Red Tricycle stands for equality and inclusion no matter gender, race, socio-economic status, religious or political beliefs, or sexual identity and we strive for that sincere support to come across in our coverage and expression of love for Chicago. In acknowledgment of the rise of violence and hate speech against Asian Americans, we’ve assembled a short list of Asian American-owned businesses to say thank you for their contributions to our beautiful city. Read on and get ideas on how to support your neighbors, friends and fellow Chicagoans during May’s Asian History Month and beyond.
For Great Sushi & Hibachi
Zero doubts, one of the most memorable dining experiences for kids is their first hibachi dinner. The food is always piping hot and delicious, the prep performance is engaging and watching your meal come together before your eyes gives you a sense of coziness and connection. The goal of Ron Huang, owner of Shinto, is to create meals that are not only delicious but are visibly representative of the care and focus on quality that goes into making them. If hibachi isn't your thing, you can also order entrees off the menu or choose from a wide range of sushi options.
Shinto is a great option for making kids feel special on a birthday, so keep them in mind when you're in party planning mode.
For Baked Goods
TOUS les JOURS
Even Richard Kim's TOUS les JOURS business description will have you hooked: a Korean-inspired French bakery! TOURS les JOURS specializes in French-Asian inspired baked goods with a focus on quality ingredients. Their menu includes more than 300 kinds of bakery goods, including bread, pastries, cakes, desserts and beverages. They bake every day to ensure the freshest products.
For Quality Hydration
Bobby Chang launched Seasons in 2012 with a mission to create refreshing sparkling drinks using whole ingredients that brought to life inspired flavor pairings. He became the first beverage vendor at Green City Market and has since amassed a dedicated following of Chicago chefs and bartenders. The distinct seasons of the midwest inspired the name and the region's farmers remain the inspiration to create plant-based drinks that combine healthy ingredient-focused hydration with a smidgen of smooth tea caffeine.
Their focus on artist collaborations makes their labeling an interesting conversation starter for your next summer BBQ. Order online!
For Your Toy Shopping Needs
Building Blocks Toy Store
Saying this old-fashioned toy store is packed to the rim isn't an exaggeration. Its three locations fill every nook with play-rich, high-quality toys and books. You'll find everything from developmental playthings for babies to science kits that grandparents can't keep their hands off of. Building Blocks is known for its deep selection of Thomas, Brio and Chuggington trains, but you'll also discover lesser-known finds. Owner Katherine Nguyen is passionate about supporting small, local companies.
For Toe-Tapping Fun
Little Miss Ann
Red Tricycle-reader favorite, Ann Torralba, is an award-winning touring Kids Musician, former Chicago Public School teacher, veteran instructor at the Old Town School of Folk Music, mom and a first-generation Filipina-American. Her music has been featured on Sirius XM Kids Place Live, WXRT Local Anasthetic and NAEYC. She has played everywhere from SXSW, Nashville’ Pilgrimage Festival, and even last year’s Lollapalooza kids stage! Her performance schedule and links to her music can be found on her website.
For Balloon Displays & Party Planning
Bean and Boosh
Add some color and an Insta-worthy display to any celebration with a balloon installation from Bean and Boosh. Their creations range from 50 to 1000+ balloons and can be designed to match any budget, $125+.
Mom's x Marz
Stop by Marz Community Brewing for Mom's comfort food, brought to you by Kelly Ijichi and Randi Howry. Mom's serves up a classic take on Japanese snacks and homestyle dishes like The Katsu Sando, handmade udon and rotating specials and pastries. Food is available for pickup, delivery and outdoor patio dining on the weekends.
For a Sugar Rush
Forgo the ordinary and take your kids on a tour of Asia via candy. At Aji Ichiban, you can take your pick from thousands of candies and sweet and salty snacks from Asia. The shrimp and squid flavored treats are especially interesting, while the wide range of sweet gummies are sure to be gobbled up in a flash. Customers are encouraged to sample before buying, making shopping for Halloween treats here especially sweet.
2117-A S. China Pl., Chinatown
You may have shopped one of AKIRA's 32 stores, but did you know they began as a trendy boutique in Wicker Park? Started in 2002 by Eric Hsueh, Erikka Wang, Sarah Hughes, and Gordon Liao, AKIRA offers a full line of women's clothing, footwear and accessories from brands you know and even some of their own private label items.
They're known for statement-making, trendy pieces, but they have a commitment to always remember their roots and represent Chicago in the fashion world
For Fusion Cuisine
The tastes of Korea and Mexico beautifully melt together at David Choi's Seoul Taco. The menu is small, but big on taste and it's highly recommended you try the kimchi fried rice.
3 Chicagoland; Online: seoultaco.com
— Maria Chambers