One of the country’s largest Asian markets, this massive complex has anchored the International District since 1928—and contains a Japanese bookstore, a 12-station food court, and a Taiwanese hot-pot hot spot: The Boiling Point. Its shelves stock everything from curry to durians and juicy kalua pork, plus surprisingly good, affordable freezer bags to preserve your haul on the way home. Fancy a quick bite in the food court first? Hit Uwajimaya’s Asian deli last and pay at the express lane. While one-stop shopping rocks, fans of Asian curios and calligraphy supplies may want to wander to nearby Kobo (koboseattle.com) or Deng’s Studio and Art Gallery.
Crepes, Cream Puffs, and Curry
All that shopping at Uwajimaya’s Asian grocery store can really work up an appetite. Don’t go away hungry — stroll over to the attached food court for a snack or a meal. Aloha Plates serves up Hawaiian plate lunch and does a tender, juicy kahlua pork. Beard Papa’s Cream Puffs has sweet treats in a variety of flavors; try the green tea filling for a different taste. Thai Place has curry specials, while Samurai Noodle serves up fresh ramen, and Yummy House Bakery is a popular pastry spot. Unicone’s Japanese-style crepes are served rolled up in a paper cone, which can make them tricky to eat, but worth the effort; the corn flake topping is strangely delicious and highly recommended. Uwajimaya also has its own Asian deli, and if you order from here, you can pay at the express lane and avoid the long lines in the main checkout area.
Get the Full Uwajimaya Experience
Uwajimaya might just be the keystone of Seattle’s International District. The mega-sized Asian grocery store has everything from fresh produce to sushi-grade slabs of fish to stylish and affordable prescription glasses, plus housewares and kitchen items — and that’s not even counting the impressive food court (worthy of its own highlight) and Kinokuniya Bookstore (ditto). 2-hour parking is validated with a $15 purchase, but watch out: it’s easy to lose track of time when you’re debating which flavor of Pocky sticks to get, or how many food-shaped erasers are too many.
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