Boston’s Travel Guide: Chinatown

Sam and I decided to spend our Valentine’s Day weekend in Boston. A vibrant Chinese community with a twist on Asian dishes from a modern take, traditional dishes, and everything in-between.  We love sampling different kinds of food, visiting Boston's Chinatown was the perfect date night idea. Plus, Chinatown has the most affordable food I have seen thus, far in Boston. Some places have menus that are so lengthy that you could eat there every day of the year and still not have tried all the dishes.

Plan Ahead: 

Transportation: Chinatown is accessible via public transportation. You can either take the subway or bus, however parking is limited. There are parking garages that range $25-30 for the day, and there are hourly rates if you feel like you will not be spending a full day in the city. If you are lucky, you might be able to find metered street parking in the area. We got lucky and were able to find metered parking which is $4 for 2 hours. There is also metered parking around the Boston Common’s nearby if you do not mind walking a block or two. 

Where to Eat:

China Pearl: A dim sum place that needs to be added to the top of your list. Dim sum is steamed dumplings prepared in small portions perfect if you are trying to sample different dishes. Prior to COVID-19, servers would have push carts and weave throughout the restaurant with a variety of dim sum options on the cart. It was the perfect sensory overload with the hustle and bustle of the atmosphere, perfect aromas of freshly cooked food, and taste testing as much as your heart desires. A fun tradition to note is that dumplings are made during the Chinese New Year representing prosperity because the shape bears a resemblance to ancient Chinese money. We visited close to the Chinese New Year, so I do hope prosperity is sent our way for 2021 since we had our fill of dumplings lol. Due to COVID-19, no carts were being pushed around. I cannot wait to visit again when the carts come back, because it is such a unique experience. Here is a breakdown of what we ordered. #14 Steamed pork and shrimp dumpling, #25 sticky rice in a lotus leaf, and #48 salty dumpling aka “the football”. The football is a deep fried dumpling made with rice flour, diced dried shrimp, and minced pork, which turned out to be our favorite dumpling of the day. I highly recommend ordering it. We did wait thirty minutes to be seated, however this place is worth the wait. Staff was working extremely hard and very attentive. 

Taiwan Cafe: Our second stop was Taiwan Cafe on Oxford Street. We decided to order the soup dumplings traditionally called xiao long bao. It’s not just dough with meat inside but a unique combination of a regular dumpling with the savoriness of soup that spills out into every bite. I recommend waiting for it to cool down before eating since it will be piping hot. Proceed with caution. Also do not eat with a fork use a Chinese soup spoon and poke a hole with a chopstick. The dumplings came with Chinese black vinegar, which you can dip in before eating. I wasn’t a fan, but you may think otherwise.

Ho Yuen Bakery: A cramped tiny storefront with an expansive bakery in the back. You can see the chefs in the back creating all the baked delights. Also this bakery was VERY affordable. Around $1-2 for a pastry. We ordered at random, we got an egg custard tart and black bean bun. We have both never tried Chinese baked goods. So we had no idea where to start. We ended up liking the black bean bun, however the egg tart was so-so. 

**I will continuously update the blog writing reviews as we continue to eat out here. So many restaurant so little time! 

Chinatown & Around:

Chinese Herb Store: There are two main Chinese herb stores we stopped at. One is Nam Boc Hong and the other is Shing Hong Trading. When walking into Nam Box Hong there is a huge apothecary cabinet with approximately close to or at 100 draws that covers basically an entire wall. The workers are able to describe new and ancient remedies depending on use. At Shing Hong Trading you can see all the dried herbs in glass jars. Very interesting take from traditional medicine versus modern day medicine. I was really hoping they had a tea for reflux but no such option at either.

Chinese Supermarket: We visited Jia Ho’s Supermarket. Live seafood, produce section, noodles, rice, and a vast variety of products from Asia. So many noodles to choose from. We actually bought some to have an Asian homemade dinner. 

Outfit Deets: Jcrew wool turtleneck, old ASOS puffer jacket linked similar, banana republic coated black pants I have been living in, and black Sperry duck boots. Love supporting other bloggers, Mollie Larsen created a subscription box for timeless pieces. This purse was included in the Claire box. You can use code seauxtailored10 to get 10% off the website is linked here. My favorite part every box purchased there is a donation to Girls Inc. with a goal to inspire and empower young women. 

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