Chinatown: A DC Must-Visit Neighborhood

Upon crossing under the Friendship Archway, you enter a world of culture, history, and nightlife in the small, historic neighborhood of Chinatown. Situated along H and I Streets between 5th and 8th Streets, Northwest, Chinatown comprises of diverse restaurants, shopping, museums, and theatres. Though Chinatown lives up to its name and consists of many of the city’s best Chinese restaurants, the neighborhood is also home to the Capital One Arena, National Portrait Gallery, International Spy Museum, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre (and much more!). 

Restaurants: There are so many to choose from, so I’ve comprised a few of the favorites.

  • Ping Pong Dim Sum – An elegant and innovative cuisine, known for adding contemporary twists to Asian dishes and dim sum.
  • Daikaya – This lively restaurant offers Sapporo-style ramen on one floor and Izakaya on the second floor where you can get your fix of delicious Japanese comfort foods.
  • Graffiato – Italian-inspired dishes are prepared by Chef Mike Isabella, each with their own unique flare. A couple favorite dishes include Roasted potato gnocchi with pork ragu and charred octopus with summer squash puttanesca. 
  • Reren – Looking to get some authentic ramen? Reren in Chinatown has the best! They are known for using 100% organic ingredients to make their flavorful, locally-sourced lamen.

How did Chinatown become what it is today? Chinatown originated in the early 1930s when the Chinese immigrants after being displaced from the city’s original Chinatown along Pennsylvania Ave for the building of the Federal Triangle government building complex. In 1986, the city dedicated the building of a traditional Chinese gate, the Friendship Archway, to celebrate the friendship with Washington’s sister city of Beijing. 

Chinatown is easily accessible from our DC Inn via the Metro from Dupont Circle to Gallery Place-Chinatown Station, and is less than a 10-minute ride away. 

Shannon Stiles, Innkeeper at American Guest House

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