Oakland Chinatown Facts

Located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Oakland's Chinatown is surrounded by San Francisco to the West, Napa Valley to the North and Silicon Valley to the South. The East Bay is the home of Oakland and just on the edge of downtown Oakland lies one of the city's most active enclaves, Oakland Chinatown. The area is a showcase of Asian cultures, restaurants, shops.

In just sixteen square blocks, visitors can explore the offerings of much of Asia. Visitors to this downtown neighborhood will find dozens of fascinating, eclectic stores and open-air markets that carry fresh, high-quality produce, live seafood, healing herbs, and a plethora of retail goods - everything from chopsticks and stress relievers to fine china and porcelain.

The hub of Chinatown is the Pacific Renaissance Plaza, a multi-story residential and commercial complex, which houses a large underground parking garage and features two levels of shops and restaurants. The plaza is also home to the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Asian branch of the Oakland Public Library, and the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce.

Despite its name, Chinatown is home not only to ethnic Chinese. Its businesses and its residents hail from countries throughout Asia, with the majority from Vietnam, as well as Korea and Japan. As the face of Chinatown changes and grows, the area develops even more cultural offerings for visitors and residents, from food to shops to services.

Chinatown's proximity to Downtown Oakland, Old Oakland, Jack London Square and Lake Merritt makes it an exciting and convenient addition to any trip to Oakland.

More Facts

  1. Oakland Chinatown (屋崙華埠) is one of the oldest Chinatowns in the United States.
  2. Oakland Chinatown offers services to support the daily needs of all Asian immigrants. For example, family associations help facilitate travel between China and the United States. Some of these services included assistance with transferring money, shipping the hometown goods, and job searching and marriage arrangement for families.
  3. Oakland Chinatown has been the go-to area for services and a resource hub for East Bay Asian Americans.
  4. There are no gates in Oakland Chinatown, and the town itself naturally blends into nearby neighborhoods with old town, downtown and city center areas.
  5. Inspired by the story of Chinese junk boat sailor, Wa Sung, who sailed from Taiwan to San Francisco, the Chinese used his story about the junk boat to symbolize all the blood and tears and helped families to root in California. Wa Sung Community Service Club decided to fund a playground with a junk boat for toddlers in Lincoln Square Park. After 40 years of continuous advocacy and maintenance by the City of Oakland, the junk boat playground is now popularly known as one of the sites for students and residents in Chinatown.
  6. There are nine tea shops, 45 restaurants, and more than 222 stores in Oakland Chinatown. A lot of new generation Asians follow their families’ footsteps in starting a business in Chinatown.
  7. You can find up to 8 Asian languages of books in the Oakland Public Library Asian Branch.
  8. Opened in 1957, The Fortune Cookie Factory located in Oakland, Chinatown is one of the oldest fortune cookie makers in the Bay Area, stretching back three generations.