Boston's Chinatown

Boston is home to New England’s only historically Chinese area and the nation’s fourth largest Chinatown, a vibrant center for Asian American life, an area where people live, work, attend school and use services and amenities.

Not just a commercial or tourist-focused district with restaurants and shops, Chinatown is a physical and emotional center for many individuals and families. It offers special opportunities for FCCNE families to get involved with and connect with larger aspects of Asian and Chinese American life.

Image from Pao Arts Center Experience Chinatown Festival.

We encourage all FCCNE families to support the efforts of Chinatown residents and organizations working to secure its future as an affordable neighborhood and preserve its rich culture and history.

We Love Boston Chinatown

A resilience campaign in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,led by a collective of Chinatown non-profit organizations, businesses, residents, and city officials to reactivate & heal Chinatown’s economic & social fabric. Their mission is to encourage people to support local Boston Chinatown restaurants and businesses; counter anti-Asian sentiment; and celebrate Chinatown community, history, and culture.

Asian American Civic Organization (AACA)

provides limited English speaking and economically disadvantaged people with education, occupational training and social services enabling them to realize lasting economic self-sufficiency. Originally established as a response to the cultural and economic needs of Chinese Americans, the organization now serves clients from over 80 countries.

Asian American Resource Workshop

A political home for pan-Asian communities in Greater Boston. “We are a member-led organization committed to building grassroots power through political education, creative expression, and issue-based and neighborhood organizing.”

Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center

Since 1969, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) has been a vital presence in Greater Boston and beyond, empowering Asians and new immigrants to build healthy families, achieve greater economic success, and contribute to thriving communities.

Chinese Progressive Association

A grassroots community organization founded in 1977, which works for full equality and empowerment of the Chinese community in the Greater Boston area and beyond. “Our activities seek to improve the living and working conditions of Chinese Americans and to involve ordinary community members in making decisions that affect our lives… membership is made up predominantly of Chinese immigrants and the Chinese-speaking; most are workers in low wage industries, working families, or low-income elderly.”

Chinatown Main Street (Boston)

A non-profit organization founded in 1995 and committed to making Boston a thriving cultural and commercial center for all businesses and people. “For visitors and residents alike, we elevate the Chinatown experience by beautifying, promoting, strengthening the community, and keeping the streets as clean, safe, and friendly as possible. We also host various food programs and events with entertainment, made possible with volunteers and fundraisers, creating a rich Chinatown experience for everyone.” Their website includes Visit Chinatown: a comprehensive listing of restaurants and businesses.

Asian Community Development Corporation

“We build affordable homes, empower families and strengthen communities. The livelihood of Greater Boston’s neighborhoods is threatened by increased gentrification. We aim to protect these communities from rapid, luxury development, preserve their rich history and culture, and transform spaces by bringing people of all backgrounds together to live, work and play.

The Chinese Historical Society of New England

Based in Boston’s Chinatown, CHSNE is an educational organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting the history and legacy of Chinese immigration in New England. By rediscovering the achievements of Chinese immigrants and reaffirming the value of personal trials and triumphs, the CHSNE intend to provide a healing place and a common ground for collective celebration and rejuvenation.

Pao Arts Center

Established in 2017 as Chinatown’s first arts and cultural center and Boston’s newly dedicated Asian American and Asian immigrant cultural space. Pao Arts Center represents the belief that investing in arts, culture, and creativity are vital to the health and well-being of individuals, families, and vibrant communities. Through its innovative approach, Pao Arts Center empowers creativity, connection, learning, and support.

Kwong Kow Chinese School (KKCS)

Founded in 1916 by the Chinese Merchants Association to help maintain Chinese heritage among overseas Chinese, Kwong Kow is the oldest Chinese school in Boston and one of the longest-running Chinese schools on the East Coast. Today Kwong Kow School offers Chinese language and culture programs, as well as academic programs, that parallel and complement the Boston public school system and a comprehensive 8-week summer program that is both academically intensive and culturally enriching.

FAN Chinatown

FAN Chinatown is a new non-profit organization. “We are Friends and Neighbors, we are Feeding and nurturing, we are Fans of Chinatown. Fan also means rice or food in Chinese. We focus on three pillars of a healthy Chinatown: Food security for seniors, Restaurant stabilization, Public art restoration.”

Sampan Newspaper

The only bilingual Chinese-English newspaper in New England, Sampan is published biweekly and distributed free-of-charge throughout metro Boston. It is the only comprehensive chronicle of local issues and events impacting Asian American communities.

Wang YMCA of Chinatown

A branch of the Greater Boston YMCA offering swimming, sports programs, gym and a variety of other programs such as martial arts and Chinese folk dance for children, teens, families and adults including seniors.

Other Boston Chinatown Resources

Chinatown Atlas
A website project that documents and explores Boston Chinatown’s growth and change through time as told by personal stories, photos, maps, and interactive features. Seeks to understand and tell the story of Chinatown’s history, dynamics, and context, and to encourage future generations to appreciate the traditions and to preserve the community’s vitality. The Chinatown Atlas concept originated more than 20 years ago between MIT Professor Emeritus Tunney Lee and Randall Imai.

Forced from Home: A Human Rights Assessment of Displacement and Evictions in Boston’s Chinatown
Boston’s Chinatown has seen increased luxury residential development and short-term rentals along with the continued growth of large institutions in the area, all displacing community residents. A 2019 report, Forced from Home: A Human Rights Assessment of Displacement and Evictions in Boston’s Chinatown investigates the impact of increased community displacement in an area of the city characterized by intensifying investment and rapid gentrification and recommends legislative and policy measures that could address the drivers of unconstrained growth and protect vulnerable groups. (This is a large PDF.)

The Institute for Asian American Studies at UMass Boston
brings together resources and expertise from both the campus and community to conduct research on Asian Americans, promote Asian-American community development, and support Asian-American studies on campus.

Where to Eat in Boston’s Chinatown – from Eater Boston
A listing of just a few of the restaurants to try in Boston’s Chinatown – there are many and they all need your support!