Did you know that May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month? Officially designated in 1992, May was selected as a month to commemorate the immigration of the first known Japanese immigrant to the U.S. in May 1843, as well as the completion of the transcontinental railroad in May 1869, which was made possible by tens of thousands of Chinese laborers.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month has now grown to continue elevating the stories, experiences, cultures, and traditions of the Asian communities in America. One of my favorite ways to celebrate is by supporting Asian-owned local, small businesses!
Here are just a few of my favorite AAPI owned businesses in Pittsburgh:
Banh Mi and Ti
Banh Mi and Ti is one of my favorite cafes in Pittsburgh! This cute space is co-owned by sisters, Kellie and Tuyen Trong, and specializes in boba, banh mis, and more! If you’ve never had a banh mi before, it is a Vietnamese sandwich that usually consists of a delicious baguette, stuffed to the brim with pickled daikon and carrots, cilantro, and anything from sweet barbequed pork, to pate, to tofu, to tender juicy beef. I never fail to leave Banh Mi and Ti with a big smile. I recommend trying the butterfly pea boba with brown sugar and oat milk, and the classic Banh Mi!
Otto Finn is a sustainable fashion brand that was created by Rona Chang, an AAPI creator, in late 2014. Otto Finn’s philosophy revolves around minimum waste, maximum comfort, and authenticity. I recommend checking out the amazing “Find Your Match” options on their website, where you can customize reversible jackets to your size!
Suganya is a Tamil-American mixed media abstract artist based out of Pittsburgh! Her paintings contain amazing, vibrant colors. These beautiful experiments of art draw from the Tamil culture and language. They are a form of exploration and as stated on her website, “Suganya experiments with color and movement to find connections between the grounding traditions of her heritage and the waves of change brought on by migration as she explores her evolving identity”. There is some amazing original canvas, and paper paintings available for purchase here!
Bae Bae’s Kitchen
Bae Bae’s Kitchen is one of my favorite spots in Pittsburgh! AAPI owned, it is the cutest, homiest spot in downtown that serves Korean-inspired food like Korean fried chicken, kimchi, bulgogi beef, and more! The eatery is focused on using local, organic, and sustainable suppliers and ingredients. I would recommend one of their noodle bowls with Korean Fried Chicken, and kimchi on the side!
What are some of your favorite AAPI businesses in the ‘Burgh?This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.