The Local Focal: Chinatown

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By Dominic Segatti – Contributor

In this installment of the Local Focal, we will navigate through Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood.

A common misconception about Chinatown is that it only represents Chinese culture, but this area’s name is a misnomer and a complete understatement.

Do you want a curry chicken, or how about a Psy shirt? Chinatown delivers this and more of of Asian culture that you may love. It is one of the best places for students on a low budget to go have a fun and adventurous time in the city.

To begin your adventure, just hop on the Red Line and take it south to the Cermak/Chinatown stop. Chinatown is full of different shops and restaurants throughout.

Chinatown Market — 2221 S. Wentworth Ave.

There is no better way to prepare you for all the joys of Chinatown than immersing yourself in the Chinatown Market, between the Chinatown Court and main strip.

There are thousands of different colors and flavors you’ll never find at your local grocery store and tons of new things to try. Exotic cuisines are just waiting for that adventurous foodie to try them, but if you just want fizzy soda and pocky, they have that too.

You can also find some wonderful deals on fresh meat and vegetables — much cheaper than shopping for them at some retail chain. I suggest you start your journey off here, and celebrate your free time with one of my favorite fizzy sodas — Ramune brand or the melon.

Chinatown Bazaar — 2221 S. Wentworth Ave.

This is one of the many novelty shops in the neighborhood where you’ll find some crazy knick-knacks, toys and other wonderful trinkets that make for great gifts. Shops like this are located throughout Chinatown, and you can find them in both the main strip of shops to the south or in between the north side court.

You can spend hours in these stores just window shopping with your friends. Do you think you will need a lucky cat for midterms or maybe a Totoro pillow to replace your regular one that’s wearing out?

You will definitely find some hidden treasures here that may just take a special place in your heart for years to come.

Phoenix Restaurant — 2131 S. Archer Ave. and Triple Crowns Restaurant — 2217 S. Wentworth Ave.

There’s bound to be food in Chinatown that you may have never tried or even heard of before, so here’s your chance to find your new favorite dish at either of these two restaurants. I suggest dim sum, which is quite similar to tapas with tiny plates of delicious food that just keep on coming. Udon is another great dish if you love soup or ramen. It’s a giant bowl of large noodles and definitely worth trying at least once in your lifetime — just make sure you know what tripe is before you opt to include every ingredient.

KPop of Chinatown — 2344 S. Wentworth Ave.

You’ve probably gotten sick of Psy by now, or maybe you still love singing his songs in private when your roommate leaves for class. Regardless, Korean pop music is one of the largest sensations throughout all Asian culture, and it’s definitely something worth giving another look. Love it or hate it, it’s here and may be staying a while — Psy was just getting it started.

There’s certainly something for everyone in Chinatown, and I’m sure everyone can find their own favorite spots to share with friends.



Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Front Page, Recent Posts

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