Manhattan’s Chinatown is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City, New York, bordering the Lower East Side to its east, Little Italy to its north, Civic Center to its south, and Tribeca to its west. With an estimated population of 90,000 to 100,000 people, Chinatown is home to the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere. Manhattan’s Chinatown is also one of the oldest Chinese ethnic enclaves. The Manhattan Chinatown is one of nine Chinatown neighborhoods in New York City and one of twelve in the New York metropolitan area, which contains the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, comprising an estimated 893,697 unifacial individuals in 2017.

Historically, Chinatown was primarily populated by Cantonese speakers. However, in the 1980s and 1990s, large numbers of Fuzhounese-speaking immigrants also arrived and formed a sub-neighborhood annexed to the eastern portion of Chinatown east of The Bowery, which has become known as Little Fuzhou subdivided away from the primarily Cantonese populated original long time established Chinatown of Manhattan from the proximity of The Bowery going west, known as Little Hong Kong/Guangdong. As many Fuzhounese and Cantonese speakers now speak Mandarin—the official language in Mainland China and Taiwan—in addition to their native languages, this has made it more critical for Chinatown residents to learn and speak Mandarin. Although now overtaken in size by the rapidly growing Flushing Chinatown. A&E NYC Plumbing

Little Fuzhou

From the late 1980s through the 1990s, when a large influx of immigrants from Fuzhou, who broadly also spoke Mandarin and their native Fuzhou dialect, began moving into New York City, they were the only exceptional group of Chinese non-Cantonese to primarily settle into Manhattan’s Chinatown. Because the Chinatown area was populated mainly by Cantonese speakers, the Fuzhou-speaking immigrants had much trouble relating to the neighborhood linguistically and culturally. As a result, they settled on the eastern borderline of Manhattan’s Chinatown east of The Bowery, which during that time was more of an overlapping population of Chinese, Puerto Ricans, and Jewish as well as had significant vacant apartment units and were more affordable than in the more Mandarin-speaking enclaves in Flushing and Elmhurst. Many Fuzhou immigrants had no legal status and were forced into low-paying jobs.

Restaurants Nearby

  • Walker’s is located at 16 N Moore St, New York, NY
  • Blue Ribbon Brasserie is located at 97 Sullivan St, New York, NY
  • Westville is located at 333 Hudson St, New York, NY
  • El Vez and Burrito Bar is located at 259 Vesey St, New York, NY

 Check out other neighborhoods like East Village