Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Seattle (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15)
Seattle is full of fun events, restaurants, and shopping to help celebrate the region’s rich Hispanic culture
SEATTLE – Hispanic Heritage Month begins on Sept. 15, marking a month-long celebration of diverse Hispanic communities. These communities have contributed greatly to the Seattle region, playing an integral role in shaping our rich cultural identity.
Seattle’s Hispanic population continues to grow and thrive. From 2000 to 2022, the number of Hispanic residents in Seattle grew 173%, making it the fastest growing minority group represented in Seattle. The impact of this community can be seen in dynamic neighborhoods such as South Park and White Center, which are hubs of Hispanic culture full of authentic restaurants and stores. But Hispanic culture can also be seen and enjoyed throughout Seattle, through colorful public art, delicious food, and interesting historic sites and museums.
“When the time came to leave Mexico, it wasn’t just about moving a business — it was about carrying our legacy, our memories, and our hopes to a new place,” said Carlos Rios and Valeria Calles, co-owners of Rey Amargo, an authentic Mexican chocolate shop in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. “When we think back to our journey from Mexico to Seattle in 2017, it’s clear why Seattle felt right. It’s more than just being in a new city; it’s about being part of a community and a family. The love and support we’ve felt here, especially from the Hispanic community, reminds me every day of the power of unity, connection, and shared stories.”
“While I only just began my new role at the end of July, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Seattle and working here many times during the past 10 years,” said Dámaso Rodríguez, the new artistic director for Seattle Rep in Downtown Seattle. “My family and I can’t wait to immerse ourselves as new members of the community. I see Seattle Rep and Seattle as a place of boundless artistic possibilities, and I’m eager to create theater with the wonderful diversity of Hispanic artists and audiences in mind.”
To support small businesses and multicultural local communities in the Seattle region, Visit Seattle and Seattle Bank are sponsoring tabs ($250 each) at local Seattle and King County small businesses. For Hispanic Heritage Month, tab locations will be at Rey Amargo on Monday, Sept. 18 with Paparepas Venezuelan Food and Fogón Cocina Mexicana to follow in October. Patrons who visit these businesses will have the opportunity to experience a featured product, free of charge as their purchase will be sponsored by Visit Seattle until the $250 tab is exhausted.
“Hispanic Heritage Month is a great opportunity to explore Seattle through the lens of our thriving Hispanic community,” said Tammy Canavan, CEO of Visit Seattle. “We encourage everyone to shop and eat with intention this month, check out an event or art gallery, and then once introduced, to keep supporting.”
Things to Do:
Below is a list for ways to support the Hispanic community in Seattle this month and beyond:
- Bailadores de Bronce – Catch a performance from this Mexican folkloric dance group that performs in and around Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Visit their Facebook page for upcoming events.
- Bahia in Motion – Experience the fun and thrill of Afro-Brazilian culture by taking Brazilian dance and Capoeira classes at this Fremont studio.
- Building the Beloved Community Gala – Join El Centro de la Raza on Oct. 14 for its annual gala that raises funds for 43 programs and services that benefit more than 20,000 individuals and families across Washington. To attend, register here.
- Sea Mar Fiestas Patrias – On Saturday, Sept. 16 and Sunday, Sept. 17 come learn about and celebrate Hispanic culture with the annual Fiestas Patrias. This free, two-day fiesta commemorates the independence of Latin American countries, many of which celebrate Independence in September. Festivities kick off with a parade in South Park from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 16, with more activities hosted at the Seattle Center throughout the weekend. Attendees will enjoy traditional Latin American food, live music, traditional folk-dance performances, a health fair, a Viva Art Exhibit, children’s activities and more.
- Frye Art Museum – Starting Oct. 7, Frye Art Museum will showcase its newest exhibition, Rafael Soldi: Soft Boy. The art builds on the Seattle-based artist’s experience as a queer youth in Perú as well as the construction of masculinity in Latin American society. Other exhibitions at Frye include one from Brazilian artist Clarissa Tossin, who explores the intersections of climate change and global capitalism by repurposing consumerist waste in her investigations of the Amazon rainforest’s exploitation.
- Latino Community Fund of Washington State – On Saturday, Sept. 23, Latino Community Fund of Washington State will host its 2023 Gala, an evening that will feature stories of resilience and social impact.
- MEXAM Northwest Festival – Uniting the U.S. and Mexico through music, film, visual arts and more, this festival is a celebration of Hispanic culture and art. It runs Sept. 8 – Oct. 15 with a calendar of poetry readings, concerts, dance performances and other entertainment.
- Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery – Take a gander through this multi-use, multi-cultural accessible arts gallery grounded in Hispanic arts traditions. Located in the White Center neighborhood, the monthly exhibitions focus on marginalized communities and communities of color.
- Seattle Mariners Hispanic Heritage Day – Come on down to T-Mobile Park on Sept. 17 for a fun night of baseball and celebration the community’s contributions to the sport. Ticket purchases will include a limited-edition Hispanic Heritage t-shirt and $10 of every ticket sold will benefit nonprofit Casa Latina.
- Sea Mar Fiestas Patrias – Presented by Seattle Center Festál in partnership with Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Sea Mar Fiestas Patrias celebrates Hispanic culture with music, folk dancers, poetry and demonstrations of tantalizing, time-honored foods. This year’s festival will be Sept. 16 from 1 p.m. – 9 p.m. and Sept. 17 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Armory Food & Event Hall and Fisher Pavilion.
- Seattle Latino Film Festival – The 15th annual Seattle Latino Film Festival will run Oct. 6-14. The festival will take place at Beacon Cinema and feature North American and Northwest premieres of feature films, short films, and documentaries.
- The Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a/Latino/a Culture – This museum in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood showcases the history of Chicano/a/Latino/a people from post-war immigration to now.
- Third Place Books: Author Voices with Jesse Leon – On Sept. 19, join a virtual conversation with author Jesse Leon, who will speak about his inspiring 2022 memoir, I’m Not Broken.
Places to Shop
- Alicia Peru – A fair trade premium alpaca knit and outerwear company owned by a mother-daughter duo
- Capitol Thrill – Store specializing in gifts, apparel, and art from owner Jeff Gonzales
- Koplin Del Rio – A contemporary art gallery in South Seattle that addresses social and cultural issues
- Millsweet Flower Co. – Floral designs from Jacki Lee, a first-generation U.S. citizen born to Cuban and Argentinean parents
- Ricky Styles Studio – Salon from Jose Zerpa and Ricky Barragan offering hair coloring and styling services
- Salua – Lingerie and loungewear boutique in Madison Valley with designs ethically manufactured at two family-owned workshops in Colombia
Places to Eat
- Asadero – Mexican steak house serving high quality, mesquite-grilled meats with housemade tortillas and salsas
- Askatu Bakery – Woman-owned bakery in Belltown serving tasty, allergen-free goodies
- Bell’s Cookie Co – Nostalgic cookie spot from Tomas and Brooke Perez, who first met in Bogotá, Colombia
- Cafetal Quilombo Cafe – Mexican restaurant known for authentic tamales and tacos
- DOCE Donut Co. – Family-owned craft donut shop inspired by Latin American flavors
- Fulcrum Café – Café owned by fifth-generation Costa Rican coffee farmer Blas Alfaro along with partners Lee Falck, Brian Jurus, and Bobby Holt
- Fogón Cocina Mexicana – Family-owned Mexican cantina with known for its homemade corn tortillas and yummy cocktails
- Fonda la Catrina – Georgetown standby for Mexican cuisine known for its authentic, traditional family recipes
- Frelard Tamales – Popular spot for traditional, handmade tamales served at a walk-up window
- Gold Bar and Oro Kitchen – Trendy neighborhood bar serving craft cocktails and Hispanic flavors
- La Carta de Oaxaca – Owned and operated by three generations of the Domínguez family, this Ballard favorite serves Oaxacan cuisine from head chef and matriarch Gloria Perez. Also check out their sister restaurant El Mezcalito in the upper Queen Anne neighborhood
- Maiz – Authentic Mexican street food served fresh in Pike Place Market
- Paparepas Venezuelan Food – Casual eatery serving Venezuelan specialties
- Ravenna Brewing Company – Handcrafted beer in Ravenna from Elise and Tommy Ortega
- Rey Amargo – Handcrafted chocolates made with 100% authentic Mexican cacao owned by Carlos Ríos and Valeria Calles
- Salvadorean Bakery and Restaurant –Salvadorian sisters Aminta and Ana turned their passion for baking into a local White Center favorite for sweet and savory treats
- Senor Carbon – From owners Joe Tuesta and Imelda Diez-Tipa, this restaurant specializes in a unique fusion of Peruvian and Japanese flavors
- Tres Lechería – At this unique bakeshop, owner Kevin Moulder pays tribute to his grandmother by putting his spin on her family’s recipes from Coahuila, Mexico
- Yellow Butterfly Coffee – Coffee shop specializing in Puerto Rican brews
For more inspiration, check out Intentionalist for other Hispanic-owned businesses in Seattle.
You can also visit the following links for more information on the history of Hispanic communities in Seattle, and how to support Hispanic businesses in the city:
Do you have a recommendation for how to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Seattle? Please submit your ideas to [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!
About Visit Seattle:
Visit Seattle has served as the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Seattle and King County for more than 50 years. A 501(c)(6) organization, Visit Seattle enhances the economic prosperity of the region through global destination branding along with competitive programs and campaigns in leisure travel marketing, convention sales and overseas tourism development. Visit visitseattle.org.