Downtown to Chinatown…An Asian Twist To Business Meetings

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Chicago’s Chinatown is Hidden in Plain Sight

When most business people try to come up with new ways to woo clients think of meetings over a meal, they tend to pick one of many downtown options offering sushi, steak, deep-dish pizzas, or unique Chicago cuisine on or near the mag mile, Navy Pier, or somewhere within the near north side of the city. Yet only minutes away and to the south of “downtown”, nestled in the quaint Chinatown neighborhood, several options are available that offer much overlooked opportunities to meet over a “typical” Chinese meal seemingly miles away from the tightly packed loop establishments.  So if you’re trying to impress a client or business associate, why not think outside the box (or carton if you prefer) and check out this very special part of Chicago.

Chinatown Serves Chicago

As was the case in most cities that boast their own “Chinatown”, Chicago’s Chinese immigrant population carved out a piece of the city to call their own. Over the years, businesses have come and gone, yet one thing hasn’t changed; the attraction of the Chinese food and accompanying Asian atmosphere to a curious American public. The neighborhood has long been a destination for visitors to Chicago as well as the local populace, bringing revenue and word-of-mouth advertising, two key elements to their enduring success. Recently ranked 24th most popular Chicago attractions, Chinatown continues to serve as advertised; as “The Hub of Chinese Culture in America and Gateway to China”.

Business Meeting With A “Chinatown” Flavor

Only minutes from downtown, roughly where Wentworth Avenue and Cermak Road meet up with Archer Avenue, Chinese architecture stands against a backdrop Chicago skyline like a surreal poster for culture-melding.  Here is where the pearl has been hidden. 


Are you looking to impress a client? Why not arrange a quick limousine transfer to Phoenix (, an established mainstay in the neighborhood, where their famous Peking Duck is prepared and served right at your table?   Perhaps the more upscale Cai ( featuring Chef Xi Xin Lin’s famous dim sum is more to your liking.  Or maybe one of the many other culinary options has what you’re looking for.  Authentic shops, bakeries, and tea rooms compliment the restaurants.  Entertaining in February?  Time your meeting with the Chinese New Year celebrations.  There shouldn’t be a shortage of conversation fodder.

Dare To Be Different

Anyone can entertain in Chicago.  There are too many options to count, but many tend to focus on the safe bets like Fogo de Chao, Sullivan’s Steak House, MK, and Maggiano’s to name a very few. All good choices of course, but It takes a special type of person to think outside the box when it comes to planning a meeting with a little flair.  So why not be that special type person, and set up something more than a meal.  After all, having lunch or dinner at a great restaurant will probably be a great meal with great service.  Having lunch or dinner in Chinatown will be a great experience, and one that neither you or your guest will forget for a long time, and the food it just the beginning.

Bon appetite!


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Dale Schahczinski
Goal driven team leader, with industry experience spanning all aspects of operations and administration.