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San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour with Optional Lunch

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San Francisco, United States

COVID-19: Check local travel restrictions and learn what we're doing to help keep you safe and your plans flexible. Learn more.

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon2 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
Regular temperature checks for staff
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

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

Old Saint Mary's Cathedral, 660 California St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA

Departure Time

10:00 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
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: 10 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
  • 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
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 2 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
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
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 is the social distancing policy during San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour with Optional Lunch?
A:
The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
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.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour with Optional Lunch?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 2 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour with Optional Lunch.

Traveler Tips


  • "I would recommend this tour for anyone that is interested in learning about the history, architecture, pharmacy medicines, fresh foods in the markets and even a fortune cookie factory." See review

Reviews

5.0
star-5
565 Reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 565 reviews
star-5
Great tour!
Anne_D
, Feb 2020
Great tour! Linda told us a lot of interesting information about China town and she’s a really fun person too!
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
Dear Anne_D: A vacation should ALWAYS be fun! Thanks for your 5 star review.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Guide very familiar with Chinatown
barbwseattle
, Jan 2020
Guide Linda Lee was very knowledgeable and familiar with Chinatown because she has lived there for a long time and has longtime relationships in the community. We learned about the early history of San Francisco, and religion and food of the people. Liked the lunch.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Dear Barbws: Thank you for your 5 star review. It's getting harder to find residents who were born and raised in Chinatown who still walk the streets everyday like me. Happy to share a little about such a historic neighborhood.
HelpfulHelpful
star-4
Chinatown Walking Tour
Jo Anna D
, Jan 2020
The guide, Jim, was knowledgeable, friendly and fun. We enjoyed our visit Did not have lunch with tour as we thought it too expensive.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Hi Jo Ann: Thank you for your positive review. Jim will be delighted to read this review of his tour to start the new year well. Happy New Year to you and yours.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Fun and informative day in Chinatown
Michael L
, Nov 2019
We had a great time touring Chinatown with Linda. As a neighborhood native, she was a treasure trove of information.
icon Response from Host , Nov 2019
Dear Michael L: Thank you for your 5 star review! You know what they say - you can take the girl out of Chinatown but you can't take Chinatown out of the girl...
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Great Tour
Alex P
, Oct 2019
We really enjoyed the Chinatown walk-around. Our guide was born & raised there, and really knew her stuff; her knowledge and stories about the area were both educational and entertaining.. The add-on meal was very much worthwhile too.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Dear Alex P: I guess when someone makes a livelihood of telling stories about growing up in Chinatown, it's as authentic as it comes! Thanks for the 5 star review and that you also enjoyed the dim sum luncheon.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Great Way to Learn about Chinatown
Bonnie A
, Sep 2019
Linda Lee was a great leader with solid knowledge of Chinatown, since she grew up and lives there. She also had a great sense of humor and shared personal stories about growing up there. She took us to excellent spots, like the Chinese Cookie Factory, a Temple, an Asian “Medicine” Shop, grocery stores and explain details about the language. The entire tour was well worth the price and the lunch was a great addition. Don’t miss the lunch!
icon Response from Host , Sep 2019
Hi Bonnie A: I really enjoyed reading this review of your tour experience, as you remember so much about our walk. I'm glad you have had a great time both on the tour and at lunch. And laughed at all my jokes!
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Funny, Vivacious, Engaging, Knowledgeable Local - great for intro to Chinatown!
sfoanna
, Aug 2019
Linda is an excellent tour guide and shares a ton of information about Chinatown, which is a living vibrant neighborhood, not just a living museum for tourists. I am a native San Franciscan, and of Chinese descent, and brought my teenaged son and his friend on this tour as I knew we would all learn and be engaged so much more from a professional tour guide. Linda didn't disappoint! She is super knowledgeable and engaged with her group and involves the group and cracks jokes, and generally keeps the tour lively and moving. I was surprised how fast the tour was over. I would definitely take the tour, learn everything you can, and use the tour and its guide to decide things you'd like to explore more in-depth on your own.
icon Response from Host , Aug 2019
Dear sfoanna: This is a recommendation that makes me smile like the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland! I thought bragging about flunking out of Chinese school was the tops until I met you who flunked out of first grade more than once. More than twice. We are so alike in many ways! Especially the name you chose for your son. Thank you for posting such a terrific review of my tour. I hope our paths cross again.
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star-5
Excellent
GrandTour277641
, Aug 2019
Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining! We wish we had done this tour the first day we arrived! Highly recommend!
icon Response from Host , Aug 2019
Dear GrandT: We are happy that you joined us on your stay here. Thank you for your 5 star review.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Great Tour through Chinatown!
Marilyn T
, Jul 2019
Linda is a marvelous tour guide and showed us parts of Chinatown only a local would know! Her explanation of the culture and insight into the area made it a wonderful testimony to the rich diversity of San Francisco.
icon Response from Host , Aug 2019
Dear Marilyn T: San Francisco's diversity is continually interesting to even us natives. Thank you for your positive comments about Chinatown's part in preserving our history and culture of this fabulous city.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Great insight into Chinatown and history.
Trek62099459559
, Jun 2019
This was an essential tour for anyone who wishes to know more about Chinese immigration/contribution.
icon Response from Host , Jun 2019
Dear Trek62: Thank you for your positive review. I'm working on a suggested reading list for guests who want to learn more about the history of the Chinese in America. In the meantime, guests might like to visit the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, an excellent resource of exhibits located in Chinatown. https://chsa.org
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Product code: 2326WALK

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