Detour At Chinatown Gate
Lanterns are strung south of the Chinatown Gate.
From the bakery, head north to the landmark arching over Wentworth at Cermak Road. Chinatown Gate, originally built in 1975, was adopted from an ancient architectural gateway symbolizing Chinatowns worldwide. You can take a photo from the front on the Cermak side with gold characters of a Chinese idiom , or the back with the Four Cardinal Principles of Confucianism .
Neapolitan Pizza: Paulie Gees
Given the longstanding rivalry with New York for civic supremacy, and the fact that were talking about some of Chicagos most-essential spots, it might seem weird that a Brooklyn-born pizza joint would make this list. But Paulie Gees turns out some of Chicagos best Neapolitan-style pizzas, easily passing the Friday-night craving test. Which is to say, when your inhibitions are down, Gees pies are the ones you crave. The wood-fired and blistered crusts of their Neapolitan pies feature a cross-section of airy bubbles that look more like a croissant than a pizza.
New Orleans In Chicago: Ina Mae Tavern
Chef Brian Jupiter has the soul of the bayou running through his blood. Unlike any cook before him, he has somehow found a way to bring a taste of The Big Easy to Chicago at Ina Mae Tavern. Chargrilled oysters can bubble with butter, while fried crawfish tails can be as addictive like popcorn shrimp. Po’ Boy-style sandwiches stuffed between crusty bread channels the best of New Orleanss stalwarts like Parkway Bakery and Domilises.
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Arguably the finest dumplings in Chicago can be had in Chinatown. QXY specializes in soup dumplings filled with everything from pork and lamb to premium ingredients like lobster and sea urchin. Barbecue skewers are popular as well. Click here to order.
MCCB takes a contemporary approach to Sichuan cuisine. The signature dish a Chongqing specialty stars grilled whole fish bathing in fiery chili broth. Dry chili shrimp, spicy Chengdu dumplings, and twice-cooked pork also warrant a try. Ordering can be done here.
Devour a variety of meats at this Chinese barbecue house. The popular Peking duck dinner feeds three to four people and comes with additional courses like fried shrimp and duck bone soup. Other menu highlight include soy sauce chicken, barbecued pork, and roasted pork.
Considered by some to be Chinatowns premier restaurant, Phoenix has it all. The neighborhood stalwart treats diners to dim sum served from pushcarts and multi-course, family-style meals consisting of all of the essential Cantonese dishes. Carryout and delivery orders can be placed online.
Moon Palace Express is a family-owned takeout specialist that was recently revamped. In the back, theyve added Nine Bar, Chinatowns only cocktail bar, a sleek lounge with a tremendous bar bite menu. The 1-2 punch of Moon Palaces kung pao chicken and Nine Bars fun drinks and items like a pork katsu sandwich is tough to beat.
Chinese Local Products On The Chicago Chinatown Food Tour
Beyond the traditional Chinese restaurants and bakeries, Chinatown in Chicago offers intriguing stores worth exploring.
We stepped into Yin Wall City, a Chinese bulk-foods store with a variety of fascinating dry food, tea and herbal remedies.
We were glad to have Philip navigate us through the strange looking dry foods and herbs displayed in the store.
The stores name actually means Birds Nest, and unsurprisingly they specialize in Birds Nest. It is a specific nest from swiftlet birds and are one of the most expensive things you can consume.
A bowl of bird nest soup costs hundreds of dollars and is known to enhance health and longevity.
While bird nests are carefully packaged in small boxes, other dried food are displayed in bulk in large clear jars or storage boxes.
One prominently displayed herb was Ginseng, considered the King of Herbs in Chinese medicine.
Known to cure a whole host of ailments from arthritis to memory improvement, several kinds of Ginseng was available for sale. The older the ginseng, the more valuable it is.
Another fascinating discovery was deer velvet antlers used in soup. It is known to increase energy and enhance performance in sports.
This experience reminded us of our visit to Chinatown Bangkok, the worlds largest and oldest Chinatown outside of China.
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No Matter The Hour Get Some Dim Sum At Triple Crown
A Chinatown fixture for over twenty years, Triple Crown is cherished for its commitment to day-long dim sum. That means you can satisfy your cravings for shrimp dumplings, fried sesame balls, and puffy egg custard tarts right at 9:00 am or at 2:00 am, before the restaurant finally closes.
Thats not all.
Triple Crown also offers daily lunch specials and a sophisticated menu that highlights their Cantonese and Hong Kong roots.
Insider Tip: The seafood items here are especially worth a try. On our food tour of Chicagos Chinatown, we recommend the salt and pepper soft shell crab, the pan-fried oyster with egg, and their seafood trio in birds nest.
Veggie House Best Restaurants In Chinatown Chicago For Vegetarian Options
The Veggie House serves Chinese, vegetarian cuisine as well as vegan food. The menu of this Chinatown Chicago restaurant is long and good. But to make it easier, the best item on the list is definitely orange chicken which, contrary to its name, is a delicacy made with mushrooms fried with batter to make crispies.
It is then flavored with a tangy and sweet taste. Other interesting dishes to look for include Mongolian beef, which, despite its name, is a vegetable dish. Not only that but there are also some other incredible dishes with fun names on the menu of this restaurant in Chinatown Chicago.
Address: 2109 S China Pl, Chicago, IL 60616, United States
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Shock Heartbreak And Devastation: Reactions To The Mass Shooting In Monterey Park
As Americans awoke on Sunday to news of the mass shooting in Monterey Park, local officials and prominent figures in the Asian American community reacted with anger and horror.
Some lamented the timing of the killings on the eve of Lunar New Year, the most important holiday of the year in many Asian countries.
Governor Gavin Newsom of California that the city of Monterey Park should have had a night of joyful celebration and instead experienced a horrific and heartless act of gun violence.
Our hearts mourn as we learn more about the devastating acts of last night, he added.
Mayor Karen Bass of Los Angeles said in a statement that the news from nearby Monterey Park was devastating, and described gun violence as a plague. Families deserve to celebrate the holidays in peace, she said.
Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones tonight in our neighboring city, Monterey Park, where a mass shooting just occurred, said Kenneth Mejia, the city controller of Los Angeles and the first Asian American to be elected to a citywide position there.
The local authorities investigating the Monterey Park shooting said on Sunday that they were also looking into a second incident in the nearby city of Alhambra, from which no injuries have been reported. It was unclear if the two scenes were connected.
Detour At 88 Marketplace
From the food court, head through the posts to an Asian food wonderland. 88 Marketplace, opened in 2020, is one of the biggest and the most notable new supermarket around Chinatown. Youll find grocery staples and the hottest snacks, as in both viral and fiery. Sweet White Rabbit Lays potato chips were all the rage a few years ago, then snail noodles, but now latiao, spicy snack sticks, are still trending on TikTok. The rest of the mall at Jefferson Square remains relatively empty, but you might come back another time for dinner at Holu, an Asian steakhouse on the ground floor, one of our 25 best new restaurants in 2022.
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Soul & Smoke Evanston
Soul & Smoke opened its first dine-in spot in Avondale in October, but barbecue lovers can still get smoked meats to-go at Time Out Market or at the Evanston original. Brisket is the star of chef DAndre Carters celebrated menu, available by the pound or served on a brioche bun with housemade pickles. Add on soul food favorites such as mac & cheese or chicken gumbo. Place an order through Toast.
All of Avlis four locations offer takeout, though only Avli River North serves Greek street food such as gyros and souvlaki and a menu of customizable bowls and perfect for lunch or a light dinner though the bowls are rolling out to Lincoln Park and Lakeshore East soon. Its also a great place to swing by on the way to a party to pick up a bottle of one of their signature wines along with a sampler of spreads such as tarama and hummus served with pita or vegetables. Order online here.
Marvel At Chicagos Breathtaking Beauty On The Chinatown Water Taxi
You can take the Red Line to Chinatown, but heres a tip we tell our Chinatown Adventure Food Tour guests.
The absolute best way to get to Chinatown during the summer is Chicagos Water Taxi. What it lacks in speed, it more than makes up for in stunning beauty.
The route takes passengers along the Chicago River and in plain view of some of the most famous architectural landmarks. Its an exquisite view any time of day, but an absolute showstopper at night when the city lights glide you back downtown.
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Embrace The Lunar New Year At Chinatowns Chinese New Year Parade
The Lunar New Year is Chinas biggest holiday and the Chinese-American community use the date to celebrate their rich heritage here in Chicago. Though there are a number of events around the city, the biggest parade of all remains the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown.
In addition to marching bands and floats, youll see Chinese folk dancers, dragon boats, and ornate displays showcasing symbols of good luck. Get there early: Over 300,000 people attend this colorful, lively festival.
Detour At Chinatown Square
People walk through Chinatown Square on Jan. 12, 2023.
From Lao Sze Chuan, directly across from Teamo Boba Bar, head right into the two-story outdoor mall. Chinatown Square, which opened in 1993, holds mostly restaurants, plus shops and a somewhat surprising number of beauty salons. You should take a photo with the statue of your Chinese zodiac animal among all 12 in the central plaza.
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The Shooting Cut Short A Celebration Of Lunar New Year
Across California, Lunar New Year celebrations have grown in recent years alongside burgeoning Asian American communities and increasing tourism, particularly from China. For the first time this year, it is an official state holiday in California.
But the revelry in one predominantly Asian American city was cut short on the eve of the holiday by a shooting that took place just hours after the days celebrations were cleared away.
Ten people were killed and at least 10 others were injured in a shooting late Saturday night inside a dance venue in Monterey Park, Calif., about seven miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Earlier in the day, thousands had gathered on the same street for a Lunar New Year festival that restarted this year after the pandemic prompted cancellations.
People had come to Monterey Parks celebration from all over Southern California and beyond, said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.
Investigators have not disclosed a motive for the attack by a gunman described by the Los Angeles County sheriff only as a male Asian or whether the shooting was linked in any way to the holiday.
But the shooting rocked Monterey Park, where about 65 percent of its approximately 60,000 people are Asian American, according to government data.
Mayor Karen Bass of Los Angeles said in a statement that the reports out of nearby Monterey Park are devastating, and described gun violence as a plague. Families deserve to celebrate the holidays in peace, she said.
Exploring Chicago Chinatown Beyond The Food Tour
Being in Chinatown, we took the opportunity to explore the area further.
As we walked back around leisurely, we noticed longan fruits hanging behind the window of a local store.
Longan fruit reminded us of Southeast Asia. Particularly the food in the Philippines where longan fruits are sold on the streets.
As we looked at the fruits, right behind, we noticed cooked pork sitting on a chopping board.
That was enough to get us into the store, Tai Wah grocery. As soon as we walked in we discovered roasted ducks hanging against the wall with Chinese inscriptions.
Right in front of us, was an older asian lady ordering a full duck to go. The duck looked appetizing and tasty. Seeing locals buy the duck gave us the confidence to place our order.
While we typically dont shop at Chinese local stores, we were inspired by the quality and flavors we had sampled earlier.
That evening, recounting our favorite stops on the Chicago Chinatown food tour, we savored the moist and flavorful duck.
We are so glad to have discovered this store. It probably would not have happened, had we not taken the Chicago Chinatown food tour.
This was another reminder to explore the local gems at home.
The next time you are in Chicago Chinatown, stop by Tai Wah Grocery Store.
Youll find the store at the corner of S. Wentworth Ave & 22nd place.
Weve already been back twice and we look forward to more visits. Plan on paying by cash, the store does not accept credit cards.
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The Residents Of Monterey Park Are Predominantly Asian American
The shooting in Monterey Park took place on the eve of the Lunar New Year, the most important holiday in many Asian countries, and has shocked a city that has celebrated milestones for the Asian American community in California.
The authorities said on Sunday morning that the motive for the shooting was still unknown. Until now, Monterey Park, sometimes called the first suburban Chinatown, was perhaps best known as the first city in the continental United States where a majority of inhabitants have ethnically Asian ancestry.
The city, with a population of around 60,000 people, is around 65 percent Asian American and 27 percent Hispanic or Latino, according to government data.
From the 1960s, large numbers of migrants from Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan and Vietnam settled in Monterey Park, many of them affluent.
On Saturday before the shooting, the mood was one of celebration on Garvey Avenue. An array of Asian-owned businesses, restaurants and stalls heralded the eve of the Lunar New Year, one of the biggest festivals that marks the holiday in California. Families in the typically quiet neighborhood were out until the festival closed at about 9 p.m. local time.
As we celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, this occasion holds special significance, Representative Judy Chu of California said in a speech at the festival earlier on Saturday, pointing to the challenges the community had overcome during the Covid pandemic.
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Eat Where Locals Dine On A Chinatown Food & Cultural Walking Tour
You have limited time. Your hungry is vast. And you want to try it all. Whats the best way to tackle Chinatown?
Easy. Its via a Chicago food tour.
Chicago Food Planets Chinatown Adventure Food Tour is a fantastic way to get a bite out of everything Chinatown has to offer. Our expert guides will show you some of the hidden gems that the neighborhood has to offer and will teach you the history behind each dish. Between full portions of Hong Kong dim sum, spicy Szechuan noshes and traditional Chinese pastries, youll also learn the stories behind some of Chinatowns most famous landmarks while getting schooled in the art of Chinese food pageantry and customs.
Pick A Team At The Annual Chicago Chinatown Dragon Boat Races
Chinese dragon boat races are over 2,000 years old and Chicago is lucky enough to have its own annual competition every summer. 32 teams race up the Chicago River in elaborate dragon boats, with one goal in mind: to win money for charity.
Each team is made up of eighteen paddlers, one drummer to keep the rhythm going, and one flag catcher in charge of pulling the flag at the end of the finish line. The festivity also includes booths, entertainment, and activities for children.
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Make Your Day Sweeter At Chicago Chinatowns Best Bakery
Opened in 1986, Chiu Quon Bakery can lay claim to being the oldest Chinese bakery in Chicagos Chinatown. The reason theyve remained a neighborhood staple may have something to do with their delectable steamed buns, traditionally-flavored cookies and fluffy cream cakes.
Another thing to note: They serve up some of the best dim sum in Chicago too. Their selection of meat dumplings, steamed rice crepes, and marinated chicken feet is an excellent way to start off a day of adventure in Chinatown.