Exploring Chinatown in Chicago
Back in the Groove
In all the years that I have been toing and froing from Chicago, I have never stopped by Chinatown. I’m not sure why, but it has been a “low” priority on all my trips.
That was until I saw this Eater documentary.
When it comes to food investigations, this needed serious investing – because I just love a good Char Siu Bao.
Reaching Chinatown isn’t that hard – Bus 24 will get you there from The Loop, as well as the Red Line station at Cermak-Chinatown.
Look out for the welcome sign.
And of course, an Ornamental Gate.
If you’re coming in from the north of the city (say from O’Hare), the joy of the Uber, Lyft or the Chicago Taxi will get you there via I-95 (and allow for time when going into the city – those roadworks never seem to end).
I was dropped off outside the bakery (after an entertaining Lyft ride) and did the one thing I love in a new part of a city – explore.
Chinatown is spread across a fair few blocks – I wandered up and down the main strip (as there were other fish to fry elsewhere), so I went to the first stop of interest — the Bakery. And that’s the correct term – it’s the Chinese bakery in the documentary.
With all the wonderful smells that a Chinese bakery has, along with the pastries and cakes that are always exquisitely decorated.
Well, that looks reasonable enough.
Going in, all the accolades were on show. Well, it’s a reasonable sign.
There was a queue to be served – a good time to scout out what was available to be purchased.
First, there were cake-related items. Nice, but those would not survive a journey.
Moving along, we head into more traditional things, with steamed buns (or buns to steam in a fridge).
As well as some delicacies behind the counter.
As much as I would have liked to bring these back to the UK, I think customs would have had a heart attack…
Moving onto the baked items, there are the usual Chinese-style cookies and Moon cakes.
And finally… baos of all sorts.
It is hard to decide what to choose in this place. I swear.
And it was hard for me too.
In the end, I walked out of the shop with a Curry Bao and three Char Siu Bao. I would love to say I have pictural proof… but let us say they were consumed over the next several days.
And at the Hyatt whilst waiting for a shuttle bus.
Moving out of the shop, I wandered…. and explored. Well, isn’t that part of the point of travelling?
Firstly, there was a Minso. That’s pure catnip for me.
Nanoblock, Pikachu and Easter. What more could you possibly want?
Although I was disappointed with the lack of “We Bare Bears” plushes.
Ice bear wants plushies. Puzzles do not interest Ice Bear.
There are of course… all the different sorts of dining options for those who want to dine.
But is the lamb really happy at this point?
And a menu. Everyone loves a Chinese BBQ… Except if you have an aversion to Pork.
There are also souvenir-style shops with all sorts of things, be they Chinese, Japanese or otherwise.
There should be a VTuber chasing for the Cinnamoroll bag…
Minifigures of all sorts- Pokemon, Spy X Family, Kirby and Demon Slayer.
And, of course.
You basic Waifus. Everyone loves a basic Waifu.
There were also some street sellers too. A good sign of a Chinatown.
And of course, it’s just nice to walk around and look at the mixed architecture, blending North American and Chinese atheistic.
And there’s a message too for visitors – one for everyone to remember,
Put it like this: I intend to make Chicago Chinatown into a spot I would like to visit more often when I travel to the Windy City.
Next: It’s time to start tracking back to the United Kingdom. Time to get my backside back to the Hyatt O’Hare and off to Chicago O’Hare Terminal 5. Where I’m sure a warm welcome from the TSA will be waiting…
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond. Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, in-depth coverage, unique research, as well as the humour and madness I only know how to deliver.
Also, remember that we are part of the BoardingArea community, bringing you the latest frequent flyer news from around the world.