8 blocks long and 3 blocks wide, San Francisco’s Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. It is one of the top tourist attractions in San Francisco and there are many things to do in Chinatown San Francisco.
Go on a Chinatown Walking Tour.
I can’t think of a better way to map out what you want to see other then taking a walking tour. These tours covers history, culture, traditions, and food. We recommend this highly rated walking tour from Viator.
Doing this yourself? Pro tip: While Grant Street is chocked full of souvenir stores, Stockton Street is where daily life happens: bustling vegetable markets, seller peddling live seafood still swimming in tanks, and locals going about their business.
Visit the Tin How Temple.
In 1852, the Cantonese clan association in San Francisco founded the Tin How Temple, one of the earliest Chinese temples in San Francisco Chinatown. This temple is dedicated to Mazu-in gratitude to her blessings to the early chinese migrants to the United States. Although located on the third floor of a building located along Waverly Place, a side street, Tin How temple is very famous and is considered as a must visit for tourists to San Francisco. Make sure to pop out on the balcony. This gives you a fantastic birds eye view of San Francisco.
Visit the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.
When you step in, you will be confronted with barrels of fortune cookies of all shapes and sizes. The factory has been making these delicious treats since 1962. Just follow the delish smells to 56 Ross Alley until you see the factory. Come a little hungry because you will be able to taste some fresh hot samples. Also purchase a fresh bag of fortune cookies to bring home as souvenirs.
Check out Great China Herb.
Chinatown has so many amazing shops for fantastic herbs and teas to cure any illness. You can find some of the most unique teas and herbs in Chinatown. Great China Herb is one of the highly sought after shops. They literally house it all! Remedies for the common cold, oils for brain power, and general well health. If your looking for some pain relief, best teas, or just to learn about traditional Chinese medicine this is the spot to locate it.
Eat a Dim Sum Lunch and Egg Tarts
Locals know that the best dim sum can actually be found in South Bay (Burlingame, San Jose, etc) where a large number of Chinese population lives. But you can't visit Chinatown without trying dim sum, correct? You can find multiple restaurants to enjoy a Dim Sum lunch while visiting Chinatown. I believe there is more then 70 to choose from! Stop by Golden Gate Bakery. This store is famous for its egg tarts and notorious for its random opening hours. You might be lucky and find it open. In that case, do yourself a favor. Stand in line (there will be a line) and get yourself a warm, flaky, fresh egg tart. A foodie? A guided food tour of Chinatown might be right your alley.
I hope you have taken away some helpful tips and resources to make your visit to San Francisco’s Chinatown a memorable one.