10 of The Biggest Chinatowns in the US

Where are the biggest Chinatowns in the US?

Washington DC Chinatown via Pixabay

What are the largest Chinatowns in the United States?

Chinese influence all over the world is undoubtedly immense. Major cities around the globe like London, Melbourne, Vancouver, Manila, and so many in the United States all have their very own Chinatowns!

Did you know that approximately 1.5% of the total US population are Chinese Americans? Yup, no wonder the Chinese culture and tradition can easily thrive in America, right? Chinatowns are a great way to diversify the rich culture of a city or a country. They are basically cities within cities. They keep the hustlin’ and bustlin’ of the city going no matter what. From a wide variety of exciting and unique food choices, street vendors, strange but surprisingly useful items, grand feasts, and many more! You’re always in for an adventure whenever you visit Chinatowns.

So, are you craving authentic Chinese food in the US? Well, where else could you find the best-tasting dim sum, Chinese delicacies, and more in the city? Right, in Chinatowns! Join me as we discover the ten (10) biggest Chinatowns in the US:

San Francisco

San Francisco Chinatown by Kae Ng via Unsplash
San Francisco Chinatown by Kae Ng via Unsplash

Chinatown, San Francisco is probably one of the biggest Chinatowns not only in the US but in the whole world. It was established way back in 1948 when Chinese immigrants used San Francisco as their port of entry to the United States. Since then, it became the center of Chinese culture for the country and was hailed as the largest Chinese community outside of Asia!

As you walk down the intersection of Grant Avenue and Bush Street, it would seem like you are entering a completely different country. Visitors won’t be disappointed with the abundant produce in the local market. Tons of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and poultry are all available!

Well, a visit to Chinatown wouldn’t be complete without a taste of their remarkable Chinese cuisine, right? So be sure to try the egg tarts at Golden Gate Bakery, China Live’s Peking duck sesame, and the salt and pepper squid of Yuet Lee Seafood Restaurant!

Washington DC

Washington DC Chinatown via Pixabay
Washington DC Chinatown via Pixabay

This list wouldn’t be complete without the shopping mecca of the US capital! The Washington DC Chinatown is relatively small compared to that of San Francisco’s, but it’s still full of treats!

There are a lot of stores and shops to look forward to! Be sure to check out Ming’s Restaurant and Tony Cheng’s Seafood Restaurant and Mongolian BBQ! Also, there’s a famous spot called the Wok & Roll where the Lincoln Assassination Conspirators were said to hang out. Don’t worry, they serve some of the best-tasting Chinese foods!


The Chinatown Gateway was built in 1975 photo via Pixabay
The Chinatown Gateway was built in 1975 photo By hakkun, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

Ah, you would just love everything about Chicago, right? Well, in addition to all of those things, another lovely thing about this city is its very own Chinatown! Just twenty (20) minutes from Downtown is the bustling and thriving Asian community of Chinatown, Chicago!

Countless restaurants, groceries, shops, and even museums can be found here! For instance, it’s worth visiting the Chicago Chinese Cultural Institute and the Chinese-American Museum! Also, you shouldn’t miss the chance to taste Lao Sze Chuan’s dry chili chicken! This authentic and spicy Chinese dish was once named the best takeout food in the US, so drop by and try it!

New York City

Chinatown in Manhattan New York City
Chinatown in Manhattan New York City

The Big Apple’s very own Chinatown is probably one of the most nostalgic places to be in the world. Imagine standing right at NYC Chinatown’s crowded streets with every touch of Asian Culture around you but up north, you could see the majestic view of the iconic Empire State Building. I gotta say, that’s going straight into my bucket list!

Ah, don’t miss the chance to taste the phenomenal dim sum and dumplings from Jing Fong Restaurant as well as the hand-pulled noodle dishes of Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles! Yup, that’s the name. Straight to the point, huh? Tasty, indeed!


Chinatown–International District, Seattle by Joe Mabel via Wikipedia cc
Chinatown–International District, Seattle By Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, cc

Chinatown-International District of Seattle or sometimes referred to as “I.D.” is one of the first established Asian communities in the US. Since the 1860s, this presently diverse community consisting of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Filipino residents and merchants has long been a huge influence of Asian culture to the city of Seattle.

This Chinatown also has tons of restaurants, supermarkets, and museums to offer! You should try going to Uwajimaya Supermarket, I’m sure you’ll find lots of treats there as well as tasty dishes from their very own food court!


Philadelphia Chinatown by Beyond my Ken via Wikipedia CC
Philadelphia Chinatown By Beyond My Ken – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,  CC

Philly is also proud of its own Chinatown! On any given day or night, Chinatown, Philadelphia always has a lot of pleasurable things to offer! From the local tours to the utterly delicious Cantonese dishes, you certainly wouldn’t get enough. This Chinatown is also one of the oldest established in the US, so you can expect tons of ever-famous restaurants, groceries, and shops to be standing here!

I personally recommend the Imperial Inn, it’s serving some of the best Mandarin food and dim sum treats. This Chinatown also serves other Asian food like Thai and Vietnamese, you should try them!

Los Angeles

Lost Angeles Chinatown West Gate by Antoine Taveneaux via Wikipedia CC
Lost Angeles Chinatown West Gate by Antoine Taveneaux via Wikipedia CC

Los Angeles Chinatown holds fantastic festivities especially during the Chinese New Year, Moon Festival, and Chinatown Summer Nights! It is conveniently located near the cultural center of the city so the locals are usually exploring this wonderful community.

The welcoming red gate of the entrance convinces tons of locals and tourists to check out Chinatown’s best offers! Aside from a wide selection of souvenirs, fresh produce, and affordable clothing choices, the main attraction is no other than the food! Don’t miss the chance to try out Phoenix Bakery’s Strawberry Cake and the dim sum from Ocean Seafood.


The home of the Rockets also has a diverse Chinatown itself! In fact, it’s so diverse that some people consider it to be called “Asiatown” rather than Chinatown. This is because it consists of a wide selection of Asian cultures like Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, and Filipino!

Spanning over six miles across Bellaire Boulevard, this Chinatown has lots and lots of delights to offer! It features the Hong Kong City Mall with a countless selection of restaurants, stores, and shops! You can also try the famous steamed pork buns at Fu Fu Cafe!


Boston Chinatown by Ingfbruno via Wikipedia CC
Boston Chinatown by Ingfbruno via Wikipedia CC

Downtown Chinatown, Boston is the heart and soul of the Chinese Community in the city. Despite its small size, it is considered one of the most influential places in the city! For 130 years, it has been serving some of the best cultural pleasures in Boston. Countless restaurants, upscale bars and lounges, and unique shops have long been thriving in this small community.

I gotta say, that calamari from Peach Farm was really good!


Finally, the Chinatown Historic District of Honolulu is one of the oldest Chinatowns in the US. During World War 2, the famous streets of this Chinatown were considered to be heaven for soldiers. Right now, they are bustling with small stores and boutiques offering some of the best-tasting Asian dishes!

You should try and visit Yut Tang Chow Noodle Factory and watch as your yummy noodle dish is being freshly paired right before your eyes. Are you craving Chinese food and you want to prepare it yourself? Then, you must have a go at the Oahu Marketplace! Here, you can find all of the ingredients you need for a delicious Asian dinner.

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Also read: Manila’s Chinatown: The World’s Oldest Chinatown


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