The most popular activity for most Chinatown visitors is eating; there’s a range of budget-friendly options along Wentworth Avenue. Discover Chinese delicacies that you may otherwise have missed on a food-and-walking tour, which typically include dishes such as Hong Kong-style barbecue, Cantonese dim sum, and spicy Szechuan noodles. Pick up imported Chinese herbs and traditional ingredients at local grocers, or shop for Far East-inspired trinkets at souvenir shops.
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Things to Know Before You Go
If you’re short on time, make a quick stop in Chinatown via a hop-on hop-off bus tour.
Many restaurants can validate paid parking for up to 2 hours.
Remove shoes before entering the Buddhist temple on Wentworth Avenue.
There’s a Chinatown post office that’s ideally located for shipping any large purchases home.
How to Get There
Chicago's Chinatown is centered around Cermak Road and Wentworth Avenue. It’s bounded by 18th Street on the north, 23rd Street on the south, State Street on the east and the Chicago River on the west. Catch the L Red Line to Cermak-Chinatown station or take a water taxi from downtown Chicago.
When to Get There
Chinatown is especially lively during annual festivals such as Chinese New Year in January or February; the Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy in June; Chinatown Summer Fair in July; and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival in September.
Chinese Cultural Walk
While Chinatown is best known for its food, there are a handful of cultural attractions worth visiting, too. Step inside a functional Buddhist temple on Wentworth Ave, stroll past traditional-style buildings in Ping Tom Memorial Park, and admire public art such as a column covered in spiraling dragons near Cermack and Princeton streets.
- Tommy Gun's Garage
- Prairie Avenue Historic District
- Soldier Field
- Field Museum
- Northerly Island
- Shedd Aquarium
- Harold Washington Library Center (Chicago Public Library)
- Chicago Board of Trade Building
- Adler Planetarium
- Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower (Sears Tower)
- Rookery Building
- Marquette Building
- Chicago Riverwalk
- Art Institute of Chicago
- Palmer House Hilton