Chinatown community is one of the largest neighborhoods of its kind in the
country, vaunting more than 65,000 residents. But the city's profound Asian
influence stretches far beyond the borders of this ethnic neighborhood on
Chicago's south side.
Public Art from The Middle Kingdom
Beijing's famous wall in Beihai Park, The Nine Dragon Mural Wall (170 W. Cermak
Rd.) depicts hundreds of dragons painted in red, gold and blue. As one of only
three replicas outside of China, this glazed tile piece of public artwork is an
iconic landmark in Chicago's Chinatown neighborhood.
Square (2100 S. Archer Ave.) is a two-story outdoor mall that serves as a
catchall for some of the neighborhood's most exciting sights. Besides housing the
Pan Asian Cultural Center, this space boasts an incredibly collection of Chinese
Zodiac animals sculptures and a tile mosaic that contains 100,000 individually
cut pieces of hand-painted glass from China.
Grab a Bite of Authentic Ethnic
For dim sum
and dumplings, there's no better place outside of Hong Kong than Chinatown's
Phoenix Restaurant (2131 S. Archer Ave.). In fact, their selection of
bite-sized, steamed dishes is the largest in Chicago.
looking for authentic Japanese style barbeque, take a trip to Albany Park's
Chicago Kalbi (3752 W. Lawrence Ave.). The restaurant's short ribs are grilled
on the table top and we suggest you wrap the meat in lettuce leaves and dollop
on some spicy soybean paste. You're welcome.
(1531 N. Wells St.), which means "eight turtles" in Japanese, has built a 40
year reputation as one of the premier Japanese restaurants in Chicago. Billed
as "Chicago's first sushi restaurant," you would be wise to try their Green
Turtle Roll and Spicy Tuna Deluxe during your visit.
Asian-Inspired Green Spaces
(1735 E. Columbia Dr.), one of the most picturesque sights in Chicago, is
located just south of the Museum of Science & Industry's campus. This
Jackson Park jewel is a calming retreat from the bustling city and features
remarkable landscaping. Established for the Chicago World's Fair Columbian
Exposition in 1893, Osaka Garden was a gift from the people of Japan.
trademark pagoda-style pavilion, Ping Tom Memorial Park (300 W. 19th St.) has
developed a reputation as one of Chicago's most peaceful green spaces. The park
is nestled between the Chicago River's South Branch and bustling streets, so
finding it requires Zen-like focus. As a recipient of the 2001 Richard H.
Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence, this Chinatown gem is a
landscape design marvel that you do not want to miss.
Discover Asian Culture in Chicago
known as the On Leong Merchants Association Building, Pui Tak Center (2216 S.
Wentworth Ave.) is a stunning structure that's famous for its terra cotta
detailing and pagoda-style roof. The building was designed by architects
Michaelsen and Rognstad in 1928 and, when constructed, was called, "One of the
most expensive and elaborate buildings ever erected in America by the Chinese."
in 2005, the Chinese American Museum of Chicago (238 W. 23rd St.) has led a
mission to promote the culture and history of Chinese Americans in the Midwest.
A devastating fire in 2008 forced the Museum to close. After a two-year-long
renovation, the Museum reopened in 2010 and continues to educate through
renowned exhibitions and research.
a preserver of culture as well as a resource for Cambodian refugees and
immigrants in the Chicago area, the Cambodian American Heritage Museum (2831 W.
Lawrence Ave.) is a profound cultural institution. This unique institution
raises awareness of genocide while, simultaneously, celebrating the Cambodian
Little Vietnam (Uptown) & Devon
Avenue (West Ridge)
long stretches of restaurants, specialty shops and independently owned businesses,
Chicago has a pair of ethnic business corridors that center on Asian influence.
Little Vietnam's bustling commercial district is in the Uptown neighborhood at
the corner of West Argyle Street and North Broadway Avenue, while the West
Ridge neighborhood's more Indian and Pakistani-inspired stretch extends along
Devon Avenue between Ridge Avenue and Kedzie Avenue.