Planning a visit to Chinatown? Are you making your to do list? As always, we are here to help! Chinatown is one of our favorite neighborhoods and here are our top seven things to do in Chinatown, New York City.
Have an authentic dim sum meal
Dim sum is a huge part of Chinese cuisine and culture. It is a brunch time meal where tea and small bite sized foods are served. Some dishes that you have to try include shrimp dumplings, shrimp rice noodle rolls, shumai and egg tarts. Nom Wah Tea Parlor (13 Doyers St), Jing Fong (20 Elizabeth St) and Golden Unicorn (18 E Broadway) are all excellent restaurants for dim sum.
Take a walk around the neighborhood
The streets of Chinatown are always buzzing with excitement and a lot of the streets are snapshots from another time. The Chinese New Year is the perfect time to visit Chinatown. The streets are festive and filled with people from all over the world. It is also the best chance to see lion and dragon dances as they pass through the streets. In addition, Chinatown is also known for their unique shops like Ten Ren’s Tea Time (73 Mott St) and Yunhong Chopsticks Shop (50 Mott St).
Walk down the street that was once called the Bloody Angle
One street in particular is especially rich in history. Doyers Street has a storied and perhaps an infamous past as it was once was where more people died violently (usually due to Chinese gang disputes) than any other street in the United States. Of course that is in years past, but you can still see some relics of the past such as some of the tunnels that were used to escape.
Visit the Museum of Chinese in America
Speaking of history, the Museum of Chinese in America aka MoCA (215 Centre St) has fascinating exhibits on Chinese American history. It is the perfect start or the perfect complement to explore the history of the neighborhood and learn about all the obstacles and hardships that Chinese Americans endured.
Swing by Columbus Park
Be sure to also check out Columbus Park in the center of Chinatown. It is a focal point of local culture and arts. Especially look out for the local musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments who are usually out and about in the warmer months. If you are looking for a snack in the area, Tasty Dumpling (42 Mulberry St) across the street has delicious dumplings that we can’t recommend enough.
Get dessert at the Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
As the day winds down, you have to check out the Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (65 Bayard St). It is the go to dessert place in Chinatown and it is where you can get hard to find Asian ice cream flavors like red bean, lychee and black sesame.
Take a tour of Chinatown and Little Italy with Ahoy NY Tours & Tasting
Finally, there is so much more to explore and there really is no better way to explore Chinatown and Little Italy than taking a walking food tour with Ahoy New York Tours & Tasting. Learn about all the larger than life characters in local history, try the mozzarella from the oldest Italian cheese shop in the United States, sample dim sum dishes from the oldest dim sum parlor in Chinatown and more!
Do you have any recommendations for things to do in Chinatown? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.