When disaster breaks out anywhere, it’s hard to know exactly how to help. Amid the rush to provide humanitarian aid to Ukrainians, Boston-area restaurants — many of them struggling themselves during the pandemic — are pitching in.
By creating special dishes and drinks, or by offering complimentary beverages to those who donate, restaurants are using their platforms to spread awareness and raise money for a variety of charities helping Ukrainians. We’re highlighting a few of those efforts here. Let us know in the comments if you know of others.
A&B Kitchen & Bar
A&B Kitchen & Bar has been offering three items — a cocktail, a milkshake, and a dessert, all $9 — to raise money for World Central Kitchen, an organization founded by chef José Andrés that dedicates itself to feeding those affected by disasters. All proceeds will help WCK provide food for those fleeing the war in Ukraine, as well as those who are staying behind. The fund-raiser, which started March 8, will last until March 22. 115 Beverly St., Boston. 857-449-2251, anbkitchen.com
Blacker’s is one of a number of bakeries worldwide that has joined the “Hamantashen for Ukraine,” movement to raise money for the Polish Humanitarian Action, an organization helping Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border. Funds raised from the sale of hamantashen (a triangular filled-pocket pastry, associated with the Jewish holiday of Purim) will go toward providing basic necessities for those fleeing violence, particularly for vulnerable groups, including children, the elderly, and women. 543 Commonwealth Ave., Newton. 617-332-2008, blackersbakeshop.com
Mamaleh’s is also participating in the “Hamantashen for Ukraine” fund-raiser, selling hamantashen from its locations in Cambridge, Brookline, and downtown Boston. The pastries, they explain in an Instagram post, are a “symbolic cookie for the holiday of Purim — a time of reflection about destructive megalomaniacs and triumph of good over evil.” The fund-raiser will last until March 20. 15 Hampshire St., Cambridge, 1659 Beacon St., Brookline, and 100 High St., Boston. 617-958-3354, mamalehs.com
Newton’s Moldova Restaurant has incorporated a fund-raiser for Ukrainian refugees directly into their online ordering system. Donations will go to a nonprofit organization helping displaced Ukrainians in Moldova, a country on Ukraine’s southwest border. Customers can add an optional donation between $1 and $100 alongside entrées like sarmale, mămăligă, and borscht.
“Moldovans from everywhere have been feeling the pain of our neighboring Ukrainian friends and brothers,” the restaurant said in an Instagram post. “We, at Moldova Restaurant, support freedom and democracy.”
The restaurant has also put together a list of organizations helping Ukrainian citizens, including Friends of Moldova and Sunflower of Peace. 344 Watertown St., Newton. 617-916-5245, tastemoldova.com
Tokava’s fund-raiser for Ukraine is as minimalist and clear-cut as their interior design: Send them a donation on Venmo (@tokava_coffee) using the caption “for Ukraine” and receive a cup of drip coffee on the house. Donations will be used to send medical supplies, including tourniquets, IV drips, transfusion kits, and emergency bandages, to Warsaw, where they will be transported to the Ukraine border. 7 Pond St., Jamaica Plain. 617-524-7664, tokava.coffee
Order a special vegan Chick’n Kyiv to support the International Rescue Committee, an organization dedicated to providing basic necessities for displaced people within Ukraine, as well as those who have fled to neighboring countries. The funds raised will help the IRC provide critical information, along with sleeping bags, medical supplies, and other materials, to Ukrainian refugees. The fund-raiser will be held on March 12. 450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 617-497-1513, veggiegalaxy.com
The fund-raising efforts at Vialé, an Italian restaurant in Cambridge, are a little more personal. A new cocktail, dubbed “Free Ukraine,” will raise $4 apiece to help the friends and family members of one of Vialé's employees. The funds will be used to provide survival equipment and combat gear for Ukrainian soldiers, including bulletproof vests, sleeping bags, boots, and flashlights. Donate directly at donorbox.org/territory-defense-of-ukraine. 502 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 617-576-1900, vialecambridge.com
Maya Homan can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @MayaHoman.