If you raided the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in Chinatown, you could steal enough fortunes to predict the exact date of the next U.S. presidential election. Today's Groupon is for a two-hour walking tour of Chinatown, which makes stops at a fortune-cookie factory, herbal shop, and temple for $18, more than half off the normal $40 fee. You’ll weave your way down narrow alleys and across plazas, discovering Chinatown's charms and bracelets. Rick Evans, the seasoned tour guide who created the popular San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour, tells exotic tales of the oldest Chinatown in North America while you cover almost a mile of city streets. People who have taken Evans's tours say he knows more about San Francisco history, culture, and architecture than an encyclopedia, but he's a lot less boring, heavy, and dusty.
Some highlights of the tour (besides the Stockton Street markets) are the Street of Painted Balconies (a colorful, crowded street that's saturated with the smells of exotic foodstuffs and incense), three buildings built by California’s first female architect, the fortune-cookie factory where you can see cookies cool and harden, herbal shops stocked with Chinese medicine, the oldest house in San Francisco (a Rick Evans secret), and an 1854 cathedral. Learn about the important role the Chinese community played in the growth of San Francisco and the state. The tour runs every day of the week at 2 p.m. and starts at the corner of Grant and Bush Street, in front of the Starbucks. Go online to book a spot (follow URL redemption instructions), but do it soon because the predictive powers of fortune cookies are greatly diminished on walking tours in freezing winter weather.
The Chinatown tour is pretty new, but Rick's walking architecture tour is wildly successful. More than 40 Yelpers give the architecture tour a perfect five stars, and two Yelpers give the Chinatown tour five stars:
- For a long time, I have considered myself kind of an expert in almost anything San Francisco-that is, until my first SF walking tour yesterday... WOW! Downtown has more history and hidden gems than I ever imagined. – Craig B.
- I highly recommend this tour, not only for visitors, but locals will highly benefit from this. Rick made it very interesting, and two hours went by super fast. – Liane N.
- Great tour even for SF residents to discover places you didn't know about! Entertaining, cheap, and fun! Worth it! – Havana H.
An Encyclopedia's Retort
Upon hearing about being called "boring, heavy, and dusty" just a couple paragraphs earlier, an angry encyclopedia quickly responded:
- These claims are completely ridiculous. First of all, I feature glossy, full-color photos of some of wrestling's most chiseled and oiled bodies doing some of wrestling's most menacing and oiled poses. That's not boring—that's the opposite of boring, which is interesting. Instead of whining about me being heavy, you need to lift some weights like many of the chiseled and oiled wrestlers that I feature prominently in my fresh, sleek pages. They have no problem lifting me over their heads, throwing me against a wall, or ripping me in half. And I'll only say this once: I am not dusty. Take this moment to write that down backwards on a pad of paper, staple it to your forehead, and reread it in front of mirror every night before you sleep. Provided you survived the staple wound, which is nothing compared to the 26 staples driven straight into my binding. Woooooooooooooo!
359 Grant Ave
San Francisco, California 94108Get Directions