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If you look for some of the best neighborhoods in Mexico City, you will come across Coyoacan, Roma, and Condesa – some of the most popular areas of Mexico’s capital.
But does Mexico City have a Chinatown?
Like many other major cities, Mexico City has its version of Chinatown (Barrio Chino in Spanish). While Mexico City Chinatown is nowhere near as big as some of the most famous China Towns in the world, it’s a great place to try Chinese specialty foods and take cool photos against the backdrop of red lanterns and typical Chinese ornaments.
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Mexico City Chinatown: Where is it?
While many people refer to Mexico City Chinatown as the neighborhood, it’s not technically accurate. Barrio Chino in Mexico City consists of four blocks along Calle Dolores, where you can find Chinese-themed stores, restaurants and street vendors selling trinkets and Asian food.
How to find China Town in Mexico City?
The entrance to Mexico City Chinatown is marked by a tall arch and several lions which makes it pretty hard to miss.
Best things to do in Mexico City China Town
Barrio Chino is a pedestrian-only area, so the best thing to do is take a walk to see everything with your own eyes. Try steamed bread (pan al vapor) which comes in different colors from one of the street vendors, and pop into one of the local restaurants where you can try specialty Chinese foods like the famous dim sum and other staples.
If you want to find ingredients for traditional Chinese or Asian foods, it’s probably one of the best places in Mexico City. Here you can buy many staples like vermicelli noodles, soy sauce, hoisin, and various spices and sauces.
✅ Want a fun getaway? Read my guide to the best Mexico City beaches
What places can I find near Barrio Chino in Mexico City?
One of the best things about Barrio Chino in Mexico City is that it’s located near Mexico City Centro Historico where you can find some of the best cultural landmarks. From Barrio Chino, you can reach some of the best places in the area on foot.
Here’s a quick list:
- Palacio De Bellas Artes – located 300 meters north of China Town, Palacio De Bellas Arts is one of the top landmarks in Mexico City that’s home to a permanent collection of murals, artworks and rotating exhibits.
- Parque Alameda – one of the best green spaces in Mexico City, Parque Alameda is in the Cuahtemoc, one of the most popular neighborhoods in Mexico City adjacent to Palacio de Bellas Artes. Visit Parque Alameda between March and April when you can witness the blossoming jacaranda trees.
- Casa de Los Azulejos – one of the most photogenic corners of Mexico City, Casa de Los Azulejos, is an 18th-century palace that features an ornate facade with blue tiles. It’s about 350 meters from Mexico City Chinatown.
- Torre Latinoamerica – A popular landmark that sits right near Casa de Los Azulejos and offers panoramic views of Mexico City, this tower isone of the defining features of Mexico City’s skyline.
- Mexico City Centro Historic – If you are visiting Chinatown in Mexico City, you simply can’t miss Centro Historico, which is built around the Plaza Constitution and includes several prominent landmarks including the archaeological area Templo Mayor, and Mexico City Cathedral (La Catedral Metropolitana).
- The Memory and Tolerance Museum – One of the most centrally located museums in Mexico City, the Memory and Tolerance Museum is 210 meters from Chinatown.
- Monumento De la Revolución – another prominent historic landmark in Mexico City, the monument of Mexico’s revolution is
A quick history of Mexico City China Town
The history of Mexico City Chinatown dates back to the 18th century when the first Chinese people arrived in Mexico to partake in various infrastructure projects. While the part of CDMX used to be known for petty crime like pickpocketing and purse snatching, Chinatown in Mexico City has cleaned up after it started hosting the annual Chinese New Year celebrations.
How to get to Mexico City China Town?
The easiest way to get to Barrio Chino in Mexico City is by walking or taking the metro. There are several metro stations in the area, and a one-way ticket costs only 5 Pesos per person.
What are the closest metro stations to Mexico City Chinatown?
The closest metro station to Mexico City Chinatown is San Juan de Letrán. Other nearby stations are Calderas, Salto del Agua, Garibaldi/Lagunilla, and Isabel la Catolica.
Uber is one of the best ways to get around Mexico City. It’s safe, reliable, and affordable. If you take Uber, you need to take traffic into account, so always leave some extra time. And don’t forget to leave a tip for your Uber driver, as Uber prices in Mexico City are lower than in the United States and Europe.
Where is Mexico’s biggest Chinatown?
The biggest Chinatown in Mexico is in Mexicali, the capital of Baja California State along the border with the United States. It’s the largest Chinese community in Mexico that’s home to about 15,000 people of Chinese descent.
What is the Chinese area in Mexico?
Mexico has two major Chinatowns, one is Barrio Chino in Mexico City and the other one is China Town in Mexicali (also known as La Chinesca).
Mexico City Chinatown Restaurants
- El Mejor Del Centro – This restaurant is a hidden gem of Mexico City just a few blocks from Chinatown. Translated as “The best in center,” this vegetarian eatery serves plant-based versions of Mexican food where meat and other animal products are swapped for soy, mushroom, and vegetables. The menu changes daily, but the options are absolutely delicious.
- Matsu – Offers excellent ramen noodles and delicious sushi.
- Testal – One of the best-known restaurants in Chinatown CDMX, Testal is a modern Mexican restaurant that offers specialties from every state in the country, so if you ever want to go on the gastronomic tour of Mexico, this is the place. This restaurant has menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Is China Town in Mexico City safe?
Yes, Mexico City Chinatown is generally a safe area that attracts many tourists and can be visited at any time of the day. However, like any other part of Mexico City, it’s not completely percent safe. Always watch your surroundings, keep an eye on your belongings and wear plain clothes to blend in with the crowd.
What is the safest area in Mexico City?
Roma, Condesa, and Polanco are some of the safest neighborhoods in Mexico City. Polanco has some of the best green spaces in Mexico City, including a section of Chapultepec Park.
What’s the oldest Chinatown in Mexico?
Mexicali is the oldest Chinatown in Mexico.
Where to stay near Barrio Chino Mexico City:
- Hilton Mexico City Reforma – One of the best hotels near Barrio Chino, this popular place is also next to the Alameda Park and a 5-minute walk from Reforma Avenue. Guests love stylish rooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a hot tub, and a gym.
- Hotel Templo Mayor – a nice budget hotel in the heart of Mexico City.
- Domingo Santo Boutique Hotel – a beautiful boutique stay near Templo Mayor and Zocalo.
Best neighborhoods in Mexico City
While China Town is one of the most popular neighborhoods near the Historic Center of Mexico City, you should take time to check out other popular neighborhoods in Mexico City.
Here’s a quick list overview:
Mexico City Centro Histórico
One of the best places to stay in Mexico City for first-timers, Centro Histórico is essentially a grid of streets around Zocalo, the main square of Mexico City, where you can find Palacio Nacional and Gran Catedral.
You can explore the area on foot and grab some street food, watch street artists and visit museums.
Some of the most popular places to visit in Centro Histórico are Palacio De Bellas Artes, Casa De Los Azulejos, and Parque Alameda Central. Mercado San Juan is where you can grab fresh fruits and veggies and the Mercado Artesanías, one of my favorite artisan markets in Mexico City.
Juarez is a neighborhood next to Centro Historico. It’s a residential area with many eateries offering traditional Mexican food. Right nearby, there’s Zona Rosa, a gay-friendly area with many nightclubs and bars.
While Centro Historico offers walking distance to some of the best things to do in Mexico City, it’s a busy area that can feel a bit too touristy. Located near Centro Historico, San Rafael is a residential area that is perfect if you want to get outside the tourist bubble and see more authentic Mexico City.
It’s an artsy area with small restaurants, historic buildings, and good street food, especially in Mercado San Cosme. There are also a couple of theaters and a Museo Experimental El Eco that is worth a stop.
La Roma is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Mexico City with travelers and consists of Roma Norte and Roma Sur. This residential neighborhood offers a taste of traditional Mexican architecture and newer buildings after it’s been gentrified in recent years.
Here you can find some of the best restaurants in Mexico City with great vegan and organic options and art galleries and museums like Museo del Objeto del Objeto, a museum of everyday objects.
Roma Norte is one of the best places to stay in Mexico City thanks to its proximity to Centro Histórico, the Bosque de Chapultepec, which has some of the best museums in Mexico City.
Condesa is an upscale residential neighborhood next to Roma. Roma is very popular with ex-pats, has many cute restaurants and cafes, and is within walking distance of the Bosque de Chapultepec.
San Miguel Chapultepec
San Miguel Chapultepec is a compact neighborhood next to Bosque Chapultepec that has plenty of green spaces and bike trails. If you want to explore Bosque De Chapultepec, it’s one of the best neighborhoods in Mexico City. It has a low-key atmosphere, plenty of inexpensive restaurants, and some of the best-budget hotels in Mexico City.
Best hotels in San Miguel Chapultepec: Hotel Park Villa
Coyoacan is my favorite neighborhood in Mexico City.
It’s located to the south of Mexico City Centro Historico and boasts great colonial architecture, cobble-stoned streets, artisan markets, and great museums including the famous Frida Kahlo Museum (aka Casa Azul) and Casa De Leon Trotsky. I recommend spending at least one night here.
One of the most upscale neighborhoods in Mexico City, Polanco is home to the best restaurants, shopping a couple of museums like Soumaya and Jumex. Polanco is located just north of the Bosque De Chapultepec and boasts some of the best luxury hotels in Mexico City.
Barrio Chino Mexico City: final word
Located near Centro Historico, Barrio Chino is one of the most interesting areas of Mexico City. Here you can try traditional Chinese food, buy souvenirs and take photos against the backdrop of colorful decorations.