Pocha Pets Boutique closed its 1840 S. Racine Ave. shop, but the owner promises to keep the store alive through social media and pop-ups. Credit: Madison Savedra/Block Club Chicago

PILSEN — The pandemic has shown how important it is to support local businesses. 

The pandemic has forced the closure of local favorites, including Sabor y Sazon and Step Down Cafe. But others remain — and they’re relying on your business to stay open.

To make it as easy as possible to support these local spots, Block Club rounded up a few small businesses in Pilsen, Little Village and Back of the Yards where you can grab gifts while doing your holiday shopping.

A few shopping options:


Credit: Madison Savedra/Block Club Chicago

Sleep Walk Chocolatería and Cafe, 1844 S. Blue Island Ave. Website.

Nestled on Blue Island right off 18th Street, this coffeeshop and chocolate factory from Dark Matter Coffee has an assortment of house-made chocolates and bags of coffee beans. 

Its Sweet Spot gift box ($60) includes five chocolate bars, four drinking chocolate pouches and three mini honey jars. Throw in a molinillo ($15) to take your loved one’s Mexican drinking chocolate to the next level. 

Open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. You can also order online. 312-600-9336. Instagram.

Credit: Madison Savedra/Block Club Chicago

Pocha Pet Boutique, 1840 S. Racine Ave. Website.

This Pilsen pet shop has everything you need for pet owners who treat their pups like family, from doggy sports jerseys to colorful collars.

If you’ve got a furry family member, you can get a “barkuterie” set ($30) or a colorful holiday outfit ($17-$20).

Expect a great discount on Black Friday, and, closer to Christmas, homemade tamales for dogs. 

In-store shopping is available 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Tuesday and Fridays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Order online. Instagram.

Credit: Madison Savedra/Block Club Chicago

Pinwheel Records, 1722 W. 18th St. Website.

For the music fanatics, this Pilsen record store has a vast collection of vinyls, new and used. 

If you’re not sure exactly what kind of music your loved one is into, you can surprise them with a Pinwheel gift card so they can pick out their own records. 

In-store shopping is available noon-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and orders can be placed online for delivery or curb-side pick-up. 312-888-9629. Instagram.

Credit: Madison Savedra/Block Club Chicago

Knee Deep Vintage, 1219 W. 18th St. Website.

This Pilsen vintage shop has everything from ’50s floral dresses to ’90s grunge T-shirts for the fashion-forward people in your life. 

Aside from clothes, be sure to check out the glass counter filled with accessories, including beaded necklaces, colorful bangles and retro clutches. 

Knee Deep is open noon-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sundays. 312-850-2510. Instagram.

Credit: Madison Savedra/Block Club Chicago

Shudio, 1152 W. 18th St. Website.

Based in the heart of Pilsen, this quaint shop offers a wide variety of gift options, from plants to jewelry to purses to fragrances. You can still grab its North King vanilla leather bomber jacket ($44) or a J Gallerie metallic pale olive trench coat ($60).

To give someone the experience of shopping for themselves, Shudio also offers gift cards. 

Shudio is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. 312-898-3061. Instagram.

Little Village

Osito’s Tap, 2553 S. Ridgeway Ave. Website.

For fans of this Little Village speakeasy, consider Osito’s Tap merchandise, which includes colorful, lotería-themed T-shirts ($25).

Or, gift someone the experience of patronizing the cocktail bar themselves with an Osito’s Tap gift card.

Osito’s Tap is open 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-midnight Sundays. 773-277-8117. Instagram.

Credit: Madison Savedra/Block Club Chicago

Solei Boutique, 3738 W. 26th St. Website.

This boutique in the heart of Little Village features handmade clothes and other accessories made by people in Indigenous cooperatives in Mexico. One option: You can buy an embroidered bell-sleeve dress ($65) — and you get to pick its colors.

In addition to shopping in-person and online at its website, Solei has an Etsy store called SoleiEthnic.

Solei Boutique is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. 773-715-4771. Instagram.

Credit: Madison Savedra/Block Club Chicago

Discount Mall, 3115 W. 26th St. Website.

This iconic neighborhood mall off 26th Street holds more than 100 small businesses.

Consider checking out some of the many shops inside, including Palominos Western Wear, P&L Jewelry, Royal Fashion and the much-loved Chicago Pet Store for your holiday shopping this year.

In-store shopping is available daily. Hours vary by store.

Back of the Yards

Credit: Provided

Back of the Yards Coffee, 2059 W. 47th St. Website.

This local coffeehouse has a variety of beans, ground and whole, as well as coffeehouse merchandise, cans of cold brew (four-packs for $14.99) and even a drip coffee apparatus ($35) for your caffeine-addicted loved ones. 

You can also gift someone a membership to its Coffee Club. They can pick which coffee they want, ground or whole beans, how much they want and how often it’s delivered.

Back of the Yards Coffeehouse is open 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Order online. 773-475-6381. Instagram.

Sugarberry, online. Website.

Based out of her home in Back of the Yards, Sara Victoria Lopez Zuñiga sells ornately hand-decorated cookies as well as do-it-yourself cookie decorating kits to go with holiday themes. 

For Christmas, expect nutcracker-themed cookies, a build-your-own gingerbread house kit and a Christmas DIY kit at the beginning of December. 

Orders can be placed online. Instagram.

Sputnik Coffee Company, 2057 W. 51st St. Website.

Headquartered in the heart of Back of the Yards, this coffee shop and roastery highlights a single, signature blend of a medium roast coffee, described as smooth and with notes of chocolate.

Sputnik has already started selling holiday gift boxes ($29) that include two 8-ounce bags of coffee with the choice of a Sputnik T-shirt, mug or tumbler.

Sputnik is open 6 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday and 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. 847-668-8075. Instagram.

Did we miss your favorite neighborhood spot? Not to worry! Add it to our Block Club reader guide, which will come out in early December.

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation. 

Thanks for subscribing to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods. Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.

Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast” here: