Where to Find Chinatowns Near Me in the UK?
12 July, 2023
5 mins read
If you’re a student living in the UK who’s a part-time explorer, this one is definitely for you.
Chinatowns are bustling cultural areas that offer a taste of Chinese heritage and tradition. They can be found everywhere in the world, and the UK is no exception. In the United Kingdom, these vibrant communities have emerged as centres of Chinese culture, food, and festivities.
Whether you're seeking authentic cuisine, unique shopping experiences, or a glimpse into Chinese history and customs, the UK is home to several notable restaurants and Chinatowns. In this article, we will guide you through the diverse Chinatowns scattered across the country, helping you uncover the best spots for an immersive Chinese experience near you.
1. London Chinatown
Starting with the most famous Chinatown in the UK, Chinatown London is an iconic hub of Chinese culture nestled in the heart of the city. Located in the vibrant district of Soho, it spans Gerrard Street and the surrounding area, making it the largest Chinatown in the UK. It was established in 1950 and still remains a diverse Asian hub with all types of Asian restaurants you could think of.
As you step into this bustling enclave, you'll be greeted by ornate red arches, traditional lanterns, and a myriad of authentic Chinese restaurants, teahouses, and supermarkets. Take a stroll down the streets, savouring the tantalising aromas and indulging in mouth-watering dim sum, Peking duck, and other regional delicacies. London's Chinatown truly comes alive during Chinese New Year with vibrant parades, dragon dances, and dazzling fireworks.
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2. Liverpool Chinatown
Situated in the heart of Liverpool, the city's Chinatown is a vibrant and historic district that dates back to the late 19th century. Located around Nelson Street and Berry Street, Liverpool's Chinatown is the oldest in Europe and is a testament to the city's rich cultural heritage. As you wander through the streets, you'll be captivated by the stunningly beautiful Chinese arch, also known as the "Chinese Gate," which serves as the gateway to this bustling enclave.
Liverpool's Chinatown is famous for its authentic Chinese cuisine, with a wide range of restaurants offering mouth-watering dishes from various regions of China. Additionally, you can explore Chinese supermarkets and specialty shops, where you'll find an array of unique products and ingredients. The annual Chinese New Year celebrations in Liverpool are a highlight, attracting thousands of visitors to witness the lively parades, traditional dragon dances, and captivating performances.
3. Birmingham Chinatown
Also known as the Chinese Quarter, this lively Chinatown is brimming with cultural delights. Located in the Southside district, near Hurst Street and Ladywell Walk, Birmingham's Chinatown boasts a vibrant fusion of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Malaysian influences. Experience the vibrant street market, where vendors sell a plethora of Asian ingredients, clothing, and handicrafts. Indulge in the rich flavours of Chinese cuisine at the numerous restaurants, offering everything from sumptuous Peking duck to delectable dim sum.
In the same area, there is the Back to Backs Museum, which, although not a part of Chinatown, is a part of the National Trust. They offer tours to check out old buildings and how they looked in the 19th century. They also have a souvenir store where you can buy your family some. It is worth noting that, besides the Birmingham Chinatown, the food scene in the city is truly one of a kind!
4. Manchester Chinatown
Heading north to the vibrant city of Manchester, you'll discover another thriving Chinatown. Situated in the heart of the city centre, Manchester's Chinatown stretches along Faulkner Street, between Mosley and Portland Streets. This colourful district is adorned with beautiful oriental arches and decorative street lamps, creating an inviting atmosphere. Explore the streets lined with authentic Chinese restaurants, from Cantonese and Sichuan to Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisines. Manchester's Chinatown is also home to a wide range of grocery stores where you can find fresh produce, traditional herbs, and exotic ingredients for your own culinary adventures.
5. Glasgow Chinatown
Venturing north to Scotland, you'll encounter a thriving Chinatown in the city of Glasgow. Situated along the banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow's Chinatown is nestled within the city's Merchant City district, specifically around the streets of New City Road and Dobbies Loan. This compact yet vibrant enclave is known for its exceptional Cantonese cuisine, with numerous restaurants serving up authentic dishes. Explore the local shops, where you can find a range of Asian groceries, teas, and exotic ingredients to bring a taste of China to your own kitchen.
6. Leeds Chinatown
Moving to the northern part of England, the city of Leeds boasts a charming Chinatown that is worth a visit. Situated near the city centre, Leeds' Chinatown can be found around the streets of Merrion Street and Vicar Lane. This compact yet lively enclave is known for its authentic Chinese restaurants and delightful tea houses. Indulge in a variety of regional cuisines, from Cantonese and Szechuan to Hunan and Fujian. Take a leisurely walk through the vibrant streets, adorned with red lanterns and ornate arches, and discover hidden gems such as Chinese bakeries and herbal medicine shops. Leeds' Chinatown also hosts cultural events and festivals throughout the year, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Chinese traditions.
7. Newcastle Chinatown
Nestled in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle's Chinatown is a lively and vibrant district that offers a taste of Chinese culture in the northeast of England. Located around Stowell Street and Gallowgate, this Chinatown is known for its diverse culinary scene, with restaurants serving authentic Chinese dishes, including Cantonese, Szechuan, and Beijing cuisines. Stroll along the streets adorned with colourful Chinese lanterns, and you'll find an array of Chinese shops, supermarkets, and bakeries where you can purchase unique ingredients and traditional Chinese treats. Newcastle's Chinatown hosts various cultural events throughout the year, which you can enjoy if you’re looking for some fun beyond the classroom!
8. Edinburgh Chinatown
Heading further north to Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh's Chinatown is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Tucked away in the city's Old Town near the Royal Mile, this compact enclave is a fusion of Chinese, Thai, and Malaysian influences. Although smaller in scale compared to other Chinatowns, Edinburgh's Chinatown offers an array of authentic restaurants and eateries where you can savour the flavours of the East. Take a walk along the colourful streets and explore the Asian supermarkets, where you'll find a selection of spices, sauces, and ingredients to inspire your culinary endeavours. Don't miss the annual Edinburgh Chinese New Year celebrations, which include cultural performances, dragon dances, and a vibrant parade!
And there you have it, folks! The United Kingdom is home to several thriving Chinatowns, each offering a unique experience filled with Chinese culture, cuisine, and festivities. From the bustling streets of London's Chinatown to the vibrant enclaves of Manchester, Birmingham, and Glasgow, these communities provide an immersive experience of the rich traditions of China. Whether you're a local resident or a curious traveller, a visit to one of these Chinatowns will undoubtedly be an unforgettable journey through Chinese history, flavours, and customs right at your doorstep. So, embark on a cultural adventure and explore the vibrant Chinatowns near you in the UK.
So what Chinatown is near me? We’ll leave that for you to decide!
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Frequently Asked Questions:
Which cities in the UK have Chinatown?
The cities in the UK that have Chinatown include London, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Newcastle.
Is there Chinatown in London?
Yes, there is a London Chinatown that is quite spectacular and definitely a must-visit!
What is the biggest Chinatown in the UK?
The biggest Chinatown in the UK is located in London.