In 2010, Sacramento's growing Vietnamese community asked the City Council to designate a 2-mile section of Stockton Boulevard as "Little Saigon". The business corridor south of Fruitridge Road to Florin Road (city and county) bustling with dozens of Vietnamese restaurants, coffee shops, nail and hair salons, spas, jewelry stores, bakeries and markets – would become Sacramento's new official ethnic neighborhood. Branding, marketing and signage would help make this nearly forgotten boulevard a destination. Spearheaded by members of the Vietnamese community and supported by then Councilmembers Kevin McCarty and Rob Fong, it was unanimously approved by City Council.
In recent years, Little Saigon has continued to evolve and turned into a must-visit, shop and dine destination. The thriving retail district specializes in goods and services from throughout Asia – Vietnam, China, India, Cambodia, Philippines, Korea—the largest portions being
Vietnam. You can journey afar without leaving Sacramento. Countless restaurants serve a wide-range of Asian specialties. Lovers of Phở (pronounced ‘fuh’) might lose themselves in the offerings including Bodhi Bowl’s vegan selection. Bánh mì is another favorite with multiple options throughout the district. Vital to the best Bánh mì are the fresh-baked French baguettes. A myriad of bakeries sell bread, croissant, pastries and Asian desserts. Gift shops, fabric stores, clothing, florists, bubble tea – it’s all here.
Large and small markets are beacons for any home cook tackling Asian cuisine. The Vietnamese-Chinese owned supermarket Vinh Phat Supermarket (6105 Stockton Boulevard) has had a loyal following for more than 30 years. Shun Fat Supermarket (Stockton Boulevard & 65th Street), a Southern California-based chain owned by a Chinese- Vietnamese-American, opened in 2000 to cater to the local community and anchors Pacific Plaza.
“It’s not just the designation, this is a diverse and dynamic ethnic community,” says Tido Hoang, owner of Tido Financial and member of the Little Saigon organizing committee. “Refugees made it into a place to interact and share. Entrepreneurs saw the potential of the cultural base. It’s about the atmosphere and sensory overload – the incredible influences of various cultural groups. The whole area is collaboration and many things coming together. Plus, a new generation reconnecting to the community.”