Some of the country’s greatest food neighborhoods include San Francisco’s Chinatown, New Orleans’ French Quarter, and San Diego’s Little Italy. Regardless of where they are, these areas are steeped in rich food history and have a history of being the local food life force.
Many of these places have official designations that help make them more pronounced and elevate them into a destination. Little Arabia, in Anaheim, California, is currently lobbying to receive that mark and recognition, hoping to get established as that next great food neighborhood everybody should visit.
Little Arabia is the center of Arab-American culture in Orange County, and home to a plethora of varying types of restaurants. From bakeries like Victory Sweets to falafel mainstays like Sahara Falafel, you’ll find a little bit of everything in this neighborhood.
These are restaurants that have been around for decades, and the neighborhood itself has been established by locals and tourists from nearby Disneyland alike. However, the city of Anaheim has yet to give Little Arabia that official designation of “neighborhood.”
This really has been an ongoing battle for years, as city council members have pledged to give Little Arabia its due as far back as 2016. However, pressure to make good on those promises has ramped up as the coronavirus pandemic has hit many restaurants in the area hard.
While business grants and reliefs have helped, many local restaurant owners feel that getting the official designation will help to promote the area, getting more people to come order their food and in turn revitalizing the economy.
As a result, they’ve turned to an online petition that asks the Anaheim City Council to officially adopt a resolution that recognizes the neighborhood.
“Now more than ever, it is vital to support our local business community,” the petition reads. “Businesses in Anaheim have felt the impacts of the covid-19 pandemic and government-ordered shutdowns. Promoting this economic district will aid in Anaheim’s economic recovery.”
Those interested in supporting the effort, and helping to make the country’s next great food neighborhood official, can sign the petition at this link.