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4.5 59 Reviews

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  • Address: Grant Avenue at Bush Street
  • Hours:
  • Admission: Free

A city within a city, Chinatown is a historic maze of mysterious sights where an ancient culture from the other side of the world survives and flourishes with remarkable authenticity. You enter the oldest Chinatown in America through Dragon’s Gate, on Grant Avenue at Bush Street. Once you walk through the gate, a 24-block labyrinth of restaurants, markets, temples, and shops unfolds.

Wander through the massive collection of Chinese artifacts at the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, or ponder Thomas Chang’s monumental photographs at the Chinese Cultural Center. You can glimpse skaters practicing revolutionary moves beneath the stature of Sun Yat-sen in St. Mary’s Square or head to Spofford Alley to hear the clicking mah-jong tiles, a Chinese orchestra warming up, or even beauticians gossiping over blow-dryers.

Shoppers can browse the China Bazaar for novelty items or sift through bath toys and paper lanterns at the Far East Flea Market. Hungry? Try out the dim sum places and noodle joints along Stockton Street or wander along side streets of Grant Avenue to find budget basement eateries.

Before you leave Chinatown, stop by the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company, where cookies are stamped out on old-fashioned presses and folded while hot! Get a bag to go.

Practical Info

Chinatown is bordered by Broadway, Bush, Kearny, and Stockton streets. The area is easily accessible by buses and cable cars. Street parking is difficult, so it’s best to visit the area on foot. The best spots to explore are all along Stockton and Grant streets, Portsmouth Square, and the alleys that lead off them, like Ross and Waverly.

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