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San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour with Optional Lunch

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San Francisco, United States
San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour with Optional Lunch
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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon2 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Overview

Dive deep into one of San Francisco’s most historic neighborhoods on this Chinatown walking tour. From paper lanterns to medicinal herbs to a fortune cookie factory, explore both popular and lesser-known gems in this bustling district with an in-the-know guide. See sights including a Buddhist temple, and upgrade, if you wish, to include a 9-course lunch of dim sum for an even more memorable experience.
  • Walking tour of San Francisco's Chinatown
  • Tour popular sights and off-the-beaten-path spots that only locals know about
  • See the buzzing food markets along Stockton Street and explore Waverly Place
  • Pop into an herbal pharmacy and an authentic Buddhist temple
  • Sample fortune cookies at the factory where they are made
  • Learn about Chinatown's fascinating history and culture from your expert insider guide
  • Upgrade includes a mouthwatering 9-course dim sum lunch
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Professional guide
Gratuities
Hotel pickup and drop-off

Departure Point

660 California St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA

Departure Time

10:00 AM

Return Details

800 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
Explore San Francisco’s Chinatown and discover a few hidden highlights on this walking tour that includes an upgrade option for a 9-course Chinese dim sum lunch.

Your tour starts in Chinatown, where you meet your informative guide. As you wander this colorful, lively neighborhood, listen to commentary from your guide about Chinatown’s history, culture and present-day authenticity. Take note of Chinese decorations that line the streets, pass by buildings designed like pagodas, and visit an herbal pharmacy, where you hear about medicinal uses of items such as ginseng root, pearl pills, and gecko lizards.

Follow your guide along Stockton Street, which bustles with markets selling seafood and some of San Francisco’ most exotic ingredients, and learn a bit about Chinatown's religious influence at a Buddhist temple that’s home to gold antiques and urns filled with incense. Pass by a Chinese-language school, and stop at Waverly Place, an intriguing 2-block alley lined with temples and secret clubs.

Next up, head to fortune cookie factory, where you can observe how the treats are made and enjoy a sample. Your walking tour ends near your starting point, from where can continue exploring on your own; perhaps visit the local shops or have lunch at a restaurant recommended by your guide.

If you upgrade when booking to the 9-course luncheon, sit down to delicious dim sum at a favorite Chinatown restaurant. See below for a sample menu.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
All About Chinatown Tours
Meet at Old St. Mary's Cathedral to begin your walking tour of Chinatown's most popular sights and hidden locales. Your guide will highlight the history and culture of Chinatown, explaining how the remarkable authenticity of ancient Chinese culture has been preserved and celebrated in becoming a must-visit San Francisco attraction. As you navigate a historic maze of mysterious sights, have your camera out as you admire eye-popping Chinese decorations adorning the streets. Pass pagoda-style buildings and hear about their significance, and step inside an herbal pharmacy to learn about the uses of ginseng root for longevity, pearl pills for beautiful skin and gecko lizards for energy. Stroll down Stockton Street past busy markets selling some of the freshest and most exotic foods in the Bay Area. Gain an understanding of Chinatown's religious culture as you visit an authentic Buddhist temple, where you'll see dazzling altars adorned with red lanterns, gold antiques and incense-filled bronze urns. You'll also see a Chinese language school to find out how local Chinese families keep alive language and cultural traditions for their children. At your next stop, Waverly Place, your guide will give you the inside scoop on Chinatown's most interesting alley full of temples, private clubs and secret societies. This 2-block-long street may seem unassuming at first glance, but you may be surprised at what you learn. If the intoxicating sights, sounds and smells aren't enough, get ready for a great taste of Chinatown. Visit a fortune cookie factory to sample these 'wise' cookies and watch how they're made. Upgrade to include a hosted 10-course dim sum luncheon at one of Chinatown's most popular restaurants! Ending back near your original starting point, you'll leave with a list of recommended stores and restaurants in Chinatown, so you can continue exploring Chinatown like a real insider. -------------------- ITINERARY -------------------- Dim sum sample menu (if option selected; subject to change): Pork and shrimp dumpling Pork and shrimp pot sticker Steamed Shanghai pork dumpling Steamed chicken and cilantro dumpling Steamed barbecued pork bun Vegetable egg roll Vegetarian fried rice Chicken chow mein Platter of green beans, mushrooms, and tofu Dessert Sesame ball filled with sweet bean paste Two specialty teas: jasmine and chrysanthemum/oolong blend
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Chinatown
This electric neighborhood of 10,000 people is not to be missed, and it's not hard to find: listen for the clack of mahjong tiles and nose out the salty spicy squid.
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Portsmouth Square
Chinatown’s outdoor living room and the birthplace of San Francisco’s first American flag, first public school, and first cable car line.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Stockton Street
Stroll among the freshest and most exotic foods in the Bay Area at the Stockton Street Food Markets.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Golden Gate Fortune Cookies Co
We’ll sample these “wise crackers” and watch how it’s done.
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Stockton Street
At this exotic dried goods store, you'll see ginseng, bird's nests, gecko lizards, fish bladders, sea cucumbers, abalone and more and hear about what these foods can do for you.
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
The Street of the Painted Balconies
Admire architectural details and hear the history of these secret institutions on Waverly Place
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Chinatown
View an authentic example of traditional pagoda style architecture and hear about the origin of the building
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Tours operate rain or shine; please dress appropriately
  • If you have dietary restrictions, the restaurant can make substitutions upon your request
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
  • OPERATED BY All About Chinatown Tours

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour with Optional Lunch?
A:
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour with Optional Lunch.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour with Optional Lunch?
A:
The policy on sanitization is:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
See all safety measures taken by San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour with Optional Lunch.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour with Optional Lunch?
A:
The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Regular temperature checks for staff
See all safety measures taken by San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour with Optional Lunch.

Traveler Photos

Reviews

5.0
star-5
608 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 608 reviews
star-5
Good food and Wonderful Market
Jay_S
, Jul 2021
Wonderful overview and the lunch was well worth it. The tour guide was a teacher and really knew how to engage people.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Chinatown Walking Tour_July 2021
Stacey_B
, Jul 2021
Linda L, you are amazing tour guide. Your knowledge of Chinatown’s history was on point & knowing you grew up in Chinatown made your stories feel authentic. I would recommend this walking tour without a doubt. And as an added bonus, she has a good sense of humor.
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star-5
Fantastic Tour!
Tara_K
, Jul 2021
Linda is an outstanding tour guide. She shared the history and culture of Chinatown that only a local deliver. She’s friendly, personable and knowledgeable. This tour is rich in history and culture and we highly recommend it. Our family of four, including teenagers, loved it! Thank you Linda for sharing your story with us.
icon Response from Host , Jul 2021
Dear Tara_K: If your teenagers loved the tour, this compliment is appreciatively accepted! Thank you for visiting Chinatown with me!
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star-5
Tour Guide is Awesome!
Michelle_H
, Jul 2021
This tour and the wonderful tour guide was so awesome! She was very knowledgeable and took us to some very interesting stores!
icon Response from Host , Jul 2021
Dear Michell... All of us tour guides love to read a review like this. Thank you!
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Chinatown SF Tour
Claire_L
, Jul 2021
Linda was amazing :) She is a native Chinatown resident and we gained some much incredible knowledge about the people and area from her. Would highly recommend!
icon Response from Host , Jul 2021
Dear Claire_L: Many native Chinatown residents have stories to share about growing up in Chinatown. I was lucky to meet you and share some with you. Thank you for the 5 star review.
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star-5
Loved it!!
Donna_F
, Jul 2021
My husband and I enjoyed the entire tour. It was all so informative and our tour guide was the best! Everyone on our tour had a great time. I really enjoyed the visit to the Fortune Cookie Factory.
icon Response from Host , Jul 2021
Dear Donna_F: All of our tour guides love receiving news that you had a great time. Thank you for your 5 star review!
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star-5
Must Do
Robert_P
, Jun 2021
The guide was very personal and had excellent information 👌 on this tour. The guide was very nice and knowledgeable.
icon Response from Host , Jul 2021
Dear Robert_P: Thank you for this 5 star review!
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star-5
The Bernard’s wheelie Chinatown tour of fun!
HyacinthaB
, Jun 2021
Linda was excellent. Her knowledge and personal history made her presentation so well received! She was also very personable and able to provide individual genuine conversation to each family. Lastly, your ability to make this walking tour accessible to my son in the wheelchair (handicap accessible) though tough on my younger dancer son’s legs and arms (lol). He told me at the end that this was a great tour!😃 We eventually picked a place to eat on our own, with your recommendations. A little wait but excellent food! Thank you for a great day!
icon Response from Host , Jun 2021
Dear Hyacint: This review made me so happy to be a part of your family trip for the wedding and vacation for your group. I'm also grateful that you mentioned the tour is wheelchair accessible for future guests. San Francisco does a good job of making places ADA compliant. We just have to educate people on the street to be patient with those who need a little more room for maneuverability. So happy you ended the day with a great meal. Good health to you all!
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star-5
Chinatown walking tour and lunch
Beth_C
, Jun 2021
I am so glad that we did this tour rather than walk around Chinatown on our own. Our tour guide was absolutely wonderful, and we had the added bonus of having her husband, also a tour guide, accompany us. Between the two of them, we learned so much about Chinatown and it’s history. And I highly recommend including the dim sum lunch. The restaurant, food and staff were all fantastic.
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star-5
Must do tour
Tyler
, Jun 2021
Our tour guide Linda was amazing. She was extremely knowledgeable about the history of Chinatown and grew up there. We wouldn't have gotten the full experience without the tour.
icon Response from Host , Jun 2021
Dear Tyler: Thank you for your positive review. And if we did not chat away while on tour, how would I learn that Baltimore has a Chinatown as well? I must do research to find out how and when it developed.
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