We know Seattle parents are always looking for ways to shop local and spend with intention. So we figured Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month was the right time to highlight some of Seattle’s best Asian American-owned businesses we think should be on your radar. Whether you’re looking for sustainable gift ideas; a new place to grab dinner or a hot cup of coffee; or even kids Bollywood dance lessons, you’ll find them on our list of Asian American-owned businesses. Read on for some great local shops that have Seattle families in mind.
One of two hot new restaurants in Ballard, Chef Rhabbie Coquia is cooking up inventive and traditional Filipino dishes for Seattleites to enjoy at Bunsoy. Everything about the restaurant is about creating a warm and cozy vibe from the wall art to the food to the creative cocktails that will make you feel like you're on vacation. You'll need a reservation to get in for dinner, so make your plans to visit this new spot ahead of time.
Ballard's other new Asian American-owned restaurant is WeRo. Chef and owner Wes Yoo is passionate about filling a void in local Korean cuisine, and comfort is his focus (it's the first meaning of WeRo in Korean). Here folks will find modernized food that explores the authentic flavors Yoo grew up enjoying in Seoul. Another dinner-only spot, reserve your patio spot (there's also 21+ seating) before heading over.
This Beacon Hill restaurant got its start as a series of pop-ups hosted by Chef Melissa Miranda back in 2016. Now, the restaurant (named after Chef Melissa’s father) is known for its cozy environs and creative Filipinx cuisine. Beyond their killer brunch, our other favorite dimension to Musang is the Little Wildcats program for kids. It's a chance for them to cook traditional Filipinx food alongside skilled cooks.
Relay Restaurant Group
We’re all about parents here at Tinybeans, and Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Chef/Owners of Joule, Revel, Trove and Revelry are two of our favorites. At each of their four restaurants (three local, one in Portland) families will find inventive food and a casual atmosphere that bumps them into the family-friendly category. As Yang says, her restaurants are more than places to feed people, they “help them create everlasting memories of good times.” Plus, as of now, the two are James Beard award finalists for 2022.
Cafes, Coffee Shops & More
Chuck’s Hop Shop
If babies and beer is how you roll, it doesn’t get easier than Chuck’s Hop Shop, an Asian American-owned business with three Seattle locations. Not only is it the “land of 1,000 beers” but each location offers outdoor seating and Full Tilt ice cream to satisfy your kiddo’s sweet tooth. Best part? It’s pooch-friendly too. We couldn’t think of a better spot to spend a sunny afternoon with your crew.
Families have long been flocking to Firehouse Coffee in Ballard. This neighborhood hot spot is a refuge for families; the separate play area allows parents and kids to play without constant wrangling. And their treats from local faves, Alki Bakery and Flying Apron, don’t hurt either. Even if you don’t have time to stop and play, you can drive-thru for coffee on busier days.
A café with a heart in Old Bellevue, Bellden was a Reader’s Digest 2020 Finalist for Nicest Place in America. If you’re wondering how a coffee shop that serves tasty breakfast and lunch items, coffees, pastries and cocoa earned this distinction, it’s because they partner with local non-profits, creating signature drinks, and then donate a portion of the profits from the sales. This Eastside addition has been functioning as a community hub that works to support neighbors in need.
Sweet and savory breakfast pastries and flavorful cookies are the name of the game at this local bakery. Now with four locations, Fresh Flours hit the Seattle scene in 2006 and hasn’t slowed down. It’s an easy stop for families on their way to rock the weekend. Grabbing coffee a fresh breakfast before they head out to play.
Sandhu Cake Co.
When it comes to kids these days, we’ve got four you need to meet. The sibling bakers, decorators and taste-testers of Sandhu Cake Co. These kids have been baking up treats in their kitchen for a while now. If you need a specialty cake for an upcoming birthday bash or baby shower, they’ve got a gallery of impressive creations to choose from. Just remember to get your order in early; these amazing bakers book up fast.
Iconic grocery store. Fantastic food hall. Purveyor of amazing Asian gifts. However you categorize it, Uwajimaya is Seattle’s original go-to spot for all things Asian. In addition to hard-to-find specialty food items, you can find all your grocery needs in the aisles here. Plus awesome local goodies like mochi donuts, Hood Famous Bakery ube cheesecake and tasty treats from Cakes of Paradise. Stop by the food hall for an easy to-go meal and if your kids (or you!) need a Hello Kitty fix, you know you can find it here. There are three locations in Seattle, Renton and Bellevue.
Other than Archie McPhee we can't think of a better place to let your kiddo loose with five dollars than Daiso. Trust us, they'll be in little trinket heaven, and you'll go home feeling like a rockstar parent. Besides cute finds with total kid-appeal, parents will find all kinds of household goods to simplify and organize your life. With multiple Seattle locations and a store at Crossroads in Bellevue, it's the place local families go for all things Japanese.
Gifts & More
There’s lots to love about this mom- and Asian-owned jewelry brand that’s committed to sustainability as much as it is ethical practices. It was started in 1981 by owner Suzanne Zetillart’s parents and now has placements in over 1,000 retail partners across the country. The company’s socially minded programs (they launched a BIPOC grant program in 2020) are varied, and they have plans to be carbon neutral by 2025. But our favorite part has got to be the kids jewelry that’s simply cute.
Tokki is another phenomenal mom- and Asian-owned business that’s focused on sustainability. Started by Seattle mom, Jane Park, Tokki products are all about joy through gifting with beautiful, re-usable designs (hint: their thoughtfully made gift tags and bags can be used time and time again). They're bringing gifting to the digital age with their soon-to-launch Tokki Eco Gifting Bag (it'll be out in June). Simply scan a QR code to upload your photo and videos directly to your gift bag to create a seriously memorable present. Plus, you can feel good about saving those wrapping paper discards and one-use tags from the landfill.
Ayako & Family
Next time you’re at the Ballard or U District Farmers Markets, look for Ayako & Family jam and shokupan. While their specialty plum jams (made from fruit grown on Mari Farm-Taki in Yakamia) taste good on just about anything you spread them on, they pair especially well with the thick-sliced shokupan also sold at the market. Curb your craving year-round when you stop by.
Rangeela Dance Company
Rangeela Dance Company brings Bollywood to Seattle with fun fusion classes parents and kids will love. Founded by Priyanka Vora, each class blends India’s Bollywood dance moves with cardio, funk and urban themes that energize your typical workout. Admittedly, we’re crushing on the kids Bollywood dance classes for tots as young as three.
Local CSAs to Support
Friendly Hmong Farms
This Eastside CSA is the product of a grassroots effort to support Hmong farmers who were hit especially hard during the pandemic in 2020. When your family subscribes for a flower share, they are supporting over 20 Hmong families whose Eastside farms span from Snohomish down to Kent. Subscribe for the season or a la carte, selecting a pick-up location and date for a one-time purchase. The collective also has a fabulous farm intern program for teens (ages 15-17) who identify as BlPOC, LGBTQA, and/or are neurodivergent.
Kamayan Farm is a veggie, flower and education farm located on Snoqualmie people’s land in Carnation. Farmer Ari de Leña started working the land in 2016, growing veggies and medicinal herbs for the CSA. Offering spring, summer and fall CSA boxes, families can support this farm by eating local. Although the CSA is sold out for the 2022 season, you can cross your fingers and join the waitlist. Not to worry, you can still support Kamayan Farm when you buy flowers individually or through a subscription.
Culture & History Museums
Seattle Asian Art Museum
The Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park is a great spot to spy Asian art and learn a little something too. When you visit, explore fascinating exhibits including Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time and Be/Longing: Contemporary Asian Art, where you can marvel at Do Ho Suh's jaw-dropping Some/One. We're big fans of the Museum's Family Fun Workshops that allow kids and caregivers to explore cultures and artistic traditions together. Although you no longer need tickets in advance for these arty opportunities, you save money (and guarantee your spot) when you get them ahead of time. Currently, the Museum is open Fridays through Sundays, and kids 14 and under are always free.
Wing Luke Museum
Explore the history of the Asian Pacific American experience when you bring the kids to the Wing Luke Museum. The Museum is open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wandering the museum gives families the chance to explore exhibits where kids can learn about important Asian Americans (like Wing Luke himself) and reflect on the immigrant and refugee experience in Washington. The "Letter Cloud" installation is particularly powerful, and you'll find plenty of Bruce Lee love here as well. Also of note? The history and food walking tours that are open to all ages. The Rice Stuff runs through May as do the Redlining Heritage Trail tours.
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