London is a fascinating melting pot of diverse cultures, with communities from all over the world calling it home. One of the most intriguing and captivating parts of central London is China Town, located right in the heart of Soho, and a great place to visit when you want to see a different side to the city.
Read on to find out more about what makes China Town in London so special, and what you can discover here.
Where to find China Town
If you’re planning to visit China Town on your next trip to London, then you’ll be happy to know that it’s located conveniently close to the central part of the city, within Soho itself. China Town is a leisurely walk just a few minutes away from the Piccadilly Hotel London, and it’s easy to spot once you get there.
While historically, at the start of the 20th century, much of London’s Chinese population was originally concentrated around the East End towards Limehouse, from the 1970s onwards, China Town became a popular enclave for both the Chinese community of the city, and visitors to London. It now encompasses the area near Shaftesbury Avenue, Gerrard Street and other nearby pathways.
If you’re planning to travel to China Town by public transport, some of the best Underground stations to use are Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Charing Cross. All of these are just a short stroll away from China Town, and it is easy to find on foot.
The Famous Gates of China Town
One of the most distinctive features of a visit to China Town is the sight of the beautiful and dramatic gates that stand at the centre of all the action. While the gates do not technically mark any boundaries in China Town, they are always a perfect spot to pose by, to mark your visit to the area.
The gates are covered in spectacular decorations, inspired by a traditional Qing Dynasty and Paifang styles. The most recent gate, installed in 2015, was hand crafted in Beijing before being brought over to London, and you’ll find it Wardour Street. The two older gates, on Gerrard Street, have a more minimalist and Western style, but are still impressive to behold, nonetheless. Both are just a short walk away from the Piccadilly Hotel London, and easy to catch a glimpse of.
Discover the delicious food of China Town
The West End and Soho are two parts of London that are packed with some of the best food in the city, including delicious afternoon tea London deals and plenty of well known fast food brands where you can grab a quick snack.
But if you’re visiting China Town, then it’s an absolute must to try some of the fantastic delicacies in the area. China Town is brimming with great places to eat and drink, from wonderful Chinese and Japanese restaurants, where you can enjoy a great value and sumptuous feast within, to quirky stores and grocery shops, that are the perfect place to pick up some ingredients to make some Chinese cuisine yourself.
Check out Bun House, located on Lisle Street, which is renowned for its famous sweet or savoury buns, filled with a variety of delicious fillings including pork belly or pineapple. If you’re hankering after something crispy instead, then indulge in some delicious Taiwanese fried chicken, filled with flavoursome spices and covered in a moreish coating.
As well as lots of great food, you’ll also find fantastic places to drink in China Town, with several cafes and tea salons serving up traditional brews, bubble teas and more. You’ll also find some excellent bars, where you can sample authentic Chinese liquors, as well as some more contemporary cocktail bars close by.
Discover the great entertainment around the area
As well as being filled with some of the best restaurants West End London , another convenient attraction of China Town is the proximity to the city’s thriving theatre scene. If you’re in the neighbourhood for some food and drink, then it’s also worthwhile checking out theatre listings for nearby venues, where you can catch some thrilling performances on the stage. Some of the country’s biggest acting talents regularly grace the stages at many of the top West End venues, so it’s always worth catching a show.
As well as theatre, you’ll also find some more diverse forms of entertainment around China Town. One of the most popular is Karaoke, and you can take your pick from a variety of fun Karaoke bars around the area. Just turn up with friends, enjoy some great drinks and snacks, and pick your favourites songs, before getting ready for a hilarious night out.
Another great way of exploring the area is by taking part in a walking tour. China Town has a rich and fascinating history, and walking around the area with a local guide can be a wonderful way of finding out a bit more, as well as getting the chance to walk off all those delicious steamed buns you might have indulged in.
Enjoy shopping in China Town
China Town is more than just a collection of restaurants – you’ll also find some excellent places to shop in the area. Look out for London hotel deals to help you save, so you can enjoy spending a little extra here.
You’ll find a number of specialist stores in the area, selling a variety of items, including beauty products from the Far East, and supermarkets dedicated to different regions across Asia. After the growing popularity of Korean cosmetics across the West, this is a great place to go. It can be the perfect place to stock up on essential ingredients for home cooking, especially if you are travelling here from out of London, as well as a great opportunity to find new and exciting foods and items that you have never tried before. You’ll also find an abundance of fresh, exotic foods, including special fruits and vegetables, sea food and more.