Things to do in Penn Quarter/Chinatown

Bustling Penn Quarter/Chinatown is a small, historic area just east of Downtown DC and runs from H and I Streets between 5th and 8th Streets, NW. This area is home to the Capital One Arena where you can watch the Wizards or the Capitals play during their seasons but there’s so much more to do!

chinatown with bright red structures on busy city street

Dining in Penn Quarter

From fast casual to Michelin-starred meals there’s something for every taste in Penn Quarter. Beloved local José Andres has a number of offerings in this vibrant neighborhood from the two Michelin starred Minibar to the more casual Jaleo, the Mexican-inspired Oyamel Cucina Mexicana to the the Greek-inspired Zaytinya. For a quick bite, there’s local favorites Teaism or Chaia and for a more upscale night out, RPM is a modern take on Italian classic dishes.

Of course, a visit to Chinatown would not be complete without a taste of some authentic Chinese food. Locals love New Big Wong, China Boy and Tony Cheng, all offering signature dishes.

Take in the Local Culture

The National Portrait Gallery is conveniently located in the heart of Penn Quarter and features portraits of famed Americans throughout history. From poets to presidents and everyone in between. As a part of the Smithsonian Museums, the Portrait Gallery is free for all to enjoy. For a night out, the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue is a non-denominational, non-membership, non-traditional Jewish synagogue; one of the oldest in the city. Their schedule of events includes book talks, lectures and live music.

Admire the Friendship Arch

Friendship Archway is a paifang (a traditional style of Chinese architectural arch or gateway structure) installed in Penn Quarter/Chinatown and is one of the largest ceremonial arches outside of China. Spanning H St, NW, just east of 7th St, the arch includes seven roofs covered in 7000 tiles and 284 dragons (272 painted and 12 carved) in the style of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

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