Spotlight on Boston’s Chinatown
Are you looking for something to do that isn’t too far from the Devonshire Apartments? Bursting with history, culture, food, and shopping, Boston’s Chinatown is worth exploring. Whether you browse through some of the shops, eat a great meal, or attend an event at one of the nearby theaters, there’s something here everyone! Here’s more information:
The History of Chinatown
Boston’s Chinatown is the third largest in the US and is the only remaining historic ethnic Chinese enclave in New England. Chinatown was built over a landfill and centered on Beach Street in the South End. A portion of Chinatown is a filled in tidal flat, but the first to settle there were Anglo-Bostonians. The area became less desirable because of the railway development. Syrian, Jewish, Irish, Italian, and then Chinese immigrants settled there.
The first Chinese settlers were brought from San Francisco to help break a strike at the Sampson Show Factory in North Adams. In the mid 1870’s, Chinese laundries were becoming more popular. Around the same time the first Chinese Restaurant, Hong Far Low, opened. During the 1880’s and 1890’s laborers were brought from China due to an increase in construction needs
Where to Eat
You’ll find no shortage of good food in Chinatown. Five Spices House at 58 Beach Street offers a modern take on classic dishes. The all day menu consists of items such as: BBQ skewers, fried calamari balls, egg drop soup, and steamed vegetable dumplings. Clay Pot Cafe at 74 Kneeland Street is the place to go if you like, or want to try for the first time, clay pot pies such as yellow eel, soft-shell turtle, or quail. If you’re not that adventurous, you can enjoy fried rice with beef, shrimp, or chicken or a noodle dish. If you’re in the mood for dumplings, you’ll want to pop into 52 Beach Street and try Gourmet Dumpling House. They offer a variety of dumplings, soups, and other Chinese dishes. Q restaurant is a hot pot and sushi bar at 660 Washington Street. It’s a trendy new spot that has become quite popular.
Things to Do
The Hayden Building was constructed in 1875 and is the place to go if you’re a history buff. You can take a tour of the building at 681-683 Washington Street. There is also an area of the Rose Kennedy Greenway near 34W Lincoln Street that is close to Chinatown and is a great place to relax or play on the oversized checkerboard. If you enjoy people watching, this is a good place to spend some time.
Where to Shop
There are great places to shop at Chinatown! Otaku Gift Shop at 44 Kneeland Street is where you’ll find all things “Hello Kitty.” You will also find clothing, sunglasses, skin care products, and other accessories. Essex Corner (50 Essex Street) is where you’ll find arts and crafts, gifts, stationery, and lanterns. Aqua World is a pet store that specializes in aquatic creatures. The small store is lined with large tanks containing colorful fish. Visit them at 20 Tyler Street.
You won’t run out of things to look at, shop for, or eat when you visit Boston’s Chinatown. It’s a great area to spend some time!