8 eateries to visit during Immigrant Heritage Month

Since June 2014, Immigrant Heritage Month has honored the immigrant experience and the contributions that immigrants have made to America.

Whether you were born in the US or moved to the US, the immigrant experience likely impacted your family history in a significant way. Western Washington, in particular, is rich with diversity -- in part due to the many immigrant communities who call this area home.

In King County alone, at least 21 percent of the population is foreign-born.

Since June 2014, Immigrant Heritage Month has honored the immigrant experience and the contributions that immigrants have made to America. And what better way to celebrate immigrant heritage than through food?

We’ve rounded up a list of eight Western Washington eateries to visit during Immigrant Heritage Month:

Ubuntu Street Cafe




This is not a typical cafe. Ubuntu Street Cafe is where underserved immigrants and refugees learn the ins and outs of the restaurant business, in hopes that they will one day open their own businesses. Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu (South African) word that refers to the belief in the bond of sharing that connects humanity. 

Chef Lisa Nakamura, who teaches the apprentices, believes that helping immigrants is more important than ever. The participants come from countries all over the globe, including Ukraine, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Ubuntu Street Cafe is operated by the nonprofit startup Project Feast.

Ubuntu Street Cafe
202 W Gowe St
Kent, WA 98032

Ping's Dumpling House




If you’re in the mood for Chinese cuisine, look no further than Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. Seattle’s biggest new immigrant population is the Chinese immigrant population, so this city has numerous Chinese eateries to choose from.

Ping’s Dumpling House is right beside the historic Chinatown gate. Ping herself waits on every table while the kitchen makes the dumplings by hand. Ping takes great pride in her dumpling recipe, which has been passed down more than three generations. The recipe is from Qingdao, her hometown in northern China.

Whether you would like to stop for dumplings after work or during a weekend Chinatown excursion, Ping’s Dumpling House is always a good option. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Ping’s Dumpling House
(206) 623-6764
508 S King St
Seattle, WA 98104


Rhein Haus




In Washington, more than 1 million residents are of German ancestry. One of these residents is James Weimann, co-owner of Rhein Haus (formerly known as Von Trapp’s), a Bavarian bar in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

“All four of my grandparents spoke German before English,” he said.

When you step into Rhein Haus, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Europe. Century-old chandeliers from a Viennese ballroom dangle on the ceiling, and a 14-foot Bavarian fireplace from the 1850s sits by the front door.

You can choose from six different kinds of sausage -- made in house by Chef Peter Fjosne -- and play bocce ball all night long while drinking bier out of a boot or a 1-liter stein. Prost!

Rhein Haus
(206) 325-5409
912 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Hess Bakery and Deli




If you’re looking for an even more authentic German experience, try Hess Bakery and Deli in Lakewood. Not only are all their products imported from Germany, but all employees can actually speak German as well.

Since 1968, this deli has served the many Germans who live in the areas surrounding Lakewood, Steilacoom and DuPont. Customers come for the fresh deli items and baked goods -- especially those giant soft pretzels. But don’t be fooled by their name. Hess Bakery and Deli has a wide assortment of non-food items like German magazines, greeting cards and even toothpaste.

Hess Bakery and Deli
(253) 584-1451
6108 Mt Tacoma Dr SW
Lakewood, WA 98499

Spice King




Spice King is a small North Indian restaurant with big flavor. Some of their most popular menu items are the chicken tandoori (marinated chicken cooked in a clay oven), kheer (sweet rice pudding topped with pistachio) and mango lassi (a chilled yogurt drink).

But their chicken wrap special will give you the most bang for your buck. For only $4.99, you will get a chicken wrap so big, it has been compared to the size of a baby. It includes cubes of spiced boneless chicken, homemade ranch dressing and fresh lettuce and peas all wrapped to-go in naan (bread) that has been cooked in a tandoor oven.

“One person can’t finish it,” manager Kavita Chadha said. “They always have to take it home!”

This hidden gem is inside Renton’s DK Market, a Costco-sized warehouse where you will find international grocery items and produce.

Spice King Renton
(425) 226-6700
720 Lind Ave SW
Renton, WA 98057

Hood Famous Bakeshop




This Ballard shop specializes in New York-style cheesecake with Filipino flair. The menu reflects the multicultural experience of owner Chera Amlag, who makes every dessert herself. She was born in the Philippines and moved to the US at an early age.

Hood Famous Bakeshop is best known for its signature purple cheesecake made with ube (pronounced oo-bee), a sweet yam that is used in many Filipino sweets. Customers also love eating (and Instagramming!) their white chocolate guava, coconut pandan and Vietnamese coffee cheesecakes. Although Chera's cheesecakes tend to take the spotlight, the ube cookies and and calamansi lemon bars are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth as well.

This is a great place to stop by when you're on the go --  Hood Famous Bakeshop is a sweets-to-go shop, not a sit-down bakery. 

Hood Famous Bakeshop
(206) 979-2253
2325½ NW Market Street
Seattle, WA 98107

Casco Antiguo




Chef Jerry Lariz combines his Mexican heritage with local seasonal ingredients at this Pioneer Square restaurant. Everything is made from scratch, from the margaritas to the salsa. Their tortillas are even hand-pressed each day.

Casco Antiguo has two sections: the cocina, which is the traditional dining room, and the cantina, which has a hidden-hangout vibe. Their most popular menu items are the shredded duck taquitos, plantain empanadas and roasted pork belly tacos. Casco Antiguo claims to be “the best damn Mexican food found in the the heart of Pioneer Square," and that may not be far from the truth!

Casco Antiguo - Seattle
(206) 538-0400
115 Occidental Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

Yoroshiku Ramen



Traditional Japanese food is so much more than just teriyaki and sushi. That’s why childhood friends Keisuke Kobayashi and Koichi Homma founded Yoroshiku Ramen. This Wallingford restaurant serves ramen from the Hokkaido region, which is an often overlooked side of Japanese cuisine.

Yoroshiku Ramen offers a modern take on the izakaya, which is an informal Japanese gastro-pub. They offer a wide variety of cocktails, sake and Japanese whiskey.

Don’t miss their traditional ramen with slices of chashu (braised pork belly), bamboo shoots, mizuna (Japanese mustard greens), roasted seaweed and a soft boiled egg.

Yoroshiku Ramen
1913 N 45th St
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 547-4649


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