Portlanders are known for being progressive, inclusive and intolerant when it comes to racism in our community. That’s why it’s more important now than ever to support our local Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community. The good news is that when you support the Portland AAPI community, your family directly benefits! From awesome small businesses and restaurants to arts and culture opportunities for your crew, we’ve rounded up Asian American-owned businesses and non-profits you can patronize and donate to. Read on to find out more.
Asian American-Owned Businesses
Frequenting Portland Asian American-owned businesses is another wonderful way to support our local AAPI community. The following are just a few of our favs!
Portland Taiko blends the tradition of Japanese taiko drumming with a sense of Asian American identity, creativity, and empowerment. Formed in 1994 by Ann Ishimaru, Zachary Semke, and Japanese American community activists, this cool group performs throughout the Pacific Northwest, offers classes and workshops, and conducts team-building workshops for businesses and community groups. Keep an eye out for their upcoming classes for your young musicians here.
Bit House Collective
Mom and dad need a little downtime and this local bar is the place to go. Take in the island vibes with "punchy" cocktails like the HALO-HALO, A Texan Walked into a Bar, and the Punch-of-the-Day. You can also sip on some exceptional suds from Pono Brewing. Don't worry, there are bites too. Try some Lumpia (fried egg rolls), or an Isla Hamburgesa: Double smash burger, crispy cheese, fermented habanero and roasted pineapple bbq glaze, atcharra (Filipino style pickles) slaw, sesame bun. Why stop there...you can always add waffles. YUM.
Your kiddos will love this adorable downtown sushi parlor. Sushi Ichiban is known for its conveyor belt delivery system: A toy train on a circular track, brimming with plates filled with a variety of rolls. Think: tuna, salmon nigiri, and California rolls. Grab what you want as it comes by. It provides one of the most entertaining Sushi experiences a family could hope for.
Owned by Prak Khou, Thevy Hul, and Ian Christopher, this donut and coffee shop will soon be a family favorite. With unique flavors of donuts like the Mochi Oreo, Lavender Raised or Cake, and the Mochi Matcha there's plenty to keep your palate entertained. But don't worry, you'll find a plethora of classic donuts like the Glazed Raised, Cinnamon Roll and Lemon Jelly filled too! Mom and dad will love washing it all down with their house roasted coffee as well!
Seven different locations in Portland.
Unable to do her job as a hair dresser, Thuy Pham created this Vietnamese resta at the beginning of the pandemic. She creates all of her dishes with love and specializes in Vegan dishes with a plant-based take on bites like crispy pork belly, chicken wings, and other meats. Your kids will love her mushroom bao buns, jackfruit banh mi sandwiches, and turmeric waffles.
Arts & Culture
A great way to support Portland's Asian American community is by visiting Asian arts and culture organizations that educate. Consider taking your kids to the following locations, which may even become some of your family's favorite spots to spend time together.
For an authentic Chinese garden experience, head to the Lan Su Chinese Garden where you'll find stone paths to wander along, ponds with koi to watch; plants, flowers and trees native to China; and even temples, statues, and footbridges navigate. When you are done exploring you can take a break for a bite and sip at the tea house.
Lan Su Chinese Garden
239 NW Everett Street
Nestled in Washington Park, the Portland Japanese Garden is a haven of serenity for local families. There are eight unique garden spaces for visitors to explore. From the lush greens in the Strolling Pond Garden to the beautiful expanse of the Sand and Stone Garden. Each garden demonstrates unique aspects of Japanese garden history and design. Along with eight gardens to explore there is a Cultural Village, and an art space where your family can catch exhibits.
611 SW Kingston Ave
Portland Chinatown Museum
The Portland Chinatown Museum (PCM) is Oregon’s first museum about Chinese American history, art, and culture. It's a perfect spot to deepen your family's understanding of Chinese American history. The Museum honors Portland Chinatown’s past, celebrates its present, and is helping to create its future. The permanent exhibition gallery features a 2,400 square foot exhibition, Beyond the Gate: A Tale of Portland’s Historic Chinatown. Two front galleries serve as a venue for the work of contemporary Asian American artists in all media, as a site for storytelling about the immigrant experience, and for exhibitions, lectures, performances, and other public programs.
127 NW Third Avenue
Japanese American Museum of Oregon
This local museum is dedicated to sharing and preserving Japanese American history and culture in Portland's Old Town neighborhood, where Japantown once thrived. The museum is located in the Merchant Hotel building, which was built 1880-1885, and located in the oldest part of Portland in the heart of what was once Portland's Japantown (Nihonmachi) until World War II.
Non-Profits to Support
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
The Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon is a statewide, grassroots organization, uniting Asians and Pacific Islanders to achieve social justice. The organization focuses on community organizing, cultural outreach, and leadership development for local AAPI communities. You can give your support by donating to their efforts.
Chinese American Citizens Alliance Portland
The C.A.C.A. Portland's mission is to develop leadership, serve the community, and promote civil rights. They organize events, offer scholarships, and invest in community service. Donations are welcome.