A First-timer’s Guide to Chinatown – Part 1

Home to a thick population of Chinese and other South-Asian immigrants, Chinatown is one of the most redolent neighborhoods in New York City. A quick walk through its crammed, narrow alleyways reveals surprise after surprise. Overflowing with bakeries, eateries, boutiques, herbal pharmacies, temples, nightclubs, and more or less everything Shanghai, a stroll through the area and you’ll end up feeling as though you’ve entered an entirely different part of the globe.


Chinatown is a destination of its own; bang for bargain shopping, food, history, and the chance to soak in Chinese culture. All in all, it’s a fantastic neighborhood. And just like everything-NYC, it sure is confusing and chaotic, particularly so for the first-timers. And that is exactly why we’ve written this handy guide to exploring Chinatown.


Hey, keep in mind that NY has several Chinatowns. This post is all about NYC’s oldest and most renowned Chinatown; yeah, the one in lower Manhattan. Though I’ve heard rumors that the one in our capital is equally enticing, I don’t quite believe them. Regardless, catching a bus to Ithaca NY for its 20 or so Chinese restaurants is not needed, to say the least.


Explore New York City’s most notable and largest South-Asian community at you own pace with our visitor’s guide to Chinatown.


Just a tip: Before delving into Chinatown, take a visit to the Museum of Chinese in America for a sense of Chinatown’s history.


Chinatown is much more than coming in starved and working your way through the numerous dim sum places and dumpling dens. There are alleys which are stuffed with booths selling exotic foods such as live eels and hairy rambutans, and then those with some of the best jewelry stores. Manhattan’s Chinatown is where you will find some of the best restaurants in NYC representing the cuisine of essentially every province of China along with Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand as well as Vietnam. And for history aficionados, this exquisite neighborhood offers gorgeous galleries, instructive, interactive museums, and community landmarks that capture the immigrant’s American experience and tell the story of their history, growth, and successes within our America.


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