Chicago’s Chinatown is a rich cultural experience, giving visitors a distinct feeling of having touched upon a microcosm of China itself. The neighborhood, centered on Cermak and Wentworth Avenues, was established in 1905. Since then, many Chinese immigrants have moved to the area, and organizations such as the Chinese American Service League, Chinatown Redevelopment Association and Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association work towards providing new immigrants with proper housing and jobs.
This bustling century-old neighborhood offers endless authentic dining and shopping options, but here are the stops that should definitely be on your list:
Food: Restaurants in Chinatown serve almost every type of Southeast and Far East Asian cuisine. Here are five favorites:
- Lao Mala
- Lao Sze Chuan
- Saint Anna’s Bakery
- Triple Crown
Drink: Stop by Ten Ren Tea And Ginseng for tea to take home — there are more than 100 flavors to choose from — or China Place Liquor City for some unique alcohol options, which you can take to one of Chinatown’s many BYOB restaurants. The liquor store offers more than 50 blends of baijiu (white liquor), rice wine and sake.
For the foodies in all of us, the Chinatown Food Tour travels between the restaurants of Chinatown, sampling delicacies from all of China’s regions.
Shopping: Shops in Chinatown are numerous; almost all of them carry similar goods, yet the goods themselves span the spectrum from gifts to clothing to housewares. Below are a few traveller favorites:
Chinatown Bazaar: Pick up a colorful pack of lanterns or authentic garments at this one-stop shop for every gift you can think of.
Woks ’N’ Things: Grab any Asian cooking tool you could possibly need, from sushi mats to rice boilers and dumpling steamers. The wall of woks is a collection that can’t be matched.
Dor Fook Jewelry: For quality jade and fine jewelery, stop here to buy yourself or someone special something unique.
Festivals: Head to Chinatown to ring in the Chinese New Year. Regardless of the weather, a parade takes
place every year in the streets of Chinatown to celebrate the start of a new year for not only China, but other Asian countries, including Malaysia, Tibet and the Philippines. That’s not the only festival worth going to, however. The neighborhood holds celebrations year-round; for a full list of events click here.
For list of nearby hotels with lowest prices click here.