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Urban Spelunker: Lincoln District

A hub for Vietnamese culture

Lincoln Hardware has been a Tacoma staple for more than 85 years!

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Lincoln International District in Tacoma is culturally rich. Driving through, it's definitely a little rough around the edges, but it also serves as a hub for those interested in the Vietnamese culture, as most businesses in the area are owned and operated by Vietnamese members of the community. The district that surrounds the South 38th Street and Yakima intersection is visually indicated by lovely red light posts and signs. There are an abundance of dining options, jewelers and several Asian gift shops.

Here are just a few I found during my Lincoln District journey: 

[Fishies and Other Finds]

A Chau Asian Gift and Aquarium is one of the more interesting shops to venture through in the Lincoln District. If you're a fan of Oriental embellishments for the home, one half of A Chau's is full of jade figurines, lovely vases and paper lanterns. The unexpected is the aquarium part. On the other side of the store, walls are lined with fish tanks filled with colorful fish species from the domestic goldfish to some more exotic finned friends like arrowanas. 763 S. 38th St., Tacoma. Open Mondays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Sundays 

[For the Honey Do List]

Lincoln Hardware has been a Tacoma staple for more than 85 years! You heard me, 85 years. With competition from hardware giants like Lowes and Home Depot, that really says something. Inside you'll find all of your home improvement needs, from the tiny bits, like nails and washers, to the bigger needs, like gardening necessities and paint project go-tos. The store is family run, which guarantees friendly, knowledgeable service as the 3rd generation of owners is always on site. 3726 S. G St., Tacoma. Open Mondays to Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., closed Sundays

[Unique Market Experience]

To be quite honest, I'm never sure what the standard Asian market experience is like, but I imagine that the Hong Kong Super Market is the real deal. Toward the front of the house, there is a nice selection of fresh produce. As you travel to the back of the house, you'll find meat options fresh from the butcher block, including some not oft found in the standard grocer, like whole squid, chicken feet and even some live seafood options. Its dry stock, snacks and single beverage options include more exotic labels. The seafood aroma can be a bit overwhelming, but if you can get past it, you're sure to find your must-have Asian cuisine ingredients. 3816 Yakima Ave., Tacoma. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

[Burger Buddies]

The Burger Ranch signage has been a beacon to all those who drive past for what seems like eons now, hollering to folks, "you've now entered the Lincoln District!" Situated across from the now-closed Jubilee, Burger Ranch is your Eastside go-to for burgers, onions rings and shakes (especially the shakes!). You can enjoy a quick bite within or opt to pop through the drive thru. 820 S. 38th St., Tacoma

[Literary Maze]

Directly across from Lincoln High School you'll enter a small retail building and begin a journey through a maze of shelves lined with used books. This literary maze is also known as Revolving Books, and it's a "new to you bookstore" where you will find loads of titles to choose from. Staff is knowledgeable and eager to help you seek those bound gems that line the walls. 3639 G St., Tacoma. Open Mondays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Sundays

Also worth exploring:

Fascinating Finds: Viet My Wholesale, East Asia Super Market

Compelling Cuisines: Lobster House, Tho Thoung BBQ, El Zocalo, Vien Dong

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