San Francisco’s Chinatown is the largest outside of Asia and dates back to 1848. Today, this neighborhood is filled with shops, markets and restaurants catering to locals and tourists alike. And even though it is fairly large, unless you come in through the gates at the corner of Grant and Bush streets, your entrance may be fairly unceremonious – one minute you are walking up a downtown street, focusing on the hill you are struggling to climb (seriously, they built a city here?), the next you are on a street with red lanterns hanging overhead and lucky cats in every window.
The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory is off of Grant Street at 56 Ross Alley (near Jackson Street).
If you did not know where to look, you would never find it. This one-room building churns out fortune cookies the old fashioned way: by hand. Three elderly ladies operate equipment that is even older than they are with deft skill that would rival the output of the most modern contraptions. They are the nicest people in the world, and a $0.50 donation will get you pictures posing with the fortune cookie makers (and a few samples). The shop sells cookies by the bag as well as a heretofore unknown delicacy called chocolate fortune cookies. Leave extra room in your luggage for a few bags-they are fragile and bulky, but well worth it.
Though I am not sure, this looks like a place that would only accept cash, so plan accordingly.
This is your chance to see those cookies at the bottom of that Chinese takeout bag at their source.