10 Best Things to Do in Chinatown Chicago: Restaurants, Museums, Karaoke and More

Published On: March 14, 2024Last Updated: March 14, 2024
Things To Do In Chinatown Chicago

Chinatown, as the name suggests, is the representation and hub of the Chinese community in Chicago. But more importantly, it is famous for its bustling culture all day. It is the most happening place in Chicago. You will find boutique shops, restaurants, cafes, museums, and other cultural sites dedicated to Chinese history.

There are hundreds of things to do in Chinatown, from karaoke and libraries to candy stores and churches. It caters to people of every interest. You might know Chicago by its various expensive restaurants, but it offers more than that! Let’s explore what its neighborhood, Chinatown, has to offer.

What To Do In Chinatown Chicago? Top 10 Things For You To Check Out Now

Are your visas and flight tickets ready? Pick your favorite spot, plan your trip, and live the life of a traveler.

1. Chinatown Square | Double-story Outdoor Mall

Things to Do in Chinatown Chicago - Chinatown Square

Chinatown Square is the main hub of all the happenings of Chinatown Chicago. You will find a variety of shops, boutiques, restaurants, corporate offices, and beauty stores while strolling around. It is one of the most vibrant and authentic representations of the Chinese American community that aims to educate history and drive business opportunities.

You will always find it crowded as it attracts many tourists from all over the world. From business to cultural festivals and celebrations, it hosts all the events and flourishes every year.

The stunning architecture is designed with thousands of precise glass pieces, and twelve bronze zodiac figures (representing each animal in the Chinese zodiac calendar) are the key attractions that lure history buffs. It has made the nightlife of Chinatown much more lively.

Insights from locals: Detailed representation of life in China, cheap parking lots, might face water drainage issues in case of rain.

2. Qiaolin Hot Pot | Authentic and Exotic Chinese Restaurant

Things to Do in Chinatown Chicago - Qiaolin Hot Pot

Are you a fan of a hearty Chinese hotpot with dividers so you can taste different kinds of broths consequently? Then, you must visit the Qiaolin Hot Pot. They have a variety of meats, veggies, and seafood for the broths. The most famous cuisine is Chongqing-style hot pot.

Read More: Most Expensive Foods

The woody texture and warm aesthetics complement the overall vibe of the space. The lively atmosphere and energetic service are worth spending money on. You can also try a snack bar of desserts, spices, and fruits at an economical price. Do not forget to try freshly cut short ribs, their signature dish.

Insights from locals: They always offer sufficient portions but take no reservations. So you might have to wait for some time, plenty of parking space is available.

3. Chiu Quon Bakery & Dim Sum | Classic Chinese Bakery

Chiu Quon Bakery & Dim Sum

For more than 30 years, they have been in business and established themselves as the true Chinese bakery. They utilize fresh ingredients and prepare everything from scratch to ensure that visitors get the best of the best. The egg tart, BBQ pork buns, and sponge cakes are famous for their taste and freshness.

You can also enjoy their signature dim sum dishes like steamed sticky rice in lotus leaf and shrimp dumplings. They can give tough competition to the world’s delicious food items in terms of taste and quality. You might face long queues, but they move fast as the friendly staff and workers work efficiently even in rush hours.

Insights from locals: Always bring cash, as they do not support credit cards, affordable prices, and delightful taste.

4. Chinese American Veterans Memorial

Things to Do in Chinatown Chicago - Chinese American Veterans Memorial

This memorial aims to pay tribute to the people who served in all branches of the military. It is a heartwarming experience to see and explore the people who sacrificed their lives to protect the United States.

In your entire plan to visit, you must include it to make your visit more memorable and informative.

5. St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church

St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church

It is a historic church made in the 1940s with prominent Chinese features like Chinese tablets and gold-black inscriptions. It is a great representation and landmark of the strength of the Chinese community in Chicago. The church was named after St. Therese, a saint in the Catholic faith.

Stand tall on Alexander Street; it has stone lions at the entrance and large glass windows. It is a major support and source of sense of belonging for the immigrants. The management also gives referrals for the citizenship and English classes.

6. Aji Ichiban | Great Candy Store

Aji Ichiban

Want a sugary kick to your vacation trip? It is the ultimate candy store your inner child will love. From snacks to hundreds of varieties of candies, it is a dreamy place for people who love sweets. The colorful aisles and stalls overloaded with packaged sweets will leave you delighted.

They not only have regular sweets and candies but also some unique stuff like dried fruits and specific Asian candies. For some options, like dried squid and other seafood, they offer free tasting.

If you are coming with kids, visiting Aji Ichiban is one of the first things to do in Chicago tonight. Buying a variety of Kit Kat and raspberry-flavored candies is the best way to explore the taste of China.

Insights from locals: Expensive prices, attentive staff is ready to help you with a wide assortment of candies and spicy items.

7. Sakura Karaoke Bar

Things to Do in Chinatown Chicago- 
 Sakura Karaoke Bar

For the people who love music and dance, Chinatown also offers one of the best karaoke experiences. At the Sakura karaoke bar, you can get top-notch music systems and songs in various languages with a wide stage to dance the entire night with your friends. They have now introduced the birthday and bachelorette packages to accommodate diverse youth.

Even if you are not with a large group and need a more intimate setting, they can offer you the best experience. With the music, you can enjoy the delicately crafted martinis and liquors. To satisfy the craving for delicious food, you can order a variety of Asian and Western cuisines.

Their music selection is varied from Red Velvet to Taylor Swift, Jack Horlaw, Doja Cat, and IU, including many other English and K-pop hits.

Insights from locals: Excellent lighting effects and stage setup, diverse music selection. Make reservations earlier for VIP rooms.

8. Pui Tak Center | Church-based Community Center

Things to Do in Chinatown Chicago

Decorated with traditional Chinese aesthetics, this renowned center is a significant landmark for the Chinese community in Chicago. “Pui Tak” means to build character and cultivate integrity, which perfectly describes its core values and purpose.

Its clay roof tiles, terra-cotta panels, Chinese motifs, and wide overhanging eaves represent authentic Chinese designs with a Western touch. But what makes it more interesting is that it was designed by Norwegian architects rather than Chinese. The center aims to teach various programs for all ages, including English classes, tutoring, educational programs, and community services to help individuals adjust to life in the US.

Insights from locals: There are so many activities at any given time here, a beautiful place to visit and learn, and excellent services and products.

9. Ping Tom Memorial Park

Things to Do in Chinatown Chicago

It caters to people of all ages because it has a children’s playground, adult multipurpose gymnasiums, meeting rooms, fitness centers, and much more. Decorated with Chinese and Western design techniques, it truly represents the harmony between both nations. Spread over the 17.44-acre, it offers stunning views of Chicago’s skyline.

Ping Tom Memorial Park and the Chicago Water Taxi station are side by side. You can start your journey by taking the water taxi and having incredible outdoor dining.

Insights from locals: Parking lots can be full on busy weekends, and fine public art, shaded benches, and walking tracks are available.

10. Nine Dragon Wall

Things to Do in Chinatown Chicago

The Nine Dragon Wall is a true representation of Chinese culture. It is the imitation of one of the three Nine Dragon Walls built outside of China. In terms of design, it has nine large dragons and over 500 smaller dragons painted in different colors. It is made of glazed tiles and red, gold, and blue colors, symbolizing good fortune in Chinese culture.

If you love Asian architecture and aesthetics, you will love its artistic appearance. Located adjacent to the “L” stop at the entrance of Chinatown, you will easily spot it.

Insights from locals: A great backdrop for pictures, impressive and intricate detailing, and great historical depth.

Conclusion

Since there are a variety of activities and things to do in Chinatown Chicago, it is the best vacation destination for you. Get a chance to explore the culture of China and how they maneuver their life, do business, and follow their culture while living in the USA.

In the bustling neighborhood of Chinatown, you can experience Chinese culture, food, music, festivals, and celebration in its true colors.

About the Author: Mujahid Khan Jatera

Mujahid, a lifestyle blogger, is a passionate explorer who loves to travel. With a keen interest in luxury automobiles, he exemplifies a strong business mindset and entrepreneurial drive.

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