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This article deals exclusively with the Vietnamese communities within the United States of Americamarker; for other communities outside Vietnam, refer to Overseas Vietnamese.


Little Saigon is a name given to any of several overseas Vietnamese immigrant and descendant communities outside Vietnammarker, usually in the United Statesmarker. Saigonmarker is the former name of the capital of the former South Vietnam, where a large number of first-generation Vietnamese immigrants originate.

The well-established and largest Vietnamese-American enclaves, not all of which are called Little Saigon, are located in Orange County, Californiamarker; San Josemarker; and Houston, Texasmarker. Somewhat smaller communities also exist, including the comparatively nascent Vietnamese commercial districts in San Franciscomarker, San Diegomarker, Sacramentomarker, Oklahoma Citymarker, New Orleansmarker, and Orlandomarker. Additionally, Vietnamese Americans of Chinese lineage have also established businesses and bringing distinctively Vietnamese elements to most Chinatowns, essentially blurring the line between a "Chinatown" and a "Little Saigon"; some examples would include the Chinatowns of Las Vegas, Chicago, Bostonmarker, Bellaire in Houstonmarker, or Honolulumarker.

Background

There has been relatively little direct immigration to the United States from the northern portions of Vietnam, although nearly one million North Vietnamese had already immigrated to the South during the partitioning of the country in 1954 and many of these subsequently immigrated to the U.S. from the South. This lack of immigration is partly due to the fact that the United States had refused to admit refugees from northern Vietnam. (In the mid-1990s, relations between the U.S. and Vietnam improved under President Bill Clinton, although many old-guard Vietnamese anti-Communists—many of them veterans of the ARVN in the Vietnam War—in several Little Saigon communities still strongly oppose formal U.S. diplomatic relations with the Communist government of Vietnam.). Today, comparatively newer Vietnamese immigrant arrivals hail from diverse regions from throughout Vietnam.

After the end of the Vietnam War, Vietnamese refugees began settling in refugee camps of Camp Pendletonmarker, Californiamarker, of Fort Chaffee, Arkansasmarker, Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, and of Eglin Air Force Basemarker, Floridamarker. They were intentionally spread out of fear by the U.S. resettlement program that the new Vietnamese arrivals would cluster in "ghettos".

California

Orange County

History

The oldest, largest, and most prominent Little Saigon is in Westminstermarker and Garden Grovemarker in Orange County, Californiamarker, where Vietnamese Americans constitute 30.7% and 21.4% of the population, respectively, as of the 2000 Census. Despite the title "Little Saigon," there are also many Hispanic and remaining white residents as well as some Cambodian and Laotian immigrants residing in the area.



About 45 miles south of Los Angeles, Westminstermarker was once a predominantly White middle-class suburban city of Orange Countymarker with ample farmland, but the city later experienced a decline by the 1970s. Since 1978, the nucleus of Little Saigon has long been Bolsa Avenue, where early pioneers Danh Quach and Frank Jao established businesses. During that year, the well-known Nguoi Viet Daily News also began publishing from a home in Garden Grove. Other new Vietnamese-American arrivals soon revitalized the area by opening their own businesses in old, formerly white-owned storefronts, and investors constructed large shopping centers containing a mix of businesses. The Vietnamese community and businesses later spread into adjacent Garden Grove, Stantonmarker, Fountain Valleymarker, Anaheimmarker, and Santa Anamarker.

In 1988, a freeway offramp sign was placed on the Garden Grove Freeway (State Route 22) designating the exits leading to Little Saigon.

Bolsa Avenue in Westminster's eastern neighbor, Santa Anamarker, has also been designated a Little Saigon, but there are fewer businesses in the area than in either Westminster or Garden Grove. In 2003, some controversies emerged in Santa Ana over a proposed Little Saigon sign to promote its burgeoning Vietnamese commercial area with a design incorporating Vietnamese translation and a South Vietnamese flag. The sign was approved, but redesigned and placed on Euclid Avenue and First Street.

The year 1987 saw an increase in Vietnamese-American street gang activity, as Westminster police reported an increase of extortion targeting small Vietnamese immigrant businesses. However, according to the Morgan Quitno annual study on the safety of individual US cities, both Garden Grove and Westminster are both safer than most US cities.

Layout and services

In Orange County, Little Saigon is now a wide, spread-out community dotted with a myriad of suburban-style strip malls containing a mixture of Vietnamese and Chinese Vietnamese businesses. It is located southwest of Disneylandmarker between the State Route 22 and Interstate 405. However, the main focus of Little Saigon is the Bolsa Avenue center (where Asian Garden Mall and Little Saigon Plaza are considered the heart), which runs through Westminster and the street has been officially designated Little Saigon by the city council of Westminster in the late 1980s. The borders of Little Saigon can be considered to be Trask and McFadden on the north and south and Euclid and Magnolia on the east and west, respectively. About three-quarters of the population in this area are Vietnamese.

It is lined with numerous huge shopping centers and strip malls. As with many other Vietnamese American communities, competing mom-and-pop restaurants that serve Vietnamese cuisine especially Phở are abundant. There are approximately 200 restaurants in the area of Little Saigon and spilling over to Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana and Huntington Beach. In addition, there are quite a number of Vietnamese supermarkets, small Vietnamese delis and bakeries in Little Saigon specializing in French-style coffee and baguette sandwiches - indeed, a legacy of Vietnam's turbulent colonial past. Restaurants serving Chinese cuisine such as Teochewmarker and Cantonese are also available but in smaller numbers. Adding to growth of Vietnamese markets in the area, the rapidly expanding Vietnamese supermarket superstore chain Shun Fat Supermarket (called in Vietnamese, Siêu thị Thuận Phát) opened its doors in Westminster in 2005. Catering to the large Vietnamese population in the area are also professional offices of doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, etc. who speak Vietnamese. Food and authentic Vietnamese cuisine remains the forefront of attractions amongst non-Vietnamese visiting Little Saigon. The community's history of food and cuisine is captured in a recent cookbook by Ann Le, "The Little Saigon Cookbook: Vietnamese Cuisine and Culture in Southern California's Little Saigon."

Various professional offices in another area of Little Saigon in Westminster
In 1984, the major Chinese American supermarket chain 99 Ranch Market (initially called 99 Price Market) had its first start in Little Saigon of California. However, unable to compete with many of the Vietnamese markets in the area, the flagship store has since closed and been replaced by another supermarket.

The two-story enclosed Asian Garden Mall was developed by the well-known and influential Little Saigon founder and developer Frank Jao (an ethnic Chinese born in Haiphongmarker, Vietnam) and bankrolled by Chinese Indonesian and Taiwanesemarker investors. Asian Garden Mall was opened in 1987. Owing to its fame, it tends to have the highest costs of rent in Little Saigon. Jao also developed another heavily-frequented Vietnamese shopping center across the street, and this center once contained a long court of Confucius statues as motifs, but frequently vacant storefronts in the rear of the plaza were cleared to make way for housing developments. Today, a few of the original statues remain.

Banks
The First Vietnamese American Bank in Westminster is the first to serve co-ethnic clientele (as well as reaching out to Korean and Hispanic clientele) in the United States. Saigon National Bank, located on Brookhurst Street is the first nationally chartered bank organized and owned by Vietnamese Americans in the United States. In addition, in attempting to attract Vietnamese clientele, several Chinese American banks also operate sole Vietnamese-speaking branches in Little Saigon, including Cathay Bank, East West Bank, United Commercial Bank, and Chinatrust Bank. Major banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo also have branches with mostly Vietnamese-speaking staff and with Vietnamese signs to attract customers.

Plans of a tourist economy
There have been plans to turn Westminster's Little Saigon (Bolsa Avenue) into an ethnic tourist attraction, to draw tourists, particularly from Disneylandmarker. Plans were proposed by Jao for a pedestrian-friendly area and a 500-foot bridge - with a projected cost of nearly $3 million - connecting several Vietnamese shopping centers as well as envisioning it to resemble historic Saigon. However, in 1996, a small committee made up of local ethnic Vietnamese residents decried the design of the bridge as being too heavily Chinese-influenced. The concept has since been scrapped.

Media and entertainment center
Westminster is generally considered the main cultural center of the Vietnamese American community with several Vietnamese-language television stations, radio stations, and newspapers originating from Little Saigon and adjacent areas (for example, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana). For example, there are the newspapers of Nguoi Viet and Vien Dong Daily News. Many Little Saigon newspaper offices are based on Moran Street in Westminster and Vien Dong Daily News also has its own auditorium. There are also the broadcasts of Little Saigon TV, Little Saigon Radio (Southern California: KVNRmarker AM 1480), and Radio Bolsa (Southern California: KALI-FM 106.3 FM). At least one radio station broadcast 24 hours a day in Vietnamese and 4 television substations broadcasting in Vietnamese 24 hours a day as of 2009. In addition, many advertisements in Los Angeles area Vietnamese-language programming and publications invariably refer to businesses in Westminster. Many stories about the Vietnamese American community in Orange County are regularly featured in The Orange County Register.

Little Saigon has also emerged as the prominent center of the Vietnamese pop music industry with several recording studios, and with a recording industry many times larger than in Vietnam itself. Vietnamese music recorded in Westminster are distributed and sold in Vietnamese communities throughout the United States and in Australia, Francemarker, and Germanymarker as well as illegally in Vietnam. As many as 30 studios once operated in Little Saigon, but the effects of piracy have reduced the number of companies remaining. The US headquarters of the popular Vietnamese music company, Thuy Nga, is located in the heart of Westminster.

Garden Grove Park is the location of an annual Vietnamese Lunar New Year festival held in late January - early February known as Tết. Small amusement park rides, dances, and contests are held on the school grounds and hosted by the Union of Vietnamese Student Association (UVSA).

Politics

Anti-Ho Chi Minh protest of 1999
Westminster's Little Saigon is a vehemently an anti-Communist community. During the Tết (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) celebrations of 1999, a Vietnamese-American video store owner named Truong Van Tran caused controversial stir when he displayed in his store a portrait of Vietnamese communist revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh. This stirred and created anger and passions in the local Vietnamese American community, many of whom were war veterans (of South Vietnamese military), refugees and immigrants from the former South Vietnam - a curious irony since Tran himself was among the refugees who fled the country. Others that participated were some Vietnamese Americans from San Josemarker. Mass vigils with wavings of South Vietnamese flags and demonstrations (sometimes peaceful and sometimes coming close to a riot), in front of the store ensued. For example, an egg was tossed at Tran as he was entering his store. In a coup de grâce, the owner was then arrested by Westminster city police on the charge of illegally renting and copying pirated videos (predominatly Vietnamese entertainment videos, ie. Thuy Nga's Paris By Night series and Asia Entertaiment videos. Since the incident, the video store has disappeared. The event also raised some controversial issues about constitutional free speech in the United States. This incident was also branded as the Hi-Tek Incident, Hi-Tek being the name of the store.

Despite such anti-communist fervor in Little Saigon, however, remittance services (which allow Vietnamese Americans to send money to family members in Vietnam) still remain popular and grocers stock merchandise imported from Vietnam.

Saigon, USA
Westminster's Little Saigon was also the subject for the 2004 documentary Saigon, U.S.A., which was co-produced by the local Orange County PBS member station KOCE-TVmarker. This documentary is tied to the aforementioned video store incident and profiles the lives of some local Vietnamese American residents - including refugees and American-born generations - and community leaders. It gained some controversy when one of the Vietnamese American interviewees claimed that the 1999 anti-Ho Chi Minh protests in Little Saigon did not solve anything. The film is shown throughout the United States on PBS stations.

Political representation and anti-communism
Vietnamese Americans, due to their large numbers, have exercised considerable political power in Westminster and Garden Grove. Many have won public offices in these two cities. In the 2007 special election to replace the county supervisor serving the district containing Little Saigon, the top two candidates were Vietnamese Americans, garnering almost half the votes in a crowded field of 8 candidates. While comprising 25% of the district's registered voters, Vietnamese Americans accounted for nearly half of all the absentee votes cast. The winner would become the first Vietnamese-American county supervisor in the nation. Several Vietnamese Americans serve in the Garden Grove and Westminster city councils. They have pressured the Westminster city council to recognize the former South Vietnamese flag and the Garden Grove city council to controversially designate it a "no-communist zone." In 2003, they helped raise money for a Vietnam War memorial in Westminster commemorating American and South Vietnamese soldiers. In 2004, Van Tran became the first Vietnamese American to be elected to a state legislature, representing parts of Orange County. Vietnamese Americans attend many city council meetings.

Generational divide
Orange County is the heartland of Republican politics in Southern California. Most Vietnamese Americans in Little Saigon are registered Republicans and it was once anathema to be a Democrat. Hoping to gain the support of Vietnamese American Republicans, Republican presidential candidate (and Vietnam War POW) John McCain once made a campaign stop at the Asian Garden Mall. McCain also drew the ire of some younger Vietnamese Americans when he called his North Vietnamese captors "gooks" (a derogatory term for Asians in general). But other Vietnamese Americans in Orange County, especially U.S.-born, are also Democratic as the younger generations become more concerned with the rights of the blue-collar population in the United States, rather than the old-world politics of Vietnam. However, the registration rates for Republicans still outnumber Democrats with 55% registered Republicans and only 22% registered Democrats.

Future of the community

The Vietnamese American population has now begun to diffuse from Little Saigon to traditionally working-class Hispanic cities, such as Santa Ana and southward to professional middle-class predominantly white cities such as Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley.

Over the years, the vibrant community of Little Saigon has experienced frequent openings and closures of small mom-and-pop Vietnamese businesses, resulting in sights of some abandoned strip plazas. The changing landscape of the Vietnamese American population would bring a more multicultural flavor to Orange Countymarker, but as with Chinatowns, could potentially eliminate its identity as a "Little Saigon" as the population of foreign-born Vietnamese old-timers declines and more younger generations of Vietnamese American families attune to mainstream American culture (especially with a preference for fashionable malls over the Vietnamese ethnic malls in Little Saigon) and move on to affluent communities further away from the Little Saigon area.

Little Saigon has seen a surge in coffee shops "Quan Ca-Fe" which are the equivalent to American bars where Vietnamese men go to spend time with male friends and drink coffee. With such a proliferation in coffee shops, the city of Westminster has limited the number of new coffee shop business licenses.

Crime in the Community

As with all cultures there is a certain criminal contingent in Little Saigon. Some well-organized gangs have been known to rob Vietnamese businesses and extort money from prosperous owners. Successful jewelry shop and restaurant owners are often targeted. Since Vietnamese tend to shy away from dealing with police, criminals often are able to continue their crime spree.

San Gabriel Valley

Due to the large influx and presence of relatively poor ethnic Chinese refugees from Vietnam in the 1980s (which also coincided with the arrival of immigrant elite from Taiwanmarker and Hong Kongmarker), the San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angelesmarker has another important concentration of Vietnamese in Southern California. While not generally referred to as "Little Saigon", the stretch of Garvey Avenue in the working-class barrios of Rosemead, Californiamarker, South El Monte, Californiamarker, and El Monte, Californiamarker have a relatively heavy but scattered collection of businesses owned mainly by majority ethnic Chinese Vietnamese with a growing number of ethnic Vietnamese residents and business owners as well. Many of these businesses are housed in tiny strip malls whereas others occupy freestanding, aging buildings. These Vietnamese businesses are very gradually replacing businesses owned by Hispanics.

Rosemead is the Vietnamese center of the San Gabriel Valley. One particular shopping center in Rosemead, called Diamond Square, is anchored by the Taiwanese American chain 99 Ranch Market and contains various Chinese Vietnamese small businesses and a food court catering to local Asians. It remains a major hub for working-class Vietnamese and Mainland Chinese expatriates residing in the area.

Many Vietnamese of ethnic Chinese origin also tend to own countless businesses - especially supermarkets, restaurants, beauty parlors, and auto repair shops - in the main general mixed-Chinese commercial thoroughfares of Garvey Avenue in Monterey Park, Californiamarker and Valley Boulevard in Alhambra, Californiamarker, San Gabriel, Californiamarker, and Rosemead. There are already several pho and banh mi eateries represented along Valley Boulevard.

The srirachamarker hot sauce manufacturer Huy Fong Foods (known for its rooster logo and found in countless Vietnamese restaurants) is owned by a Chinese Vietnamese refugee named David Tran and was originally located in Chinatown, Los Angeles but it relocated to its larger facility in Rosemead.

In 2005, John Tran became the first Vietnamese American to be elected to a seat on the city council of Rosemead. Since 2006, he has been the mayor of the city, a position that is held by rotation among the council members.

San Jose

Comprising some 90,000 residents, about 9% of the population, San Josemarker's Vietnamese community is comparable to the one in Orange County. San Jose has more Vietnamese residents than any single city outside of Vietnam. Vietnamese language radio programs from Orange County are rebroadcast in the region. Although the Vietnamese-language edition of the San Jose Mercury News is now discontinued, many other publications offer Vietnamese literature enjoyed by the community. Several shopping malls on Tully Road cater to Vietnamese tastes, such as the popular Grand Century Mall (Grand Century Mall is actually on Story Road, parallel to, but about 2 miles north of, Tully. While there are some references to Vietnamese shops along Tully, Story Road is where Vietnam Town is being built and Kelley Park borders Story). The popular Lee's Sandwiches (a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich chain eatery) as well as the semi-authentic Vietnamese pho chain Pho Hoa Restaurant had their first locations here. The Vietnamese community in San Jose is more fully integrated into the local community, and as a result not as high-profile as other places.

The Vietnamese community of San Jose has been politically divided over the naming of the business district, with various groups favoring "Little Saigon", "New Saigon", and "Vietnamese Business District". Non-Vietnamese businesses and residents, as well as the San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce have also opposed the name "Little Saigon". In November 2007, the San Jose City Council voted 8-3 to choose the compromise name "Saigon Business District", resulting in ongoing protest, debate, and an effort to recall city council member Madison Nguyen, who proposed the name "Saigon Business District". On March 4, 2008, after a public meeting in which more than 1000 "Little Saigon" supporters participated, the city council voted 11-1 to rescind the name "Saigon Business District", but stopped short of renaming it. The recall of Nguyen failed in March 2009.

San Jose has also granted the building of the Viet Museummarker in Kelley Park next to the City Historic Museum.. The Viet Museum had its grand opening August 25, 2007.

Sacramento

With a large and growing Vietnamese American population, Stockton Boulevard in Sacramentomarker has an informal "Little Saigon". Although settlement of Vietnamese refugees began during the 1980s, large numbers of Vietnamese have moved from the San Josemarker area to the Sacramento area since the late 1990s and 2000s (especially after the dot-com bust in Silicon Valley). The large Asian supermarket Shun Fat Supermarket (a small Southern California-based chain owned by a Chinese Vietnamese American) has opened in 2000 to cater to the local community and anchors Pacific Plaza. One of the First Vietnamese-Chinese owned supermarkets was Vinh Phat Supermarket. There are nearby Vietnamese shopping centers planned for development, including Little Saigon Plaza (to be anchored by a supermarket) that is to be developed by prominent San Jose-based Vietnamese American developers. Other current shopping centers sport names such as Little Vietnam and Pacific Rim Plaza. As a testament to the areas burgeoning Vietnamese community the Southgate branch (66th avenue, near Stockton Blvd) of Sacramento Public library is carry a large collection of Vietnamese materials.

San Francisco

In early 2004, San Franciscomarker officially designated Larkin Street between Eddy and O'Farrell streets as "Little Saigon" (Sài Gòn Nhỏ). Located in the Tenderloin districtmarker where 2,000 of the city's 13,000 Vietnamese-American residents live, the two-block stretch is more than 80% Vietnamese-owned. Unlike San Jose, with its larger ethnic Vietnamese population, the ethnic Chinese from Vietnam are well represented in San Francisco due to self-segregation. Banners and directional signs have already been posted. A formal symbolic entrance was erected in July 2008, akin to those for San Francisco's Japantown and Chinatown (albeit smaller).

Oakland

Many of Oaklandmarker's Vietnamese businesses are concentrated along International Boulevard and East 12th Street in the San Antonio district. The Oakland suburb of San Pablomarker has a pan-Asian shopping center called San Pablo Marketplace, developed by Orange County-based developer Frank Jao.

San Diego

When the "first wave" of Vietnamese immigrants started to arrive in the late 1970s/early 1980s, many settled in the communities adjacent to San Diego State University, such as City Heights and Talmadge, better known as East San Diego. As families and individuals became more affluent however, many relocated to other communities in the city: Linda Vista, Clairemont, Serra Mesa, etc. (Central San Diego) and what was then brand-new tract communities such as Mira Mesa, Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Bernardo, etc.)

With a population of about 35,000 people, the San Diego metropolitan area ranks as one of the largest Vietnamese communities in the United States. Because of the Vietnamese population's unique migration patterns in the city, it does not have a huge concentration of Vietnamese businesses in a particular area like other metropolitan areas (e.g., San Jose, Houston, etc.) Still, there are 3 notable Vietnamese business districts in the San Diego region: Mira Mesa Blvd. (North San Diego), El Cajon Blvd. (East San Diego), and Convoy Street/Linda Vista Road (Central San Diego).

Colorado

Following the development of the Far East Center shopping complex, a growing Vietnamese commercial district is emerging on Federal Boulevard between Evans and Alameda Avenues in Denver, Coloradomarker, with already choices of Vietnamese cuisine eateries and various businesses. This particular area has already been promoted as evidence of the city's cultural diversity. There is also a growing Vietnamese population in Aurora, Coloradomarker, specifically between in an area bordered to the North by Alameda Avenue, to the South by E. Hampden Avenue, Chambers Rd. in the East and Havana St. in the West.

Florida

A thriving Vietnamese quarter called "Little Vietnam" exists in the Colonialtown district of Orlando, Floridamarker. The neighborhood has become a landmark in the city of Orlando and consist of a countless, and always growing, number of restaurants, groceries, and Vietnamese professional offices that serve the local Vietnamese community with everything from taxes to medical and dental care. Stores supply Asian pop-culture to the community in the form of karaoke bars, Boba tea shops, Vietnamese video and music shops, and stores featuring candies and collectibles from across Asia. The heart of the district is the intersection of East Colonial Drive/HWY50 and Mills Ave, also known as the "Vi-Mi" district.

The Orlando Vietnamese community has its roots in war refugees seeking a new life in America after the fall of Saigon. Notable pro-democracy activists, such as Thuong Nguyen Foshee, who was just recently released from prison in Vietnam, call Orlando their home.

The Vietnamese Community in Orlando, along with institutions like Long Van Temple, St. Philip Phan Van Minh Church, Vietnamese Baptist Church, and groups such as The Vietnamese Association of Central Florida, strive to maintain their heritage as well as share their culture with the rest of Orlando. Annual events, such as the numerous Tet New Year Celebrations at the Central Florida Fairgrounds and across the city, help spread Vietnamese culture and promote diversity throughout Orlando.

Georgia

There are many Vietnamese businesses located in the mixed-Asian – that is, co-existing with ethnic Korean and Chinese businesses – commercial and cultural strip of Buford Highway in Doravillemarker and Chambleemarker, which are working-class suburbs of Atlantamarker. Although a fair number of post-war Vietnamese refugees settled in Atlanta earlier, many Vietnamese Americans from California and other parts of the United States have been relocating into the Atlanta area and making a fairly large presence since the 1990s.

Illinois

Argyle Street in the city of Chicagomarker contains a Little Saigon district, and it has become the hub of vibrant Vietnamese culture in the city. It is referred to by Chicagoans as the "New Chinatown" little Saigon, or most commonly Argyle. Argyle is easily accessible from the CTA's Red Line Argyle stop.

Louisiana

Louisiana is home to many Vietnamese, many of whom especially engaged in traditional fishing. New Orleansmarker has several areas with a concentration of Vietnamese-American businesses. The largest among these communities is located around Village de L'Est.

There is a Vietnamese business section in Baton Rougemarker, located near the 12000 block of Florida Blvd (Hwy 190), which consists of restaurants, grocery stores, and other various businesses, even found through out some other sections of the city.

In 2008, Anh "Joseph" Cao made history after being elected to Congress from Louisiana's 2nd congressional district. Cao, a Republican, is the first person of Vietnamese ancestry ever elected to the U.S. Congress.

Massachusetts

Dorchestermarker, Massachusetts, located right outside of Boston, is home to a major Vietnamese business center in the Northeast. It serves some 35,000 Vietnam-born Americans in the Boston-Worcester area as well as those in surroundings states such as Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Mississippi

A small "Little Saigon" can be found on Oak Street in Biloximarker.

Missouri

Kansas Citymarker is home to more than 5,000 Vietnamese immigrants. Four small "Little Saigons" contain various businesses, including pho restaurants, nail salons, hair salons, video gift stores, cell phone stores, pool halls and jewelry stores. One of the "Little Saigons" can be found on Campbell St. There is a large supermarket on Cherry St. called "Kim Longs Asian Market & Restaurant" which now has a food court in the front of the store.

St. Louis also has a large Vietnamese refugee population. The majority of restaurants and stores are in "South City" on or near Grand Ave.

Michigan

While not titled as a "Little Saigon", the suburban community of Madison Heightsmarker in the Detroitmarker area has become a center of Vietnamese commerce. Located on John R Road and on Dequindre Road, several Vietnamese markets, Phở noodle soup restaurants, movie/music stores, several nail supply stores, herbal store and beauty salons have cropped up along two streets.

Besides Madison Heights, the Grand Rapidsmarker and Hollandmarker areas have a small Vietnamese enclave.

New Mexico

A small "Little Saigon" community thrives in Southeast Albuquerquemarker, New Mexicomarker. Located on and around Central Avenue, the community consists of various Vietnamese restaurants and markets.

North Carolina

In Charlottemarker, Central Avenue (near Briar Creek Rd.) is the original "Chinatown" consisting of "Saigon Square" and a pair of other Chinese/Vietnamese shopping plazas that include "Dim Sum Restaurant" (which serves New York styled dim sum), the "Eang Hong Supermarket", "Van Loi" (which serves cha shao), and a dozen or so other stores.Saigon Square has various Vietnamese (albeit not Chinese) stores including Pho Hoa (Vietnamese noodles).Asian Corner Mall on North Tryon Street and Sugar Creek Road, developed from the defunct Tryon Mall in 1999, with "Dragon Court Restaurant", "Hong Kong BBQ", "International Supermarket", and "New Century Market" and several other Chinese/Vietnamese stores.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Citymarker has a significant Vietnamese American business district and ethnic neighborhood located in the center part of the city. While it is officially known as Asia District by the city, due to the abundant Asian diversity of the neighborhood (similar in many respects to International District in Seattle), much of the original Little Saigon portion centers along Military Dr. and NW 25rd St. between N. Classen Blvd. and N. Shartel Ave.

Tens of thousands of Vietnamese refugees were relocated to Oklahoma City during the 1980s. Over time, they have established businesses in a gentrified area to the west of the Uptown NW 23rd and Classen Blvd. business districts and the area begun to be known as a Little Saigon.

The original Little Saigon area features numerous Pho cafés, Vietnamese bakeries and restaurants, and Asian supermarkets. There are also numerous hopping nightclubs, karaoke, and videobars joining the growing list of Chinesemarker, Thaimarker, Filipinomarker, and Koreanmarker residents and establishments that make up the remainder of surrounding Asia District.

The district is very popular with local residents and students from nearby Oklahoma City University providing a colorful and authentic taste of the far east without leaving the heartland of Americamarker. Oklahoma City's original Little Saigon neighborhood was featured in the New York times as well as National Geographicmarker's March 2003 issue's ZipUSA series titled "73106: Lemongrass on the Prairie".

Oregon

10,641 Vietnamese Americans live in the Portlandmarker area. Many Vietnamese restaurants, markets, and other businesses in Portland can be found on NE Sandy Boulevard, SE Powell Boulevard, and NE 82nd Avenue. But there are some Vietnamese business around the Portland area such as Beavertonmarker, Hillsboromarker, Alohamarker, and Tigardmarker.

Pennsylvania

South Philadelphia near the Italian Marketmarker has a large Vietnamese American population. Many Vietnamese businesses tucked in strip malls have emerged on Washington Avenue to service the local immigrant population. The Vietnamese sandwich banh mi is gaining much attention in Philadelphia and is now competing with the Philly Cheesesteak.

As of 2005, Vietnamese are projected to become the largest nationality in South Philadelphia. Philadelphia is in the top ten cities with Vietnamese populations and Vietnamese immigration destinations. Philadelphia even has a higher percentage and numerical population of Vietnamese than New York Citymarker, one of few Asian backgrounds that shy from New York.

Texas

Houston

A major Little Saigon can also be found in Houstonmarker (Aliefmarker), a strip along Bellaire Boulevard west of the city of Bellairemarker. The redevelopment of Midtown Houston from run-down to upscale has increased property values and property taxes, thus forcing the Vietnamese Americans out of their current neighborhood into other areas.

The boundaries for Little Saigon are defined as:

North: Westpark Tollway
South: Bissonnet Street
East: Gessner Road
West: Highway 6


One of the largest Vietnamese supermarkets in the Bellaire district is called Hong Kong Supermarket, located in Hong Kong City Mall at the crossroads of Bellaire and Boone. Another Vietnamese supermarket was recently opened near Texas Beltway 8 and Beechnut, called Viet Hoa International Foods. These supermarkets, along with various smaller outfits across Houston area, provide great selections of Asian produce and foodstuffs, and prices are very reasonable. In 2004, the area has been officially named "Little Saigon" by the city of Houston.In 2006, a new plaza called Saigon Houston Plaza debuted on Bellaire Blvd in between Beltway 8 and Wilcrest Dr. Two major businesses, Kim Son Restaurant and Radio Saigon Houston can be found here.

A few of the locals will still call this southwest area of Houston as "Southwest New Chinatown". This title was used to distinguish from the Downtown area's Chinatown that went in disarray after the construction of the George R. Brown Convention was built. Even though the area is primarily Vietnamese and Chinese, there is also a large amount of Filipino Americans, Arab Muslims, Indonesian Americans, and Pakistani Americans in the area, as well as a sizable amount of African Americans, whom were once the majority in the Little Saigon area prior to the Vietnam War.

The area along Bellaire Blvd, starting from Fondren to Cook Rd. which mainly falls right into the Sharpstown area, which overlap outer Houston city area into Alief urban area, which spread along the Beltway 8 from Bellaire parallel to Beechnut. This can be seen as the street name sign are post in the default English and following a second set of sign in Chinese-translated equivalents. These street name signs where paid for by the local Chinese community associations of the area, which met with problem of non-Chinese groups of arguing of unfair treatment by the city, the problem was quenched by claim that it was made by private fund and not by the city .

Dallas - Fort Worth (DFW)

In addition to the ones listed here, several unofficial Little Saigons are located in the Metroplex. Dallas is also considered another one of the largest Vietnamese communities in the United States, along with its sister city, Fort Worth.
  • One Little Saigon is located in Garlandmarker, along Walnut Street between Audelia Road and Jupiter Road. This one is the largest, consisting of five large supermarkets (Hiep Thai, New Truong Nguyen, Hong Kong, Saigon Taipei, and Hong Phat [Saigon Mall] in Garlandmarker). Each supermarket, listed below, is located on a different shopping complex and has a number of restaurants.
    • Hiep Thai: northeast corner of Jupiter and Walnut.
    • New Truong Nguyen: northwest corner of Jupiter and Walnut.
    • Hong Kong: southwest corner of Audelia and Walnut.
    • Saigon Taipei: southeast corner of Buckingham Road and Shiloh Road.
    • Hong Phat: northeast corner of Jupiter Road and Beltline Road (SaiGon Mall in Garland borders with city of Richardson)
  • Another one is located in Arlingtonmarker, on Pioneer Parkway. This Little Saigon includes a couple supermarkets (Saigon-Taipei, Hong Kong), restaurants, and Vietnamese karaoke/café bars.
  • The third one is in Irvingmarker on Beltline Road, with Little Saigon Mall. A small concentration of Vietnamese restaurants are being built on MacArthur and Beltline through Las Colinasmarker and Valley Ranch. These restaurants are unique, infusing Korean, Japanese, Thai, Indian, and Chinese influences.
  • There are also a number Vietnamese strip malls along Beltline in Carrolltonmarker. Though the area is predominantly Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean shops and churches can be found there, as well.
  • The restaurants in the area are Bistro B, Pho 95, Pho Bang, SaiGon Kitchen, Nam Hua, Pho Huy, Saigon Block, Pho Tay Do, Pho Que Huong, and many more. The dining-out, in general, even though is not comparable to places like in Bellaire, Houston and Little Saigon, Orange County but still so-so.


Vietnamese businesses are also F.O.B. be found in Richardson and Haltom Citymarker.

Virginia

The Washington, D.C.marker suburb of Seven Cornersmarker in Fairfax County, Virginiamarker is home to the largest Vietnamese American population and cultural center on the eastern seaboard. While there is no full-fledged "Little Saigon" to speak of, the most prominent hub for local-area Vietnamese is the massive and highly-elaborate shopping mall called the Eden Center, complete with a garden and an arch to signifying its entrance.

Washington

Seattle

Thanh Vi Vietnamese Restaurant, Little Saigon, Seattle
Seattle, Washingtonmarker has a significant, prosperous Vietnamese American business district centered at 12th Avenue and Jackson Street, immediately east of the city's considerably older Chinatown district. This Vietnamese area has not been officially designated a "Little Saigon", although a few street signs with this name have been erected. Rather, the area – along with the Chinatown district – has retained the longstanding name International Districtmarker (now officially Chinatown/International District, but often just "The I.D."), dating back about a century. The predominantly Chinese and predominantly Vietnamese areas are separated from one another by Interstate 5 viaduct, but there is easy pedestrian and car access between the two.

Tacoma

Tacomamarker, as well, has an area commonly known as the "Lincoln International Districtmarker", which is almost entirely filled with Vietnamese restaurants, grocers, and shops. Though officially not known as "Little Saigon", the area is normally referred to as such by the local resident population.

See also



References



External links




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