The Guide to Chinatown in Los Angeles

Chinatown Central Plaza
Central Plaza in Chinatown  |  Photo:  Yuri Hasegawa

Located in Downtown L.A. near the city's civic and cultural center, Chinatown is one of L.A.'s most popular tourist destinations. Chinatown celebrated its grand opening in June 1938 as "New Chinatown" -  L.A.'s first Chinatown was razed to make way for Union Station. The first such neighborhood in the U.S. that was owned by Chinese residents, Chinatown is experiencing a modern day renaissance. From the hottest new restaurants to art galleries and Bruce Lee's former studio, read on and discover the best of Chinatown.

Chinatown Gateway Monument
Chinatown Gateway Monument | Photo: Chains of Pace, Discover Los Angeles Flickr Pool

Chinatown Los Angeles: The Story of an LA Icon

Explore the fascinating history of Chinatown and find out more about the neighborhood's current renaissance through the lens of a resident.

Howlin' Ray's | Photo: Howlin' Ray's
Howlin' Ray's | Photo: Howlin' Ray's


Built in 1976, the LA Chinatown Far East Plaza food mall is renowned for its mix of old-school and new, creating a buzz among L.A.’s foodie crowd since local chef Roy Choi relocated his first brick-and-mortar there in 2013. Since then, this unassuming two-story space has become a culinary destination for people from near and far. Whether you’re a fan of traditional Asian street food or seeking out the next big food thing, read on and discover Far East Plaza.

Metro Bike Share at the L Line (Gold) Chinatown station
Metro Bike Share at the L Line (Gold) Chinatown station | Photo: vtpoly, Flickr


Chinatown is easily accessible by public transportation. The Metro Gold Line drops off visitors and residents about a block from Central Plaza via the Chinatown Station. Metro also has several Bike Share stations in Chinatown, which is a great way to explore Downtown L.A. without a car.