When you visit San Francisco in California, USA, be sure to visit Chinatown!
San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest one in the U.S. and the largest Chinese community outside Asia.
When you think of Chinatown, the first impression you probably have is the Chinese restaurants that fill the San Francisco streets.
Whether it’s Sichuan (a province in China) spicy hot pot, Cantonese dim sum or Beijing roast duck, you can find the best flavors in Chinatown, without traveling to another continent!
Although my Chinatown visit was via a tour train with no stops – here are some of the best “word of mouth” recommended restaurants in Chinatown you can’t miss when you visit San Francisco:
Shops and restaurants line the streets, and you can sometimes see Taiji and Go (an abstract strategy board game) players in the parks.
San Francisco’s Chinatown seems to be a microcosm of China!
Restaurants not to miss:
🐟 R & G LOUNGE
This is the No.1 Cantonese seafood restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown! It offers a wide variety of fish and shellfish, and its diverse seafood dishes attract many visitors. Moreover, you can find popular Cantonese cuisine here.
Address: 631 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Opens 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily
🍲 Hong Kong Clay Pot Restaurant
Here you can have clay pot food. Ingredients such as meat, vegetables and seafood are placed in primitive clay pots and then simmered over low heat. Clay pot dishes retain maximum food’s umami and juicy texture.
Address: 960 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108
Opens 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
🍚 Sam Wo Restaurant
This is a century-old store, dating back to 1907. It is the king of porridge shops in Chinatown. The rich ingredients in the porridges complement the delicate aroma of slow-cooked rice. In addition to porridge, rice noodles and rice plates also inherit the most original tastes.
Address: 713 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays (Tuesday closed)
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends
🍜 Z & Y Restaurant
This is one of the most famous Sichuanese dishes in San Francisco, and if you like spicy food, this is the right place to go. The restaurant is small and often full, so there are often long lines at the door. Be sure to go there early.
Address: 655 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Opens 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily (Tuesday closed)
🥟 Hong Kong Lounge & Hang Ah Dim Sum Tea House
They both are old and tasty restaurants to eat dim sum, and keep the traditional taste of dim sum. The storefronts are small, but you can have the warm-family atmosphere when you have brunch with your friends or family.
Hong Kong Lounge Address: 5322 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121
Opens 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Monday closed)
Hang Ah Address: 1 Pagoda Pl, San Francisco, CA 94108
Opens 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday)
After having a delicious meal, you can walk around Chinatown to feel its unique customs and atmosphere. San Francisco’s Chinatown is very big. After having delicious food, you can take a walk to the nearby park to spend the rest of the day. There are some fascinating places for after-dinner walks.
After-dinner Walking Places
🌳 Portsmouth Square
The square is referred to as the “Heart of Chinatown.” It’s a corner that brings you closer to the community, where many residents play Taiji and go. Nearby children also gather here and play after school.
⛪ Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral
This is photo I took of the cathedral and parish of the Roman Catholic Church. Built-in 1854 in the Gothic Revival style, the cathedral was appointed a San Francisco landmark. When it opened, it was the tallest building in San Francisco and all of California.
This is a cathedral of many vicissitudes. The cathedral was lucky to survive the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. A day later, however, a fire caused by the earthquake destroyed it, melting church bells and marble altars.
But in 1909, a renovation for the church began to save it.