Asian San Francisco

San Francisco, USA

7 places

Flora Tsapovsky

Known as the home of U.S largest Chinese population, San Francisco boasts numerous Asian eateries, an incredible art museum and an interesting mix of Japan, China and other destinations. Explore this side of the city for a better understanding of San Fran's diverse nature.

Japanese Tea Gardens

The Japanese Gardens, a must-see stop, aren't free, but the $7 fee is well worth it, whether you're a Japan appreciator or just enjoy immaculate landscaping and beauty. Take the perfect Instagram pic at the Tea House, walk the narrow bridges and try to snap the exotic Koi fish – whatever you do, you'll probably feel like a stereotypical tourist. But then, it's so pretty here, you just won't care.

Shanghai Dumpling King

Affordable, always busy and delicious, The King crew knows its job - feeding the hungry crowds steaming dumplings, rich soups and spicy stews, without 'western' tweaks and with tons of flavor. Don't be shy, share a round wooden table with complete strangers, and order dumplings and the onion pancakes. Finish the meal with the fluffy, dreamy, sweet egg dumplings - they resemble airy clouds.

Asian Art Museum

The wonderful Asian Art Museum at the civic center is a must-visit, for many reasons. The permanent collection isn't limited to oriental paraphernalia and covers different countries and cultures over time, from Himalayan Buddhism to contemporary Japanese artists. The pavilions are calm and spacious - perfect for a half-day espace. First Sunday of the month is usually free.


Chinatown in the City by the Bay is the biggest in the US. Once you step into it forget about America - shops and healing centers with signs in Mandarin, red lanterns, dragons and Asian paraphernalia. Better visit during the daytime - at night everything is closed. By the way, the famous fortune cookies you get with your receipt were invented here - you can visit the plant where they make it - on Ross Alley. As for food, watch where locals eat but it would be great if the place has an English menu. My choice is Peking duck - they know how to make a good one. The food is cheap and good contrasted to souvenirs - expensive and made in China in the worst meaning of this expression.

Kabuki Springs and Spa

San Francisco has plenty of day spas, but not quite like this one. Kabuki Spring belong to Japantown's Hotel Kabuki, and guests get a free pass, but they worth a separate trip - the facilities are especially serene and the atmosphere is authentic. A traditional bath experience is the basic option, but massages and acupuncture are also available. Check the website, as entrance for men and women is on separate days, except for co-ed day.


The incredible Japanese chain has only one store in San Francisco - at the quiet SOMA neighborhood. Inside, the IKEA competitor stores clean, minimal dishes, clothes, containers and knick-knacks, and even a short visit enough to calm a traveller's nerves and teleport you to modern-day Japan.

Mission Chinese

Danny Bowien, the name behind Mission Chinese, took his genius to New York, but this off-beat restaurant stays busy and tasty. Lines line up on weekends - everyone wants to try the Kung-Pau pastrami, the salt-cod fried rice and all the other funky, creative interpretations of Chinese classics. Come early, sign up and go have a drink next door before entering the dimly lit space and feasting on delicacies.


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