Chinatown. America’s oldest Chinese community
Pass under the dragon-shaped Pagoda Gates on Grant Avenue and you’ll feel like you’ve traveled across the world. Breathe in the aromas of delicious Chinese cuisine while your other senses are stimulated by bright neon lights and a cacophony of foreign sounds.
Love Chinese food? Then you’re in luck, as there’s a huge choice of delicious restaurants on every street. Or simply sample incredible ingredients and seafood in the district’s many markets.
Fortune favors the brave
The fortune cookie is a Chinatown and San Francisco favorite, with the factory located on Ross Alley. Jump off our San Francisco Bus Tour and find out what the future has in store for you.
San Francisco’s Chinatown is home to more than 10,000 of the city’s Chinese residents, with the first Cantonese laborers arriving way back in the 1850's to work on the transcontinental railroad. Wander the maze of alleys around Stockton Street, pick up some souvenirs or find herbal remedies for all sorts of ailments at a traditional Chinese pharmacy.
Other interesting facts about Chinatown
- The west coast’s first Catholic Cathedral, Old St Mary’s, was built by Chinese laborers in 1854
- San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest in North America and the largest Chinese community outside of Asia
- It’s a major tourist attraction in the city, drawing more visitors annually than the Golden Gate Bridge
- The district is one of the most densely populated areas to the west of Manhattan, with around 15,000 residents living within 20 square blocks
- The Chinese fortune cookie was actually invented by a Japanese resident of San Francisco