Top Activities & Things to do in Chinatown Paris


The French call them Quartier Chinois; and there are two of them located in Paris.

The first Parisian Chinatown is located in the 20th arrondissement in a neighborhood known as Belleville. It is the lesser known and visited of the two, particularly amongst the tourist crowds.

The main Parisian Chinatown is in the 13th arrondissement; almost on the outskirts of the city on the Left Bank of the Seine. Aside from being the favorite Chinatown in Paris, it is also the oldest known Chinatown in all of Europe.

This Chinatown in the 13th came about during the 1970s as a result of the increasing number of Chinese refugees fleeing Vietnam for France. Aside from the refugees, there were also large amounts of legal settlers who made their way to France in search of new life.

Chinatown Skyline Paris – by Thibauld Nion – Wikimedia Commons

When these immigrants arrived in Paris the 13th posed as the perfect base from which to set up new life. The high rise urban development buildings were empty, and offered cheap rent to anyone who was interested.

And so the people began to build a life in the far south of Paris, seemingly worlds away from the central districts in which the locals and tourists tended to flock.

Eventually the streets of the 13th became filled with Chinese shops, restaurants and social spaces. It’s existence spread via word of mount and today Chinatown is a Parisian neighborhood loved by both the tourists and locals who pay regular visits.

Here are a few things not to miss while in this area!

Tang Freres in Chinatown Paris

Tang Freres is the most famous shop in Paris’ Chinatown. The chain is owned by Laos Chinese brothers who brought the concept to life after settling in France.

Tang Freres – by gadl – Wikimedia Commons

The supermarket imports most of its stock and produce from China directly, so much of it made up of things you’ve never even seen or heard of before. Its fun to walk through the aisles and pick out strange foods or ornaments that make you feel like you’re somewhere other than Paris.

Several Tang Freres stores can be found scattered throughout the streets of the 13th arrondissement. Embarking on a guided walking tour in the area will unveil not only each of these stores but also numerous other intriguing and delightful shopping destinations.

Hidden Buddhist Temple in Chinatown Paris

Because the buildings in Chinatown were already erect once the immigrants moved into the city, none of the infrastructure is identifiably “Chinese” per se. It was all developed by European architects who couldn’t have anticipated the influx of people from a foreign land.

A temple in Paris’ Chinatown – by Ordifana75 – Wikimedia Commons

Because of this there is a misconception that Paris’ Chinatown is void of some of the authentic temples and venues that Chinatowns are supposed to have. They’re there, they’re just hidden inside very usual looking buildings.

Walk over the Rue de Disque and find the car park. Hidden inside the entrance is one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples you’ll find in France. Visitors are welcome — if you can find it, that is.

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Olso Building in Chinatown Paris

The Olso building in Chinatown is a strong, concrete structure in the heart of the district. Inside, you’ll find a small mall that is known for having the cheapest and most colorful goods for purchase.

If you’re at all interested in the culture of Southeast Asia take some time to visit this spot. The ornaments, decor and clothing available for purchase aren’t anything that you’ll find anywhere else in Paris. The prices are also unbeatable with everything going for just a few euros a piece.

Chinatown, Paris – by besopha – Wikimedia Commons

The attractions in Chinatown can be hard to pin point as most lie inside of or behind buildings that make up the districts infrastructure. Walking is the easiest way to find each place, and the locals are only too happy to point you in the right direction.

Olympiades Centre in Chinatown Paris

The Olympiades Shopping Centre is considered the biggest attraction in Chinatown Paris. If you’re meeting a friend in the district, this is the most central point from which to do so.

The afore mentioned Olso building forms part of a series of structures that make up the entirety of the Olympiades.

The Olympiades Towers – by Celette – Wikimedia Commons

Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines dominate the part of town, and the options for food here are endless. You’ll gorge on Pho, dim sum, and noodles until you need to roll yourself back to your hotel.

The Olympiades is where you want to be on the annual New Year Lunar parade in Paris. The parades and street festivities are unlike anything you’ll see in France. Don’t miss the dragon dances or martial arts demonstrations!

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Attractions in the 13th Arrondissement of Paris

Paris’ Chinatown is within walking distance from a few other notable attractions in the 13th arrondissement. Since you’re venturing this deep into the south it makes sense to visit a few if you can.

The Place d’Italie is slightly north of the Olympiades centre. It is a grand plaza, spanning over 200m with the Town Hall of the 13th constructed in the space.

The Butte aux Cailles district is another part of the 13th not to be missed! The cobblestone streets are laden with galleries and art deco houses that are refreshing to see in Paris. There is also a 1920s style swimming pool that is open to the public, always best visited during the spring and summer months.

Near the bank of the Seine, on Quai François Mauriac, you’ll find the French National Library that also calls the 13th home. Within the glass structure are over 15 million works of literature and documentation, carefully preserved by the Nation of France.

Chinese New Year in Chinatown – by Thbz – Wikimedia Commons

Both Chinatown and the 13th arrondissement as a whole have a multitude of things to do to entertain you for a day. Enjoy this culture shock in the Parisian south, a place that the whole family can enjoy.

The 10 Best Restaurants in Chinatown Paris

1. Lao Lane Xang 2

This magnificent restaurant with its kitsch vibe stands out in the midst of the Asian enclave in Paris’s 13th address arrondissement. Ken and Do Siackhasone, two Lao-Vietnamese brothers, attract customers from all over Paris to their two-tiered restaurant, which features an Asian golden triangle.

The modern décor is pretty enough, and the seats are comfortable. Every evening, a line forms in front of the window of this modern establishment, while those fortunate enough to be inside travel between Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand via expertly prepared food delivered promptly. In this Parisian Chinatown restaurant, the service is efficient.

Photo by Angela Roma from Pexels

The Lao Nems are packaged separately so that you can roll the crispy rice with pork meat in a lettuce leaf. The duck fillets with red curry tamarind sauce, as well as the Panaché Rouamith (fried chicken wings, dried beef meat, and Laos sausages), are presented in ample servings. The basic wines are available in 8-ounce, 17-ounce, half-bottle, and regular-sized bottles.

Practical Informational
address: 102 Av. d’Ivry, 75013 Paris, France
hours: fri-tue; 12-3 pm, 7-11 pm/thur; 7-11 pm

2. Le Saint Anne

Photo by Frans van Heerden from Pexels

Looking for authentic Japanese cuisine in Paris? Look for Rue Sainte Anne in the first and second arrondissements, near the Opera District. The street is a Japanese sanctuary in France’s capital city, with a significant concentration of Japanese enterprises. Explore the street and enjoy the finest of what the neighborhood has to offer, from small restaurants to grocery stores.

Rue Saint Anne serves Asian delicacies from Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries. It is a nice street to visit for lunch when visiting or shopping because it is close to numerous major landmarks and tourist sites, such as the Louvre and the Opera.

Practical Informational
address: 52 rue Sainte Anne, 75002 Paris France
hours: mon-sun; 11:30 am-10 pm

3. Les Pâtes Vivantes 


Les Pâtes Vivantes is not only reasonably priced, but a bowl of their handmade noodles in soup or stir-fried with beef, tofu, and chili pepper is rather filling, especially when the weather drops as much as it has recently.

Photo by Ella Olsson from Pexels

If you don’t mind a little heat, individuals with less tame palates than some of the locals may wish to ask them not to hold back on the spices. But, whether you want it hot, chilly, or a little of both, you’ll probably find me there next summer (or sooner) slurping up a bowl of their cold, slippery sesame noodles.

Practical Informational
address: 46 rue du faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris, France
hours: mon-fri; 12-3 pm,7-11 pm/sat-sun; 12-3:30 pm,7-11 pm

4. Chez He

Chez He is tucked down a narrow lane in the 11th arrondissement’s residential district. It appears to be a typical Asian restaurant until you step inside and notice the big-screen TVs showing kids playing in the downstairs games area and parents relaxing with one eye on the screens and the other on dishes like steamed dim sum and fragrant guo zai, a North-Chinese fondue (thinly sliced meat and vegetables cooked in broth).

Photo by Natalie Bond from Pexels

Not only is the food delicious, but if your kids aren’t great at restaurants, it’s a huge relief to know they’re accepted here. The game section is designed for children aged 2 to 12 and includes a pirate ship, compressed air guns, a small labrynth, foosball, and a hall of mirrors. It costs 6€ per hour, while the kids’ menu (which includes Asian and Western alternatives such as chicken nuggets and spring rolls) is only 9.90€.

Practical Informational
address: 4 Cité de l’Ameublement, 75011 Paris, France
hours: wed-fri; 12-2:30 pm,7-10:30 pm/sat-sun;12-11 pm

5. Pho 14

Photo by Geraud pfeiffer from Pexels

Pho 14 is a Vietnamese cafeteria where you can have wonderful Pho soups loaded with noodles, meatballs, beef, or chicken and garnished with fresh mint and basil. Other delectable delights are crispy pig spring rolls (nems) and squidgy ravioli vapeur (steamed dumplings). If you don’t want to wait for a table (which is frequently the case), there’s also take-out.

Practical Informational
Address: 17 rue Molière, 75001 Paris, France
Hours: mon-sun; 11 am-10:30 pm

6. Yikou

Yikou is more than simply a location; it is an uplifting movement that celebrates infinite creativity, youth, and freedom in an irreverent yet authentic China. It is only a jumping-off point, a key into Asia pop culture to kickstart your framework: they believe in China’s daring artistry and imaginative workmanship one Dim Sum at a time.

Read more on The Best Chinese Restaurants in Paris

Photo by Rajesh TP from Pexels

The set menu consists of 22 items to enjoy (€23 per person), a mountain of steaming baskets packed with distinct flavors. The Chasu Forestier, a big bao bun packed with Cantonese-style glazed Picardie wild boar and goji berries, is one of their favorites. Even though the flavors are delicate and fragrant, they are given in large portions with imaginative components.

Practical Informational
Address: 49 Rue de l’Aqueduc, 75010 Paris, France
Hours: tue-thur; 12 pm-3 pm, 7:30 pm-11 pm/fri-sat; 12 pm-3 pm, 7:30 pm-12 am/sun; 1 pm-4 pm, 7 pm-11 pm

7. Raviolis Nord-Est

This hidden gem a block from the Belleville Metro station serves the most delicious Chinese dumplings. It’s difficult to pick between your ravioli dumplings, whether steamed or grilled, with pork and courgette, prawns, peppers, beef and celery, chicken, dry tofu, black mushrooms, or white cabbage. The cooking isn’t fancy, but the restaurant delivers simple, fresh ravioli for a few euros.

They also provide delicious salads with rice, seaweed, potatoes, peanuts, spicy beef, or octopus, and soups are available. It’s busy and popular, and it’s run by the delightful Yu Ying and her husband, who are also ready to wrap leftovers into doggy bags or arrange take-out meals. The eating room is traditional, with a few tables under neon lights and good luck charms displayed on the walls.

Practical Informational
Address: 11 Rue Civiale, 75010 Paris, France
Hours: mon-tue and thur-sun; 11 am-11 pm

8. La Tour de Jade

Photo by Lum3n from Pexels

La Tour de Jade is a Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant that has been open since 1989. Come and enjoy their handcrafted Chinese dishes, such as our famed loc-lac rice, pineapple chicken, Peking duck, or even Vietnamese ravioli, cooked to request. This upscale Chinese restaurant serves Cantonese and Sichuan dishes. It is well-known for its sophisticated ambiance and large food.

Practical Informational
Address: 20 Rue de la Michodière, 75002 Paris, France
Hours: mon-sat; 11:30 am-2:30 pm, 6:30-11 pm

9. Au Bon Pho

This restaurant is just next to the Galerie Sator. Visit this restaurant to sample Laotian and Thai food. Invite your sweetheart and enjoy delicious pho soup, sausages, and salads. Many people come to Au Bon Pho to sample the delicious parfait.

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Photo by Ofir Eliav from Pexels

Excellent tea will enhance the flavor of your dinner, and you will undoubtedly return. The staff is very attentive at this establishment and their service is very professional. This establishment has a lovely environment and sophisticated decor.

Practical Informational
Address: 22 Rue au Maire, 75003 Paris, France
Hours: mon-sat; 11:30 am-2:30 pm, 6:30-10:30 pm

10. Song Heng

This Vietnamese restaurant operated by a Cambodian family has been managing the crowds since 2005, at the crossroads of two small streets in Paris’ oldest Chinese district. Every day at lunch, addicted residents and mostly Asian visitors patiently wait for a chance to eat bun bo xao or pho, both of which come in two sizes (L and XL).

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels

The bun bo xaos are a well-executed classic, with ample portions of vermicelli rice noodles, lettuce, fresh herbs, delectable marinated beef, sautéed onions, and crispy yet tender spring rolls, all drenched in nuoc-mâm sauce. The pho, with rice noodles, chives, soybeans, sliced beef, and meatballs in a fragrant broth, is also really energizing!

Practical Informational
Address: 3 Rue Volta, 75003 Paris, France
Hours: mon-sat; 11:15 am-4 pm

I enjoy visiting Paris’ Chinatown on weekends! It’s a lot more vibey and street life is buzzing too.

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