Chinatown ‘Rises like the Phoenix’ | Private Tour Guide San Francisco
Alive again!!! San Francisco’s Chinatown ‘Rises like the Phoenix’ bustling with activity and local color. Young Lion dancers with thundering performances, including firecrackers and breathtaking acrobatic feats, shake, swirl and frighten evil spirits away to the delight of excited onlookers. Restaurants have reopened offering much missed Dim Sum, Pot Stickers and authentic Chinese cuisine.
My personal favorite is The Far East Cafe, over a century old, with an ambience of bygone opulence hosting grand golden chandeliers and mysterious curtained booths. Another notable restaurant, the Empress by Boon, is located two stories above Grant Avenue with a fantastic view of Coit Tower and serves traditional Cantonese food. (just so you know, reservations are far into advance but you can still sit at the bar for small plates). If you can’t wait and want to enjoy delicious ‘people’ food there is always the ever popular Woey Loy Goey, R & G Lounge, House of Nanking and many many others.
For Tea lovers you will be delighted, and educated, by the infamous Uncle Gee and his ‘family’ at Vital Tea. Here you can taste samples selected from hundreds of jars filled with tea leaves each with a unique medicinal quality for long life, energy or relaxation. And, of course, the Fortune Cookie Factory on Ross alley, always a favorite, where you can sample the freshest hand folded cookie hot out of the oven. If the spirit calls visit the of Tin How Temple the oldest Taoist Temple in the United States located on Waverly Place (better known as the Street of Painted Balconies) After the steep four story climb you will be rewarded with an ancient golden altar, the pungent scent of incense, Joss sticks and a glorious view.
I have been walking the streets and alleys of Chinatown for most of my life and consider the neighborhood my second home in a way. Having worked as a fitness instructor at the Chinatown YMCA and a tour guide with the Chinese Culture Center I always appreciated the unique experience of passing thru three cultures daily. I live in the USA, my home is in North Beach (the Italian district), and I worked in Chinatown. Very Special
During the pandemic I often walked through Chinatown’s desolate streets, and I have to say it made me a bit sad. The only shop to consistently remain open was Tane Chan’s Wok Shop on Grant Avenue. A true beacon of light as she was able to continue with her mail order business….As Tane says ‘We have to Eat’ and Tane should know since she has been supplying Wok instruction and cooking tips for over 45 years…I call her ‘The Queen of Wok’.
The Chinatown community has proven once again it’s strength and resilience. It has, once again Risen up from the Ashes.
About Blandina | North Beach San Francisco Best Walking Tour Guide
You have just found North Beach San Francisco’s BEST tour operator and walking guide! I am so excited to invite you on a fun, fascinating, and interactive adventure through my beloved home. North Beach is known, not only as a center of San Francisco’s historic & culturally rich Italian Community, but also as a mecca for poets, painters, musicians, master crafters, dreamers, and free spirits. It is my great pleasure to introduce you to local friends and neighbors who are also the proprietors of shops, restaurants, galleries, and working art studios where you will have the opportunity to enjoy our food tour including complimentary tastes and samples (cannoli, chocolate, deli, etc.), meet the artists, share stories and maybe make some art of your own.