Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

{Piping hot fortune cookies straight off the presses.}

There’s something magical about stepping off a plane onto foreign soil and feeling like you’re in a different world. Everything looks different, sounds different and even smells different. But the thing is, you don’t actually have to fly to another country to have that experience. In fact, you can probably encounter it in your own city.

How? One word: Chinatown.

Just about every large city in the world seems to house a Chinatown, and many of them are actually quite authentic. For example, the Chinatown in San Francisco – which is the oldest and biggest in the United States – is still home to about 100,000 Chinese and even has it’s own Chinese hospital. With all the restaurants serving dim sum and shops selling herbal remedies, you’d really be forgiven for thinking you were in another country.

Of all the experiences to be had in this city-within-a-city, I’d have to say one of the most unique is a trip to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company. The 100-year-old shop is hidden down a teensy alleyway but you’ll find it if you follow your nose – the smell wafting out of this fortune cookie factory is somewhere between fresh waffles and hot, cinnamon donuts.

Inside, you’ll see ladies working the presses – oozing the raw cookie dough onto the hot molds, inserting slips with fortunes into the cookies, folding and bending the cookies into shape and then tossing them into a heap – all at lightning speed. If you’ve eaten fortune cookies after a restaurant meal and been unimpressed, these cookies will definitely turn your feelings around. Straight off the fire, they’re super crunchy with a light, wafer-like quality that causes them to just melts in your mouth.

Despite the free, piping-hot samples, you’ll definitely be tempted to take home a bag or two – especially once you discover they offer chocolate flavored fortune cookies, flat (unfolded) cookies, as well “adult” cookies with R-rated fortunes inside! And if you really want to give someone a surprise, you can even write your own fortune and the ladies here will fold them into the cookies for you.

You can find the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company at 56 Ross Alley, San Francisco, CA 94108.


San Francisco's Chinatown

Photo by Ed Schipul

{San Francisco’s Chinatown. Chaotic and crowded. Just like the real China.}


Fortune cookies

Photo by Ksayer1