Dive deep into one of San Francisco’s most historical neighborhoods on this Chinatown walking tour. From paper lanterns to medicinal herbs to a fortune cookie factory, you’ll explore both popular and lesser-known gems in this bustling district with an in-the-know guide. See sights including a Buddhist temple, and upgrade, if you wish, to include a 10-course lunch of dim sum for an even more memorable experience.
Walking tour of San Francisco's Chinatown
Tour popular sights and off-the-beaten-path spots that only locals know about
See the buzzing food markets along Stockton Street and explore Waverly Place
Pop into an herbal pharmacy and an authentic Buddhist temple
Sample fortune cookies at the factory where they are made
Learn about Chinatown's fascinating history and culture from your expert insider guide
Upgrade includes a mouthwatering 10-course dim sum lunch!
Explore San Francisco’s Chinatown and discover a few hidden highlights on this walking tour that includes an upgrade option for a 10-course Chinese dim sum lunch (an additional hour).
Your tour starts at Old St Mary’s Cathedral, where you’ll meet your informative guide. As you wander this colorful, lively neighborhood, listen to commentary from your guide about Chinatown’s history, culture and present-day authenticity. Take note of Chinese decorations that line the streets, pass by buildings designed like pagodas, and visit an herbal pharmacy, where you’ll hear about medicinal uses of items such as ginseng root, pearl pills and gecko lizards.
Follow your guide along Stockton Street, which bustles with markets selling seafood and some of San Francisco’ most exotic ingredients, and learn a bit about Chinatown's religious influence at a Buddhist temple that’s home to gold antiques and urns filled with incense. Pass by a Chinese-language school, and stop at Waverly Place, an intriguing 2-block alley lined with temples and secret clubs.
Next up, head to fortune cookie factory, where you can observe how the treats are made and enjoy a sample. Your walking tour ends near your starting point, from where can continue exploring on your own; perhaps visit the local shops or have lunch at a restaurant recommended by your guide.
If you upgrade when booking to the 10-course luncheon, you’ll sit down to delicious dim sum at a favorite Chinatown restaurant. See below for a sample menu.
Reviews by Viator travelers
Fun and informative day in Chinatown
, Nov 2019
We had a great time touring Chinatown with Linda. As a neighborhood native, she was a treasure trove of information.
We really enjoyed the Chinatown walk-around. Our guide was born & raised there, and really knew her stuff; her knowledge and stories about the area were both educational and entertaining.. The add-on meal was very much worthwhile too.
Dear Alex P:
I guess when someone makes a livelihood of telling stories about growing up in Chinatown, it's as authentic as it comes! Thanks for the 5 star review and that you also enjoyed the dim sum luncheon.
Linda Lee was a great leader with solid knowledge of Chinatown, since she grew up and lives there. She also had a great sense of humor and shared personal stories about growing up there. She took us to excellent spots, like the Chinese Cookie Factory, a Temple, an Asian “Medicine” Shop, grocery stores and explain details about the language. The entire tour was well worth the price and the lunch was a great addition. Don’t miss the lunch!
Hi Bonnie A:
I really enjoyed reading this review of your tour experience, as you remember so much about our walk.
I'm glad you have had a great time both on the tour and at lunch. And laughed at all my jokes!
Funny, Vivacious, Engaging, Knowledgeable Local - great for intro to Chinatown!
, Aug 2019
Linda is an excellent tour guide and shares a ton of information about Chinatown, which is a living vibrant neighborhood, not just a living museum for tourists. I am a native San Franciscan, and of Chinese descent, and brought my teenaged son and his friend on this tour as I knew we would all learn and be engaged so much more from a professional tour guide. Linda didn't disappoint! She is super knowledgeable and engaged with her group and involves the group and cracks jokes, and generally keeps the tour lively and moving. I was surprised how fast the tour was over.
I would definitely take the tour, learn everything you can, and use the tour and its guide to decide things you'd like to explore more in-depth on your own.
This is a recommendation that makes me smile like the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland! I thought bragging about flunking out of Chinese school was the tops until I met you who flunked out of first grade more than once.
More than twice. We are so alike in many ways! Especially the name you chose for your son.
Thank you for posting such a terrific review of my tour.
I hope our paths cross again.
Linda is a marvelous tour guide and showed us parts of Chinatown only a local would know! Her explanation of the culture and insight into the area made it a wonderful testimony to the rich diversity of San Francisco.
Dear Marilyn T:
San Francisco's diversity is continually interesting to even us natives. Thank you for your positive comments about Chinatown's part in preserving our history and culture of this fabulous city.
Thank you for your positive review. I'm working on a suggested reading list for guests who want to learn more about the history of the Chinese in America. In the meantime, guests might like to visit the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, an excellent resource of exhibits located in Chinatown.
Our guide, Beth, was awesome. She showed us a good crossection of typical architecture, markets, temples, parks and daily activities of those living in Chinatown. Gave us great insight into the culture and beliefs as well.