Chinatown

Sure, every major city has a Chinatown, but Philly’s is truly its own. Located between Washington Square West and Northern Liberties, the culturally rich Chinatown and its close-in-proximity shops and restaurants make for an easy, fruitful visit whenever you wish.

Photo © G. Widman for GPTMC

Insider Tips

In 1860, Lee Fong opened a laundry at 913 Race Street—it was the first Chinese business in this area.

Today, Philadelphia’s Chinatown stretches between Arch and Callowhill streets and 8th and 12th streets and includes more than 50 Chinese and other Asian restaurants, as well as churches, grocery stores, specialty markets, an Asian bank and even a Buddhist Temple.

The Market-Frankford Line (the El) stops at 11th Street and 8th Street.


On a Budget

1st Oriental Supermarket $
1111 South 6th Street
yelp.com
215.271.2528
Check out this neighborhood staple for authentic foods at a fraction of the price of a chain grocery. From Goji berries to fresh seafood, woks to chopsticks this historic market has it all.

 


QT Vietnamese Sandwich $$
48 North 10th Street
yelp.com
267.639.4520
Vietnamese hoagies are a pickled-vegetable lover’s dream sandwich. They’re truly unique and are available in a great variety.

 


KC’s Pastries $$
109 North 10th Street
kcpastries.com
215.238.8808
Looking for a change from the usual Italian baked goods? These pastries, bubble teas and desserts give a welcomed culture shock.


Study Spots

Starlight Holiness Church (free)
2944 Ridge Avenue
215.236.8845
One of the oldest churches in Philadelphia’s Chinese community, the beautifully ornate Starlight Holiness Church maintains a warm atmosphere.

 


New Harmony Vegetarian Restaurant $
135 North 9th Street
yelp.com
215.627.4520
This vegan and vegetarian hotspot appeals to students in need of nourishment while studying. It’s quiet atmosphere and positive vibes are an essential academic aid.

 

Ray’s Café & Tea House $$
141 North 9th Street
rayscafe.com
215.922.5122
Ray’s premium tea and coffee selections can pump you up for exams.

 

Outside Itch


Friendship Gate (free)
10th and Arch Streets
Displaying beautifully colored dragons and Oriental characters, the Friendship Gate welcomes visitors to Chinatown.

 


Wok ‘N Walk Tour $$$
Joseph Poon Chef Kitchen
1010 Cherry Street
josephpoon.com
215.928.9333
Led by vivacious and knowledgeable Joseph Poon, this walk parades tour-goers past the best restaurants, historical monuments and cultural centers in Chinatown.

 


Chinese Dragon Mural (free)
Artist Hedy Melvin’s mural remains on the brick wall of Thomas and Teresa Lee’s former restaurant, the Royal Inn.

 

Arts & Culture

The History of Chinatown
Mural (free)

10th and Winter Streets
In commemoration of Chinatown’s 125th anniversary, mural artist Arturo Ho painted this Chinatown gem.

 

Trocadeo Theatre $$
1003 Arch Street
thetroc.com
215.922.6888
This historic theater has something for everyone—from national acts on the main stage to local bands in the upstairs balcony to movie screenings and video game battles on select weekdays.

 


Chinatown Street Food
All Over!
Just take a stroll through Chinatown to find new surprises at every corner—street vendors serving exotic fruits and meats.

 

Seriously


Asia Supermarket $
143 North 11th Street
yelp.com
215.928.9888
Ever been spelunking? Well if you have any interest, visiting this underground market is the best simulation. Instead of hunting out stalagmites and stalactites, you’ll track down some of the best deals in town on authentic Asian groceries. $1 for a pound of baby bok choy? Yes, please!

 


Engine Company 20 (free)
Philadelphia Fire Department
10th and Cherry Streets
Even the fire stations are adorned with Chinese arts and culture. Look for the dragon mural located here.

 


Pennsylvania Convention Center $$$
1101 Arch Street
paconvention.com
215.418.4700
Chinatown exists in the shadow of the newly renovated and expanded convention center. This is the epicenter of cultural takeovers, where events like the Philadelphia International Flower Show, Philadelphia Tattoo Convention and others take place every year.

 

Don’t Miss


Pho Xe Lua Viet Thai $
907 Race Street
yelp.com
215.627.8883

 


Joy Tsin Lau
Restaurant $$

1026 Race Street
yelp.com
215.592.7228

 


Penang $$
117 North 10th Street
yelp.com
215.413.2531