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ASIAN CULTURE

Explore Chicago's Asian flavor during your next visit to the city.

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Chicago's 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

Public Art in Chinatown Modeled after 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.

Chinatown 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 Cuisine

Plaza in Chinatown 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.

If you're 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.

Kamehachi (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

Osaka Garden Osaka Garden (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.

Featuring a 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

Pui Tak in Chinatown Originally 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."

Since opening 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.

Designated as 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 community.

Little Vietnam (Uptown) & Devon Avenue (West Ridge)

Featuring 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.


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