6.1 out of 10

Old Chinatown

Ranked 15th best neighborhood in Portland
45.5245237624648 -122.674103154135
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping Options
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parks & Recreation
Not great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Cost of Living
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Pest Free
Who lives here?
  • Tourists
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Parking 3/5
2yrs+

"Where It All Began"

Full of history, Chinatown is where it all began for Portland. Located in the NW section of the city, this is not only a popular tourist attraction, but also still a vibrant community filled with various restaurants (not just Chinese), shops and popular attractions. Portland Saturday Market is here on the weekends starting in March and going through December. It is said to be the largest operating outdoor market in the United States. Always full of unique crafts and foods, it is also a great place for people watching! Another hugely popular place to go is Voodoo Donuts. Featured on the Food Network, you won’t find a better, nor unique style donut in the world. Period. Don’t forget to stop by the Chinese Classical Garden (beautiful and tranquil) and other landmarks: Japanese American Historical Plaza, Oregon Jewish Museum and the Oregon Maritime Museum. While there are apartments in the area, I can’t think of why anyone would necessarily want to live in this part of Portland. There are too many nicer neighborhoods. Also, safety is an issue and personally, I don’t feel particularly safe in this area after dark.
Pros
  • Chinese Classical Garden
  • Public transportation
  • Saturday market
  • Diverse stores and restaurants
  • Tourist attractions
Recommended for
  • Tourists
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"A Lot of Fun For Tourists and Locals Alike"

Old Town Chinatown is in the heart of the city. The oldest part of downtown, this historic district was originally settled by Portland's Chinese residents. Now, it is home to a diverse range of people and businesses.

Among Old Town Chinatown's many landmarks are the Classical Chinese Garden, Oregon Jewish Museum, and Portland Saturday Market. As you might expect, most of the restaurants are Asian, although there's also a surprising offering of cuisines from all over the world. Don't miss a trip to the famous Voodoo Doughnuts while you're here! Chinatown is home to galleries, popular bars and nightclubs, and beautiful historic buildings with cast iron details.

This is a popular destination for tourists and those in search of nightlife. It gets crowded on the weekends; if you love that atmosphere, be sure to visit then, but if not, stick to the weekdays when it's less crowded.

If you're looking to live here, you'll find plenty of apartments and small condos, and they tend to be more affordable than in other parts of downtown. Residents of Old Chinatown enjoy easy access to the best of Portland. However, it can be a little noisy, and the area has historically not been the safest after dark, so I'd rather live elsewhere and come into Old Town Chinatown for an enjoyable visit. It's easy to get here via bus, MAX light rail, or Amtrak, making a great day trip.
Pros
  • Tourist attractions
  • Diverse stores and restaurants
  • Public transportation
  • Saturday market
Cons
  • Traffic
  • Can be too touristy
  • Crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Not the safest area, but plenty of activity"

Old Chinatown can definitely be a fun place to be. Of course, it goes without saying that you can find a variety of Chinese restaurants in this area. Though I have to say that the Chinese food in Portland isn't as good as what you will find in other cities in San Francisco and New York. Sorry Portland.

Another major plus is that Portland's Saturday Market is in this neighborhood. This is a little festival that takes place every Saturday where you can buy crafts and food and see a lot of interesting people as well. There is also the Lan Su Chinese Garden, which is a really pretty spot, albeit overpriced to visit. If you decided to live in this neighborhood, you probably wouldn't go to the garden unless friends were visiting.

If you opt to live in Chinatown, you will be very close to downtown, and so all that this area has to offer is literally right in your backyard. The options for public transportation are fantastic since you are so close to the MAX and even the train.

On the downside, this isn't the safest area. Robbery and drugs are major considerations. Also if you prefer a quiet area, you could definitely find the nightlife in Chinatown to be too much.
Pros
  • Public transportation
  • Saturday market
Cons
  • Crime
Recommended for
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Students

Travelling to Old Chinatown?

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Unranked Streets in Old Chinatown

"Entrance into China Town"
45.5260866328226 -122.674506240287
"Water front connections."
45.5268792499701 -122.671664971962

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