One of the oldest Chinese communities in Europe
The connection between Liverpool and China goes back to the mid 1800’s. The first ship to arrive from China was in 1834, and by 1866 there was a regular direct route set up by the Blue Funnel Shipping Line. Operating between Shanghai and Liverpool bringing silk, cotton wool and many Chinese sailors to the port of Liverpool. Many of these sailors decided to settle here. To accommodate them, the shipping line set up boarding houses close to the docks. Subsequently Chinese businesses developed to supply the demand of their fellow countrymen.
During both World Wars many Chinese sailors served in the British Merchant Navy. Finally recognised with a commemorative plaque laid at the Pier Head in 2006.
Welcome to Chinatown
Liverpool and China still have close ties and in 1999 we twinned with Shanghai. The Imperial Arch situated at the top of Nelson Street was a gift to Liverpool by the City of Shanghai. 20 craftsmen created the arch which was shipped over in 2,000 pieces. Before being assembled for the Chinese New Year celebrations in the year 2000.
Standing an impressive 13.5 metres/44feet, it is the tallest of its kind in Europe and only the arch in Washington DC is taller anywhere in the world outside China.
Decorated in gold, red, green and the royal colour of yellow. there are 200 dragons on the arch. During Chinese New Year, Liverpool is decorated with beautiful red lanterns. Red is the main colour for the festival and for those who celebrate, children are given little red envelopes containing money as gifts.
Chinese New Year in Liverpool
2021 is slightly different to usual and our Chinese New Year celebrations are all online rather than in the many streets of Chinatown. You can find out about this years celebrations here. In previous years the lion or dragon would make its way dancing from one business to the next There would be a cabbage or lettuce for it to eat and once the business had been blessed, firecrackers would be let off. Creating a lot of noise, smoke and scattering red ticker tape paper, you would certainly know you were in Chinatown!
Liverpool Chinese restaurants with great vegan options
Liverpool has a huge array of Chinese restaurants, and most will have something on the menu that is suitable for vegans. However the following restaurants offer the greatest variety of vegan options.
Yuet Ben – 1 Upper Duke Street, opposite the Arch. Yuet Ben has been feeding hungry vegetarians and vegans for several decades. It has a separate vegetarian menu of which most dishes are vegan.
Literally around the corner is Chamber 36 on 45-49 Berry Street. Offering many vegan options, from small plates to main dishes and cocktails too!
An easy 15 minute walk away in the popular Baltic Triangle area is Lu Ban. Offering fine dining in a spacious restaurant, it also has several smaller exclusive rooms available including a chefs table. This restaurant will impress. They have plenty of vegan options but you can also let them know when booking.