Have you ever ridden the red line past Chinatown and thought about going, but had no idea what to do once you get there? I grew up going to Chinatown. This is my normal itinerary for when I show my friends and family around the area.
Right as I get off the red line, I head straight to the stores. There are so many stores that you should go to, but my favorite is EK Souvenirs. It’s fun to look through all of the trinkets and items they have, but the best part is by the register. When you check out, you need to look down at all of the boxes wrapped in newspaper and pick one up. That’s my favorite thing when I visit. The items range from $1 to $5. It’s always fun to get one and open it when you sit down to eat!
Which leads me to my next recommendation, dim sum! My favorite place is Ming Hin because the price is fair and they have the best food. I personally recommend their shrimp dumpling with chives, barbecue pork buns, any of their udon plates, and custard rolls. The price per dim sum dish ranges from $4 to $6 and a plate of noodles is around $11. It’s fun to go with friends since it’s meant to be shared, but they also make great leftovers for the next day. I like to open my little mystery box from the first stop while I wait for my food. On one visit I ended up with two small Buddha statues!
After dim sum, there is usually room in my stomach for dessert. The next stop should be Tous Les Jours bakery a few stores down. They have the best baby choux creams ever and they’re only $2.50 for five of them, they also have great croissants and castella bread. My dessert of choice is the baby choux creams and a hot latte.
If you like boba tea and ice cream, I suggest Joyee. It’s close to the dim sum restaurant and bakery and it’s not too expensive. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of boba but I do enjoy it from time to time in the summer. If you get their ice cream, try their green tea ice cream. When the hot weather comes, it’s definitely a must!
Another place to visit is a little Japanese candy store called Aji Ichiban Snack USA. When I go, I usually get some small snacks like Pocky, Kit-Kats, Ramune, and things of that sorts to bring back for my roommates. It can get a little pricey if you’re not careful. About $20 worth of items is enough for two people.
After you’re done eating and shopping, take a walk over to the Ping Tom Memorial Park for a sit-down. It’s a great place to take pictures and relax.
Stay tuned here at TSL for my next adventure around the city!
By Abra Richardson, Freshman, Columbia College Chicago