Photo: Nick Hall Photography

Chinatown-International District

Explore the city’s rich Asian-American culture while sampling authentic cuisine and shopping in beautiful galleries.

By Matthew Lombardi
A photo of people sitting on the ground around a table at Maneki restaurant. Maneki Chona Kasinger

Explore

From the 1860s through much of the 20th century, this neighborhood next to Pioneer Square was the first stop for Asian immigrants, and it remains a vibrant and diverse hub. The outstanding Wing Luke Museum (719 S King St) tells the neighborhood’s story through well-curated exhibits and galleries and conducts themed walking tours (including a dumpling tasting). Notable landmarks are the towering, elaborately tiled Historic Chinatown Gate (504 Fifth Ave S); Hing Hay Park (423 Maynard Ave S), a popular gathering place anchored by the Grand Pavilion; and Kobe Terrace (650 S Main St), a green space adorned with cherry trees and a four-ton, 200-year-old stone lantern—gifts from Seattle’s sister city, Kobe, Japan. For some kinetic fun, step into the Seattle Pinball Museum (508 Maynard Ave S), where the price of admission includes unlimited play on more than 50 machines.

Eat and Drink

Within blocks of one another, Seattle’s oldest Chinese and Japanese restaurants, Tai Tung (655 S King St) and Maneki (304 Sixth Ave S), continue to thrive by serving traditional food in atmospheric, unpretentious settings. For classic dim sum, local favorites include Harbor City (707 S King St) and, just across the street, Jade Garden (424 Seventh Ave S). The east end of the neighborhood has a concentration of terrific Vietnamese eateries: Family-run and kid-friendly Pho Bac Sup (1240 S Jackson St) specializes in succulent noodle soups, Hello Em Viet Coffee (1227 S Weller St) pours Vietnamese-style coffee drinks, and Saigon Vietnam Deli (1200 S Jackson St) is the place to pick up a satisfying banh mi sandwich to go. At the neighborhood’s west end, near the sports stadiums, the ground floor of the historic Publix Hotel (504 Fifth Ave S)—now an apartment building—is home to the ramen shop Momosan, dumpling and bao specialist Dough Zone, and the renowned Filipino café and bar Hood Famous Cafe + Bar.

Shop

The neighborhood is dotted with quirky, one-of-a-kind boutiques and galleries: KOBO (604 S Jackson St) sells decorative items, Sairen (600 S Jackson St) carries distinctive clothes and gifts created by an array of local makers, and Moksha (670 S King St) is known for unique fashion and art. The neighborhood’s signature retailer is also its largest: Uwajimaya (600 Fifth Ave S), an amazing supermarket with a huge selection of foods imported from all over Asia. It’s great fun for gourmet browsing, and the housewares section and upstairs bookstore, Kinokuniya, are treasure troves of gifts.

International District Partners

Uwajimaya, Inc International District

Uwajimaya, Inc

  • Address 600 5th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98104
  • Phone (206) 624-6248
  • Connect
Seattle Pinball Museum International District

Seattle Pinball Museum

  • Address 508 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
  • Phone (206) 623-0759
  • Connect
King County Parks and Recreation Division International District

King County Parks and Recreation Division

  • Address 201 S Jackson, Ste 700, Seattle, WA 98104
  • Phone (206) 296-4232
  • Connect
Hood Famous Cafe + Bar International District

Hood Famous Cafe + Bar

  • Address 504 5th Ave. S., Ste 107A, Seattle, WA 98104
  • Phone (206) 485-7049
  • Connect

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