Chinatown Grant Ave


Grant Avenue

Grant Avenue is the main stretch of street traveling through the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown. The road is filled with shops, restaurants and architecture a traveler can only see in Chinatown. On your visit to San Francisco, walk Grant Avenue for a taste of Chinese culture in America.

Grant Avenue starts with the Chinatown Gate, a wooden-gate structure located on the corner of Bush Street and Grant Avenue. Walk underneath the gateway, and the shops are the first thing you’ll notice. They sell everything from fabrics, furniture and porcelain to sculptures, suitcases and T-shirts (some for $3). The Chinatown shops also include any type of Chinese trinket you can imagine. “Made is China” is now your requirement.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the shop owners. If done properly, you can snag some amazing shopping deals.

Chinese architecture comes to life during your stroll down Grant Avenue too. The 1906 earthquake leveled the neighborhood, and the Chinese, with resiliency (and also wanting to claim this part of San Francisco as their own, which, technically, it was), rebuilt their neighborhood with Chinese architecture geared toward every type of world tourist. Today, 100+ years later, Chinatown welcomes more annual tourists than the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Chinatown Graffiti

And the attractions down Grant Avenue continue. Old St. Mary’s Cathedral, the oldest Chinese church in the USA; the smell of dim-sum soup; and Portsmouth Square, where Sam Brennan originally yelled “There’s gold in California!” all beckon San Francisco travelers as they stroll down the street.

Grant Avenue is a road unlike any other in San Francisco.

Whether it’s the red ornament decorations above your head as you walk, or the silk garments in the shop windows, you’ll feel you’re in China during your San Francisco holiday. The restaurants and authenticity of Grant Avenue will leave you intrigued…or confused.

Chinatown's Grant Avenue

How Do I Find Grant Avenue?

  • The best and most grand entrance to Grant Avenue is on the corner of Bush and Grant Avenue at the Chinatown Gate. Be prepared, though, the neighborhood is one of the most densely populated locations in America — at times the streets can be dirty.
  • You can use bus lines 1, 9x, 20, 30, 41 and 45 to reach Grant Avenue. But honestly, you’re in the center of town. You might as well walk.
  • It’s only a short walk to reach Grant Avenue from Union Square. For added entertainment (not always), walk through Maiden Lane, an alley adjacent to Union Square where you can grab a coffee and listen for opera singers.

How To Shop in S.F.'s Chinatown

Orange Sky Co. says:

Orange Sky SF Logo

Grant Avenue is best visited during normal business hours (9 a.m.—5 p.m.). You can shop, walk the back alleys and listen for the English language, which in Chinatown, is rare. After dark when the shops close, the neighborhood seems virtually deserted.

Location of Grant Avenue