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Chinatown Community Guide A wonderful ethnic neighborhood where Eastern and Western culture collide.

History and Flavor

The Chinatown neighborhood in DC dates from the 1880s, though it has gone through different forms and locations.

The current iteration is along H and I Streets, between 5th and 8th Streets Northwest. Along with about 20 ethnic Asian restaurants and businesses, it is home to landmarks, festivals, and various community activities that celebrate Chinese culture and history in the area.

For area residents and developers, the emphasis over the past few decades has been maintaining the character of the area while also experiencing explosive growth. Thus, the site is a vibrant mix of the current and the traditional, Western and Eastern, and contemporary architecture and traditional Chinese architectural styles.

One of the most identifiable and iconic elements of DC’s Chinatown is the Friendship Archway. Dedicated in the mid-80s, the archway was designed by local architect Alfred Liu and is the largest single-span archway of its kind in the world. The gate is 60 feet high and has seven cantilevered roofs. It utilizes a tradition called Dugong, which puts together complex structures through interlocking brackets, thus utilizing no nail at all. It is a magnificent and impressive architectural achievement.

Entertainment

Music

  • DC9 Nightclub– Tri-level hipster hangout with snug basement bar, music stage with dance parties & rooftop deck.
  • The Howard Theatre– A historic theater, located at 620 T Street, Northwest, Washington, D.C. Opened in 1910, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
  • Black Cat– Multilevel spot serves as a bar & cafe with vegan options & an indie/rock/alternative live-music venue.
  • 9:30 Club– A nightclub and concert venue in Washington, D.C. In 2018 the 9:30 Club was named one of the ten best live music venues in America by Rolling Stone, and in 2019 the club was named “Venue of the Decade” by VenuesNow.

Shopping/Restaurants 

Popular Shopping and Eats

  • Gallery Place The ultimate urban retail destination in the heart of Washington, DC’s Chinatown.
  • Da Hsin– Traditional Chinese grocery and decor items which has been in the neighborhood for over 26 years.
  • China Market– A local grocery and convenience store offering a selection of traditional Chinese goods.
  • Fiola– High-end restaurant serving rustic Italian food & creative cocktails in a modern, upscale space.
  • CityCenterDC– A mixed-use development consisting of two condominium buildings, two rental apartment buildings, two office buildings, a luxury hotel, and a public park in downtown Washington, D.C. It encompasses 2,000,000 square feet and covers more than five city blocks.
  • Full Kee Chinese restaurant serving a lengthy menu of traditional dishes plus beer & wine in a casual space.
  • Wok and Roll– Casual spot featuring Chinese & Japanese fare, weekday happy hours & private karaoke rooms.
  • Jose Andre’s MinibarChef José Andrés’ inventive kitchen offers luxe fixed-price menus in chic digs for just 12 guests.
  • Rasika– Sophisticated restaurant & lounge serving modern Indian food, including the popular crispy spinach.

Schools

Best Public High Schools

Best Public Elementary Schools

Public Transportation

Buses/Trains

Gallery Pl-Chinatown– Subway

H St NW & 7th St NW Bus stop

Washington Union Station– Bus & Train

Median Home Value

$586,583 as of 2021

Renters: 74%

Demographics

Population 6,167

Median household income –  $123,890

Median age: 34

Families with children – 4%

High school diploma or equivalent -7 %

College Degree: 85%

56% White

15% African American

15% Asian

10% Hispanic

4% Other