Chinatown (Barrio Chino)

ATTRACTIONS · Outdoors, Real local flavor


Squares, Markets & bazaars

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How to get

Dolores s/n, Col. Centro. 06000, Alameda

in detail

Compared with those in other cities, this is a Chinatown of short dimensions. It was built by the migrants who arrived in Mexico during the second decade of the twentieth century, fleeing the Chinese prosecutions unleashed in Sonora and Sinaloa after being accused of spreading disease and living in unsanitary conditions. Almost all the Chinese population owned either laundries, restaurants or coffee shops. Around 1930, the streets of Dolores and Luis Moya were full of laundries owned and attended by Chinese families who – due to the Mexican’s racism against them - were not allowed to mix with the locals.

The "Chinese cafes" served coffee and cream all day long and became renowned for their biscuits, choux buns and freshly steamed bread. Their growth and abundance soon made visiting them a fully Mexican rite. No words were spoken, a fast look will be enough to get someone to bring you coffee which was poured from an aluminum boiling pot it into an octagonal glass, but raising the pot 10 inches above the glass. There was a bit of suspense, because as long as the customer didn’t say “stop!” the waiter will keep pouring the dark thick coffee; finally when the customer said “stop!” the waiter will pour a cascade of frothy whole milk into the glass. The coffee’s aftereffects continued for hours, but most lightly they didn’t last as long as did those of the opium sold back then by the Chinese, in clandestine dens.

Information provided by the Historic Center Trust.

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