One of the oldest and most established Chinatowns in the United States is located here in San Francisco. These streets lure many tourists from around the world. From bakeries and restaurants to the hustle and bustle in the markets; Chinatown is a fun neighborhood to wander with no direction.
Personally, Chinatown holds a few special memories I carry in my heart. One being, this is where Gavin and I came for our second date. The second memory is with my dad. My second week in San Francisco, he drove up some furniture from LA. After a long day, we drove to Chinatown for dinner. And third, my first job in San Fransisco was with the YMCA of Chinatown, as an after-school teacher.
For those that are planning to visit San Francisco, I’m sure you have Chinatown on your list. Here are a few of my recommendations worth checking out!
With a handful of bakeries in Chinatown, I typically go to two when looking to buy pastries like custard tarts or other goodies.
- Eastern Bakery // 720 Grant Ave
- Yummy Bakery // 607 Jackson St
At Eastern Bakery, there’s a kind man, Orlando who is from Peru. He is fluent in Spanish, English and Mandarin. You’ll find him sitting in front of the bakery selling the goodies.
At Yummy Bakery, they make custard tarts the traditional way and with egg whites only. You can also buy the fluffiest cheesecake made!
- Good Mong Kok // 1039 Stockton St
- Delicious Dim Sum // 752 Jackson St
- Hang Ah Dim Sum Tea House // 1 Pagoda Pl
- City View Restaurant // 662 Commercial St
- House of Dim Sum // 735 Jackson St
- China Live // 644 Broadway
- Far East Cafe // 631 Grant Ave
- R & G Lounge // 631 Kearny St
- Z & Y Restaurant // 655 Jackson St
- Hinodeya (Ramen Bar) // 680 Clay St
Cafes & Ice Cream
- Cool Tea Bar // 103 Waverly Pl
- E Tea // 839 Kearny St
- Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea // 870 Washington St
- By Me Boba Tea // 22 Ross Alley
- Magical Ice Cream // 900 Grant Ave
- Matcha Cafe Maiko // 756 Grant Ave
For my photographers and Instagram-ers, Chinatown is a content creator’s dream! Every corner has a painted mural, every street has beautiful views leading down to the bay and everywhere you turn, there’s a special detail to capture.
One of my favorite things to do when I travel is go to the supermarkets and walk down the aisles. I love looking at all the labels, products and produce. Chinatown has some of the coolest markets supplying teas, fish, produce and the most interesting snacks. I can find my favorite instant ramen soup and mi goreng noodles.
The Coolest Place!
If there was only one place I could visit in Chinatown, it would be Ross Alley! (56 Ross Alley) Down this alley, you will find a fortune cookie bakery called Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. You can watch the women hand-make fortune cookies, taste a freshly made cookie and buy a bag or two to take home.
I love Chinatown and I hope this guide will help you navigate through a historic district. And if you find yourself beginning to wander into North Beach, you can use this guide!