With its pagoda-style architecture, ornate lamp posts, exotic menus and other distinctive elements, a stop here can feel more like a trip abroad than a neighborhood stroll.

Chinatown Lanterns

San Francisco’s Chinatown, North America’s first and largest, is located next to North Beach and the Financial District. Learn about the community’s history at the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum on Clay St. Near Portsmouth Square, or visit the Chinese Culture Center, which is free. See the latest exhibition in their Visual Art Center or sign up for one of their neighborhood walking tours. Enjoy a mix of local history and flavors with Wok Wiz Tours or get an insider view of daily life and historic landmarks from All About Chinatown Tours.

ladies walking in chinatown

Why You Need to Visit San Francisco's Chinatown

The oldest Chinatown in North America, San Francisco’s 30 square blocks of tea rooms, Taoist temples, dim sum palaces, dragon sculptures and pagodas is one of the city’s top destinations.

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Where to Eat in Chinatown

Follow our recommendations for the best eats in San Francisco's Chinatown, no matter your budget, style, or preferred flavors.

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Take the iconic Cable Car and hop off in Chinatown

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of San Francisco's famous Cable Cars and explore the diverse neighborhoods. Hop on board and explore Chinatown by Cable Car.

How to Get to Chinatown

Chinatown is a centrally located neighborhood that is accessible by foot, bus, BART, taxi or Lyft/Uber, and even cable car. The neighborhood is adjacent to North Beach, Nob Hill, Union Square, and the Financial District. If you are in any of these neighborhoods it’s best to walk.

Want to take the cable car? No problem. If you’re coming from Fisherman’s Wharf or Union Square, take the Powell-Hyde line or Powell Mason line and get off between Jackson and Bush Streets. If you are coming from the Ferry Building or Downtown San Francisco, you can take the California Street line to Grant Avenue, which is the main street of Chinatown. There are also buses available that go through the neighborhood. The 30-Stockton bus goes straight through the center of Chinatown. Any of the stops between Broadway and Bush will get you to the neighborhood quickly.

Taking BART to Chinatown is easy too, if you don’t mind a little bit of walking. Take any train to Montgomery Street Station. Walk out of the station and take a left on Post St. until you reach Grant, then right on Grant toward the Chinatown Gate.

San Francisco's Coit Tower is pictured with the Bay Bridge in the background and a hill covered in houses in the foreground.

Explore Chinatown, Nob Hill & North Beach on a Self-Guided Walking Tour

Let local experts show you how to see the best of three of San Francisco's most famous neighborhoods.

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SF Like a Local

Linda Lee walks through the streets of Chinatown wearing a red shirt. San Francisco, CA.

How I See Chinatown with Linda Lee

Stroll through Chinatown's vibrant streets and explore with all of your senses. Get an introduction from local tour guide and San Francisco native Linda Lee.

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How Visitors See SF