Visit Oakland Celebrates the Chinatown As the Next Featured Oakland Spotlight Neighborhood In January
Visit Oakland, the city’s official destination marketing organization, encourages visitors to explore the community of Chinatown during the month of January as part of the Oakland Spotlight program. What is most attractive for the season are the many Chinese New Year events, authentic Asian dishes, and unique shopping relating to the holiday.
“Oakland’s Chinatown is a living, breathing part of our city. It’s home to residents of all ages who have come from around the world, blending their unique character and spirit in America’s most diverse city,” says Abel Guillén, District 2 City Councilmember. “More than a tourist destination, Oakland Chinatown is a vibrant neighborhood of world culture, and the regional center for the best in Chinese and Asian culture, education, dining and entertainment. Any visit to the Bay Area is not complete without a stop in Oakland Chinatown.”
Oakland Chinatown runs from 6th Street to 12th Street, in between Broadway and Lake Merritt.
Home to a plethora of ethnicities, including groups from all over Asia, the neighborhood is a “working Chinatown.” The constant bustling with open air vendors and other activities make the area a convenient destination for local shoppers, foodies and dedicated tourists looking for a true local gem.
Chinatown is a neighborhood that encompasses all five senses. Visitors will see ducks hanging in Chinese BBQ windows, smell traditional herbs and spices, hear vendors selling their goods, taste the delicious foods and snacks in the area, and touch each fresh produce item to purchase.
Chinatown’s proximity to Downtown Oakland, the Oakland Convention Center and Lake Merritt make the neighborhood conveniently accessible and a great place to experience Oakland’s local Asian culture and lifestyle.
EVENTS AND ATTRACTIONS
- Oakland Chinatown Lunar New Year Bazaar 2017 (9th & Franklin Streets, January
XX-X14-15 X) – Celebrate the Year of the Rooster in Oakland! The annual street festival runs from 10AM to 5PM and is free to the public. Enjoy live performances, food, and family fun as shoppers buy items to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
- The Oakland Asian Cultural Center (388 9th Street, #290) – OACC is the cultural hub of Chinatown to promote community engagement and social justice through arts and culture. Arts performances, show opening, and events are scheduled throughout the year. Starting in January, OACC will be offering beginner Mandarin classes.
- Street Art – The heart of Chinatown’s intersections are beautifully painted in a red and yellow design where pedestrians are encouraged to walk diagonally. Furthermore, the city is filled with black and gold murals from the Dragon School muralist team whose mission is to fill Chinatown’s public walls with 99 golden dragons.
- Shan Dong Restaurant(328 10th Street, #101) – Oakland’s best dumplings are at Shan Dong’s! From celebrities to famed dignitaries, no stop to Chinatown is complete without a meal to experience handmade dumplings and noodles. Watch the dumplings and noodles being made behind glass as you wait for your table.
- Sobo Ramen (988 Franklin Street, #186) – The newly expanded ramen stop has been growing in popularity thanks to its new happy hour menu items and bar. Located in the popular Pacific Renaissance Plaza, try their soju drinks and Oakland Restaurant Week menu.
- Peony Seafood Restaurant(388 9th Street, #288) – Oakland’s premier dim sum and Chinese banquet menu, this restaurant bustles on the weekends for family brunch and nighttime wedding and party receptions. The restaurant has been in business for 20 years and is a staple of Oakland Chinatown cuisine.
- Cinnamon Tree Chinese Cuisine (708 Franklin Street) – This iconic restaurant is an architectural gem for photographers, especially at night when the building’s pagoda lights up the streets of Chinatown. Cinnamon Tree offers dim sum and banquet menus as well as everyday lunch and dinner options as well.
- Tao Yuen Pastry (816 Franklin Street) – Don’t be surprised to find lines out the door for this small dim sum deli and party tray restaurant. They serve up fresh daily dim sum and lunch items to-go (there’s no tables to sit down and eat). Perfect for a quick breakfast, snack or a lunch on the go to eat at the Pacific Renaissance Plaza and people watch.
- Best Taste Restaurant (814 Franklin Street) – Family owned restaurant with fresh Chinese BBQ and roasted ducks hanging in the window, this is a fast and affordable lunch and dinner option for diners unfamiliar with Chinese food. Stop in for the more familiar fried rice, chow mein, or chow fun or be adventurous and order the pickled chicken feet and traditional entrée items on the menu!
- Pacific Renaissance Plaza (388 9th Street) – The hub of Chinatown is this shopping plaza and apartment complex. Complete with its own parking garage, it is easily the best location to meet up with others before exploring Chinatown together. Home to a variety of restaurants, stores, and jewelry shops, this should be your first stop in your Chinatown visit.
- New Tin’s Market (310 7th Street) – A local staple from the famous Tin family in Chinatown who owned multiple businesses and restaurants in Chinatown, the New Tin’s Market is under new ownership. However, the store still sells traditional Chinese grocery fare including a meat counter, fresh fish, and open air produce section. Check out their new Chinese BBQ section complete with roast pig and ducks!