Out & About Lil' Kid: Chinatown

It's no secret that San Francisco boasts the largest Chinatown outside of Asia—a colorful neighborhood that is a feast for your senses. Bring the kids or your out-of-town family and friends to explore the area! Start along the main street, Grant Avenue, but don't skip the side streets which offer hidden gems and smaller crowds. Jenny Shaw shares a few of the best stops to shop, play and eat along the way.

Wander the crowded aisles of knickknack-filled bazaar shops, like Bargain Bazaar (667 Grant Ave.). Chinatown Kite Shop (717 Grant Ave.) has a dizzying array of gorgeous kites.

Order dim sum off wandering carts at City View Restaurant (662 Commercial St.), or stop by Good Mong Kok Bakery (1039 Stockton St.) to grab goodies on the go. House of Nanking (919 Kearny St.) offers traditional Cantonese food.

Your sweet tooth will enjoy boba tea from Sweetheart Cafe (909 Grant Ave.) and the famous custard tarts from Golden Gate Bakery (1029 Grant Ave.). Watch and eat fortune cookies being made at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory (59 Ross Alley).

Let the kids run wild at one of the local playgrounds: Portsmouth Square (50 Walter U. Lum Pl.) is the “heart of Chinatown,” with locals practicing tai chi and playing chess. Quiet St. Mary’s Square (651 California St.) has a play train and climbing structures.

Jenny Shaw grew up making regular trips to Chinatown, when her suburb-dwelling parents would stock up on Chinese groceries and herbal medicine. This article originally appeared in the February/March issue of GGMG Magazine. 


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