Where to Live Now

Neighborhood Guide: The Jade District

By Kelly Clarke

Asian shopping center Fubonn offers everything from fat-straw bubble tea to Meianna Bakery treats to marble statuary.

Once the eastern edge of the city, 82nd Avenue transitioned from farmlands and fruit stands to urban artery right around the time cars took over America. With its long crosswalk-free stretches, huge parking lots, and many used-car sellers, the four-wheeled focus is still felt today, despite many bus lines and the MAX Green Line, running parallel just a few blocks to the east. So you might want to hop in a car or hitch a ride to explore this bustling corridor, home to many Asian and other immigrant communities that have helped brand the area as the Jade District, a designation celebrated two evenings each summer with a busy night market. 

Migrating over the past few decades from downtown’s Chinatown, the bulk of the city’s dim sum options live along or just off 82nd. It will take multiple visits to get through all the push carts at Ocean City (up to 100 options on weekends), or choose chile-marinated pig ears right from the menu in Pure Spice’s more serene dining room. In the mood for something different? Check out our congee crawl through the area

Elsewhere, the Harrison Street strip mall contains some of the best Asian eats per square foot in town, from Good Taste’s massive wonton- and roasted-duck-packed “Super Bowls” to Teo Bun Bo Hue’s lovingly crafted Vietnamese soups (snag a chile-salt dusted fruit slushie from Zero Degrees for dessert). 

About eight miles from the start of the Springwater Corridor near OMSI, the paved multiuse path crosses 82nd at Cartlandia. The pod boasts 30-plus food carts, from Mongolian to Moroccan to Hispanic-Indian fusion (happily, tikka masala enchiladas are a thing!). Plus a sports bar, the Blue Room, which welcomes cart food, pours 12 tap beers and serves up its own mystery shots (buyer beware).  

Asian shopping center Fubonn offers everything from fat-straw bubble tea to Meianna Bakery treats to marble statuary. Its supermarket is a sprawling treasure hunt with signage in four languages packed with gummy snacks, fermented crab sauces, roasted duck, sake, and more. In a former Safeway up the street, Hong Phat is Fubonn’s less-crowded, no-frills little sister and stocks all of the ingredients in your Vietnamese cookbook, with way more parking. The star here is the affordable produce section, where huge, pebble-skinned jackfruits pile high next to heaps of fresh herbs, lychee, dragon fruit, rambutan, and large, juicy limes cheaper than almost anywhere else in town. (It also stocks Chinese, Korean, and Japanese treats.) 

Got some daredevils in your crew? Get thee to The Lumberyard, an indoor-outdoor, all-year, all-day temple of cycling boom, racked and stacked with ramp courses and jumps. Bring your own mountain- or BMX-style ride, or rent from the in-house fleet. 

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