Although this summer there was a Chinatown right in my backyard of Manhattan, I decided to check out one a little further away in San Francisco. Chinatown in San Francisco is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. Chinatown was one of the busiest areas in the city by far and had a large hodgepodge of restaurants, grocery stores (filled with many things I cannot pronounce) and businesses. It is a great place to enjoy a delicious and authentic meal purchase imported wares. Walking through Chinatown will take around 1 to 2 hours depending on how many stops you may make along the way.
As I walked out of the hotel and turned the corner I stumbled upon an entrance into a different world. I thought it was so interesting how San Francisco transitioned from retail shops such as Holister and Forever 21 to a place filled of treasures, antiques and the aroma of authentic Chinese food in just one short block. As I walked up the blocks I stopped at Eastern Bakery. As I stepped inside I realized I had no idea what to order but everything looked enticing. Thankfully, I had a Mandarin speaking friend along who pointed out to me some delicious almond cookie and a few other random baked goods for me to try. I bought 4 baked goods and it didn’t even amount to $2, my college bank account was very satisfied. I then perused around the antique shops which are on almost every block of Chinatown. If you love searching for good finds, the antique shops are a must. In the antique shops you can find anything your heart may desire from statues of football players to opal rings. I couldn’t pass the grocery stores without trying one of the interesting looking fruits displayed for me as I passed along. Although you may not find the freshest of foods because they are mostly shipped over, you will definitely find a good array of fruits to try, I’d definitely recommend the dragon fruit.
Between Chinatown in NYC and San Francisco, I’d say they are totally different worlds. If you’re looking for some more information, a great website is http://www.sanfranciscochinatown.com. It really helped me to pick out some great places around Chinatown to enjoy. Also, the people are very helpful so don’t be shy.