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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

Shop Local 2020: A Little Village And Pilsen Holiday Gift Guide

From artisanal imported goods from Mexico to a skateboard shop to minimalist jewelry, shops throughout Pilsen and Little Village offer possibilities for holiday shoppers.

From artisanal imported goods from Mexico to a skateboard shop to minimalist jewelry, shops throughout commercial corridors in Pilsen and Little Village offer an assortment of possibilities for holiday shoppers.
Chicago Midwest Made; Pilsen Community Books
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PILSEN — Throughout the city, small businesses have felt the economic turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic.

In Pilsen, family-owned restaurants like Sabor y Sazon and coffee shop Step Down Cafe closed earlier this year.

Now, as a second wave of coronavirus cases surge across the city, businesses are once again having to navigate “fear” and “uncertainty” — but now it’s coming during the holiday season, said Julio Velazquez, owner of Escaramuza USA in Pilsen.

Velazquez, who sells traditional Mexican crafts and other items, has seen fewer people coming into his shop over the past three weeks. He said he is just getting by.

Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) said small businesses, particularly restaurants, are “worried about survival” during winter. This year, it’s important for those doing their holiday shopping to shop local, he said.

As you start your holiday shopping, we rounded up some unique gift ideas from Little Village and Pilsen.

If you want your local shop to be featured, please fill out the Google form at the bottom of this page. We’ll gladly add it to our list.

Little Village

Credit: Artesanias Elena/ Facebook
Artesanias Elena in Little Village imports clothing, decor, and more from Mexico.

Artesanias Elena, 4333 W. 26th St., Website

Tucked on the western end of 26th Street, Artesanias Elena offers an assortment of accessories, decorations and clothing hailing from Aguascalientes, Chiapas, Guerrero, Guanajuato, Tonala and Jalisco.

From crosses with the Virgen de Guadalupe to handbags to bracelets, the shop offers a variety of items for all ages.

You can reach the shop at (312) 840-8454 or

Credit: Prosper Skate shop/ Facebook
Pick up skateboards, shoes and more apparel at Prosper Skate shop in Little Village

Prosper Skate Shop, 2620 S. Central Park Ave., Website

Located in the heart of Little Village, Prosper Skate Shop offers decks, trucks and bearings for the skateboarder in your life. The shop also carries T-shirts, hoodies and footwear.

In-store shopping is available noon-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Orders can be placed online. (773) 277-0950.

Moreno’s Liquor, 3724 W. 26th St., Website

With hundreds of varieties of tequila and mezcal in stock, Moreno’s Liquor is sure to satiate the thirst for someone on your holiday list.

Customers can support the family-owned by shopping in-store or browsing the inventory online.

In-store shopping is available 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays.

Curbside pickup is available, and delivery is available noon-8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday within a 5-mile radius of the shop. 773-277-7737 or 773-277-6787.

Credit: Yollocalli
Sales of merchandise on Yollocalli’s online store support youth art programs through the National Museum of Mexican Art.

Yollocalli Arts Reach, 2801 S. Ridgeway Ave., Website

Headquartered in Little Village, Yollocali Arts Reach, 2801 S. Ridgeway Ave., is an award-winning youth initiative run by the National Museum of Mexican Art.

Yollocalli’s online merch store, which offers sketchbooks, zines, coloring books, button packs and greeting cards, support youth programs.

Orders can be placed online for delivery.


Credit: Mauricio Peña/ Block Club Chicago
Sweaters imported from Mexico $49.99 at Zarai Imports.

Zarai Imports, 1724 W. 18th St., Facebook page 

Zarai Imports has a variety of traditional and regional artisanal apparel imported from Mexico.

Customers can find shawls, sweatshirts ($49.99), guayaberas ($35.99) and more. The shop, 1724 W. 18th St., also sells accessories, handcrafted necklaces, earrings, decorations and face masks.

Store hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. In-store shopping is limited to 25 percent capacity.

Shoppers can schedule an appointment by calling 773-297-7077

Credit: Chicago Midwest Made
Chicago Midwest Made Pilsen t-shirt $30.

Chicago Midwest Made, 1517 W. 18th St., Website

Chicago Midwest Made, 1517 W. 18th St., has custom T-shirts, hoodies, jerseys and hats for children and adults.

The shop is offering 40 percent off on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

In-store shopping is available 2-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and noon-8 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Orders can be placed online for delivery or for pickup. (312) 722-6808.

Credit: Mauricio Peña/ Block Club Chicago

Pilsen Community Books, 1102 W. 18th St., Website

Along with offering the usual bookstore fare, the new owners of Pilsen Community Books have tailored their selection to the neighborhood.

For those who want to learn more about history from the neighborhood, Pilsen Community Books has “Chicanas of 18th Street” in stock ($29).

Store hours are noon-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. You can order online. (773) 750-7313.

Credit: Mauricio Peña/ Block Club Chicago
Ceramic frog plant vases ($45) and wall decor are among the many handcrafted imported goods from Mexico at Escaramuza USA.

Escaramuza USA, 1644 W. 18th St., Website

Inside the densely packed shelves of Escaramuza USA, you’ll find a wide array of traditional Mexican crafted items, accessories and decor.

From brightly colored vases to handpainted crosses and holiday decorations, Escaramuza carries an assortment of items for loved ones.

Some items are available to order online for delivery or pickup. (312) 563-9779.

Credit: 606 Vinyl/ Facebook
606 Vinyl offers an eclectic mix of indie and underground records at 1808 S. Allport Ave.

Vinyl from 606 Records, 1808 S. Allport St., Website

Opened in 2015, 606 Records is stocked with new and used vinyls from indie, underground artists. The impressive selection includes records from international musicians.

You’ll also find hoodies, T-shirts, totes and other merchandise at the shop.

In-store shopping is available noon-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Orders can be placed online for delivery. (312) 585-6106.

Credit: Mashallah/ Facebook
Earrings from the Essential Collection ($36).

MASHALLAH Jewelry, 1840 S. Halsted St., Website

Chicago-based designer Mashallah Ghouleh offers a beautiful collection of handcrafted jewelry. The eco-friendly collection includes ethically sourced gemstones and metals made from electronic waste. The minimalist designs for necklaces, earrings and bracelets run for about $36. 

In-store shopping is available 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. Email

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