Philadelphia, like many large cities, has a great Chinatown. Here you can find all of the city's best Chinese restaurants, cool Chinese import stores (think silk!) and funky groceries, fabric stores, and noodle shops. There are also a few cute toy shops. Take a walk through. It's worth it and you will enjoy yourself.
Chinatown is one of Philly's coolest attractions. Located downtown, Chinatown is jam packed with stores and restaurants that tantalize. I estimate that one in every three shops is a restaurant or coffee shop, so you can really eat yourself silly. Prices are super-reasonalble and variety abounds. Vietnamese, Cantonse, Szechuan, Mandarin, Thai, Hunan, Japanese and many more that I can't recall are all present to tempt your tastebuds. You will also find many Asian markets and fishmongers where you can find all those elusive ingredients you've been looking for.
The Friendship Gate shown here is a real Chinese gate built by artisans from China, and was the very 1st one built in America. It is a beautiful and fascinating piece of architecture.
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the pamphlet "Guide to Chinatown Businesses." I found it helpful- I picked up my copy at the PA Convention Center.
Philadelphia's Chinatown is a compact neighborhood that does not approach the scale of the more famous Chinatowns in San Francisco or New York. Yet, the neighborhood's intimacy is also what makes it attractive. It's been said that if you bring any 20 people together in Philadelphia's Chinatown, five are relatives. It's an enclave bordered by a Convention Center, an Expressway, and a downtown shopping megamall. With ducks hanging upside down in restaurant windows and streets signs in Chinese, Chinatown feels a world apart from the rest of the city
Most visitors come to Chinatown for its restaurants. In fact, people have been eating in Chinatown since the restaurant Mei-Hsian Lou opened in 1870. A plaque at 913 Race Street on the site of that first restaurant pays tribute to that eatery as well as the first Chinese immigrants who came to America -- which was known by those in China as "gim sa" or "gold mountain." 913 Race Street was also the site of Lee Fong's laundry which opened in the 1860s, the first Chinese business in the district.
Today one can get all manner of Chinese cuisine -- Szechuan, Mandarin and Hunan. In addition to the dozens of Chinese restaurants, there are now several Vietnamese restaurants and a handful of Burmese, Japanese and Thai eateries located in Chinatown as well. Vegetarians will find several restaurants catering particularly to their needs -- but don't be surprised if these vegetarian restaurants have "pork", "beef" or "poultry" on the menu -- they're all made from gluten, a wheat product.
Though there is not a lot of authentic Chinese architecture in Chinatown, the few examples that do exist are worth seeing. Most compelling, perhaps, is the Friendship Gate at 10th and Arch Streets. This many-colored arch ornamented with fire-breathing dragons and Oriental lettering was a joint project between Philadelphia and her Chinese sister city Tianjin. Chinese artisans completed the Friendship Gate in 1984 with materials brought from Tianjin.
Although China Towns are pretty touristy and similar, the one in Philly is about as authentic you can get in the US. We were so impressed by how beautiful it was despite the rainy day. You could smell the food as we approached!
The stores sell many cheap Chinese souvenirs and nick knacks, you can collect some fun stuff here. I got a cute set of chopsticks that I used in my hair.
It was raining when we arrived so we decided on soup, we passed many restaurants handing out menus and featuring ducks in their windows and settled on a cute little cafe. I am sure it has a name, but I am at a loss.
The hot and sour soup was delicious. This restaurant also featured Pho a traditional Vietnamese dish that my husband really enjoyed.
Chinatown in Philadelphia is great and honestly worth the time to visit. It's pretty easy to get there on SEPTA and is perfect for a lunch stop!
Chinatown in Philadelphia is rather small, compared to New York's Chinatown, but still offers some great restaurants, noodle houses, grocery, and souvenir stores. Philly Chinatown stretches about 1 square block and you can find the entrance to it, marked by a large Chinese gate/arch, on 11th and Arch St. This place could be busy, depending on when you get there. There is a little concert place (Tracadero) not too far away, actually right around the corner and if you go there in the evening on a day of a concert there may a lot of people walking around. If you have a chance, visit a store called "Chinese Bazaar" I think and pick up some great souvenirs.
Montreal has its own Chinatown, so we did not really venture into the one in Philadelphia. However, we did pass in front of the Chinese Friendship Gate in Philadelphia and took a picture of it because it is said to be the largest one in the world... and even if that's not the case, it is big, I'll give it that!
Philadelphia's Chinatown (tangrenjie) (zhonggoucheng) is considerably smaller than ones in New York or San Francisco, partly because Philadelphia's Chinese population isn't really that large. As with many other Chinatowns the size of Phialdelphia's isn't exactly defined; it covers between 6 and 8 blocks. There's a nice little gate at 10th street and Arch that welcomes you to Philadelphia Chinatown. You'll find the general Chinatown shops and restaurants; there's nothing too special. Parking is impossible, so be prepared. From Race St in Chinatown, you can get a view of the Ben Franklin Bridge. It's a nice place to wander around.
Philadelphia's Chinatown is the fourth largest in the United States. A close-knit neighborhood centered around Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic Church, Chinatown is currently expanding north of the Vine Street Expressway with a new housing development.
Shop at the dozens of gift shops and Asian markets, and enjoy access to the many events at the Pennsylvania Convention Center such as the Philadelphia Flower Show and the Auto Show.
Dine at a variety of Asian restaurants, offering Chinese, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Burmese, or Thai cuisine. Or stroll over to the Reading Terminal Market where you can pick supplies for a picnic dinner or shop for take-home gourmet staples ranging from Amish farm produce and meats, to cilantro pesto, to kosher hors d'oeuvres and Cajun spices.
Personaly I wasn't very impressed with china town, but find out for your self.
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We strolled up to Chinatown one evening to get some dinner. Philly has a very Robust Chinatown. Not as large as New York or San Francisco but still just as interesting. Where else but in a Chinatown can you get a plate of Jellyfish for dinner and not raise eyebrows?
I'll try almost anything once and now that I've tried the Jellyfish, I'm happy to say I've knocked it off the list. It's not bad, kind of a firm chewy texture with little flavor. I suspect if you got a tentacle it would spice up really nice. See attached photo for presentation.
Located in Center City between City Hall and the historic district, Chinatown is a busy little neighborhood full of unique architecture, interesting shops, and tasty restaurants and grocery stores. Home to about 10,000 people today, Philly's Chinatown began around 1870 with the establishment of the first Chinese laundromat and the area quickly attracted other Asian immigrants. Though the city has consumed much of the original Chinatown, the city has recognized the cultural and tourist value of the area and has taken steps to protect it.
It is estimated that there are several hundred Asian restaurants in Chinatown covering the full spectrum from Chinese, Japanese and Singaporean to Cambodian and Thai.
On-street parking is limited, but there are several private lots in the area.
I've been to Chinatown in about six US cities, but Chinatown in Philadelphia is by far the greatest of all them. While quieter and smaller than the Chinatown of New York or Chicago, Philadelphia Chinatown has many small Chinese shops and restaurants that many people like!
Philadelphia Chinatown is a great place to go because it has over fifty different restaurants! I like to often go there with my friends for dinner. Many different types of Chinese food are offered, including Cantonese, Sichuan, and Taiwanese. There are also foods from other Asian cultures available. Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese food is available. Before I head to Chinatown, I often pick out a restaurant by visiting the website chinatownmenu.com. chinatownmenu.com contains all of the menus of the restaurants in Chinatown. As a result, you can tell how much things will cost before you head out of the house.
Here are some of my favorite restaurants:
Four Rivers - excellent Sichuan (spicy Chinese) food
Yakitori Boy - eat Japanese kabobs (yakitori) while singing karaoke. Ask about the karaoke specials. Rooms are free during many hours if you eat a lot of food.
Hong Kong Bakery - relax and drink tea in a peaceful room full of friendly people
Chinatown. It's a rather large area, and is very unique in its quality.
I enjoy it because of all the unique features that you don't see in mainstream society. There's different things to buy, and different cultural items to see.
Though small compared to its hectic and sprawling counterpart in NYC, Philly's Chinatown is homey and not as daunting. It is nonetheless very much a true ethnic neighborhood, full of energy and a a large complement of restaurants and markets to get a real taste of Chinese culture and food.
Not a huge area (about 6 blocks), Chinatown is easy to stroll. Most people come here to eat. Parking is difficult to find. Better to park elsewhere and walk down to chinatown.