Experience the World in Kent, Washington

Looking to experience international foods, festivals and shopping? You’ll find them all in Kent, Washington, the fifth most diverse city in the U.S.

About one-third of Kent residents were born outside the U.S., and more than 100 languages are spoken here. International culture, music, food and products create a welcoming, inclusive vibe for all visitors and residents.

Explore the world with a spring or summer trip to Kent! Following are some itinerary starters.

Immerse yourself in cultural events

Anchor a weekend visit around one of Kent’s lively upcoming cultural events:

Kent International Festival, June 1: Music, dance, art, games and food from around the world make this event a highlight of the year. Organizers fill the day with opportunities to learn from each other and create a welcoming community. The festival runs 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at accesso ShoWare Center, and admission is free. Food trucks will be selling Vietnamese, Venezuelan, Thai and other global cuisine from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the west parking lot.

Salsa in the Streets, July 13: Downtown streets turn into a dance party for live salsa dancing at this event. Live music, a beer garden, unique craft vendors and mouthwatering Latin American cuisine are planned. Titus Railroad Park downtown is the center of activity from 2-7 p.m. Reserve your spot with free admission tickets. Presented by the Kent Downtown Partnership as part of Kent Cornucopia Days.

Cajun Fest, August 17: New Orleans-style costumes are encouraged for all who attend the popular Cajun Fest in downtown Kent. Celebrate the lively culture of Louisiana with cajun and zydeco bands, cajun-themed food, a beer/wine garden, vendors, artists and kids’ activities. Register here for free tickets to the event, which runs 2-7 p.m.

World Music Walk, October 4: Live performances will share the joy of music from a variety of cultures at the World Music Walk. Sign up for email updates as details are shared about the event in downtown Kent.

CajunFest_2nd parade
Internatl Festival_Neon wheels dance

Fill your shopping cart with authentic items

Chefs and home chefs have discovered Kent’s international markets for fresh, authentic ingredients for traditional dishes. Visit the following shops for hard-to-find items or surprising new flavors to try.

Afshar Bakery: This Afghani bakery offers more than a range of sweet treats. You’ll also find bulk nuts and grains, produce, beverages and Afghani cheese. Takeout items include halal pizza, kebabs and Afghani paneer (a curry-type dish).

La Huerta Market: Homemade flour tortillas, tamale dough, marinated al pastor, quince and pipicha are just a few of the authentic Hispanic items you’ll find at this shop. Visit the extensive meat market, produce section and bakery. Grocery items and products come from Mexico, Central America, South America and Asia.

Public Halal Market: This downtown corner shop is full of Halal meats, naan (bread), fresh produce and household goods. Colorful clothing, blankets and carpets too! Explore flavors from an authentic menu that includes aushak (sauce-topped dumplings), Pilu’s mussels and kebabs.

Queen Safa Market & Deli: Relatively new to Kent, Queen Safa Market is quickly becoming known for its giant freshly made breads. The international market offers Indian, Arabic, Afghani, Pakistani, Fiji and Mexican foods. Beyond food, the shop has a wide selection of rugs and furniture.

Taste the world without a passport

Ubuntu Street Café – The rotating menu at Ubuntu includes cultural dishes such as empanadas, Lebanese chicken wrap, aloo gobi curry plate and lephet thoke (green salad with Burmese tea-leaf dressing). It’s all created in the training café operated by Project Feast, a nonprofit that helps immigrants cultivate their culinary and customer service skills. The café is only open on Thursdays and Fridays, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Iron Pot – Generous portions, excellent service and Korean food you’ll remember —welcome to Iron Pot in downtown Kent. Favorite menu items include bulgogi, bibimbap and chicken tempura. Pro tip: Enjoy a sunny spring lunch with Iron Pot’s outdoor seating!

Manraj Palace Indian Cuisine – Explore a range of fresh, traditional Indian foods from Manraj Palace’s vast menu. Few restaurants offer so many vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Consider the specials, which often include free freshly made naan or dessert.

Saya – Conveniently located off State Route 167, Saya is a longtime favorite for Japanese and Thai food in Kent’s industrial district. Supreme fried rice, egg rolls, chicken katsu and a house-made fish sauce are among the highlights of Saya’s menu.


See the Kent Food Trails for more global cuisine options in Kent. You might need an overnight stay to take it all in! Book a room here.