Russia’s recent attacks on Ukraine have devastated the Eastern European country — forcing more than 500,000 refugees to flee the ongoing war, while other civilians stay behind to defend their country. As of March 6, the United Nations’ human rights commission verified 1,123 civilian casualties, with 364 killed and hundreds more injured, but said that is likely an underestimate.
Outraged by the violence and injustice, organizations in the United States are working to show support for Ukraine. Celebrity chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit known for its food-focused disaster relief, quickly jumped into action and headed to Poland, Moldova, and Romania to feed “hot, nourishing” meals to Ukrainian refugees coming across the border, Eater DC reported.
In Houston, many restaurants and organizations are also contributing. On Sunday, hundreds gathered in front of Houston’s City Hall to urge the U.S. government to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine, while others hosted live demonstrations outside of the Russian Consulate, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Local restaurants are also finding their own ways to act by cooking up specials, donating proceeds to relief organizations, and supporting their own staffs’ volunteer work in hopes of making a difference.
Here’s a growing roundup of Houston area restaurant efforts in support of Ukraine.
This list, which features the most recent announcements at the top, will be updated over time.
Dessert Gallery: Dessert Gallery has will donate all proceeds from its new Ukrainian-themed butter cookies to World Central Kitchen. The assortment of cookies includes a heart-shaped one with the colors of Ukraine’s flag, as well as a sunflower-shaped one to honor the country’s national flower. The cookies can be purchased online or in-store for $4.75.
Snooze, an A.M. Eatery: Snooze will host its “Pancakes for Peace” campaign from March 17 through March 23, donating 100 percent of its sales from its “Pancake of the Week” — a chocolate-covered pretzel pancake — to World Central Kitchen. All diners need to do is to order a pancake at any 51 of its locations during that time frame. The breakfast and brunch spot is committing to a minimum donation of $25,000.
Three Brothers Bakery: The bakery has launched a bake sale, in hopes of selling at least 1,000 heart-shaped cookies with the colors of the Ukrainian flag to help with relief efforts. From each $4.99 cookie, $2.50 will go to the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston’s fundraiser for Ukraine. Cookies can be bought by walking into any of the bakery’s three locations. Those interested can also order and pick up the cookies locally or get them shipped by the dozen. From the shipped cost of cookies, $30 will be donated to the fundraiser.
Lucille’s: Lucille’s donated $10,000 to the National Bank of Ukraine, and will donate a percentage of its proceeds to the Eastern European country each week for the foreseeable future, according to Lucille’s spokeswoman. A Fox26 News report noted that Lucille’s executive chef Chris Williams spent around four years in Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv, training and serving as a cultural culinary ambassador for the U.S.
Phat Eatery: Through the end of March, Katy’s Malaysian street food destination will donate all proceeds from every purchase of its $5 roti — a flaky Indian flatbread — to World Central Kitchen. The roti comes with a delicious curry sauce for dipping. The chef, Alex Au-Yeung, was recently nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Texas category. (23119 Colonial Pkwy Suite B-2, Katy, TX)
Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House: This James Beard Award-nominated restaurant has created the Kyiv cocktail to support World Central Kitchen’s efforts in Ukraine. Named after the capital of Ukraine, this $10 cocktail is made with Blue Chair rum, peach schnapps, Blue Curacao, and pineapple juice. All proceeds will go to Andres’ organization. (113 6th St, San Leon, TX)
Berryhill Baja Grill: Known for its tacos, this Mexican Cantina will donate a portion of the proceeds from every fish taco order to the National Bank of Ukraine to help raise funds for the Ukraine Army. The restaurant, which notes that it stands with Ukraine, has also encouraged its customers to donate directly. (1717 Post Oak Boulevard)
Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen: This legendary sandwich shop will indefinitely donate $4 from every $23.95 Ukrainian meatballs entree and $2 from every $13.95 appetizer portion to Razom for Ukraine. The international nonprofit organization is collecting donations to help provide medical supplies, humanitarian aid, volunteers, satellite phones, and other emergency response support to Ukraine. A deli staple, the meatballs are served with brown gravy or a sweet and sour sauce, and two sides of your choice with the entree. (1743 Post Oak)
Underbelly Hospitality Group restaurants: In addition to its director of operation volunteering in Poland, Underbelly Hospitality’s Georgia James, Georgia James Tavern, and Wild Oats will donate 100 percent of proceeds generated from beverage orders to José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen nonprofit. Houston diners interested in supporting can visit Georgia James Tavern on Thursday, March 10; Georgia James on Friday, March 11; and Wild Oats on Sunday, March 13 for drinks. And starting Tuesday, March 8, Georgia James Tavern’s tavern will also donate 20 percent of proceeds from every wine bottle sold from a list curated by its wine director, Matthew Pridgen. (Georgia James, 1658 Westheimer Roadd; Georgia James Tavern, 737 Preston Street; Wild Oats, 2520 Airline Dr Suite C-315)
Thai Cottage: All 13 locations of this Thai restaurant will donate 10 percent of its proceeds to World Central Kitchen from March 18 to March 19, according to an email to Eater Houston.
Rustika Café and Bakery: Hosted from 2 p.m. to close Monday through Saturday, this Mexican-European bakery’s newly launched Dessert Happy Hour will donate a portion of its proceeds to the International Rescue Committee nonprofit. The happy hour, which runs through March 31, will feature a variety of special-priced coffees and desserts, including espresso drinks, cookies, and pies, and will donate funds to help deliver resources and life-saving support to Ukrainians fleeing their homes. Rustika has four locations, in Sugar Land, Friendswood, League City, and Houston (3237 Southwest Freeway, Houston).