Chinatown is a famous neighborhood and tourist destination in Downtown Manhattan, NYC. Chinatown is the home of over 100,000 immigrants from China and East Asia and many tourists visit it every year to taste the authentic Chinese cuisine, find cheap bargains and souvenirs and absorb its exotic and intensive atmosphere.
Chinatown is mainly known for its cheap, authentic restaurants and dollar stores, but if you want to deepen your understanding of the Chinese-American culture, you can visit the Museum of Chinese in America (MoCA), on 215 Centre Street, which exhibits photographs and documents from the history of the Chinese immigrants.
Columbus Park (on 67 Mulberry St.) is a good observation point for the diversity of the local residents. Especially during weekends, you can see Chinese-opera performers, tai chi practices and enthusiastic Mah Jong games, while having a picnic or joining a sports activity.
Where to Eat in Chinatown
Chinatown offers many food vendors and restaurants with delicious, authentic Chinese dishes. Most of the restaurants are located on Mott Street, but it is recommended to visit the less touristic joints, which serves mainly the local residents. It is also recommended to taste the exotic candies, fruits and vegetables sold on the various neighborhood shops. Some recommendations:
Nom Wah Tea Parlor, on 13 Doyers St., is the first dim sum establishment in NYC, offering wide selection of dim sum plates, including vegetarian dishes, for just a few dollars.
Thái Son is a Vietnamese restaurant, on 89 Baxter St., serving delicious and cheap dishes from the Vietnamese and Chinese kitchen. The prices are reasonable and the service is very polite.
Hong Kong Supermarket, on 157 Hester St., is a great place to shop for any exotic ingredient – from Chinese snacks to seafood and excellent teas.
Bars & Nightlife
Comparing to other Manhattan neighborhoods, Chinatown is not very famous for its nightlife, but it has some nice places you can have a drink. La Baron Chinatown is a fashionable Parisian-style lounge bar on 32 Mulberry St. with live DJ sets; Whiskey Tavern on 79 Baxter St. is a classic NY neighborhood bar with a rich whiskey bar and excellent bar food for reasonable prices.