First came Chinatown, uprooted from its original nearby location in the early 1900s by regrade efforts. Then Japanese workers established Nihonmachi, or Japantown, in the blocks on the other side of Jackson Street. Filipino immigrants landed here, too. For a time, African Americans, conscribed south of Yesler by redlining, filled Jackson Street with the urgent sounds of jazz—the only place in the country where all these communities lived in such proximity. Later, Little Saigon added its voice to the milieu.

Over the years, a host of civic decisions—the Kingdome, I-5—chipped away at the neighborhood’s culture, not to mention its physical boundaries. Until the city realized, finally: This is a place worth saving.

Today, a vibrant paifang, or traditional gate, lends gravitas to the neighborhood’s entrance. A double dose of city preservation and historic districts—plus Chinatown’s status on the National Register of Historic Places—ensure this remains a destination unlike any other in the city. And Chinatown–International District’s relatively recent status as a transit hub makes this place more accessible than ever before. So grab a banh mi, stock up at Uwajimaya, walk in Bruce Lee’s footsteps, and marvel at this incredible resource right in the middle of our town.

See our map to Chinatown–International District here.

In This Feature:

What to Call the District

In this neighborhood, even the name is complex.

02/26/2019 By Allecia Vermillion

A Reimagined Louisa Hotel Heralds a New Era in Chinatown

The Woo siblings honor their father's legacy by turning the long-vacant building into apartments.

02/26/2019 By Allecia Vermillion

The Best Restaurants in Chinatown Right Now

From dim sum to hot pot to late-night comfort food.

02/26/2019 By Allecia Vermillion and Rosin Saez

Chinatown–International District Is a Neighborhood of Activism

Brush up on the C–ID's famous faces and names.

02/26/2019 By Allison Williams

One Cook’s Love Affair with Chinatown–International District

Congee with his son. Crab with Tom Douglas. For Herschell Taghap, the C–ID means comfort.

02/26/2019 By Herschell Taghap

The Wing Luke Is a Museum Without Walls

And it considers its neighborhood one big exhibit.

02/26/2019 By Allison Williams

4 Japantown Restaurants You Need to Know About

A verifiable sushi destination, this neighborhood's also home to fried snacks and weekend ramen.

02/26/2019 By Allecia Vermillion With Rosin Saez

Kobo at Higo Marries Modern-Day Japantown with Its Past

Binko Chiong-Bisbee and John Bisbee reimagined the landmark Higo Variety Store as an art gallery and shop.

02/26/2019 By Rosin Saez

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Gets Set to Music

On its 10th anniversary, the best-selling novel set in Chinatown–International District finds new life as a musical.

02/26/2019 By Allecia Vermillion

5 Places to Shop in Chinatown–International District

Vital neighborhood stores both old and new.

02/26/2019 By Rosin Saez

Little Saigon Is at a Literal and Figurative Crossroads

New housing developments are bringing a flood of residents to the neighborhood.

02/26/2019 By Allecia Vermillion

13 Restaurants in Little Saigon You Can't Miss

Where to find steaming pho, housemade banh mi, even Taiwanese-style desserts.

02/26/2019 By Allecia Vermillion With Rosin Saez

The Next Generation Puts Its Spin on Iconic C–ID Businesses

At Pho Bac and Uwajimaya, a new generation of business owners carry on their families’ legacies.

02/26/2019 By Allecia Vermillion