San Francisco Vacation: Chinatown and Fortune Cookies


The mother of all Chinatowns in North America is undoubtedly the one in San Francisco. The Chinatown in San Francisco were first built by the Chinese immigrants who joined the gold rush in the mid 1800s. The gate at the entrance to Chinatown here is perhaps the most famous of all gates I know of.

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There is nothing much to this Chinatown. I guess once you have been to one Chinatown, all Chinatowns look the same. They practically have the same shops and restaurants.

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Believe it or not, fortune cookies is not a Chinese food … it is first invented in, of all places in the world, San Francisco. Many Americans actually thinks that fortune cookies are really Chinese.

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Our guide book showed the direction to a small place in an alley where they make fortune cookies. We went to look for it.

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The place was cramped. You get to see how fortune cookies are made. But then there is a sign that says that it will cost 50 cents to take pictures!

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At that time we were there, we were warned that they are currently making “ham sap” cookies … in English it means, adult cookies! I did not know that such fortune cookies even existed. BTW, the cookies were folded by hand.

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Instead of getting the regular fortune cookies, we were advised that the unfolded ones are better. So, instead of paying 50 cents to take pictures we bought a bag. I think it was about $3 per bag.

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It was really good and definitely much easier to eat than having to break up the regular ones.

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There are no shortage of food here. It had been says since we had real Chinese food and planned to have dinner here. This must have been the cheapest All-You-Can-Eat we have ever seen. We checked it out but decided to pass. The food looked terrible. BTW, the small print on the sign also says that they will fine you $5 for unfinished food.

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We found a restaurant somewhere in Chinatown. What drove us into this place is the Chop Suey words … another American dish … not Chinese.

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After a long day of walking, we were glad to have a seat in an air conditioned place.

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We ordered soup to start off with. We had the Seafood with Bean Curd Soup — $7.95. We like this one as it is thick and had quite a bit of real seafood meat in it.

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We also ordered a plate of Roasted Duck Rice for $4.50. It looked a tad too dry.

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Suanne and I shared the Oyster & Roasted Pork Rice. This one is really tasty — we loved the gravy. $6.95.

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Well, Nanzaro and Arkensen always wanted to have Salted Fish With Chicken Fried Rice. It was quite fragrant and pretty cheap too compared to what Vancouver restaurants charges. $5.75.

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Total bill came up to $31 including tips … not bad … not bad at all.

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4 thoughts on “San Francisco Vacation: Chinatown and Fortune Cookies

  1. Oh there is nothing like Chinese food in San Francisco, especially in Chinatown. I am so unhappy with the choices up here in Bellingham, so I was able to go to a restaurant I will be reviewing later on my blog in a town outside of Monterey. Let’s just say I was one very satisfied customer!

  2. There are several very good Chinese restaurants (comparable to what we have here in Vancouver) in San Francisco. Not surprising since SF Chinatown is the biggest.

    And…what is that…strange leathery thing beneath the flat fortune cookie picture?

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