6.6 out of 10

Chinatown

Ranked 8th best neighborhood in Oakland
37.798835093253 -122.269570155651
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Cost of Living
  • Internet Access
  • Public Transport
  • Neighborly Spirit
Not great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Clean & Green
  • Schools
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Resale or Rental Value
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Families with kids
  • Students

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Chinatown east offers great options"

I have been living in Chinatown Oakland for over two years and commute to the city for work everyday ...bart is close...parking is available and it gives the urban kind of life for half the price...I am a student and use everything in the area...I go to the gym and run the lake several times a week...both only a 15few min walk away...and my school is down the street...it is a great option for someone looking for a downtown life with slum income...it's close to everything! I give the neighborhood two thumbs up...and im not asian!
Pros
  • good atmosphere
  • Good Location
  • Good Restuarants
  • Good Transportation
Cons
  • watch yourself, always be aware
  • Noisy
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Central but nothing much to brag about"

Chinatown is one of the most well-known neighborhoods in Oakland, mostly because of its worldly spirit and appeal to the pan-Asian community. It is an eclectic mix of small businesses and inexpensive residential housing. However, it’s nothing like it’s neighbor to the West (San Francisco Chinatown). For one, the streets are wide and typically empty (it’s no tourist hub). The only crowd that comes through routinely is during the busy lunch hours, where the downtown Oakland workforce swarms the hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurants looking for cheap meals.

For those commuting to the area, the neighborhood is served by 12th Street and Lake Merritt Bart system. The district is nestled in between Lakeside and I-880, which grants locals easy access to the freeway and the greater Oakland neighborhoods.

Chinatown also offers a great deal of affordable shopping options. Many of which tend to be situated like open air markets that is so notably ingrained in Chinatown’s history. Of these shops, browsers can find everything from ceramics to fresh produce and from gaudy Chinese merchandise to a plethora of off-the-rack retail clothes. While walking along some of the main drags, the neighborhood offers some great traditional architecture reminiscent of Imperial China and exemplified in the Oakland Asian Cultural Center.

For those looking to rent, look towards the west end of Chinatown. Apartment buildings are relatively newer and well-maintained. Moreover, these places are closer to the Chinatown mall and its cleaner neighboring shops. On the eastern end of Chinatown, most of the apartment buildings and houses are gritty and rundown while shops are commonly protected with barred windows.

The neighborhood also boasts three small parks for recreational activities, Harrison Square, Lincoln Park and Madison Park. Unfortunately, many homeless people flock towards the grassy terrain at night.
Pros
  • Good Location
  • Good Restuarants
  • Good Transportation
Cons
  • Noisy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Doesn't Compare to SF's Chinatown"

I don’t know much about living in Chinatown, except that it is fairly packed and that rents are relatively low.

Like that other Chinatown across the Bay, this Chinatown has a number of excellent restaurants that bring people in to enjoy the neighborhood. There are, of course, a number of great Dim Sum places in Chinatown. Some of my favorites include Legendary Palace, Gourmet Delight (for seafood) and King of the King. But Chinatown also offers some cuisine from China’s culinary neighbors—such as the Vietnamese joint called Vien Houng. These are all good places to go, and because of its proximity to Downtown there is a daily lunch hour that floods Chinatown with hungry business people with only an hour to get what they need and head back, so expect a hectic weekday lunch crowd if that is when you happen to be there.

Unfortunately the streets here are nowhere near as walkable as those of SF’s Chinatown, with wide lanes and bumper to bumper traffic producing noise and a generally unpleasant feeling. Inside the restaurants, it is nice enough, though nowhere near as pleasant as across the bay.

I can’t really imagine living in the warrens that make up the housing above the storefronts either—they have that dingy look of low cost city dwellings that is neither quaint nor ruggedly cool.

Overall, I see this as a good place for lunch, if you like Chinese food, but not really a place most us would want to live.
Pros
  • Good Restuarants
  • Good Transportation
  • Good Location
Cons
  • Crowded
  • Noisy
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students
4/5
2yrs+

"Great Street Fair!! A++ Place for Fun"

There is a great street fair here during Chinese new years. I come here just for the street fair here every year. It's lots of fun, and its very similar to the one in San Francisco. It's not as big compared to it, but still lots of things to do. Also I I think the streets in the Oakland Chinatown is cleaner than the Chinatown in San Francisco.
Besides the street fair, this is actually a very busy neighborhood during normal times. There are lots to see, shop, and tons of restaurants to chose from to eat at. There is a great Vietnamese noodles shop here in this neighborhood that I go to every time I come here.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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Best Streets in Chinatown

1

Broadway

4/5
"Right in the heart of downtown Oakland"
37.8004416337462 -122.273734895137
2

Harrison St

2.5/5
"Vibrant Street on the fringe of Oakland Chinatown"
37.7988399241932 -122.270192402241

Unranked Streets in Chinatown

7th St

3.5/5
"a long street that spans the different oakland neighborhoods"
37.7979843031099 -122.270319829629

8th St

4/5
"I love Chinatown!!!!"
37.7985900138798 -122.269713144298

Alice St

2/5
"Not a bad Place to Live "
37.7986020447391 -122.26886109441

Jackson St

3.5/5
"Quiet oasis just outside of downtown"
37.7980762813145 -122.267718527436

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