Chinatown Neighbourhood Guide

Couple walking through Calgary's Chinatown in winter
Couple walking through Calgary's Chinatown in winter
The Best of Chinatown

Chinatown Neighbourhood Guide

Restaurants, Shops, and Things to Do in Calgary’s Chinatown

Filled with local experiences, Calgary's Chinatown is a central hub of Asian culture, food, and entertainment. Its neighbourhood corridors and alleyways are packed with hidden gem restaurants and shops, with stunning views of the Centre Street Bridge and the Bow River.

Numerous bike lanes and walking trails that run through the downtown core provide access to Chinatown. For those travelling by car, street parking is available along 3rd and 2nd Avenue and in Lot 888 off Riverfront Avenue – a perfect starting point for exploring the area.

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Best Restaurants in Chinatown 

Calgary’s Chinatown is not only home to amazing Chinese cuisine, but it also features delicious Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, and Thai options. Asian comfort food like subs, noodles, sushi, and hot pot are all on offer in Chinatown. Here are some of the best to visit: 

  • Silver Dragon – Perhaps the most iconic restaurant in Chinatown, Silver Dragon, has been serving authentic Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine since 1966. Decorated in a contemporary, Pan-Asian style with colours that create a warm ambience, this family-owned restaurant is best known for its ginger beef and dim sum trolley, with vegetarian and tofu options available. 

  • Bánh Mì Thi-Thi – There are many hidden gems in the area, but few that Calgarians will line up for no matter what the weather is like outside. Bánh Mì Thi-Thi offers delicious Vietnamese subs to go at very reasonable prices. 

  • U & Me – Known for classic Chinese noodle dishes like the Golden Mushroom and Pork Fried Yee Mei keep locals coming back time and time again. 

  • Point Sushi – Have your sushi and gyozas delivered via bullet train at this one-of-a-kind dining experience in Calgary. 

  • 1 Pot – Every Chinatown needs a good hot pot restaurant and Calgary’s got a great one in 1 Pot. Each guest gets their own pot, along with eight soup bases to choose from. 

  • Paper Lantern – Tucked away in a side-street basement sits Paper Lantern, a unique speakeasy experience that offers a tropical and Vietnamese escape. The cocktail menu is fun and eclectic with creations like the ‘Pandan Pain Killer’ and ‘Saigon Sling’.

  • Prosperity Bar – Set in the former legendary Golden Inn restaurant location, Prosperity Bar offers a wide range of tropical cocktails like the fun 'Golden Girl,' and the classic 'Mai Tai.' Plus beer, wine, and mocktail options, as well as a delicious snack menu.

  • Sweet Tooth – Ever wonder if ice cream tastes better rolled? Find out at Sweet Tooth, where staff chop and scrape creamy ice cream into Thai-inspired rolled works of art. 

  • Royal Tea House – This popular bubble tea spot is in the heart of Chinatown and offers a wide selection of well-balanced, and well-priced boba options that are sure to quench your thirst. 

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couple walks outside of Silver Dragon Restaurant underneath the restaurants lit neon sign at night

Find authentic Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine at Silver Dragon Restaurant (photo credit: Travel Alberta/Chris Amat)

dim sum dishes on a table at Silver Dragon Restaurant

The Silver Dragon is best known for its ginger beef and dim sum trolley (photo credit: ROAM Creative)


Things to Do in Chinatown 

Ambling around Chinatown is the best way to explore the neighbourhood, but there are a few stops to help direct your path. 

  • Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre – Known as the community hub for Chinatown the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre offers programming and events to guests as well as a free museum that features rare replicas of Chinese artefacts and a permanent exhibition exploring the history of Chinese people in Calgary and Canada. Plus, the building itself is a cultural monument, with a main hall that boasts a 70-foot ceiling modelled after the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

  • TD Calgary Chinatown Street Festival – Every August, the TD Calgary Chinatown Street Festival brings people together from all walks of life to celebrate Chinese culture with performances, food stalls, and local vendors. It is the perfect way for your family to soak up a sun-filled summer day in Calgary.

  • Chinese New Year Festival – A sensational celebration of Calgary's rich cultural tapestry. The Chinese New Year Festival is two weekends of multicultural performances, a vibrant vendor market, dragon and lion dances, art exhibitions, and more—all with free admission.&

  • Sien Lok Park – Located on the southside of the Bow River Pathway, this park is a tranquil retreat from the energy of downtown. While relaxing at the park, make sure to check out ‘In Search of Gold Mountain’, a sculpture crafted from 15 tonnes of granite that honours Chinese history in Canada.

  • Mural Alley – One of the most unexpected spots in Chinatown has become known locally as Mural Alley, or Graffiti Alley. Located on the backside of the Canton Block, the alleyway combines commissioned murals with street art to make for a mesmerizing passageway through Chinese culture.

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mother and daughter admire the ornate ceiling of the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre

Explore cultural programming & events at the Chinese Cultural Centre (photo credit: Colin Way)

couple sipping bubble tea and walking through mural alley in Calgary's Chinatown, with the Bow tower behind them peeking between two buildings

Stop by Mural Alley in Chinatown for a unique photo op (photo credit: Colin Way)