27 – New York for Piccolas and Piccolos : Chinatown

Crowded, unique, noisy, and fascinating, Chinatown makes for a colorful stroll and tasty dining. Skip Canal Street and all those stores full of made-in-China-Channel-stuff and cross Mulberry Street, heading south. You will get to the heart of real Chinatown. Here you will find tiny streets, iconic alleys, a museum in a frighten elevator, a secret tunnel, the photograph of your aura, typical stores, authentic food in tiny restaurants, exotic fruits, fish market, herbs shops – and much more. I mean, the real Chinatown experience.


Cortlandt Alley (A.K.A. Hon. Thomas Tam Way). Located in Chinatown, the alley runs three blocks (between Canal and Franklin streets), and features old storm shutters on windows, rusty fire escapes, dock landings, graffiti on the walls, and doors that seem like portals to your own personal murder scene. Don't be scared. Just dig deep and explore. Photo @lucascompan


Explore some of the top secrets of Chinatown, Manhattan


Now, check this out: an exclusive kids map

Click here to download it


Turn onto Mott Street, the main artery, for a sampling of lures like chopstick shops, bakeries beckoning with cookies and soft buns filled with roasted pork or beef, and souvenir stands selling slippers, back scratchers, dolls, toys, and bamboo plants, which the Chinese consider good luck. Buy a mini-stalk to take a little luck back home.


Stop into the Eastern States Buddhist Temple to see offerings piled high on altars and over 100 golden Buddha gleaming in the candlelight. Turn left to Bayard Street for the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory’s unique homemade flavors. Stay on Bayard to Columbus Park for a playground and the chance to see residents practicing Tai Chi. Then return to Mott and choose among the many restaurants for a final Chinese treat. One caveat: the crowds and commotion may not be ideal for young children and there is little room for strollers.


before the sunrise in chinatown. Photo @lucascompan

How to get here

Take the 6, N or R trains to Canal Street.


Especially for kids in New York City

More stories you might enjoy