Philadelphia’s Chinatown is concentrated within a six-block area between Vine, Race and Arch Streets on the north and south, and 8th to 11th Streets on the east and west. Its rich cultural history stems back to the mid-19th century when Cantonese immigrants opened laundries and restaurants in the area close to Philadelphia’s commercial wharves. In the mid-1960’s, the area grew as large numbers of families settled here. The Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) was formed in 1968 and has remained the preeminent support group for the Asian American community.

This exciting tourist attraction borders on the Philadelphia Convention Center and the Reading Terminal Market. However, Chinatown is more than a tourist attraction. It is a thriving neighborhood where residents and business owners, live, work, worship and raise their families. “As it builds for its future and commemorates its past, Chinatown remains a stepping stone for recent immigrants as well as a cultural and social touchstone for Asian Americans in the Greater Philadelphia area.”

The Chinatown Friendship Gate, located at 10th and Arch, is the internationally known symbol of cultural exchange and friendship between Philadelphia and its Sister City, Tianjin, China. The Gate is part of the Port Agreement signed in Tianjin, China on November 11, 1982, commissioned by the Departments of Commerce and Public Property, completed in 1984. The Gate is the first authentic Chinese Gate built in America by artisans from China. Other noteworthy landmarks include various murals that celebrate the community’s culture and history. The “History of Chinatown” mural, SE corner of 10th and Winter Streets commemorates Chinatown’s 125th anniversary, created in 1995. The “Vision of Paradise” mural at 9th and Race Streets, the birds on the tree represent life, created 1988, and the “Chinese Dragon” mural, located at 10th and Cherry, created in 1985.

Chinatown’s culinary attractions represent a large number of restaurants featuring an amazing variety of East Asian, Burmese, Japanese and Vietnamese cuisines as well as a host of ethnic food markets and scrumptious bakeries.

Philadelphia’s Chinatown is an excellent and very affordable place to shop for oriental gifts, cookware, Chinese porcelain and china, herbal remedies or those special ingredients needed to make your own oriental dishes at home.

Chinatown area residents are zoned to The McCall School (co-ed, K thru 8) or the Holy Redeemer Chinese Catholic Church and School.