Inside the Asian Food Center off Aurora is a new branch of Green Leaf, a popular Vietnamese restaurant. Stop in for your dinner, then let the shopping commence at the Asian Food Center.

Share story

North-Enders, rejoice: Green Leaf, the Vietnamese restaurant that became wildly popular when it opened in a teensy Chinatown International District space in 2005, has finally opened a branch for you.

This latest addition to a handful of Green Leaf outlets is a roomy space with high ceilings, a bar and bountiful plaza parking. Seating is generous, with plenty of open tables the night we visited.

Big extra bonus: It’s inside the Asian Food Center (previously a Kmart), so you can shop for jackfruit, live crabs, fresh turmeric root and other essentials before or after your meal.

Green Leaf


13200 Aurora Ave. N., Seattle; open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily; or on Facebook

The ownership is the same as the original branch, our server told us, and the menu is identical.

The menu: Classic categories from vermicelli bowls to pho to grilled meats over rice, with specials like Seven Courses of Beef.

Don’t miss: Wonderfully fragrant finger-size rolls of grilled meat wrapped in betel leaves, spring rolls that balance crunch with fresh flavors, plus crisp-fried egg rolls. While we didn’t sample it on this visit, Green Leaf has always had a lovely version of the banh xeo crepe.

What to skip: Papaya salad, so lightly dressed that we weren’t sure at first if it was seasoned at all, with impressively sized but overcooked skewered shrimp.

After you eat: The Asian Food Center is a full-service market, including bakery and seafood sections as well as imported Kit-Kats in flavors that you’ll never find in a 7-Eleven. Stop next door for take-home goodies from Kiki Bakery & Cafe, a California-based chain featuring Chinese pastries like egg tarts. Other restaurants in or adjoining the food center offer bubble tea, dim sum and even (at Rain Cafe) a ramen burger.

Prices: Grilled beef with lop leaf ($6), spring rolls ($6), egg rolls ($6), salt and pepper tofu ($14), vermicelli ($11) and papaya salad ($10) totaled $53, before tax and tip.