- Type: Landmarks
NileGuide Expert Says:
You can find everything from slippers, chicken's feet, porcelain statues of buddha, and fire-works in San Francisco's Chinatown.
NileGuide Expert tip:
Good dim sum is surprisingly hard to find, as many restaurants seem to favor grease as a main ingredient. Chinatown's best dim sum can be found at the Golden Door Restaurant and Yank Sing. For an absolutely delectable yet no-frills Chinese dining experience, head to local favorite House of Nanking.
- Red lanterns waving in the breeze. Incense wafting out of small temples. Esoteric medicinal herbs dangling in shop windows. Some aspects of San Francisco's Chinatown, the oldest in America, hardly seem worlds apart from the motherland and haven't changed much from when the neighborhood was first built in the mid-19th century. Enter at the dragon-flanked gate on Bush Street at Grant Avenue and get lost in a wonderland of bustling produce markets, touches of ancient Chinese architecture, quirky gift and houseware shops, art galleries, clothing stores, dim sum eateries, and serene tea houses, the densest concentration of which are on Grant Avenue and Stockton Street. Some hot spots are Portsmouth Square, where you can admire the graceful movements of Tai Chi practitioners and the strategy of elderly chess players, and the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, where Sinophiles can take in art exhibits, be led on an informative, guided Heritage Walking Tour (excellent for those wishing to pick up on the area's rich history), or take a brush painting or traditional Chinese music workshop.
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