Two decades before Vietnamese restaurants started sporting suburban addresses, the Lincoln neighborhood around South 38th and Yakima streets introduced Tacoma to Southeast Asian cuisine. In this link, you’ll find snapshot reviews of the Vietnamese and other restaurants in the neighborhood surrounding Lincoln High School (east of Tacoma Mall). But, first, here’s a look at how all those restaurants wound up in a single neighborhood.
In the early 1980s, East Asia Market anchored the neighborhood. Some trace the creation of the Vietnamese eating district to owner Andy Chang and his family, who opened the first version of the Vietnamese grocery store in 1981. The market imported ingredients shoppers previously could not access outside Seattle’s International District. With the introduction of those ingredients and a growing influx of Vietnamese immigrants, the Vietnamese dining district followed. East Asia Market changed locations once before adding “Super” to its name, expanding its inventory, and moving to the former Red Apple Market space just beyond a three-block span that holds a concentration of Vietnamese restaurants like no other in the region. Read more »