With its bustling streets and hurried people ducking in and out of crammed storefronts, Chinatown in San Francisco is an amazing place to visit, shop and dine. Founded in the 1840s, Chinatown feels like a separate city within the city that has its edges at Telegraph Hill and
For exquisite table linens and silks at a very fair price, be sure to visit Merchant of China on Grant Avenue.
For tableware, tea accessories and decor, visit Peking Bazaar on Grant Avenue. Be sure to go downstairs and explore the shelves for the best bargains.
And always when in Chinatown, do as the Chinese do — EAT! Explore the tastes and wonders of this culture with its tea and herb shops. Enjoy dim sum and char siu bao and red bean pastries.
A great restaurant that serves authentic Cantonese cuisine is R&G Lounge on Kearny Street. You might be seated downstairs in a chic (but quite busy) dining room. Service is extra fast and food is delicious.
The restaurant’s big portions are perfect for sharing. Try the R&G Special Beef with Secret Sauce. The beef is crispy yet tender, with a hint of citrus in the rich glaze. Another favorite is the spinach in garlic sauce — light and amazingly flavorful with spinach leaves that maintained their shape and high color.
Chances are, street performers will infuse the air with music or firecrackers as you wander in and out of the shops and restaurants. Pay attention and you’ll notice incredible artwork on building walls, tattered remains of past celebrations and a glimpse into the ways of China.
Be forewarned. While Grant Avenue is fairly level, some of the hills in Chinatown are very steep and narrow. On-street metered parking is available, but quite limited. Your best bet is to park in one of the public parking garages so you can take your time.
San Francisco, CA