Scavenger Hunts in Chinatown & North Beach | San Francisco

Scavenger Hunts in Chinatown and North Beach

  • private
  • adults
  • kids
  • outdoor

The North Beach & Chinatown Chase Scavenger Hunt

Explore the historic heart of the Barbary Coast…

…and the immigrant culture that has made it thrive when you embark on a fun, funny scavenger hunt that’s like a walking tour spiked with caffeine. You’ll follow a trail of clues and answer tricky, entertaining questions about what you find, from the hidden time capsule in Washington Square to the “school of rock” in Portsmouth Square.

In Jackson Square, you’ll uncover the history of the city’s oldest and handsomest buildings, survivors of the 1906 earthquake. In Chinatown, you might think you’ve left America as you hunt for answers among stores, herb shops, temples, hidden alleys, and even a fortune-cookie factory. And in the North Beach section, you’ll find Francis Ford Coppola’s headquarters, the legendary City Lights bookstore, and cafés and bakeries that will make you feel like you’re in Italy.

You might tackle such questions as…

  • On Grant, visit the Empress. Just outside the entrance, Mr. Wong wouldn’t agree that a bird in the hand is better than one in the Bush. What “insects” were also served? Answer: At the entrance to the Empress of China, a sign near a photo of George H.W. Bush says, “Wong served crispy chicken and butterfly prawns” to the president.
  • At Jackson and Hotaling, what did God spare while spanking? Answer: A plaque at Hotaling’s Warehouse, built in 1866 as a liquor warehouse, explains that the building survived the 1906 earthquake while churches were destroyed, prompting this verse: “If, as one says, God spanked the town / For being overfrisky / Why did He burn the churches down / And save Hotaling’s whisky?” Indeed.

This group game is a great option for everything from corporate team building and alumni outings to birthday parties and social-group gatherings.

An edition for kids and adults to enjoy together is also available, suitable for ages 7 and up. (The sample questions are from the adult edition, of course.)

  • private
  • adults
  • outdoor

The Munch Around Chinatown & North Beach Scavenger Hunt

Treat your taste buds to an exotic adventure…

…while discovering the gourmet delights of Chinatown and North Beach. This hunt features the opportunity to taste various foods throughout these neighborhoods as you tackle clever and funny questions about what you find along the way.  

You might seek such snacks as…

  • Raspberry sorbet that will ruin you for any other sorbet
  • Mooncakes that sent President Clinton to the moon
  • Ferrero Rocher–flavored gelato
  • Fabulous focaccia in all its forms, including as pizza crust
  • Ovali to ogle (a puff pastry filled with raspberry and cream or custard)
  • A Princess Cake that’s a royal treat
  • Spicy cayenne-tequila truffles, rated OMG! by our staff
  • Pot stickers that take the pot

Those are just a few of the tasty treats you might sample: you get to decide what to stop and enjoy. We’ll tell you about our favorites, but the ultimate choice is between you, your tummy, and your teammates.

Along the way, you must document your tasting triumphs by taking Team Photos. But the biggest challenge might be to resist so many temptations.