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Chinatown - NYC

Chinatown, NY
Chinatown, New York City, NY

New York City’s Chinatown is one of the largest ethnic Chinese communities outside of Asia. It’s one of the largest Chinatown’s in the nation, second only to San Francisco’s Chinatown. Flushing Chinatown, in Queens, is the second largest Chinatown in New York City. Chinatown covers over two square miles on the Lower East Side of Manhattan – Canal Street to the North (bordering Little Italy), The Bowery/Allen Street (bordering the Lower East Side), East and Worth Streets to the South and Baxter Street (Broadway) to the West.

Dim Sum and Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Bustling Chinatown is packed with Chinese restaurants, Dim Sum parlors and tea houses. It’s also home to fruit and fish markets, specialty stores, tiny stalls and herb shops. Get an early start because the streets get very crowded as the day goes on. For ice-cream lovers, stop by the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, located on Bayard Street. They’re famous for their delicious gourmet ice cream and sorbets. We like walking around Mott, Doyers and Pell Streets. They’re fun places to explore, eat, shop, take pictures, and people-watch. The nation’s oldest Jewish cemetery (First Shearith Israel Graveyard) is located at St. James’s Place, just off Chatham Square in Chinatown, near Kimlau Square. It dates back to 1683. 

Historic Doyers Street

Once famous for its bars, opium dens, gambling houses, brothels, and massage parlors, Chinatown’s Doyers Street was also known as “The Bloody Angle” for its violent history. Many gang wars occurred on this narrow angled street which also housed a network of tunnels. Today, Doyers Street has tamed down quite a bit. It is home to the first – and oldest – Dim Sum Parlor in Chinatown. The Nam Wah Tea Parlor opened in 1920. Peek inside the nearby Gold Flower Restaurant. It still looks like an opium den inside. It’s a fun place for an evening drink.

National Register of Historic Places

In 2010, Chinatown and Little Italy were listed in a single historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.

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One of the best ways to really explore the area, learn about its history and get a feel and taste of Chinatown, is to take a Guided Food and Walking Tour. Take a fun New York Double-Decker Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Sightseeing Tour. Chinatown is one of the featured stops along the Downtown Loop route. You can hop-on-and-off at your leisure.

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