Old Town Chinatown
Discover the secrets of this historic central-city district, from handmade goods to a traditional garden.
The city’s oldest neighborhood is filled with surprises. From authentic Chinese restaurants, tea houses, and a city-block-sized traditional garden, Portland’s original downtown is a bustling entertainment district and streetwear shopping hub. Read on for our favorite things to do and see in Portland’s historic Old Town Chinatown.
Where to Stay in Old Town Chinatown
This central-city neighborhood puts you in the heart of the action, situated along the westside of the Willamette River with easy access to the Pearl District, downtown and Northwest Portland. Choose from boutique hotels, modern hostels, and more with Northwest Portland hotels.
Where To Eat and Drink in Old Town Chinatown
One of Chinatown’s relatively few Chinese restaurants is Chen’s Good Taste Restaurant, a small Cantonese eatery near the Chinatown Gateway renowned for noodles and barbecued pork.
Deadstock Coffee & Gallery is helmed by a former Nike shoe designer and decorated with vintage Michael Jordan memorabilia. This one-of-a-kind coffeehouse doubles as a gathering place for “sneakerheads” and local footwear employees from Adidas, Under Armour and Columbia (to name just a few).
A walk down Ankeny Alley, where you can get in line for Voodoo Doughnut, will bring you to Dan & Louis Oyster Bar, which opened in 1907, serving classic chowders and oysters. Wander the alley to find other old-salt Portland bars, or over to Pine Street Market, where you’ll find Pine Street Taproom and Pleasure Burger. Just down the street from Voodoo and other eatery joints is the perfect pit stop for a cup of coffee at Stumptown Coffee, a sustainably sourced and locally roasted caffeine fix at the ready.
Old Town Chinatown Tastes
Things To Do in Old Town Chinatown
A place to begin to learn about the Chinese American Community in the Rose City is Portland Chinatown Museum, which showcases the Chinese immigrant experience, and features Chinese American art, history and culture.
In 1999, a team of experts traveled to Portland from our sister city in Suzhou, China, to build an authentic 40,000-square-foot (3716 sq m) Ming Dynasty-style garden. Today, visitors to Lan Su Chinese Garden escape the bustle of the surrounding city to admire tranquil pools and seasonal foliage while wandering the grounds.
This district was also once home to a vibrant Japantown. The Japanese American Museum of Oregon offers poignant and informative exhibits exploring the history of Japanese Americans in Portland and beyond.
History and Communities
In Old Town Chinatown explore the city's rich and diverse history.
Chinese Attractions in Portland’s Old Town Chinatown
Explore local history at the Portland Chinatown Museum before visiting other neighborhood mainstays.
Chinese American History
Learn more about the Rose City's Chinese American history and strong legacy.
Lan Su Chinese Garden
This year-round wonder houses an authentic Ming Dynasty-style garden built by Suzhou artisans, offering a peaceful escape in Portland's historic Chinatown.
Japanese American History
Japanese Americans have been a critical part of Portland's past and present.
The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education
In times of social upheaval and political uncertainty, museums like OJMCHE are more relevant than ever. Explore the rich history and ongoing resiliency of Oregon’s diverse Jewish community with interactive exhibits and experiences for all ages.
Crawl into Portland’s catacombs — aka the Shanghai Tunnels — to learn the lore of the early days in this port town.
If you Go-By-Train, you’ll know Portland’s Union Station. Nestled in Chinatown, near the Broadway Bridge, this transportation hub is also a Portland landmark.
Open Saturdays and Sundays, Portland Saturday Market, outdoor arts and crafts fair, runs from March to Christmas every year. The bustle of this river-side bazaar nestled between Old Town’s Archways and the Westside of the Burnside Bridge has been a beloved weekend tradition since 1974. The Portland Saturday Market features over 250 vendors of arts, crafts, wares, and freshly made food to fill the senses
The monthly First Thursday art event includes free shows and refreshments at dozens of galleries and stores throughout Old Town Chinatown, downtown and the Pearl District.
Circle the block at the Everett Station Lofts to check out more than a dozen different mini-galleries. Flashback street fashions, Japanese gadgets and prints by local artists line the walls at Compound Gallery.
Shop Old Town Charm
Old Town Chinatown is the place to find locally made souvenirs, eclectic artwork and heritage goods.
Shopping in Old Town Chinatown
With boutique clothing, shoes, and skateboards, Old Town Chinatown packs storefronts of local makers in some of the oldest buildings in Portland.
Operated by and for skaters since 1976, Cal Skate Skateboards hyperbolically bills itself as “the oldest skateboard shop on the planet.” Exaggeration aside, the store’s selection of nearly 500 unique decks and skateboards truly can’t be beaten.
Pick out a pair of sneakers at Index PDX, Portland’s premier sneaker consignment store, where shrink-wrapped Yeezys and mint-condition Air Jordans sell for thousands of dollars.
End your evening with glitz, glamour and a bit of risqué humor brought to you by an all-star cast of female impersonators (including Darcelle, the country’s oldest performing drag queen) at the West Coast’s longest-running drag show, Darcelle XV.
Old Town Chinatown Events
Get to know Old Town Chinatown at these upcoming events.
Ticket to Dine
Portland’s “Ticket to Dine” offers patrons scratch-off tickets and a chance to win big prizes for 10 days in March.
A Long Road to Travel: The Service of Japanese American Soldiers During World War II
More than 400 second-generation Japanese American (Nisei) soldiers from Oregon served in the U.S. military during WWII. They played a pivotal role in both Europe and the Pacific at the same time that many of their families were incarcerated in concentration camps back home. A Long Road to Travel tells these soldiers’ stories and their…
Where We Belong
An Indigenous theater-maker journeys across geographic borders, personal history, and cultural legacies in search of a place to belong. In 2015, Achokayis, a Mohegan theater-maker, moves to England to pursue a Ph.D. in Shakespeare, grappling with the question of what it means to remain or leave as the Brexit vote threatens to further disengage the…
Young Americans takes us on two road trips, 20 years apart. In one, an exhaustingly upbeat father and his stressed-out, college-bound daughter depart on a trip across the country. Their journey mirrors another trip the father took decades earlier with her mother — as near strangers, full of fresh hopes and dreams, on their way…
Franklin, Tennessee’s Colony House make driving, often uplifting guitar-based rock. This heartfelt rock sound often finds the band working in surf and retro-lounge influences, and several of their tracks have broken through to become multi-million streaming underground anthems. Colony House went deeper into surf elements on 2023’s nostalgic and personal album The Cannonballers.
With her alluring, bilingual mixture of hip-hop, house, and pop, Korean-American producer, songwriter, and DJ Yaeji instantly gained an adoring fan base and widespread critical acclaim when her first two EPs appeared in 2017. She quickly became a mainstay at music festivals and clubs throughout the world, and following collaborations with Charli XCX and Robyn,…
Memphis-born rapper Key Glock delivers cold, stark, uncompromising verses about sex, guns, and money. Updating the woozy, narcotic style of Memphis greats that came before him, like Three 6 Mafia, he found success with critics, fans, and on the charts with projects like 2020’s Yellow Tape and two Dum and Dummer releases with Young Dolph….
DRAMA is a duo from Chicago consisting of producer Na’el Shehade and vocalist/songwriter Via Rosa (born Lluvia Rosa Vela). Often described as a blend of R&B and dance, their music spans various genres, including pop, hip-hop, jazz, bossa nova, and electronic.
Hayden Capuozzo, better known by his stage name Kayzo, is an American DJ based in Los Angeles, California. He is best known for remixing songs and incorporating trap and hardstyle genres into his remixes. His collaboration with Riot “Wake Up” received over 200,000 plays in less than 24 hours.
From the Academy Award-winning writer of Moonlight comes this exhilarating story about Pharus, a young, gay student leading the gospel choir at his elite, all-boys prep school. Can a rigid institution that prides itself on producing “strong, ethical black men” contain Pharus, who is a quiet rebel at his core? Or can Pharus inspire the…
Shadow of Intent
New England’s Shadow of Intent employs a lethal blend of punitive melodic deathcore and depressive symphonic death metal that utilizes the dense mythologies inherent in the popular military science fiction video game franchise Halo for its lyrical themes. Taking its name from an assault ship in the series, the project began as an online enterprise…
Rollicking California ska-punk band the Interrupters are West Coast torchbearers for the uptempo variation on the classic Jamaican sound. Combining the taut energy of SoCal punk with the skanking rhythms of contemporary ska, the Interrupters’ potent attack and instrumental strength come from the precision of brothers Kevin, Justin, and Jesse Bivona, with vocalist Aimee Interrupter…
A dynamic and hard-hitting American metalcore crew, Wage War emerged in 2013 with a sound that blends punk’s raw vitality with melodic hardcore’s sleek power. They found mainstream success with their 2017 sophomore effort, Deadweight, and continued to push against the boundaries of modern hardcore with the releases of Pressure (2019) and Manic (2021).
Under the name French Kiwi Juice, or FKJ for short, Paris-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Vincent Fenton creates mellow tunes that sometimes utilize live looping techniques and blend jazz, soul, and electronic experimentation into new forms. A live looping style became one of FKJ’s calling cards with 2017’s “Tadow,” a completely improvised collaboration with Masego that…
San Antonio’s Nothing More employs a powerful blend of twisty progressive rock, explosive heavy metal, and soaring, radio-ready alt-rock. The band broke into the mainstream in 2014 when their eponymous fourth long-player became an active rock radio hit. They earned three Grammy nominations for their 2018 follow-up, The Stories We Tell Ourselves, and continued to…
Prestige Wrestling returns to the historic Roseland Theatre for ROSELAND 5. VIP tickets include early entry, a VIP laminated show pass, a VIP limited edition show poster, meet and greet/autograph opportunities, crowd-free merch shopping and a night of great professional wrestling action.
George Virden Watsky, better known by his surname, is an American hip-hop artist, author, actor, and poet. Like so many rappers before him, Watsky owes a few thanks to Def Jam founder Russell Simmons. Still, unlike the others, this slam-poet-turned-rapper was introduced to the world via the HBO television series Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry….
Champagne Drip, the newest musical incarnation of Los Angeles-based producer Sam Pool, was born from a philosophy that innovation springs from inspiration. Rooted in jungle and bass music and built around elements of blippy 8-bit sounds, arpeggios, and lush 80s synths, Champagne Drip launched as a decidedly tropical and uplifting-sounding project. Operating at first in…
D.C. rapper Shy Glizzy grew out of strutting early street singles and raw mixtapes into more refined material as the years passed. He began building an audience with the infectious, youthful arrogance of 2014’s Awwsome, and from there, went on to chart success and worldwide fame with albums like 2018’s atmospherically trappy Fully Loaded and…
An influential Detroit rapper and hip-hop artist, Peezy, born Phillip Glen-Earl Peaks, rose to prominence in the early 2010s as part of the Motor City’s Team Eastside rap collective. Known for his defiant lyrics and abrasive flow, Peezy began making waves as a solo artist in 2015 with the release of his third album, Mud…
The Cali Classic Tour
The cultural influence of groundbreaking American rapper, record producer, media personality, philanthropist, and entrepreneur WARREN G (born Warren Griffin III) remains as urgent today as his 1994, multi-platinum-selling smash “Regulate.” Recorded with childhood friend and iconic superstar Nate Dogg, the track would define the rap genre and a generation. For three decades, Griffin has sold…
Half Alive is an American band from Long Beach, California. The band was formed in 2016 and consists of lead singer Josh Taylor, drummer Brett Kramer and bassist J. Tyler Johnson. The trio are best known for their single “Still Feel” and its choreographed music video. Their first EP, 3, was released in 2017, while…
Following buccaneering German pirate metallers Running Wild, Scotland’s Alestorm emerged in 2007 with a boozy blend of power metal and hard rock that looked to the high seas for inspiration. Their humor and swashbuckling melodies, which often evoke sea shanties and traditional English, Irish, and Scottish folk songs, first found favor with European audiences, with…
The Black Dahlia Murder
Detroit’s Black Dahlia Murder, named for the infamous 1947 slaying of Elizabeth Short, aka the Black Dahlia, specializes in blackened Scandinavian-style death metal replete with blastbeats, guttural vocals, and blindingly fast guitar chops. Emerging in 2002, the band issued their debut LP, Unhallowed, to acclaim in the metal press one year later. 2007’s Deflorate placed…
Rumble At The Roseland
From the early days of fighting to having MMA legally recognized in Oregon to producing many amateur MMA champions, the FCFF/Rumble at the Roseland is Oregon’s oldest and most respected fighting organization.
Shifting from haunting ambient collages, hallucinogenic soul, dazzling rock, and more in a fluid, surrealist manner, Yves Tumor is an unparalleled musical chameleon. The experimental roots they established on early releases for labels like Dog Food served them well on albums such as 2016’s spiritual, sensual Serpent Music, which highlighted the R&B and psychedelic elements…
Love and Rockets
Love and Rockets comprised guitarist/vocalist Daniel Ash, bassist/vocalist David J, and drummer Kevin Haskins, all former members of the pioneering goth band Bauhaus. However, the group didn’t sound very similar to its first incarnation. Instead, Love and Rockets emphasized the strains of psychedelia and glam rock that appeared underneath Bauhaus’ gloomy drone, adding elements of…
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Kings, queens, fairies, lovers, and sprites all collide in an enchanted forest one midsummer night, proving that “the course of true love never did run smooth.” One of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies takes us on a beguiling odyssey full of mistaken identities, misguided passions, love potions, and magic spells. Fall in love all over again…
Rapper Larry June draws on aspects of both his West Coast roots and Atlanta upbringing for a rap style that is as gritty as it is dreamily smooth. Prolifically releasing projects throughout the 2010s, June’s laid-back flows and sunny instrumentals graced multiple mixtapes and studio albums like 2020’s collaborative effort with Harry Fraud, Keep Going,…
And but a Dream
In 1968 Salvador Dali was commissioned by Samuel Shore, the head of Shorewood Publishers, to create a series of artworks on the theme of the renewal of the Jewish people. “Aliyah, the Rebirth of Israel” comprises 25 mixed media paintings, including gouache, watercolors, and Indian ink on paper. They were reproduced as photolithographs and published…
INZO, real name Mike Inzano, is a Chicago-based electronic music producer and DJ. In July 2018, INZO released the masterpiece “Overthinker.” A year and a half later, the song has racked up over 7.5 million plays on Spotify, and it grew rapidly every day. INZO began learning piano at four, quickly becoming a musical prodigy….
Grandson + K.Flay
As Grandson, Jordan Benjamin combines bluesy hard rock guitars, trap-influenced beats, EDM production, and lyrics that closely inspect addiction, mental health issues, and the struggles of everyday life. Through his music and his partnerships with nonprofit organizations, he confronts social issues and raises awareness about mental health, social justice, and voter suppression, among other topics….
A pensive singer/songwriter who draws inspiration from contemporary R&B and gospel, Ruel broke through in his native Australia as a teenager with “Golden Years,” a remarkably mature single that led to a deal with RCA in 2017. In a matter of a few years, Ruel comfortably outgrew his rank as a pop prodigy by winning…
Between the Buried and Me
Between the Buried and Me are a thinking man’s metal outfit from Raleigh, North Carolina. Their ability to move seamlessly from death, prog, technical, death, and math metal to the blues is unique. On 2003’s The Silent Circus they ground through the warehouse of extreme music’s subgenres. They referred to 2007’s Colors as “a 65-minute…
Electric Callboy is a German electronicore group known for their eclectic and danceable sound and relaxed, often comedic approach to the post-hardcore genre. The group operated for a decade as Eskimo Callboy before adopting their current moniker in 2021. Tekkno, their chart-topping sixth long-player and first under the Electric Callboy banner, was released in 2022
An acclaimed fusion-influenced jam band, Snarky Puppy have built a loyal following with their adventurous blend of jazz, rock, and funk. Led by bassist Michael League, the Texas group emerged in the mid-2000s and garnered buzz with albums like 2006’s The Only Constant, 2010’s Tell Your Friends, and 2013’s Family Dinner, Vol. 1, which took…
Guitar-bending instrumental group Polyphia have distinguished themselves as prog rock mavericks, playing a style that falls somewhere between blisteringly fast metal-god virtuosity and pure pop. They first grabbed attention in 2013 after the track “Impassion” went viral. Since then, albums like 2014’s Muse and 2016’s Renaissance have found them further honing their technically brilliant instrumental…
Celebrating David Bowie
Celebrating David Bowie is a global concert series with Bowie’s friends, bandmates, and other world-class performers greatly influenced by him giving stunning live performances without pre-recorded tracks since 2016.
British indie singer/songwriter Declan McKenna first emerged in 2015 with the shimmering, politically charged single “Brazil,” which directly addressed the corruption scandal then engulfing soccer’s governing body, FIFA. The teenaged Hertfordshire native had only a handful of self-released tracks on Bandcamp to his name. Obsessed with Bowie and with an attitude recalling the Libertines and…
Siddhartha is an American band formed in 2003, led by singer-songwriter Marlon Hauser continued the tradition of Detroit garage icons such as the MC5, The Stooges, and The Gories.
Portland's Central City
There's a lot more to Portland's urban core than Downtown, a center for retail, restaurants and cultural attractions. Goose Hollow is home to Providence Park soccer stadium, while the Pearl District is famous for upscale bars, boutiques and galleries. Old Town Chinatown offers streetwear shops, Saturday Market and Lan Su Chinese Garden and Northwest/Nob Hill boasts shopping, dining and access to Forest Park and the historic Pittock Mansion. East of the Willamette River, the Central Eastside offers family-friendly attractions, shopping and nightlife, while Lloyd is home to the Oregon Convention Center and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Was this page helpful?