Wednesday, April 29, 2020

All About Boston's Chinatown, Chinese Restaurants & Cuisine, Baijiu & More

What was the first Chinese restaurant in Boston's Chinatown?

That question intrigued me and I wasn't satisfied with the answer I found through some quick Googling. So, I engaged in my own intensive research seeking an answer, poring through thousands of old newspapers and books. As I delved into that rabbit hole, I uncovered so much fascinating information about the history of Chinatown and its restaurants. Eventually, I decided to write a five-part series of articles about what I found, as well as providing some answers to my original question. These articles contained an abundance of references, especially to many old newspapers.

Even after completing this initial series of articles, I continued my research as I kept finding new and interesting information. Eventually, I began expanding and revising my original articles as well as writing additional historical articles, on a variety of related topics, from the first Chinese restaurants outside Boston to a history of Dim Sum in the U.S. Many of these articles were completed and/or expanded/revised during the first third of 2020, and consist of over 100,000 words, the size of a book, so there's plenty to read if you're so inclined.

To help bring more visibility to all of these posts, and to make it easier to find these articles, I've compiled all of the links into this single post. It will be a repository for all of these articles, and I'll update it when I write a new article. This should be helpful to my readers who want to delve deeper into the fascinating stories of the history of Boston's Chinatown, its restaurants, and related matters.

In some respects, these articles can be considered works in progress, as I try to update them whenever I engage in new research. I've written some of the most extensive articles you'll find about the history of Chinatown and its restaurants, and I'm always trying to improve and expand them. Plus, I'm working on other historical topics for future articles. I hope you enjoy and would love to hear feedback.

The First Restaurants In Boston's Chinatown
Check out Part 1, covering the 18th & 19th centuries
Check out Part 2, covering the years 1901-1920
Check out Part 3, covering the 1920s.
Check out Part 4, the tale of Ruby Foo.
Check out Part 5, covering 1930-1959
Check out Part 6, the tale of Anita Chue
Check out Part 7, the tale of Mary Yick
Check out Part 8, a Deeper Look into Two Restaurants
Check out Part 9, covering the 1960s

The First Chinese Restaurants Outside Boston:
Check out Part 1-Cambridge & Fitchburg
Check out Part 2-Pittsfield & Malden
Check out Part 3-Springfield
Check out Part 4-Fall River
Check out Part 5-Lowell & Lynn
Check out Part 6-Quincy
Check out Part 7-North Adams & Brockton

The First Chinese Restaurants in Connecticut
Check out Part 1: New Haven 
Check out Part 2: Hartford & Bridgeport
Check out Part 3: New Britain, New London, Stamford, and Waterbury

Assorted Articles
Blob Joints: A History of Dim Sum in the U.S.
Origins Of The Chop Suey Sandwich: A New England Invention?
What's A Chop Suey Sundae?
The Origins of American Chop Suey (Expanded/Revised)
Origins Of The St. Paul Sandwich: A Missouri Invention?
Origins of Crab Rangoon

Sampan Articles
#1: In Search of the First Chinese Restaurant
#2: Malden's First Chinese Restaurants
#3: Quincy's First Chinese Restaurants
#4: Ruby Foo, Chinatown's First Woman Restaurateur (Part 1)
#5: Ruby Foo, Chinatown's First Woman Restaurateur (Part 2)


Chinese American Historian By Chance said...

Your Chinese restaurants of Boston and surrounds is fantastic! I'm sure the rest of your blog is also outstanding, thorough, and accurate, but my focus is on the detailed social history of the Boston Chinese restaurateurs. Job well done!

Richard Auffrey said...

Thanks very much!