An essential guide to the best events, eats, and more in San Francisco’s historic district
1 of 9May Wong (via Flickr Creative Commons)
The big bash
Chinese New Year Festival & Parade
Ring in the Lunar New Year at the largest Chinese New Year celebration outside Asia, with fireworks, floats, drum corps, lion dancers, and the crowning of Miss Chinatown. chineseparade.com.
2 of 9Courtesy of Chinese Historical Society of America
Chinese Historical Society of America
Inside the gorgeous landmark Chinatown YWCA building, designed by architect Julia Morgan, the museum does a knockout job with exhibits and programs related to Chinese culture. Free; 965 Clay St.; chsa.org.
3 of 9Thomas J. Story
House of worship
Tin How Temple
Go back in time in the century-old Buddhist temple, housed in a four-level apartment building, where locals pray, burn incense, and get their fortunes read. Donation suggested; 125 Waverly Place.
4 of 9Thomas J. Story
Cure for what ails you
Great China Herb Co.
Feeling lethargic? Let the in-house doctor prescribe you revitalizing teas and tonics prepared with dry herbs at this long-respected Chinese apothecary. 857 Washington St.; 415/982-2195.
5 of 9Yusuke Kawasaki (via Flickr Creative Commons)
R & G Lounge
A longtime restaurant beloved for its high-quality signature Cantonese dishes: tender glazed spare ribs, delicate salt-and-pepper Dungeness crab. $$$; 631 Kearny St.; rnglounge.com.
6 of 9Thomas J. Story
Steeped in tea
Vital Tea Leaf
Sample the many brews of Camellia sinensis at this tea bar and shop, one of five branches in S.F. and Seattle. 1044 Grant Ave.; vitaltealeaf.net.
7 of 9Brian Jeffery Beggery (via Flickr Creative Commons)
Asian snack shop
Ming Lee Trading Inc.
An old-timey grocery and de facto candy and snack emporium that carries everything from litchi gummies and green-tea Kit Kats to dried and salted fruits, noodles, and spices. 759 Jackson; 415/217-0088.
8 of 9Jennifer Woodard Maderazo (via Flickr Creative Commons)
Pastry worth the wait
Golden Gate Bakery
If you’re in the market for fresh dan tat, the traditional Chinese egg-custard tart with a flaky, buttery crust, this is the only place to get it. Period. 1029 Grant; 415/781-2627.
9 of 9Thomas J. Story
The Wok Shop
The best thing about a visit here is witnessing owner Tane Chan in action as she whirls from one customer to the next, chatting, laughing, and helping to select the best wok for each shopper. 718 Grant; wokshop.com.