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Chinatown (Barrio Chino), Mexico City - CDMX

The vibrant neighborhood of Chinatown is located in the historic center of Mexico City, near the Alameda Central and Plaza de San Juan that's offering up a rich fusion of cultures and traditions, bright shops, and delicious food.

Chinatown (Barrio Chino), Mexico City

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I stumbled upon this neighborhood while out exploring and I must admit, I was shock to learn that a Chinatown existed in Mexico City! Curious to know how and why Chinese immigrants wound up settling here, I began doing my own research to learn the history of their migration to the city. In this guide, I'll share fun things to do in Chinatown, Mexico City. I hope you're ready to explore!

Vector Art

Vector Art

History of Chinatown (Barrio Chino), Mexico City

The iconic Chinatown in Mexico City famously known as Barrio Chino, has been home to Chinese migrants since the late 1800s who came to Mexico for jobs and better life. During that time, the Mexican government wanted to build up the infrastructure in order to modernize the country. Initially, the Mexican government tried attracting Western European immigrants, but were unsuccessful. As a result of Western European immigrants lack of interest, the government started allowing Chinese workers into the country.

With the beginning of the Mexican Revolution, many Chinese move south settling in Mexico City on Dolores Street - the historic center of the city. With them they brought Chinese and traditions. As more Chinese immigrants arrived, a lively neighborhood emerged with restaurants, laundries, bakeries, and (lard) shops. While initially, the Chinese population mostly occupied the city center, they began moving to other parts of the city. Naturally, there was blending of Chinese and Mexican cultures and the number of Chinese-Mexicans reached a peak. You know the expression, "all good things come to an end?" The government's interest in allowing Chinese workers to migrate to the country soon faded leading to the expulsion of the majority of the Chinese population including those born in Mexico.

Today, Chinatown tells a story of cultural richness and diversity. The Chinese have held onto and proudly celebrate events that are authentically Chinese such as Chinese New Year. Yet, Chinatown in Mexico City embodies a marrying of Chinese and Mexican cultures that makes the city even more colorful and dynamic and a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

How to Get There?

Getting to Chinatown (Barrio Chino) in Mexico City is easy! Whether you're coming from another part of the city or from outside of the city, you can take a taxi or ride-sharing service. Fortunately, if you're already in Mexico City, you can use public transportation including the bus or subway. There are many bus stops and subway lines that pass near Chinatown. The closest station to Barrio Chino is the Juárez subway station, however, check the Google Maps and/or the route map to find the best option for you.

Popular Annual Events

There are annual events that celebrate Chinese culture including Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival. Both of these event bring the Chinese people, locals, and tourists together in joyous harmony to honor the everlasting spirit of resilience, unity, passion, and creativity that is synonymous with Chinatown, Mexico City. Furthermore, Chinatown serves as a bridge connecting Chinese and Mexican cultures that has resulted in a neighborhood with unique charm and history. Learn more about each event below:

Vector Art

Vector Art

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year also known as Lunar New Year is an exciting experience intended to usher out the old year and bring forth the luck and prosperity of the new one. It is generally held in January or February within a two-block stretch of Dolores Street. During this time, Chinatown is transformed - there are decorations, a parade, fireworks, lion and dragon dances, and more so much more. There are vendors selling food like steamed dumplings and fortune cookies, gifts, and other items (like the animal) associated with the upcoming year. Additionally, families and friends exchange gifts, money in red envelopes, and delight over delicious food that is a symbol of good luck for the new year.

Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival, is a large festival held in Mexico's City Chinatown on the 15th day of either September or October. During the festival, lanterns of multiple sizes and shapes are carried and displayed to symbolize a path towards prosperity and good fortune. In addition, people enjoy Mooncakes - a round, elaborately decorated, sweet pastry typically filled with ingredients like lotus seed paste, chocolate, egg yolk, or bean paste.

Where to Eat

Get ready for a good adventure! Lining the streets of Chinatown, Mexico City, there are plenty of stalls and carts offering up delicious street food like their famous dumplings, taco noodle soup, stir-fries, Chinese bread, and crunchy spring rolls. Many of these dishes blend Chinese and Mexican flavors - a great selection would be the tacos, which have a Chinese twist or drinks like bubble tea.

You should also check out a Chinese Cafe or cafe chino. The restaurants once popular amongst the city's working class for its cheap and fast meal options are slowly becoming a thing of the past due to larger coffee shops and commercial restaurant chains. La Pagoda and El Popular, two well-known historic diners on Avenida 5 de Mayo, are both owned and operated by Chinese immigrants.

Bottom line - If you’re a foodie wanting to explore something new, a visit to Chinatown is a must!

Where to Shop

You'll find great souvenirs at the markets in Chinatown. Everything from handmade items, spices, tea, bags, and jewelry. Two famous markets are Mercado de Artesanías La Ciudadela and Mercado de San Juan.

All in all, Chinatown is definitely worth a visit! The streets are filled with shops, delicious food, and beverages for you to try. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience that showcases the beauty of Chinese and Mexican cultures, history, and traditions being brought together to create an iconic, vibrant neighborhood.

Chinatown Barrio Chino, Mexico City
Chinatown Barrio Chino, Mexico City


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I'm Santeka - a colorful, outspoken Southern woman that landed in New Jersey. Welcome to my corner of the internet where I share travel, food, twirlable moments, DIY pjojects, and fixer upper inspiration all while living my life out loud! My favorite gig is helping entrepreneurs leverage their table to grow their business.


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