Oakland Stories and Tips

Oakland Chinatown

Oakland Chinatown Photo, Oakland, California

Oakland's Chinatown is roughly bound by 7th and 12th streets, southwest to northeast with Broadway, Franklin, Webster, Harrison, and Alice streets running southeast, and intersecting with the numbered streets.

Pacific Renaissance Plaza represents the focal point, with several businesses, including Bank of America, Charles Schwab, several restaurants, Asian Branch Public Library at the street level, residential housing above, and a parking garage for the public below.

Pedestrian traffic with automobile traffic was so bad at 8th and Webster streets that the city planners converted the traffic signals so that each signal gives either autos complete right of way or the pedestrians from 7am to 7pm. The pedestrians can cross diagonally and it's the only intersection done this way.

The streets can get very crowded as people go out shopping for groceries, dining, and walking about with family, kids, and seniors all milling about. You can go into one of the places selling food to go - eat as you walk down the street - or choose any of the restaurants available in the area for a sit-down meal.

If you're interested in sitting down for dim sum, some places are more expensive than others and some are better in food quality, service, or both. These places tend to fill up by 11 or 11:30am, so getting seated earlier is recommended. If you go after 1pm, when things may not be so busy, your choices may be limited to what they have left, even if they're still open.

There are stores to shop for food and groceries alongside hardware stores, business and healthcare services, restaurants, pharmacies, residential housing, elderly care services, schools, a public park, the public transportation AC Transit, and the BART 12th St City Center.

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