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January 20, 2012 / Katie

My Chinatown: Christina Seid

Christina & Phil SeidNo visitor to Chinatown should leave without sampling the Asian-inspired flavors at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. This cheerful little shop has been family-owned and operated since the late 70s when ice cream experienced a renaissance of sorts–Ben & Jerrys and Haagan Dazs started selling scoops around the same time–and since then CICF has become an undeniable neighborhood fixture. A day without a line trailing out the door is rare, even during the winter months. Specialty flavors include green tea, red bean, lychee, black sesame (my personal fave), egg custard tart, almond cookie, taro, zen butter, pandan, durian, and ginger.

I caught up with Christina Seid, who has been helping out at the store since she was 12 and now runs the business full-time, to see what her Chinatown looks like.

What does Chinatown mean to you?

Chinatown is my community. My grandparents came over in the early 1900s and my father grew up here. Our business has been open for 33 years so all of us have spent a lot of time here. I have a lot of my family history and memories here.

Describe a perfect day spent in Chinatown.

Have dim sum at Ping’s. Spend a sunny afternoon on a park bench in Columbus Park catching up with friends. Eat dinner at Peking Duck House. Drinks at Whiskey Tavern.

What is your favorite spot in the neighborhood?

My favorite street is Bayard. I walk up and down it to get to work and I wave to all my neighbors. It is such a busy street that it feels like you never have the same experience twice.

strawberry cone at CICF

If you could sum up Chinatown in one word what would it be?


What is your favorite CICF flavor?

I don’t have just one. It depends on my mood but I would say that Almond Cookie, Pandan, and Pumpkin Pie are up there. However, I often stock my own personal home freezer with Mint Chip because that is the one flavor my husband doesn’t eat so I know that it will be there!

To learn more about Christina and CICF, checkout her blog or drop by the store to say hi!

One Comment

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  1. contemporarycontempt / Feb 1 2012 1:39 am

    Great interview: concise and poignant–and a nice genre-addition for your blog. 🙂 As for the ice cream…I still regret not getting a scoop when you showed me this place.

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