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Chinatown

1974 American neo-noir mystery film directed by Roman Polanski from a screenplay by Robert Towne, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway Website

Approval Rate: 73%

73%Approval ratio

Reviews 42

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  • by

    xcuses

    Wed Jul 29 2009

    Probably one of the safest, best-maintained Chinatowns around. The southern gate is a San Franciscan fixture, and the antiques and souvenir shops are a must-visit. Some of the prices in the antiques shops are wonky, though. I once saw a ceramic piece with a $430,000 price tag (yes, I’m sure I have the right number of zeroes). Obviously, this was the owner’s way of saying it wasn’t for sale, but the other stuff in the store wasn’t cheap, either. There are lots of good shops and restaurants here, both Chinese and otherwise.

  • by

    kattwoman

    Fri Apr 08 2005

    i liked it better when i was kid it just seemed more exotic and seemed like there was so much going on. but chinese new year is another experience not to miss

  • by

    minkey

    Sat Jan 29 2005

    Kind of scummy and reminds me of an outdoor flea market. Japan Town's where it's at.

  • by

    trisec

    Wed Jul 21 2004

    Simply the best 'Chinatown' in the entire US of A.

  • by

    falcon91wolvrn_03

    Thu Mar 25 2004

    The best Chinese food you'll find anywhere! The stores here are authentically Chinese, and so are most of the storefront signs. A fun place to visit, and to great place to experience another world.

  • by

    mahadragon

    Sat Feb 28 2004

    Best time to visit is Chinese New Year which is held anywhere from late Jan to mid Feb. The Chinese New Year parade is a huge spectacle. You get to see not only the fantastic foods and products offered in Chinatown but you get to see martial arts displays, lion dances, colorful traditional costumes, Miss Chinatown, da Mayor, and other popular figures.

  • by

    syekim

    Wed Nov 26 2003

    In mid-November it's not as crowded as other times. It's a wonderful place, full of sights smells and sounds that non Californians can really enjoy. The best places to shop were not on the main street of Chinatown. Look for out of the way shops and restaurants, they were the best. Overall, I had more fun here than anywhere else in SF.

  • by

    galomorro

    Tue Nov 20 2001

    Very high points from me especially when recommending this neighborhood to budget-conscious food shoppers who frequently shop for fruits, veggies, seafood, and/or Asian grocery items that are either difficult to find or more expensive if you can get them at all in your local grocery (ginger, soy sauce...) Sure, it's always crowded but I appreciate the outdoor food stands, and the sights, sounds, aromas and reasonably priced restaurants. Every city should have a huge, bustling Chinatown like SF's with its many interesting shops. Don't only stay on the tourist "main drag," Grant Street -- go up the narrow side streets and tour Stockton Street (one block up from Grant) when you visit.

  • by

    danmuse

    Mon Jun 25 2001

    One of the most fun places to visit in San Francisco. There is a lot to take in, appealing to the eyes, ears and nose. Yes, it smells like fish when you pass a fish market. DUH! Have a sense of wonder and adventure when you go. You don't have to eat at tourist traps. If you are Asian-phobic, I suppose you shouldn't bother. Otherwise, there's a lot to enjoy in Chinatown.

  • by

    soju_2

    Fri Dec 15 2000

    Chinatown is worth visiting, it is a trip if it is Fourth of July, they sell illegal fireworks. There is also great food. It's a good place to visit if you are a first timer, but it is still quite dirty.

  • by

    ccaliente

    Fri Dec 15 2000

    Chinatown is definitely my fav place in SF. Great bargains, good food and lots of stuff to see. Beware the marketplace though, unless you have a stuffy nose.

  • by

    buni9f6e

    Thu Dec 14 2000

    I hate that place. It stinks and I get irritated when people talk Chinese next to me. I don't have anything against Chinese people, but I hate the language. Nothing that is sold there has good quality, even though things are cheap.

  • by

    rictor

    Wed Dec 13 2000

    Chinatown is a great place to take someone to because there is a lot of stuff to do there. You can visit a lot of shops and buy unique stuff and eat great food.

  • by

    caliplayboy

    Tue Dec 12 2000

    Don't go to Chinatown. There's really nothing to see. It smells and it's dirty. Only go to Chinatown if you want a sensual massage or some firecrackers. Every big city has a Chinatown- they're all the same.

  • by

    simmie

    Mon Dec 11 2000

    It has a great Chinese cultural look. Once you walk under the arches in the front entrance, you'll swear you're in China. You won't see any sign of it being in San Francisco. There are many places to eat, many spots that have the whole roasted duck hanging in the window. It's a great place to visit.

  • by

    upchuck

    Wed Nov 29 2000

    Fun place to visit, I have been to the orient and it's the same...busy small streets crammed with tiny shops, too many people, Board of Health's worst nightmare, but there are some bargains and the food is incredible, but, hard to identify (you won't see any dogs or cats near any Chinatown!!!).

  • by

    button

    Mon Nov 27 2000

    I hate Chinatown. The people are pushy and rude, it smells, it's crowded, and there is very little to actually do here, unless you enjoy shopping for toys/anime (but be careful, because it probably won't be translated into English). There are LOTS of pickpockets here, too, and unless you look like a native of the city you are a prime target- so watch out!

  • by

    kittynik

    Fri Nov 24 2000

    Chinatown is a unique place in San Francisco. It is always busting with people and great buys. Venturing into the pastry shop is a must. Though there may be a line, it moves quickly. Also, for beautiful silk tops, kimonos, tea accessories and towels, Chinatown is a must.

  • by

    alicat

    Fri Oct 13 2000

    Gross! It is so dirty. It smells bad. It is always crowded. The stores are filled with cheap, worthless, garbage. There are dead chickens and other unknown animals hanging from the windows of restaurants (yeah, like I want to eat that piece of carcass hanging in the window, oh yum, let's go there). You might think that you could find some culture in Chinatown, but you'll be disappointed.

  • by

    samiam

    Fri Sep 29 2000

    You definitely feel like you are entering a different world. Interesting to walk around, see the merchandise, foods etc..

  • by

    fska9938om

    Sat Aug 19 2000

    Parking is tough in Chinatown. There is generally no place to park on the streets and if you are lucky enough to find a spot, you have to keep returning to it to refill the meter. Most of the shops have the same items, but the prices do vary slightly. You can find accessories, clothing and home furnishings (all of which are Oriental). There is good food all over the place. Since Chinatown is fairly large, be sure to wear comfortable shoes because you'll do a lot of walking.

  • by

    vivi8582om

    Fri Jul 14 2000

    It is crowded, stinky, and dirty. But it is still a major tourist attraction because of the Chinese products and culture. There is no parking and some people are rude.

  • by

    ohso8599om

    Fri Jul 14 2000

    True to the 'chinatown' world wide's reputation. This one is dirty too. Though it does look really orient like, and seem to have a 'true' feel to the motherland, this place offers the most 'fake' items per square block in the city. But hey, when you're traveling...cheap is good!

  • by

    fwon8167om

    Wed Jul 05 2000

    It is a great place to get Dim Sum and if you want to buy clothes, go to Grant Ave. Also, they have the best parking situation and it is located right by Union Square.

  • by

    ishf8179om

    Wed Jul 05 2000

    A visitor of San Francisco should not miss this exciting part of the city. When I first went there, I was instantly filled with an adventuresome feeling. It seemed that there were so many 'hole in the wall' places I could go to. Unfortunately I couldn't walk the whole area. I would if I could. The eateries are great too! You'll become indicisive as to where to eat!

  • by

    alls8170om

    Wed Jul 05 2000

    Chinatown is very mystical. When you enter the gates it's as if you are entering a new world. I highly recommend this place for all who visit San Francisco.

  • by

    trey7309om

    Sat Jun 10 2000

    Cool and interesting shops, but the place could be a little cleaner and more organized.

  • by

    ebbo7250om

    Thu Jun 08 2000

    This area of S.F. contains a bit of history and modernism, both in one. The district has a ton of shops including optometry, restaurants, souvenir shops, jewerly stores, and open-market style grocerys. All of this with a Hong-Kong feel.

  • by

    pesa7170du

    Tue Jun 06 2000

    The shopping is a secret treasure. You can find bargains on jade jewelery, authentic Asian seasoning, herbs, etc.

  • by

    boog7175om

    Tue Jun 06 2000

    Definately a place to do some cheap shopping. The eating is good, and you can find some great bargains. The only downfall is the lack of parking, but there is a parking garage.

  • by

    drea7101om

    Sun Jun 04 2000

    Chinatown is a historical landmark in San Francisco. It offers many stores, Asian products, and different styles of Chinese food and cooking.

  • by

    jc4l7112om

    Sun Jun 04 2000

    Chinatown is a great place to go to find all sorts of stuff and to buy gifts. A lot of tourists souvenirs. The only thing bad about it is that it's always crowded because the street is so small.

  • by

    aius7089rg

    Sat Jun 03 2000

    I love Chinatown. My dad used to work nearby, so we would always eat there. The best restaurants are the one's where the menu is ALL in chinese and you pick your meal by looking at what someone else has.

  • by

    ldbe7095om

    Sat Jun 03 2000

    Why would somebody attend a neighborhood that doesn't really accomodate the Chinese, but rather the tourists? Most restaurants that the tourists attend are not authentic Chinese cuisine. Chinatown tours give the visitors misleading information about the community.

  • by

    whit7098om

    Sat Jun 03 2000

    Chinatown is a wonderfu place to visit. It is only lacking safety and is extremely dirty in certain parts. You are able to see historic sites and eat wonderful food.

  • by

    regi7048et

    Thu Jun 01 2000

    Commodification and tourism has taken its toll on a legitimate community.

  • by

    bles7034om

    Wed May 31 2000

    People in Chinatown are really mean. They are so anxious to buy, and when they bump into you, they don't even say sorry. However, there is some pretty cool merchandise.

  • by

    kpun6863et

    Mon May 22 2000

    It is so dirty in Chinatown. The stores are as dirty as the streets.

  • by

    s_mc6679om

    Tue May 16 2000

    Chinatown is great for a lot of tourists to go and learn about not only the Chinese culture but San Francisco culture as well. There is a lot of history in Chinatown that shows how San Francisco has developed there great food, entertainment, and culture.

  • by

    apri6652om

    Mon May 15 2000

    It is very interesting walk down Chinatown, experiencing Chinese culture, with a variety of food and curious items.

  • by

    magellan

    Thu Mar 16 2000

    Definitely drive or walk through if you get a chance. Chaotic, congested, foreign - it will not feel like you are in the US. Perhaps the most shocking part is that Chinatown represents such a small part of such a small city, that just as suddenly as you are thrust into all this Chinese bustle, you will be transported back out.

  • by

    wiggum

    Tue Oct 26 1999

    I like Chinatown best in the morning when all the stores are setting up, with all the crazy and exotic food pouring out into the street. The smells are amazing.