Family Neighborhood Guide: Chinatown

Find the best places to eat, shop and explore in Chicago's Chinatown with kids.

Chinatown is  a hot spot for great food, architecture, shopping and museums. If you’re new to visiting this part of the city, start with the Chicago Architecture Center’s walking tour of Chinatown, which is ideal for teens and tweens, too. Then, stick around for delicious food, adorable shops and scenic parks.

Getting there: Chinatown is located on Chicago’s South Side, spanning 26th Street as its southern border to Ping Tom Memorial Park to the north, and from Federal and Clark on the east to the South Branch of the river on the west. Wentworth and Canal mark the center of the business district.

Eat

Joy Yee

Address: 2139 S. China Place, Chicago

Chinatown is known for its food, and the top restaurant depends on what you’re looking for. While exploring the neighborhood, stop at Joy Yee to treat the kids to one of the best bubble teas in the city.

Phoenix

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Huiling Mei (@huiling.mei)

Located inside Chinatown Square, Phoenix offers up a unique dim sum dining experience with rolling carts of food that diners can choose from.

MingHin Cuisine

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Minghin Cuisine (@minghinchicago)

A Chinatown favorite, MingHin has additional locations across the city and in Naperville. While at the original location, be sure to try some of the Chinese staples like chicken feet and barbecue pork buns.

Xi’an Cuisine

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Triphena Ross (@triphenaross)

Sandwiches aren’t banned from Chinese cuisine, and if your kids love anything between two slices of bread, they can improve their palates with choices like marinated beef, vegetables or pork elbow.

Tours Les Jours

Once you’ve enjoyed the salty, tangy and spicy flavors of Chinatown, you need to finish your meal with a sweet treat. This French-Asian bakery has glass classes filled with cakes, pastries and other baked goods that are full of unique flavor combinations. Try matcha bread, fruit pastries, chocolate croissants and more. Pair your dessert with a specialty coffee or smoothie.

Play

Ping Tom Memorial Park 

Photo Credit: Choose Chicago

Part of the Chicago Park District, Ping Tom Memorial Park is uniquely constructed with beautiful views of the Chicago River. The playground includes climbing structures for all sizes and ages, and a beautiful pagoda welcomes visitors to the boat launch. Explore the walking paths to find murals and watch boats pass by.

Chinese Lunar New Year Parade

  • Address: Starts at 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue and heads north up Wentworth to Cermak Road

Featuring marching bands, colorful floats, traditional lion dances and a special appearance by Ronald McDonald, the parade celebrates the start of the new year. In 2021, the Chinese Zodiac marks the Year of the Ox.

Chinatown Summer Fair

Photo Credit: Choose Chicago

  • Address: Wentworth Avenue and Cermak Road, Chicago

This iconic annual celebration of Far East culture includes the Dragon Lion Dance Procession, artisans, food vendors and more. The event usually occurs mid-July.

Dragonboat Race for Literacy

Families can watch teams compete in a fast-paced race on the South Branch of the Chicago River in decorated dragon boats. Also at the yearly event, enjoy live musical and dance performances, booth vendors and special guest appearances. This event usually occurs in late June.

Shop

Chinatown Square 

The square is a two-level center of shops and restaurants with plenty of options. In the middle of the vast mall are 12 bronze statues of the animals of the Chinese zodiac.

Aji Ichiban

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ichiban Snacks (@ichibansnacks)

Kids will LOVE a stop at Aji Ichiban, a candy store and more. Pick up candy by the pound or pre-packaged with options that range from sugary sweets to gummies to chocolate.

AJ Housewares & Gifts

This little gift shop is wall-to-wall Chinatown toys, decorations, accessories and even more to bring the best of the neighborhood home with you.

Explore

Chinese American Museum of Chicago

The museum houses the history of migration to the city, plus revolving exhibitions about the Chinese experience in the U.S.

Chinese American Veterans Memorial

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kevin Weber (@kevin_c_weber)

Honoring Chinese Americans who served in U.S. armed forces, the monument was dedicated in 2005 and is a short walk from Chinatown Square.

Pui Tak Center

The community center serves more than 30,000 Chinese American citizens that live in and around Chinatown, including in Bridgeport, Canaryville and the South Loop. Volunteer opportunities are open for families who want to spend more time in the community.


Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram

- Advertisement -

LATEST STORIES

Best Places for Families to Live in Cook County

Explore Cook County’s best places to raise a family in 2023, ranked by Niche.

How to Set Good Money Examples for Kids

Your money-related actions and conversations can model positive behaviors for kids, from toddlers to teenagers.

Brave Listening: The Secret to Safeguarding Your Child’s Mental Health

Join us for our ParentEd Talk on Jan. 10, 2024, with Stacey Freedenthal, Ph.D., LISW.


- Advertisement -