Nestled between Fruitridge and Florin roads on Stockton Boulevard you’ll find Sacramento’s Little Saigon. Officially established in 2010, this bustling 2-mile stretch hosts a Vietnamese microcosm that includes restaurants, grab-and-go lunch spots, mom-and-pop shops and Asian markets. Whether you’re looking for a steaming-hot bowl of pho or a selection of beautiful silk fabrics, Little Saigon fulfills your needs while also giving you a chance to enjoy a wide range of Vietnamese cuisine and culture.
Starting on the south end of Stockton Boulevard near 65th Street, you can begin by exploring a diverse set of shopping centers. On the west side, at the far end of Pacific Rim Plaza, is BÁNH CUỐN TÂY HỒ RESTAURANT (6840 65th St.). While it serves a variety of Vietnamese dishes, it is aptly named after a specialty called bánh cuốn, a Northern Vietnamese dish of freshly steamed rice wrappers that are rolled around fillings like pork, mushrooms and shrimp.
Just up the street, Stockton Square Shopping Center is home to GIÒ CHẢ ĐỨC HƯƠNG SANDWICHES (6825 Stockton Blvd.). Be sure to get there early for the best selection from an amazing variety of fresh banh mi sandwiches, spring rolls and Vietnamese pastries to go. Sandwiched between a soft, crisp yet chewy bread roll, the banh mi is layered with pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, jalapeños and your choice of pork or chicken filling. A large sandwich is only $6, and many customers order multiples as they keep well for lunch the next day.
A few doors down is ĐỆ NHẤT KHÔ BÒ (6825 Stockton Blvd.), a small, bright store with rows of containers filled with pickled mangoes, candies, dried fruit, seafood and jerkies. With more than 20 jerky flavors, from BBQ to spicy papaya, this is a must-stop for jerky fanatics or people seeking to explore new snacks, sweet treats and pantry staples. You’ll also find a freezer section stocked with freshly filled steamed buns and seafood.
At one end of Stockton Square Shopping Center, with outdoor seating and soothing cafe music, lies PEGASUS BAKERY & CAFE (6825 Stockton Blvd.). This Hong Kong-style bakery is a dessert lover’s dream, offering treats such as soft buns filled with coconut and custard, a build-your-own crêpe station and macaron ice cream sandwiches. This family-owned bakery makes everything fresh daily, including beautifully decorated cakes with fillings like mango, pandan or durian.
If you’re looking for vegetarian or vegan-friendly options, across the street you’ll find HƯƠNG SEN TOFU (6830 Stockton Blvd.) and BODHI BOWL (6511 Savings Plaza). Hương Sen Tofu offers a wide variety of tofu products that include mushroom tofu, fried tofu, fresh soymilk and tofu pudding. Tucked among the shelves you’ll also find cooking sauces and other pantry staples. Bodhi Bowl is a vegetarian restaurant that serves hot and cold Vietnamese noodle and rice dishes. Many of the dishes feature tofu or jackfruit as a meat alternative, along with a lot of fresh vegetables. A number of vegan options are clearly depicted on the menu.
Traveling north toward Fruitridge Road is MINH PHAT FABRIC STORE (6428 Stockton Blvd.), a family-owned fabric and craft store that is packed with rolls of silks, vibrant textiles and shimmering sequined fabrics along with tassels and beads. This is a hidden gem for those who enjoy craft and sewing projects. On the next block is KITCHEN PLUS (6340 Stockton Blvd.), a well-organized kitchen supply and home decor store with row upon row of pots, pans, bakeware, kitchenware and gadgets that will have restaurateurs and home cooks delighting in the variety. You’ll also find clothing and kids’ toys.
For everyday grocery shopping, visit VINH PHAT SUPERMARKET (6105 Stockton Blvd.). This well-stocked store carries dried goods, sauces and Asian cooking staples such as frozen dumpling wrappers and fish balls. A whole wall is dedicated to fresh meat, poultry and hot foods like roast duck and pork. Adjacent to the meat section, the produce section is green and lush with piles of Asian vegetables and fruits that are often difficult to find at a conventional grocery store.
Rounding out our tour of Little Saigon is PHO BAC HOA VIET (6645 Stockton Blvd.), which routinely wins awards for best Vietnamese food in Sacramento. With plenty of space to accommodate many diners and a bright dragon mural, this casual eatery is a fun spot for a group lunch or family dinner. Try the comforting pho or the fresh spring rolls along with chow fun, grilled plates, banh mi and stir-fries.