Orienting your life to have optimal access to Chinese food in New York City is made possible using this map created by Dorothy Gambrell from her blog, Very Small Array. If Chinese food is your drug, just be sure to stay in the dark orange neighborhoods and out of the light yellow ones.

Here, Array explains the concept and varied sources she used for the 2010 map:

Stars designate the zip codes with the highest and lowest percentage of Chinese restaurants in each borough, among zip codes with twenty or more restaurants. Restaurant information is from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Neighborhood names are based on Zip Code Lookup and the New York Department of City Planning.

For comparison, the map below shows the Chinese population in the city published on The New York Times by Ford Fessenden and Matthew Bloch, made from Census data released in April 2011:Interestingly, Soundview in the Bronx, one of the most Chinese restaurant-heavy neighborhoods appears to have only a single red dot and Canarsie’s Chinese population also looks sparse. What could account for this ethnic food-concentration-demographic disparity? Overall, we can safely say there’s a lot more going on than these maps imply. We’d love to see data broken down into type of Chinese restaurants (take-out, dining, buffet) by neighborhood and other possible correlations between Chinese food density and ethnic/socioeconomic factors. Get in touch with the author @untappedmaps. See more maps in our Fun Maps column.

6 thoughts on “Fun Map: Chinese Food Density by Neighborhood in NYC

  1. As one who has spent some time working in Canarsie, and lives nearby, the statistics are in fact accurate. There is a dearth of food options in the area, which has been partly filled by Chinese takeouts, mostly consisting of just a few small tables for dining in. It appears to be a case of entrepreneurs looking to fill in a gap, whether or not they live in the neighborhood itself. The same is most likely true of Soundview and Ocean Hill (Brownsville).

    1. Hi Joshua! Thanks for the info! Are the Chinese restaurants in Canarsie run by Chinese? We discovered some cases of Chinese restaurants owned by non-Chinese, which we are hoping to look into more deeply.

      1. Hi Michelle! From my experience, the one particular establishment I patronized was Chinese-run. It’s a very small sample size, to say the least, and it would be worth further exploration. However, as I live in neighboring Georgetown, which also has a high ratio of Chinese-owned businesses to residents, it seems as though the trend is likely the same in Canarsie.

    2. I grew up in Canarsie and while there were quite a few Chinese places, I’d say that they were equally matched by Italian. That said, there weren’t a ton of restaurants in the neighborhood.

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