And that’s right! San Francisco’s Chinatown is one of the oldest in North America and consists of about 24 blocks. There are good reasons, therefore, if it is one of the most popular attractions of the “Fog City”. Some say it’s even more visited than the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s easy to spend a day in the streets, shops and restaurants of Chinatown, San Francisco. What to see in such a large area?
Chinatown San Francisco what to see: a must-see.
Chinatown in San Francisco is more densely populated than Manhattan, the residents are almost all Chinese who speak just a little bit of English, as many have arrived recently.
First, you’ll need to visit “The Chinatown Gate”, the official entrance to the neighbourhood on Grant Avenue. We certainly don’t like too touristy places, but you can’t help but post on Instagram your shot of the most photographed “Dragon Gate” in the world. Donated by Taiwan in 1969, it contains a quote from the founder of the Republic of China, Dr Sun Yat Sen, which means more or less “Everything under the sky is for the good of the people”.
Although kitsch is very touristy, you’ll have to see Grant Avenue, the main street for tourists with its decorations and shops.
Another attraction not to be missed are the two buildings called “Sing Chong” and “Sing Fat”, the first built-in Chinatown after the earthquake of 1906, located at the intersection of Grant and California. You didn’t realize the Chinese style just to start framing the air as a tourist attraction. And you can’t say it didn’t work. The California tram line passes right through there.
Chinatown San Francisco what to see: shops.
All major stores are on Grant Avenue, of course, they are also more touristy. Full of fun items to discover or buy are for example “Cantoon Bazar” and “Old Shanghai”, two large stores located opposite each other.
You’ll find dozens of “Gift Shops”. For a more original idea, however, you could think of buying some tea in one of the “Vital Tea Shops”, always on the tourist Grant Avenue.
Already along the parallel Stockton Street, you will find lower prices and a more authentic atmosphere. And therein fact that good part of the residents But their purchases.
Chinatown in San Francisco is all in all safe but, as always in these cases, remember to keep the general rules of security dictated by common sense, especially when you move off the beaten track (although sometimes it is precisely the most touristy areas that hide the greatest dangers).
Have fun discovering other roads and crossings.
If you then go to the so-called “Chinese Herbal Shops” you will find all the Chinese herbs as well as doctors ready to recommend their remedies for any of your pathologies. Very characteristic, for example, is the “Great China Air company”, at 857 Washington Street.
Chinatown San Francisco what to see: restaurants.
The experience of Chinatown is not complete without some taste of traditional Chinese cuisine, really very close, in this case, to the native one, compared to what they offer us in most of the Chinese restaurants here in Italy.
I recommend “R & G Lounge” at 631 Kearny Street. Although in a basement and not too cheap is clean and tasty. Excellent The crab is the duck.
At 655 Jackson Street, there is the “Z & Y Restaurant” famous because we also ate Obama.
Many people say that, apart from China, Chinatown in San Francisco is the best place in the world to eat “Dim Sum” (light food from southern China served with you). If you want to try it, I suggest “Hang Ah Tea Room”. It’s the oldest in the neighbourhood, opened in 1920. The staff is on average more kind and willing to answer your questions in English. The place is clean enough and reasonably priced. But above all, you will find yourself in an authentic place and not too touristy also for its location (at 1 Pagoda Place, between Clay and Sacramento).