In search of the best and most fun things to do in Chinatown, Chicago?
Chinatown is a neighborhood in southern Chicago, Illinois, United States, formed by workers escaping anti-Chinese violence on the west coast.
Chinatown is often confused with “New Chinatown,” but you should know that they are different places.
Most of Chicago’s Chinese locals are based in Chinatown, and this makes Chinatown one of the most Chinese-populated districts in the United States.
The first ever Chicago Chinatown was created in the late 19th century on Clark Street, but in 1912, it was moved to the current location after immigrants moved south from near the loop where the first Chinatown was established.
Around 2010, Chinatown was estimated to have a population of about 16,325. This beautiful Chinatown is worth visiting as it has hospitable people, beautiful culture, and history.
Many attractions in Chinatown are worth visiting, including Chinatown Square, Pui Tak Center, the Chinese American Museum, Ping Tom Memorial Park, and Wentworth Avenue featuring lovely shopping centers, restaurants, and historical landmarks.
Are you planning an exploration of Chinatown? Here are the top things to do in Chinatown, Chicago.
Things to Do In Chinatown, Chicago
1. Chinatown Gate
Architect Peter Fung drew Chinatown’s Gate design, and his design inspiration was from the gate in Beijing. Chinatown’s gate was later completed in 1975.
As the gate of Chinatown, it is the first thing that welcomes you to Chinatown. This gate is a lovely attraction in Chinatown. The beauty of this gate gives you a little clue of how beautiful Chinatown is.
“The globe belongs to the commonwealth” is an inscription written on the gate, which has a very significant meaning in Chinese history.
Chinatown Gate is a lovely attraction to behold, so make sure to visit Chinatown to get the chance to see this beautiful gate of Chinatown. You can as well take pictures here.
Address: 2206 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL 6016, USA
2. Chinese American Museum of ChicagoChinese American Museum of Chicago is one of the best attractions in Chinatown. If you are a lover of arts and antiques, this place should be on your list of the places to visit in Chinatown.
The Museum was opened to the general public in 2005 and has been a prominent place in Chinatown since then.
Initially, the place where the Museum is situated used to be the Quong Yick Co. Grocery before it became the home of the Museum.
Tragedy struck the Museum as they experienced a terrible fire outbreak in September 2008, which led to the renovation of the Museum and a total lockdown. The Museum was later reopened in October.
There are many historical attractions in this Museum, including the display of the Chinese immigration to the midwest and a display that shows the routes used by the Chinese immigrants from California to the midwest.
This place teaches a lot when it comes to Chinese history, so it is a place where you could bring your kids to enlighten their brains.
Exploring the Chinese American Museum of Chicago is one of the top things to do in Chinatown. So, don’t hesitate to add it to your checklist of places to visit in Chinatown.
Address: 238 W 23rd St, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
3. Chinatown Water Taxi
One of the fun things to do in Chinatown is riding a Chinatown Water Taxi. This is a famous means of transportation in Chicago during summer.
Although it’s a slow means of transport, many people enjoy the water taxi because of the lovely and breathtaking view you can witness while on board.
A ride on this means of transport is a lovely adventure. Its night view is top-notch and most admirable.
While onboard, you often see some of Chicago’s prominent architectural features and attractions.
An adventurer and architecture lover will fall in love with this place.
Address: Ping Tom Memorial Park, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
4. Chinatown Square
You can’t afford to visit this Chinese enclave without checking out Chinatown Square, as it’s one of the top things to do in Chinatown, Chicago.
Chinatown Square, a two-story shopping center, is the largest Chinese mall in the Country. It features many small businesses like restaurants, beauty salons, teahouses, and many more.
The attraction was opened in 1993 and has immensely promoted the commercial state of the town.
The Square has many architectural elements like the twin pagodas and statues portraying Chinese beliefs and culture. The statues represent the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac from China.
During summer, they sometimes hold live music concerts or dance performances to entertain people, including the Autumn Moon Festival and the Chinese New Year. Chinatown Square is indeed one of the major attractions in Chinatown.
Address: 2133 S China Pl, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
5. Yin Wall City
Suppose you are looking for a nice place that offers very healthy tea. In that case, Yin Wall is the perfect place for you as they specialize in making tea, especially natural ones.
Yin Wall offers the best kinds of natural tea in town ranging from ginseng, loose-leaf tea, and lots more.
Since Yin Wall specializes in tea, they make the best, which is why they are so popular, and many people frequently visit the place.
As a visitor to Chinatown, this is one of the best places to visit. It would be an excellent decision to have a taste of natural teas here. They could even teach you a little about their teas and medicinal contents, especially their local ones.
Their staff is accommodating when answering questions, especially to Chinatown visitors who know nothing about their teas.
Address: 2112 Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
6. Lunar New Year in Chinatown
If you want to witness more about Chinese culture, this is an excellent opportunity for you to do so. Attending this celebration is one of the best things to do in Chinatown, Chicago.
According to the Chinese calendar, a different creature is always represented every year.
You can experience many things during the lunar New Year, like lion dances, traditional dragons, and animal-themed floats.
The celebration lasts fifteen days, and different activities are being done on the other days.
This celebration is delightful and heart-warming. It also features many activities like decorating, offering sacrifices to ancestors, eating reunion dinner with family on New Year’s Eve, firecrackers and fireworks, and many more enticing events.
This event is an event worth attending in Chinatown.
Address: Chinatown,Chicago, IL 60616, USA
7. Hoypoloi Gallery
Hoypoloi Gallery is a fun place to visit in Chinatown, especially for art enthusiasts.
Hoi Polloi is a phrase that pertains to the masses or the working class. Hoypoloi Gallery adopts its name and uses it to make beautiful rare arts for the public to see.
They also sell a wide range of unique arts-related items, which you won’t be able to resist buying.
Currently, Hoypoloi has two gift shops at O’hare International Airport and a lovely gallery in Chinatown.
If you have questions concerning the artworks displayed, its owner is willing to answer you to you are clarified.
Address: 2235 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
8. Pui Tak Center
Pui Tak Center is one of the most beautiful attractions in Chinatown. The Chinese word Pui Tak means “To build character or cultivate virtue.”
This Center is a well-known historical landmark in Chinatown. Pui Tak Center also possesses the beauty of the traditional architecture of China; it also has towering gables.
The Center is exquisite, as its building is an example of the traditional architecture of China; it also has modern western touches, which makes the building unique.
In 1993, a Chinese Christian Union Church purchased this place. Currently, the building is usually used to hold youth Church programs.
Pui Tak Center is one of the beautiful places in Chinatown that is worth visiting. You could go with your friends, family or even alone and enjoy the mind-blowing view.
Address: 2216 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
9. Nine Dragon Wall
You can’t think of what to do in Chinatown, Chicago when there is Nine Dragon Wall. Capturing beautiful moments in Nine Dragon Wall is one of the fun things to do in Chinatown.
Nine Dragon Wall is a stunning wall decorated with nine giant dragons and over 500 little ones painted in different colors like gold, blue and red.
Nine Dragon is regarded as a historical landmark in Chinatown, and it is a place worth visiting. You could come here for sightseeing or take pictures.
The wall has a beautiful significance as it commemorates the mythical beast that represents China’s soul.
Chinatown Nine dragon wall was designed after the partition of Beijing’s Forbidden City.
This place is one of the most beautiful attractions in Chinatown, Chicago. It’s a place worth visiting with your friends and family.
Address: 170 W Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
10. Tai Chi Classes at Chicago Chinese Cultural Institute
Tai Chi Classes is a very recreational class in Chinatown, Chicago, as it offers you the opportunity to understand the Chinese culture better.
This Institute teaches Chinese language and cultural programs to schools, libraries, museums, and public institutions to enlighten them on their culture.
Tai Chi Classes are one of the best places to visit in Chinatown as a visitor to the neighborhood. The Classes help you to relate better with their locals.
If you visit with your family, it’s also educational for your children.
Address: 1245 S Michigan Ave, #219, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
11. Chicago’s Chinatown Food and Walking Tour
If you are a person who loves going on adventures and a food lover, Chinatown Food Tour got you covered.
Hop on a food tour with Chinatown Adventure Food Tour to witness the beauty of this Chinese district through its food, as it’s one of the fun things to do in Chinatown, Chicago.
While on tour, you get to try out many Chinese delicacies in different great restaurants and also get to explore the district and its beauty.
All you have to do to secure a spot is to log in to their website and book a tour with them. While on tour, you also mingle with many people from different places.
The tour guides are always knowledgeable and take you to places you never knew existed, even as a Chicago local.
As a visitor to Chinatown, you could explore this place with your partner, family, or friends. It’s a worthwhile experience.
Address: Chinatown, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
12. Heritage Museum of Asian Art
Heritage Museum of Asian Art is a beautiful attraction in Chinatown, especially for art buffs.
The Museum displays different types of Asian Arts, bringing you close to Asian history and helping you understand it through art. Most of these collections were compiled by Jeffery Moy.
Heritage Museum is a non-profit museum that features antique jade and pottery, porcelain, textiles, and lots more.
As a visitor to Chinatown and a lover of arts and antiques, this place should be on your list of the best places to visit in Chinatown.
Address: 218 W 26th St, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
13. Qing Xiang Yuang Dumplings
One of the best things to do in Chinatown is to stop by Qing Xiang Yuang Dumplings and grab a taste of the best dumplings in Chinatown.
Usually, Chinese locals see dumplings as a regular cheap snack that you could get easily, but Quing Xiang Yuang Dumplings changed that mindset.
Quing Xiang Yuang Dumplings make you yearn for dumplings, as their dumplings are made with the freshest ingredients and lots of creative blends.
Their services are top-notch, as they serve based on your orders; the dumplings could be steamed, fried, or boiled; it all depends on your order.
As a visitor to Chinatown, You wouldn’t like to miss out on this great snack; a bite of this dumpling will leave you yearning for more.
Address: 2002 S Wentworth Avenue, #103, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
14. Pop KTV
Pop KTV is a lovely bar in Chinatown, famous for respecting its customer’s privacy. Unlike most Karaoke bars, it allows you to book a particular room for yourself to sing whatever you want to your heart’s content.
The bar has 11 private rooms, which are spacious enough to contain as many as 15 persons, and each of these rooms is rented for $38 per hour.
Their karaoke songs are available in Chinese, English, and Spanish. You have to choose whichever you want.
This bar is a wonderful place to visit with your Husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, colleagues, or friends.
At this bar, you enjoy yourself to the fullest while singing and dancing. Pop KTV should be added to your list of places to visit in Chinatown by all means.
Address: 2002 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
15. Chinese American Veterans Memorial
Visiting the Chinese American Veterans Memorial is one of the top places to visit in Chinatown, Chicago, as it is a significant historical landmark.
This place was built in honor of those Chinese Veterans who fought to protect the United States of America.
It is a place worth visiting. You could go there to pay your respects as a sign of acknowledging their reasonable efforts.
Although the building is small, at least their efforts were acknowledged and will be cherished forever.
Address: Cermak Rd And Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
16. Aj Housewares and Gifts
If you are looking for a beautiful place to shop for housewares in Chinatown, check out Aj Housewares and Gifts.
Aj Housewares offers lots of beautiful and classy housewares in town. You will indeed find what you are looking for and more in Aj Housewares and Gifts.
Aj Housewares and Gifts offer a variety of housewares that you will be confused about the one to pick and the one to leave.
They offer home goods, toys, lights, scroll arts, presents, cookwares and lots more.
You could also come here to get gifts for your family or friends. But, of course, they sometimes offer souvenirs to their customers too.
Aj Housewares and Gifts should be among your list of places to visit in Chinatown, especially for Fashion and decoration enthusiasts.
Address: 2125 S China Pl, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
17. Chicago Public Library, Chinatown Branch
Chinatown Public Library is a great place for bookworms. The two-story Library encompasses 16,000-square-foot.
If you are a book freak, don’t hesitate to check out the spectacular public Library in Chinatown.
This place offers fantastic books, some of which emphasize the culture of Chinese and Chinatown. So, this is an excellent opportunity to learn about Chinatown and Chinese culture.
This Library was opened to the public on August 29th, 2015. Feng Shui Architecture did the building’s Interior design, and it has a living roof and lovely views of the Chicago cityscape.
The Library is so beautiful, and its environment is tranquil too. It’s a lovely sight to behold.
Address: 2100 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
18. Cai Fine Dining and Banquet
Cai Fine Dining and Banquet is a restaurant worth visiting in Chinatown.
Cai Fine Dining and Banquet is a beautiful restaurant with a banquet room atmosphere; it is pretty dim and has chandeliers hung above.
This place restaurant’s atmosphere would be perfect for a date for you and your partner or even your family.
As a visitor to Chinatown, you should check out this place, and if you plan to visit, this restaurant should be added to your list of the top places to visit in Chinatown.
Cai’s menu is affordable, and they offer both traditional and seafood, which are all enticing and delicious.
Address: 2100 S Archer Ave, 2nd floor Chicago, IL 60616
19. Aji Ichiban Candy Store
Are you a visitor to Chinatown, and you want to make your children happy by giving them candies to enjoy while exploring the town? Aji Ichiban Candy Store has you covered.
Aji Ichiban Candy Store is known for putting smiles on children’s faces, including adults who are candy lovers too.
They offer varieties of candies, mostly Asian sweets. These candies are neatly packed and arranged so you can see the one you want.
They also offer complimentary snacks sometimes to their customers when you purchase something from their store.
Visiting Aji Ichiban Candy Store is one of the fun things to do in Chinatown since you get to enjoy lots of candies and get the chance to taste other brands you haven’t even seen before.
Address: 2117 S China Pl, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
20. Sakura Karaoke Bar
If you are a person who loves to party and have a good time, Sakura Karaoke Bar is a place for you.
After a stressful day, you might want to breeze in somewhere and have a good time. This bar is a place for you to unwind.
Sakura Karaoke Bar is a very classy and popular bar in Chicago, and interestingly, its located in Chinatown. So why not explore this bar while in Chinatown during your free time?
Due to the fast growth of the bar, Sakura Karaoke Bar renovated and extended its bar in 2021 to accommodate more customers and appease them better.
The bar has a stage room, a dance floor, eight VIP rooms, and two bars.
They are entertaining and play the most incredible songs. In addition, they offer top-notch liquors, and their restaurants serve various combinations of Asian and Western meals.
Visiting Sakura Karaoke Bar is one of the best things to do in Chinatown, as there is just something for everyone.
Address: 234 W Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
21. Ahjoomah’s Apron
Ahjoomah’s Apron is one of the best places to visit in Chinatown for an outstanding, delicious, and indigenous meal.
Ahjoomah’s restaurant is one of the first Korean Restaurants to be opened in Chinatown. This restaurant offers different kinds of traditional foods from its Asian neighbors.
They offer Korean dishes, Chinese, Mongolian Malay, Japanese, Vietnamese and more. There is something for everyone and varieties for people to choose from, regardless of their ethnicity.
Their staff is friendly and accommodating, as they are ready to assist visitors who know nothing about their menu or the traditional dishes and find it hard to choose.
Dining in Ahjoomah’s Apron is one of the fun things to do in Chinatown. And of course, you can also come with your family and friends.
Address: 218 W Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
22. Golden Bull Restaurant
Golden Bull Restaurant was made known to the public in 1992, and since then, it has been known to offer the best when it comes to food.
Golden Bull Restaurant is highly rated by customers who have been to the restaurant. They are known for serving healthy foods and ensuring customers’ safety.
Their staff is impeccable and accommodating while observing all safety rules.
The best thing about this restaurant is that you can place your order online, and the food will be delivered to your doorstep, and there haven’t been any complaints about the food offered.
Before coming to the restaurant, you could also reserve a table through their website to avoid inconveniences.
You can also check their menu online and even the prices of their foods; this restaurant is just super easy to dine at because you can get all the information you need at the tip of your fingers; all you have to do is to log into their website, which is also easily accessible.
Golden Bull Restaurant is one of the top places to visit in Chinatown because they are known for serving varieties of quality foods.
Address: 242 W Cermak Road, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
23. Ping Tom Memorial Park
Ping Tom Memorial came into the limelight in 1998. This park is big, containing as many as 17 acres of land. Previously situated in the location of this park was a rail yard before its transformation to Ping Tom Park.
This park has a stunning Chinese culture exposition, which is being displayed through its antiques and texture.
Visiting Ping Tom Memorial Park is one of the fun things to do in Chinatown, Chicago. Since it has vast space, it contains many games to keep you alive and entertained.
When it comes to sports, this park never slacks. There are many enticing attractions in Ping Tom Memorial Park, including a terrace and an indoor swimming pool. You also get to fill your eyes with beautiful views of the city’s waterway.
The park also has a river, where you can go kayaking and hiking.
Ping Tom Memorial is indeed one of the interesting places to visit in Chinatown, so it should be added to your itinerary list.
Address: 1700 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
Plan Your Trip to Chinatown
Chinatown, Chicago, offers a fascinating experience to visitors. You get to experience the beauty of their culture from their events, restaurants, museums, and lots more.
What makes Chinatown unique is its hardworking and generous locals and how they combine western culture with their Chinese culture so visitors can feel welcomed.
Chinatown, Chicago, IL, is indeed a neighborhood worth visiting.