Why we love it
Chicago’s century-old Chinatown transports you straight to eastern Asia. Stroll through elaborately adorned streets filled with authentic grocery stores, boutiques, souvenir shops, and family-owned restaurants with dishes you’ll be craving long after you’re home.
As soon as you set foot in Chinatown, you’re in for the best kind of sensory overload. The area is filled with Chinese statues, pagodas, ornate archways, enticing aromas, and storefronts packed with tempting treats and traditional wares.
First, head to Chinatown’s original stretch along Cermak Road and Wentworth Avenue. Treat yourself to classic Chinese baked goods, feast on award-winning dim sum, and shop for exotic teas, waving good luck cats, festive paper dragons, and handmade jewelry. The nearby Ping Tom Memorial Park is an idyllic setting for playing, picnicking, city skyline viewing, and kayaking along the river — it’s easy to get to via a scenic Water Taxi ride from the Loop.
Next, check out the outdoor Chinatown Square mall, located just north of the main Wentworth Avenue District. Here, numerous cafes and boutiques are gathered in a pedestrian-friendly, picturesque setting. See if you can spot your sign among the 12 Chinese Zodiac statues located in the middle of the mall.
Explore like a local
Snap a photo with Chinatown’s Guardian Lions at the entrance of Chinatown Square. Watch the Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade, part of the city’s Chinese New Year celebrations every February. Grab a traditional mooncake at Chiu Quon, the neighborhood’s oldest bakery.
Chicago Greeter: free guided tours
Taste, shop and explore the neighborhoods with a friendly local as your guide. Explore rich histories, diverse cultural traditions and hidden treasures. See sides of the city you may not have adventured out to on your own, and take away a truly authentic Chicago experience. Greeter visits are customized based on your choice of neighborhoods, language and interests.Request a tour with a Chicago Greeter