San Francisco, USA

Chinatown

San Francisco's Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. Established in 1848, it is also North American's oldest Chinatown neighborhood.

San Francisco’s Chinatown is entwined with the history of the city and state. Many of the original inhabitants arrived as workers for major corporations in the mining and railroad industries. As the population grew, so did the neighborhood, which provided support and a cultural touchstone.

A Challenging History

Chinatown has provided jobs, housing, and support for Asian immigrants since the 1800s. Often legally discriminated against by law, the Asian community struggled to take care of its own–occasionally through unpleasant means–until today when it is a major place of pride and community.

A Cultural Influence

San Francisco’s Chinatown is credited with introducing Asian cuisine to the US–or, at least, a Westernized version of it. The popularity of dim sum restaurants in the city began here, and some of the best restaurants are found in this twenty-block area.

Tourist can enjoy shopping, dining, and soaking up the atmosphere. Major events include the Chinese New Year’s Parade with its famous dragons, the Autumn Moon Festival, and numerous street fairs throughout the year.