This post was written in support of the I Love Chinatown campaign. All opinions are my own.
Living in Shanghai took its hold on me. And within weeks I was endlessly enamored with Chinese culture and cuisine. But coming to London’s Chinatown makes it feel like I never left. Tucked in between Shaftesbury and Rupert street lies China’s cultural hub, London Chinatown.
Open daily you’ll catch Londoners from all backgrounds exploring the Far East. With authentic cuisine, shops and special events it’s the perfect place to get a taste of Chinese culture in London.
History of Chinatown
Originally bound to the East End – Chinatown’s community began with a breath of new restaurants and shops for the docks. However, by the mid-20th century, Chinatown relocated to Soho.
By the 1980s Chinatown had become more or less how we know it today. A vibrant cultural hub full of everything from restaurants to health clinics, bars, restaurants, and of course, an iconic Chinese gate to match.
Fast-forward to present-day and Chinatown is a London staple – with thousands of locals and visitors alike flocking to the streets of Gerard and Newport Place for a bite of China.
I Love Chinatown Campaign
Walking through the golden gates I was met with a multi-colored frenzy of lanterns, rich pungent smells of hot pot pouring onto the streets, and locals soaking in the sun along the cobblestones. But it wasn’t always like this. Over the course of the pandemic, London Chinatown was left severely affected.
But in an effort to bring Chinatown back to its glory – the campaign I Love Chinatown was born. And it’s working pretty well.
Packed with delicious deals on offer you can fall in love again with the cobbled streets of East Asia – London style. Support local businesses and get your hands on a yummy “Take-Put” box for just £8-£10 or if you’re feeling extra savvy – snag a #ILoveChinatown special for a mere £5!
Once you’ve got your meal of choice you can sit along Newport Place and watch the hopeful messages of locals with a digital messaging screen on full display. It’s beautiful!
Businesses to Support
Although all of Chinatown’s cuisine will have your mouth watering – here are a couple businesses I’ve particularly enjoyed over the years. Ranging from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Flipino finds you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choices.
- Dumplings’ Legend, 15-16 Gerrard St
- Shanghai Modern, 12 Newport Pl
- Bubblewrap, 24 Wardour St
- Chinatown Bakery, 7 Newport Pl
- Cafe TPT, 21 Wardour Street
- Baozilnn, 24 Romilly St
- Good Friend Chicken, 14 Little Newport St
- Tsujiri, 47 Rupert Street
- Mamason’s, 32 Newport Ct
- Olle, 88 Shaftesbury Ave
For participating restaurants in I Love Chinatown’s campaign check out their website here.
Have you been to Chinatown yet? Let me know on Instagram @candaceabroad and help revive the area and support local businesses using the hashtag #ILoveChinatown.
Read more on a self-guided walking tour through Central to inspire your next trip!