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Brimming with vibrant Asian traditions and a palpable sense of history, Chinatown-Leather District offers cultural opportunities unmatched by other Boston neighborhoods. Sleek new lofts sit down the street from classic Chinese architecture, creating an exciting juxtaposition of old and new. With a convenient location near the city's financial and commercial centers, Chinatown-Leather District attracts apartment renters seeking an urban lifestyle.

Chinatown and the Leather District are two separate neighborhoods that share a common boundary along the John F Fitzgerald Surface Road. Because of their close proximity, the neighborhoods are often thought of as a single unit. Located in desirable central Boston, the Chinatown-Leather District area shares borders with the Theater District and the downtown area.

In Chinatown, residents come for the thriving Asian culture and the stunning architecture. The Leather District, on the other hand, consists of spacious, trendy loft apartments that fill former industrial buildings. Residents in any part of Chinatown-Leather District enjoy living a short walk from the city's best entertainment, dining, and shopping centers.


Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Boston, MA is $1,840 for a studio, $2,751 for one bedroom, $4,605 for two bedrooms, and $5,971 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Boston has increased by 1.1% in the past year.

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98 Walk Score® Walker's Paradise
100 Transit Score® Rider's Paradise
77 Bike Score® Very Bikeable



Chinatown-Leather District residents live within a short walk of Chinatown Park, which occupies a narrow strip between the two neighborhoods. True to the spirit of Chinatown, the park overflows with Asian design influences. The narrow stream running through the fee-free park creates a peaceful feeling, while the extensive landscaping provides ample sitting space for residents who come to chat and people watch. Brush up on your Xiangqi skills with one of the many players that frequent the park.

For more open green space, families with children make the 10-minute walk to Boston Common. The enormous park, a favorite with runners and bikers, provides paved paths and a rotating off-leash area for dogs. In the winter, the annual Christmas tree-lighting event draws residents from around the city. During warmer months, attend performances by the Boston Lyric Opera and the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company.


Shopping options in Chinatown-Leather District range from tiny shops cluttered with bizarre Asian imports to luxury clothing outlets. Stores dot nearly every street, ensuring that your next great discovery sits just around the corner.

Tiny grocery stores abound in Chinatown-Leather District, so you never have to go far for pantry staples. Stop by the affordable C Mart 2 on Lincoln Street, or pick up fresh lobster at Happy Family Food Market on Hudson Street.

Stock up on fresh fish and seasonal vegetables at the Dewey Square Farmers Market, open on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Munch on a pastry from the Union Square Donut booth while you choose from local cuts of meat and freshly baked bread.


As with many downtown Boston neighborhoods, the cost of living in Chinatown-Leather District is considerably higher than the citywide average. While food prices may be lower than other central areas, housing is expensive. The real estate market in Chinatown-Leather District is hot, and residents pay top dollar for loft-style living. Expect to pay an average of $4,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment — over $1,200 more than the Boston average.


Chinatown-Leather District provides quick public transportation and easy walking routes, ensuring that residents can get around without a car. Many locals opt to walk around the neighborhood; crossing from one side to the other rarely takes more than 15 minutes. Biking is possible, though riders should be prepared for a lack of bike lanes. The safest biking in the area is along the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway, which connects multiple downtown neighborhoods.

The Yellow Line train runs along the western edge of the neighborhood. For shorter distances, buses provide faster transit. Lines SL4 and 11 stop at numerous locations, connecting passengers to the busses and trains at South Station. Hailing a cab from the street is a breeze, and Uber offers convenient door-to-door service.

Street parking can be next to impossible in Chinatown-Leather District, so your best bet is one of the parking garages scattered around the edges of the neighborhood. Expect to pay an average of $25 per day or $300 per month. The Massachusetts Turnpike curves along the southern boundary of Chinatown, so you can get on the road in minutes.


During Boston's infancy, the area that is now Chinatown-Leather District was under water, part of the South Cove. The city dredged and filled the South Cove area in the 1800s, creating the land that now makes up the neighborhood. Both areas were originally residential. In the late 1800s, the city moved leather manufacturers to the Leather District after a fire in the commercial district caused a shortage of space. Now, many of the industrial buildings have been converted to sought-after residential lofts. The well-preserved buildings and uniform construction style contribute to the neighborhood's spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Around the same time period, the construction of the railway brought garment manufacturers and Chinese laborers to Chinatown. The area, which had previously housed a diverse mix of immigrants, began to attract more Chinese immigrants. Legendary local businessmen such as Moy Tong undertook massive development projects in the early 1900s, giving the neighborhood its signature aesthetic. A population explosion after World War II ended transformed the area into one of the largest Chinese settlements in the country.

Asian traditions have a significant influence on the cultural scene in Chinatown-Leather District. Don't miss the brightly-colored lanterns and storytellers at the August Moon Festival or the athletic lion dancers at the Chinese New Year parade. Although the neighborhood does not house any museums, the Boston Children's Museum, the Museum of African American History, and the Nichols House Museum are a short walk away. The neighboring Theater District offers year-round entertainment.


Restaurants in Chinatown-Leather District serve a variety of pan-Asian food at low- to mid-range prices. Cheap eats abound, making it easy to find a bargain. For an inexpensive and flavorful Vietnamese meal, stop in to New Dong Khanh on Harrison Avenue for a bowl of pho or a tasty Vietnamese roll. Add a delicious fruit shake in flavors such as avocado, banana, mango or coconut to complete your meal. For a slightly more upscale experience, sip a cup of tea at the Taiwan Cafe while you work your way through the perfectly juicy xiao long bao and roast beef scallion pancakes. Boston Magazine recommends the gua bao and mustard greens with edamame and bean curd.

If you're not in the mood for Asian food, pull up a stool at the South Street Diner. Go at breakfast time for the grilled cinnamon roll and supreme omelette, or try a crispy bacon, egg and cheese sandwich for a late-night snack.

Chinatown-Leather District houses a few nightlife options, though many locals head to the nearby Back Bay for a wider variety. Dance until the wee hours at Bijou, a nightclub that features a rotating schedule of well-known DJs. If you're looking for a more low-key evening, opt for quiet drinks at the luxurious Avery Bar. Located inside the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Avery Street, the bar draws residents with its cozy lounge seating and adult atmosphere. Locals in the know enjoy an unusual live music experience at Opera on Tap, where local opera singers strut their stuff. The OOT location changes with each performance, so check the website for dates and locations.


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Apartments for Rent in Chinatown, Boston, MA

Brimming with vibrant Asian traditions and a palpable sense of history, Chinatown-Leather District offers cultural opportunities unmatched by other Boston neighborhoods. Sleek new lofts sit down the street from classic Chinese architecture, creating an exciting juxtaposition of old and new. With a convenient location near the city's financial and commercial centers, Chinatown-Leather District attracts apartment renters seeking an urban lifestyle.

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