NVC Memorial Hall
The bustling business district that is Seattle’s Little Saigon has been the economic and social center of the Vietnamese community since the early 1980s. After the Fall of Saigon in 1975, Vietnamese refugees fled their homeland and started new lives in the United States. They first opened small groceries and restaurants in Chinatown.
As the population grew, entrepreneurial individuals in the community began planting the seeds of new businesses up the hill on 12th and Jackson. This intersection was a thriving center of jazz music decades earlier during the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. Jazz luminaries such as Ray Charles, Quincy Jones and Ernestine Anderson played in the booming jazz clubs along Jackson Street during this period.
Today, customers from all over the Puget Sound region come to Little Saigon for authentic Southeast Asian food, personal services and quality products. Little Saigon’s salons offer the full range of treatments, from a basic haircut to the bridal beautification package. Forget that last-minute gift? Drop by any of the neighborhood’s jewelry stores for Asian-inspired trinkets.
Neighborhood markets offer the freshest fruits, vegetables and seafood around. Or, if you don’t feel like cooking, go for a nourishing bowl of pho or a delightful “7 courses of beef” plate at any of the mom-and-pop restaurants. For those on the run, grab a tasty banh mi for a quick and healthy lunch. Top it off with a delicious che dessert, a sweet pudding made from a combination of beans, bananas, coconut milk, sweet rice and tapioca.
Little Saigon is a cultural treat for those looking to experience the flavors, aromas and sounds of Vietnam and Southeast Asia — in your own backyard!