An iconic Chinese Gate called the Friendship Arch greets visitors as they enter Chinatown, a historic neighborhood near downtown Washington DC. Chinatown has about 20 Chinese and Asian restaurants, some of which are well known and loved. Chinatown Express, for example, makes homemade noodles daily. Patrons and passersby pause to watch the proprietors cut and cook the noodles through a glass window. An annual Chinese New Year’s parade is held in Chinatown every year; it’s the most famous event in the neighborhood.
Today, Chinatown is primarily known as a commercial shopping and entertainment neighborhood. New condo buildings give way to mid-range clothing stores like Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. The Verizon Center – the largest arena in DC – by and far draws the most crowds to Chinatown. The Verizon Center is home to the Washington Wizards basketball team, the Washington Capitals hockey team, and the Georgetown University men’s basketball team. World-famous artists play concerts in the arena throughout the year. There are also many excellent restaurants in Chinatown that have been made famous by their celebrity chefs – such as Mike Isabella and Richard Sandoval.
Chinatown’s Friendship Arch is located at 7th and H Streets Northwest. The neighborhood borders Penn Quarter, an arts and entertainment district with an ever-evolving restaurant scene. Although there are a variety of Chinese and Asian restaurants, Washington DC’s Chinatown is better known for its entertainment, shopping, and non-Asian dining scene.