ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Things To Do In Chinatown New York: New York City Attractions

Updated on May 4, 2012

Visiting New York's Chinatown

The culturally diverse New York City has many interesting neighborhoods, but one of the most exciting to visit is Chinatown. When I'm there, I don't even feel as if I'm in Manhattan -- it feels as if I'm in another country!

I've been to actual China and being in Chinatown definitely brings back feelings of being in that country. Walk the streets and you won't hear much English spoken. Enter the stores and you'll see many items and spices from China that aren't really sold in other parts of the city. For example, one of my friends purchased a durian (an exotic fruit found in many Asian countries) there at one of the fruit stands. And when you dine in the restaurants in Chinatown, you know that you're getting the real deal -- authentic Chinese food that goes beyond egg rolls and chop suey and lo mein. I especially love getting dim sum, which the Chinese traditionally eat early in the day, sort of like a brunch. It's so much fun to watch the food carts come by with all of these "mystery" dumplings and buns and dishes -- each time you get it, it's a little adventure.

Mostly, though, I just love walking around the area so I can people watch and take in the sights. But if you're looking for more specific attractions, here are some great things to do in Manhattan's Chinatown.

Chinatown New York Tour

Top Attractions In Chinatown New York

Though Chinatown is only one corner of Manhattan, you'd be amazed by how much there is to do in a day! The best way is to get there on the subway: you can take the N, Q, R, J, M, Z and 6 trains to the Canal Street station. I recommend just getting out at that stop and then walking because going by foot is the best way to see the neighborhood. And now, for the activities...

1. Wander along Canal Street or Mott Street. This is a great way to get acquainted with the neighborhood, as you'll find bustling and funky shops and markets along these crowded streets. On Mott Street, there are plenty of authentic Chinese restaurants, as well as curio and spice shops. This is a good place to find genuine Chinese tea, which is about a million times better than the stuff you can get in a standard supermarket. Meantime, Canal Street is the place to purchase really inexpensive "designer" watches, purses and ties (my dad's favorite!). But even if you don't want to spend a dime on knockoffs, these streets are fun to walk down and are an ideal place to people watch. Back in the '80s, after we returned from Hong Kong, my dad was very excited to find some "Rolexes" here like the ones he'd seen in HK. He still wears these watches, too! I don't really care what brand (or faux brand) is on my clothing or accessories, but I still enjoy being able to get cute, inexpensive stuff. On some days, Cana Street feels almost like a flea market.

2. Visit the Museum Of Chinese In America, a.k.a. MOCA (215 Centre Street, between Grand and Howard Streets; one block north of Canal): MOCA features many exhibits relaying the history of New York's Chinatown. It not only focuses on Chinese arts and culture, but shares the story of the Chinese immigrants as they came to the United States and settled into this area of New York City. It's an interesting way to learn more about the people who make up this neighborhood and to understand all that their families went through when they got here.

3. Enjoy a dim sum lunch. If you want to try REAL dim sum -- something that goes beyond pot stickers -- this is the place to get it. Keep in mind, though, that dim sum is served early, during the breakfast and lunch hours, and that at some places, you won't get a menu -- you simply choose what dishes you want off of the food cart when it comes by the table. I personally prefer it when it's random like this because it's almost like a game to see what delicious treasures are next going to pass your table. Some of the best dim sum restaurants are in Chinatown, such as Dim Sum Go Go (5 E Broadway, between Catherine Street and Chatam Square) and Golden Unicorn (18 E Broadway, at Catherine Street). Both serve a delicious variety of dim sum dishes, including pumpkin cakes,shiu mai, pork buns, stuffed tofu skin, sesame balls (my favorite) and, if you dare, chicken feet (my husband swears that they're tasty).

4. Relax in Columbus Park (Mulberry Street, between Worth and Bayard): This is another ideal spot to see how the residents of Chinatown spend their days. At one end of the park is a pavilion that's decorated with red and gold dragons. If you come here in the morning, you'll see many folks practicing tai chi. In the afternoon, the park is filled with men offering games of chess and dominoes, and just families hanging out.

5. Visit the Mahayana Buddhist Temple (133 Canal Street): This beautiful temple is the largest in Chinatown and also features the largest golden Buddha. On weekends, services are held.

Eating in Chinatown NY

Shopping In New York's Chinatown


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • supercibor profile image

      Hector Herrera 

      3 years ago from Dominican Republic

      I enjoyed your tour of Chinatown. Your hubs are simply the best

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      WTF is he doing with his nails in the eating in chinatown video, at the beginning? Gross!!! Yummy food

    • Felina Margetty profile image

      Felina Margetty 

      6 years ago from New York, New York

      This is a great and thoughtful hub, thank you F.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      These are all great suggestions. I had a lovely time in Chinatown on a walking tour with this guy named Garry. He knows the neighborhood (and the food) very well. If you're interested in a personal tour, check him out at I like having a guide show me around; check him out if you like a guide, too.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)