Chicago Hidden Gems…Old Chinatown

This will be the first in a series of posts I will explore from time to time called  Chicago Hidden Gems. This series will have a  affordable  inspirational, culinary and travel angle .

Today I showed a dear  friend around to my some favorite spots only we could appreciate. We decided to have a weekday Dim Sum lunch (average tab $15-$20 a person)  at Phoenix , and then explore Wentworth Avenue, otherwise known as Old Chinatown. Admittedly, I don’t get to that part  of Chinatown often but love a hidden little cookware store called Woks and Things. Affordable and huge variety. I left  with a Dragon shaped garnish cutter ( suggested uses as cakes, garnish, vegetable cutouts) and  the tea cups featured above  for $1.25 each ( suggested uses for tea, soups, amuse bouche, starters, mini desserts, spice bowls). We then crossed over to the East side of the street and found Ten Ren Tea and Ginseng shop, one of the  oldest and venerated tea havens in Chinatown, let alone Chicago. This is for hard core tea lovers who seek exceptional teas, beautiful ceramics, and a helpful educated staff. Don’t come here for adulterated artificial flavored teas. Amongst the copper tins and boxed teas, I choose a smoky and rich Lapsang souchong (Lap Sang Soo Chong at $17.00  a pound (suggested uses drink,  tea  smoke fish , chicken, or pork) along with boxed sets of Oolong, and Rose teas .The beautiful tin cannister to store my smoky goodness was an additional $5.75.

Finish your promenade with a stop by Hoypoloi, and Uncommon Gallery and revel in great American based art finds like the  prints of Dr. Seuss. And then grab a hot  or bubble tea from the younger hipper St.Alps Teahouse .

And there is a great  Far Eastern interlude in a corner of Chicago some are too timid to explore in depth. There is a lot waiting to be discovered in Chicago.

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5 thoughts on “Chicago Hidden Gems…Old Chinatown

  1. S.W. Mayer

    I am looking for the three monkeys (hear, speak, see) no evil carved out of soapstone. Bought one In Chicago Chinatown probably 75 years ago. It met with disaster in disposal several months ago. I loved it. It was the real thing I think. Could you tell me how I might be able to replace it?

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