Overflowing with culture, colour and exotic tastes, Chinatown is one of the most vibrant areas in London to eat out and explore authentic shops.
The area was once home to Huguenot and Maltese immigrants and began to develop into what it is today during the 50s, when restaurants began popping up, offering tourists and residents of London flavours from the east.
Quickly other businesses began flocking to the area and by the 70s the neighborhood had become a breeding ground for Chinese culture.
Just one area of London’s esteemed West End and situated close to the Park Grand London Kensington, which is accessible by public transport, Chinatown is well worth adding to your list of places to explore in the capital.
Things to see
If you want to feel as though you just stepped out onto a bustling street in China, you’ve come to the right place. Chinatown is always heaving with people and the area is relatively small, making it easy to get around by foot.
There is also an abundance of buildings in the area that are decorated with traditional Chinese symbols including dragons and lanterns. Be sure that you have your smartphone to hand so that you can capture some memorable shots. The hotels close to Paddington are a great place to enjoy a drink while you look over all of the photos that you took while you were exploring.
While on foot you’ll also see a variety of contemporary art sculptures and Chinese gates. Be sure to head over to Wardour Street, where you’ll be able to see Chinatown’s new fourth gate. It was built in 2016 and is the largest of its kind in the country. Everything you see in Chinatown offers insights into Chinese culture, religion and heritage, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled or you may miss something.
If you love to cook your own authentic Chinese cuisine at home, Chinatown is the perfect place to visit.
New Loon Moon
9A Gerrard St, London W1D 5PN
This supermarket stocks an extensive range of Chinese goodies sure to get avid home chefs excited about getting home and in the kitchen. There is a selection of fresh, frozen and dried foods, so plenty of supplies for your next meal. It’s no wonder this place is Jamie Oliver’s go to when he’s whipping up pan-Asian meals.
Golden Gate Cake Shop
13 Macclesfield St, London W1D 5BR
Offering up a wide range of traditional Chinese cakes, breads and other sweet treats, this place is a perfect stop off for refueling at any time of the day. You could even stock up on a few extras and enjoy them in your room at the Park Grand London Kensington.
Eating and drinking
25 Newport Ct, London WC2H 7JS
This no-fuss diner is the perfect place to stop off if you are feeling peckish. Be sure to sample the steamed bun, a delicacy in China.
The Experimental Cocktail Club
13a Gerrard St, London W1D 5PS
Fancy an early evening tipple? This speakeasy-style basement club is perfect for mingling with friends and with a cocktail menu that is both unique and delicious, you’re sure to keep coming back for more.