Chinatown, San Francisco Places

Part of our San Francisco travel guide; our list of the best things to see in Chinatown, including Chinese Historical Society of America Museum & Learning Center, The Beat Museum and Chinese Culture Center.
  • The best place in Chinatown San Francisco: Chinese Historical Society of America Museum & Learning Center

    Chinese Historical Society of America Museum & Learning Center

    965 Clay St
    $3 adults, $2 students/seniors, $1 children. This is well worth a visit, with exhibits on the history and experience of Chinese immigrants to San Francisco over the past 150 years.
    Chinatown food nearby
  • The Beat Museum

    The Beat Museum

    540 Broadway
    M-Tu 10AM-6PM, W-Su 10AM-10PM. $5. Features quite an extensive collection of exhibits, books and manuscripts that focus on Jack Kerouac and the literary Beat Generation. Plenty of books and T-Shirts for sale here as well.
    Chinatown eat nearby
  • Chinese Culture Center

    Chinese Culture Center

    750 Kearny St, 3rd floor
    The center was established in order to promote understanding of Chinese and Chinese American history, art, and culture in the US. They have a small gallery with changing Chinese art exhibitions.
    Chinatown restaurants nearby
  • The Irish Bank Bar & Restaurant

    The Irish Bank Bar & Restaurant

    10 Mark Ln
    or Grant Ave.), ☎ 415.788.7152. An old style Irish pub, walls adorned with antiques, with a great selection of whiskey, imports, and microbrewed beer, and good pub food. The Bank has plenty of outdoor sitting, ideal for a warm day.
  • Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub

    Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub

    530 Jackson Street
    M-Th 11:30AM-12AM, F 11:30AM-2AM, Sa 5PM-2AM. On a secluded narrow street, this is more of an upscale Irish bar and attracts twenty and young thirty-something workers from the nearby Financial District who are looking to unwind. It has another bar upstairs which tends to be quieter.
  • Taqueria Zorro

    Taqueria Zorro

    308 Columbus Ave
    Excellent little budget taqueria with good quality food at a very reasonable price. It's clean, the portions are generous and the service is excellent. They can sometimes put together a large burrito in less than a minute from time of order to time of eating. Juke box and large screen TV in the back.
  • First Chinese Baptist Church

    15 Waverly Pl
    Established in the year 1880 as one of the oldest churches in the city, it is worth a visit. It was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, but rebuilt with the help of American Baptists across the US. It is known as a bilingual and bi-cultural church and its ministry has historically reached out to immigrants and newcomers.
    Chinatown food nearby
  • Stylers Art Gallery

    661 Jackson St
    M-F 11AM-5PM; Sa-Su 10:30AM-5:30PM. Free. Enjoy authentic Chinese artwork at this gallery. It has the biggest showroom (at basement level) for Chinese painting and calligraphy in China Town. They also offer classes in calligraphy for those who want to take their appreciation a step further.
    Chinatown eat nearby
  • Buddhas Universal Church

    720 Washington St
    At five stories tall, this is the largest Buddhist church in the US and is home to the largest Buddhist congregation in San Francisco. The altar was shaped to represent the ship of the Dharma (teachings of the Buddha) and its teak-paneled walls are supposed to be the sails of the ship.
    Chinatown restaurants nearby
  • The Purple Onion

    140 Columbus Ave
    Catch a show at this famous and influential cellar comedy club. It has hosted comedy greats such as a Mort Sahl, Phyllis Diller, Robin Williams, Lenny Bruce, and Woody Allen among others.
    Chinatown food nearby
  • Dragon House

    455 Grant Ave
    Sells genuine antiques and fine art from China, Japan, Tibet and Mongolia.
  • City Lights Bookstore

    261 Columbus Ave
    10AM-Midnight daily. Co-founded by Beat poet Lawrence Ferlenghetti, City Lights was one of the centers of the Beat community in the 1950s. It's iconic and has become synonymous with the literati Beat movement. Oh, don't forget to check out the books, they have a huge collection of Beat prose and poetry. Why not buy a copy of On the Road while you're there — you won't find a better place to get it!
    Chinatown restaurants nearby
  • Old St. Mary's Church

    660 California St
    Mary's Church, 660 California St (at Grant Ave), ☎ +1 415 288-3800. M-F 7AM-7PM, Sa 10AM-7PM, Su 8AM-3PM. Free. This is a Chinatown landmark. A beautiful brick building, it is the oldest Roman Catholic church in San Francisco.
    Chinatown food nearby
  • Art in the Alley

    Jack Kerouac Alley
    See website for exact dates and times. Free. Taking place twice a year in Kerouac Alley (a beautiful, if tiny, cobble stoned alley that was named after Jack Kerouac), this is an open-air art exhibition that showcases the work of local artists.
    Chinatown eat nearby
  • Cafe de la Presse

    Cafe de la Presse

    352 Grant Ave
    European elegance, food and newsstand nestled in the heart of San Francisco. Connect with us online! Twitter: Google Plus:
  • The Irish Bank Bar & Restaurant

    The Irish Bank Bar & Restaurant

    10 Mark Ln
    The Irish Bank Bar & Restaurant is one of America's most authentic, historically accurate and romantic Irish pubs. The Irish Bank can be found snugly nestled in its own lane in the heart of downtown San Francisco.
  • Comstock Saloon

    Comstock Saloon

    155 Columbus Ave
    Comstock Saloon occupies a historic saloon space dating back to 1907 in San Francisco, CA and offers turn-of-the-century saloon fare and classic cocktails.
  • Sons & Daughters

    Sons & Daughters

    708 Bush Street
  • Jai Yun

    680 Clay St
    This quirky Chinese restaurant has a "prix-fixe" menu and reservations are required. It serves excellent ornate Shanghai style dishes with a "no-fuss" style table service. By the way, there is no fixed menu — it changes based upon what the chef selects that day.
  • Fuse

    493 Broadway St
    Catering to a musical taste that leans towards electronica, Fuse regularly features DJs that spin a variety of house and down tempo. This being San Francisco, the crowd tends to show up on the late side, but when they turn out they arrive in force. Fuse isn't that big, so if you arrive after everyone, be prepared to wait in line. The dance floor is minimal, establishing a space that's more for drinking and enjoying the music than getting funky. However, the quality of music is fun, and the bar staff is very friendly.
  • Renaissance San Francisco Stanford Court Hotel

    905 California St
    The Stanford Court Renaissance San Francisco is a Marriott Renaissance Hotel at 905 California Street on Nob Hill in San Francisco, California. The hotel is located between Fisherman's Wharf and Union Square and is directly on the cable car line. It has 393 rooms on eight floors. All the rooms have air conditioning, cable TV, and telephone. Each room sleeps a maximum of four people.
  • Hong Kong Clay Pot Restaurant

    960 Grant Ave
    Daily 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-9pm. Closed Wednesdays. $5-$8. Formerly “Hong Kong Dim Sum,” this restaurant serves great dim sum and traditional noodle dishes and is frequented by Chinatown locals.
  • San Francisco Brewing Company

    155 Columbus Ave
    Excellent little micro-brewery at the foot of North Beach. They claim to be the city's original brewpub and they have enough varieties to give even the most hardened drinker problems, like Emperor Norton Lager and Oofty Goofty Barleywine.
  • Vesuvio's

    255 Columbus Ave
    This quirky and historic bar was founded in 1948, and is famous for its association with jazz, poetry, and the Beat Generation. Neal Cassidy first made a pit stop here in the mid fifties, and ever since it became a favorite hangout for literati celebrities, including Jack Kerouac. While you're there, why not order "The Jack Kerouac" — a healthy dose of tequila, rum, and cranberry juice. The bar is located next-door to the iconic City Lights Book store and what is now known as "Jack Kerouac Alley".
  • Empress Of China

    838 Grant Ave
    At eight stories high, this Chinese restaurant has excellent views to enjoy with your meal. The dining room is quite elegant and certainly ornate if a bit on the small side. It attracts mostly a tourist crowd, which probably says something about the food!
  • Tosca Cafe

    Tosca Cafe

    242 Columbus Ave
    Another landmark North Beach Cafe/Bar, Tosca is dark but atmospheric interior complete with some cool red-leather booths. The bar is named after the opera Tosca and has an intense list of operas on the jukebox. Willie Brown, former mayor, hangout. It's known for its specialty "Coffeeless Cappuccino" — steamed milk with brandy and chocolate. There are about 15 cappuccinos lined up on the bar ready to serve since they are so popular.
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EDIT THIS ITINERARY Our list of places in San Francisco uses some content from Wikipedia and Wikivoyage.