Chicago’s famous Chinatown dates back to the 1870s. It is about twenty blocks south of the Loop, and is one of the most densely populated districts in the city, with some 10,000 residents living in a few square blocks along Archer Avenue, Cermak Road and Wentworth Avenue. The names on street signs are in Chinese characters as well as in English. At the northern end there is a shopping mall called Chinatown Square, as well as a 600-unit apartment complex. Chinatown also includes the Prairie Avenue Historic District, which was once home to millionaires like George Pullman and Marshall Field.
You can enjoy some great shopping in Chinatown, and it’s fun to learn about ancient Chinese traditions over a cup of green Chinese tea. But the real attraction of Chicago’s Chinatown is the food. You can have a culinary adventure just sampling the cakes and cookies in the bakeries. There’s a great selection of restaurants serving up Cantonese, Szechuan and Malaysian cuisine. One even has a sushi bar. Chinatown tours are available. Plan your trip in advance, and you should be able to find accommodation in cheap hotels in Chicago near Chinatown.