WATCH: Welcome to Chinatown

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Sandwiched between Boston’s theater and financial districts, Chinatown is home to many of the city’s immigrants and a magnet for tourists and Bostonians alike. People flock to the area to sample the many Asian cultures offered by various restaurants, shops and street side boutiques.

A symbolic entry gate where Beach Street meets John F. Fitzgerald Surface Road came as a gift to the community from the government of Taiwan. The towering structure bears an inscription that reads: “Tian Xia Wei Gong,” or “everything under the sky is for the people.”

Boston’s Chinatown district is the third-largest in the country, behind similar neighborhoods in New York and San Francisco. The compact part of Boston, which also spreads south to the Massachusetts Turnpike, has a diverse population of 4,444, according to 2010 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The neighborhood’s median household income is $14,289 a year, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority, compared with $53,601 for the entire city.

One of the biggest concerns among longtime residents is that an influx of new construction will bring gentrification, evident in the new high-rise buildings along Washington Street and elsewhere. As the neighborhood continues to grow, more immigrants and non-Asians are moving in.

Throughout the year, Chinatown hosts multiple family-friendly festivals that highlight the cultural roots of its residents, including the Chinese New Years Parade, also known as the “Lion Dance Festival” that takes place in early in February. The parade offers entertainment, food and good old-fashioned fun with games and gifts for young and old.

Chinatown may be best known for its Chinese cuisine. But there are also Vietnamese, Thai and Malayasian restaurants to tempt the palette. Visitors will find clusters of restaurants on corners and every few feet in some parts of the neighborhood.

Below is a list of some local favorites, some unfamiliar and some well known, for those seeking a new adventure for their taste buds:

Winsor Dim Sum Café – Traditionally served with tea, dim sum offers small Chinese dishes that are shared with the entire table. This café caters to those who want a more authentic experience. The food that is taken around the restaurant in small carts includes small dumplings, wontons, egg rolls and savory pastries.

Address: 10 Tyler Street, Boston, MA 02111

My Thai Vegan Café – Up a precarious set of stairs through the hustle and bustle of Chinatown, you will find a resort for vegans and non-vegans alike. This restaurant serves up Thai-inspired dishes from avocado medley with yellow curry to pumpkin curry medley served in a fresh whole pumpkin.

Address: 3 Beach St. (2nd Floor) in Chinatown, Boston, MA

Egg Puffs – Located in the small shopping mall plaza known as Avana Sushi, this little cash-only stand serves up 30 pieces of egg puffs known for their “sweet poofy bites of deliciousness” for $2.75 each. This hidden gem makes egg puffs fresh for anyone looking satisfy their sweet tooth.

Address: 42 Beach Street, Boston, MA 02111

Penang Malaysian Cuisine –Decorated in an industrial chic tiki-hut setting, this classical oriental cuisine bistro is a Chinatown staple. Serving Southeast Asian cooking with high quality ingredients, dishes include mango sticky rice, roti canai with chicken curry dip and Indian mee goreng.

Address: 685 Washington St Boston, MA 02111

Pho Pasteur – A family-owned business that has been serving up authentic Vietnamese cuisine since 1991, it offers a variety of traditional noodle soups, rice plates and other delicacies using fresh ingredients and options for vegetarians and meat lovers alike.

Address: 682 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111

Montien – This combination of bar and restaurant offers sushi and traditional Thai favorites, including chicken pik-pow satay, curry puffs, red curry shrimp and tofu triangles.

Address: 63 Stuart Street, Boston, MA 02116