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Little Italy and Chinatown: SF’s Cultural Neighborhoods

Chinatown and Little Italy have more in common than they do apart. Despite the separation of the busy, bustling streets of Chinatown and the laid-back, quiet streets of Little Italy, both are rich in their heritage. 

Chinatown was established in 1850 and is one of the oldest, and most famous, Chinatowns outside of Asia. Like many Italian immigrants, immigrants from China arrived during the Gold Rush for work and fortune. 

Little Italy, in North Beach, is also one of the oldest historical areas outside of Italy. Little Italy and Chinatown connect along Grant Avenue where their two cultures begin to combine. 

You cannot visit San Francisco without stopping into one of the many authentic restaurants in both Chinatown and Little Italy. Begin in Chinatown with a dim sum, or a cocktail-inspired boba milk tea, and then head into Little Italy for a fresh cannoli and slice of pizza. 

The culture for both of these heritages is extremely important. Within Chinatown is the Chinese Historical Society of America whose main goal is to promote and encourage the embracement of the history, heritage, culture, and legacy of Chinese in America. You can learn about how Little Italy is embracing its culture here. 

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