeds of its Chervona wine cocktail to Red Cross Ukraine.

Hawksmoor (New York City)

In addition to an initial $5,000 donation to World Central Kitchen’s work in Ukraine, Hawksmoor will be donating $1 from every sour cherry negroni sold in March to WCK and then doubling the amount raised at the end of the month.

Market Garden Brewery (Cleveland)

Cleveland restaurant Market Garden Brewery is donating a portion of its sales from the citywide Pierogi Week to the International Rescue Committee.

Nano Brew (Cleveland)

Cleveland restaurant Nano Brew is also donating a portion of its sales from the citywide Pierogi Week to the International Rescue Committee.

The Frog and the Peach (New Brunswick, NJ)

Ten percent of sales from a five-course Eastern European tasting menu at The Frog and the Peach will be donated to World Central Kitchen.

Il Canale (Washington, D.C.)

Through March 3, Il Canale is donating 10 percent of all checks, pre tax and tip, to Ukrainian war efforts.

The Prime Rib (Washington, D.C., Baltimore)

Both locations of The Prime Rib are donating a percentage of sales this week to World Central Kitchen.

The Prime Rib Baltimore

The Prime Rib D.C.

Pushkin Russian Restaurant (San Diego)

Pushkin’s owner has encouraged his Ukrainian employees to proudly wear Ukrainian paraphernalia, as well as helped them with money for their families still in Ukraine.

House (Austin)

Former restaurant “Russian House” will now permanently be known as “House” as an act of solidarity with Ukraine.

Gaido’s (Galveston, TX)

Ukrainian-owned Gaido’s is donating a portion of each meal sold this week to help Ukrainians, as well as collecting donations on its website and soon selling shirts and pins to raise money.

José Andrés (DC, Chicago)

Humanitarian chef José Andrés’s nonprofit World Central Kitchen is on the ground feeding the thousands of refugees coming into Poland, Romania, Moldova and Hungary. 

Alongside our sister Booking Holdings brands, OpenTable is making a donation to the International Committee of the Red Cross to support their humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. To make a donation, head here.

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