In 1970, Chinese-American architect Clayton Lee designed and erected this postcard-famous gate, which sits at the southern end of Chinatown along Grant Avenue. It’s a natural jumping-off point for exploring the neighborhood. With its stone pillars, green-tiled pagodas, and dragon sculptures, this gate is the only authentic Chinatown gate in the country. The three entryways are guarded by a trio of stone lion statues, said to ward off evil. Each passage has a sign hanging over it written in Chinese. The center one reads: “All under heaven is for the good of the people”; the right and left signs read “respect; love” and “trust; peace.”
It’s not a visit to San Francisco without a trip to Chinatown. This is one of the oldest Chinatowns in the United States, and it’s well worth exploring. In fact, you’re going to need a full guide to experience all there is to experience here. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of time to fit it all in with a bit of a plan – and that’s where we come in.
We’ve pulled together the top things to do in Chinatown SF, from incredible dim sum to magical tea shops, and art galleries to wild karaoke bars. Chinatown is full of surprises, including a two-story marketplace and some seriously quirky cocktail bars. So hop on a MUNI bus straight to the Dragon’s Gate and get stuck in. For seriously good food and lots of culture, read on for our list of the best things to do in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
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