2. Lesser-known shops: Manhattan’s Chinatown is more than a series of restaurants and gift shops, so to get a sense of the diversity of this deeply historical area, you’ll want to take some time to browse its shops. Yoo recommends bypassing the shops that only sell “I <3 New York” shirts and spending some time in the more unique, generations-old establishments that helped build what the neighborhood is today.
He recommends Ting’s, a trinket shop on the corner of Doyers and Pell, that offers wind chimes, Asian fans, tea sets, and Chinese figurines, as well as Wing on Wo, a gift shop specializing in hand-painted table sets, porcelain jewelry, and one-of-a-kind ornaments, vases, and home decorations.
3. Take a whistle stop tour: If you have just one day to explore Manhattan’s Chinatown, arrive early so you have time to space out the many meals you’ll want to consume. In between meals, you can peruse the previously mentioned gift shops and pick up a book by an Asian or Asian American author at the women-owned Yu and Me Books. For a bit of a history lesson, head to the Museum of Chinese in America, where their collection of over 85,000 artifacts documents the Chinese American diaspora since the early 1900s. To wind down the day, Yoo recommends his “go-to chill bar,” Forgtmenot, for its relaxed, homey vibe and “lovely owners.”