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Chinatown dining logistics

There are so many great restaurants in Chinatown, but I haven't found any cheap places to park. We typically go to the Beach St. garage, but that can get expensive (especially if you come in before 5PM). Are there any streets where parking can be found?

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  1. In short no. If you are willing to walk. There are meters on marginal (5 blocks) that start freeing up by then.

    1. I've gotten myself in hot water on this board by refusing to disclose my most favored places to eat, and probably for good reason, because every good business deserves our business (even if it means they'll get more crowded). But parking... I dunno, is anyone with a really good Chinatown street parking scheme going to divulge it here? I won't.

      tl;dr take the T

      3 Replies
      1. re: Luther

        than why post? as a neener-neener?

        depending on where you're coming from, i'd just park in the hinterlands someplace, like eastie or brookline, where there are no meters, or just meters til 6, and take the t in. cheaper than any downtown garage.

      2. there are some places that validate for the Beach St garage.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ScubaSteve

          You can park way back behind NE / Tufts Med Center along the expressway at the metered spaces later in the day (around 5) they start to empty out and meters take quarters til 6. I actually park free or at a metered spot in Charlestown near Boston Garden and take the T over as long as there is no game on or I park in East Boston under 1A and take the T in from Wood Island. Shhh!

          1. re: ScubaSteve

            Yeah, Taiwan Cafe used to, but they stopped I think (before they closed for renovations).

            1. re: croutonweb

              Hong Kong Eatery did last time I was there.

            2. re: ScubaSteve

              A ton of places used to Validate for the beach st garage (I think it was $6 for 3 hrs) but I don't think any do anymore. This happened about a year ago, I spoke with one restaurant and they said that the Garage changed ownership and they no longer offered that deal.

            3. Depends on far you want to walk. You can head over to the seaport area up by the intercontinental hotel. Meters are good for four hours and end at 6:00 pm.

              1. Where are you coming from? Have you considered parking at Alewife and taking the T in? Or come in on a Sunday before noon and you'll be able to find parking in BOS/Brookline/Cambridge.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Felicity7

                  I agree the T is the way to go, but we're stuck with a car in the city on our way home to the North Shore.

                2. Hopefully not giving away secrets, but many of the main arteries in the city don't allow parking between 4-6pm but turn back in to metered spots after that, so if you go near the time they turn back in to metered spots there are some spots, just don't forget to check the meter and signs for details and pay the meter if required.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: lc02139

                    i stupidly got a 40 dollar ticket last weekend. i stupidly drove around looking for a spot, if it hadnt been pouring rain i might have parked further and walked...when my friend and i both said "is this spot to good to be true" indeed it was....

                    1. re: cookfood

                      one of my friends was ticketed around NEMC; one metered spot turned into a spot for locals and triggered a ticket; be careful; i recommend taking the orange or red line in.

                  2. The garage in Winthrop Sq. (between 100 Summer St. & 101 Federal) has the best rates of any of the downtown garages, as far as I remember from my "driving days", and may still have a "weekend/p.m. special". It's not that far of a walk (10 minutes, or so) from Chinatown.

                    1. I'm almost always able to find parking on the streets leading back towards the South End (i.e. Harrison, Washington, etc). There are also a number of inexpensive lots in the South End, only a ten minute walk away from Chinatown.

                      1. The Boston Common garage is only $11/day on weekends. We park there and walk all over. Not too far from Chinatown, I think maybe <10 minute walk.

                        1. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions! I'll try them out.

                          1. There is parking on Beach St between Harrison and Washington. Cars are parked there all day/night without ticketing.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: MeffaBabe

                              I believe those are commercial parking zones like Hanover street in the NE, there are plenty of places people park but they risk tickets if they aren't legal spots. Heck many people double park in the NE for longer than I'm comfortable in a legal spot. Just saying read the signs a couple of times if you think you are legal great, but don't be surprised when you get a orange thank you note.

                              1. re: lc02139

                                I do not believe the spaces on Beach between Harrison and Washington are commercial. There are cars parked there all day long, in fact, there are many cars from people who work at the hospital parked there all day long, I know because I walk by them everyday and have witnessed the owners getting out of the cars in the morning and returning to them in the afternoon... There is plenty of non-metered parking in Chinatown- there are also plenty of parking lots and garages with reasonable prices for a few hours while you dine here.

                            2. Parking around Chinatown is a nightmare. Many of the meter spaces turn into resident parking after the office hours. Yet most of them would remain empty after 6:00. That's not doing any good for anyone, not the residents, nor the business owners, nor the visitors. Whoever came up with that idea goofed.

                              The best deal I find is the NEMC (now Tufts Medical Center) garage. Validated tickets rates are very reasonable, and the first 30 minutes are FREE! Great for a quick take out. Problem is finding an open office after hours to validate the tickets. But I have figured out how to get around that.