Being an international student away from home is hard. I know many of you out there who feel the same way. Thankfully, I found somewhere I can almost call home — Ottawa’s Chinatown.

You cannot imagine how incredibly stoked I was when I found out Chinatown is only a few bus stops away from Carleton. Since my first visit, I’ve made frequent trips to Ottawa’s adorable Chinatown.


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There’s just so much to do there and I really enjoy myself too much when I go. It’s not too big so you won’t get lost in it but it’s big enough that you’ll definitely find something to do there, from shopping to eating and taking pictures at local artworks.

Asian Grocers


Photo by Natalie Choy

I think this is pretty self-explanatory but still, Asian grocers are just heavenly. You can get all your Asian necessities in one place. Ottawa’s Chinatown has numerous Asian grocers that cater to both East and South Asian customers so you can get whatever need to satisfy your hungry tummy.



Photo courtesy of @cleverwittystatement on Instagram

Ottawa’s Chinatown is just filled with artworks and picture perfect backgrounds that make it difficult to refuse a selfie.


Photo courtesy of @iuliianiko on Instagram

They have amazing murals all around the street and the famous Imperial Style Arch as you enter Chinatown.



Photo by Lui Xia Lee

Where do we even start? Chinatown is such an Asian food heaven. There are tons of restaurants all over Chinatown that you’re guaranteed to find something that’ll remind you of home. There’s Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and so much more.


Photo by Scott Harrington

One thing in particular about Ottawa’s Chinatown is that they have lots of Pho restaurant so don’t you worry about craving Pho, Ottawa’s Chinatown’s got you all covered. For those of you who don’t know, Pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup usually with beef stock, noodles, and some kind of meat.



Photo courtesy of @myungsterr on Instagram

I don’t know about you but I love Asian desserts, especially shaved ice. They just melt in your mouth. Seriously, bless…


Photo by Irene Kim

I’m so glad that there are so many dessert places here, but don’t even get me started on the amount of Boba/Bubble Tea places there are in Chinatown. There’s almost one every twenty minutes. I love it.



Photo by Isabel Wang

Ottawa’s Chinatown is mostly quiet unless it’s Lunar New Year. But overall, it’s a pretty sweet place if you’re down to hang out with some of your friends. Some of the dessert cafes have board games where you can just play all day and enjoy good company.

Although there are bigger Chinatowns all around the world, I find that Ottawa’s Chinatown sure does have its charms despite its size. It’s quaint, adorable and definitely worth a visit.