Sep 152011

I’ve read that there are about three billion fortune cookies made each year. Of those, I’ve heard that about 30,000 per day are baked at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco’s Chinatown for distribution around the world.

"Woman making cookies at Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in Chinatown San Francisco"

Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory has been operating here since 1962. It’s located just off of Grant Avenue between Washington and Jackson Streets at 56 Ross Alley. It’s a real treat to watch the fortune cookies being made and smell the wonderful aromas. I enjoyed sampling one of the crispy wafers fresh off the griddle.

If you go, you can capture a photo much like this one, but be prepared to pay fifty cents for the opportunity!

This is my submission to this week’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website.

  62 Responses to “A San Francisco Treat”

  1. I love fortune cookies! I heard they can make a custom fortune cookie for you? I’ve seen really large ones too!

  2. Nice! Did you get to write any fortunes? πŸ˜‰

  3. Fifty cents? why?

  4. I bet they taste a whole lot better when they are fresh!

  5. I see delicious treats in many of your readers’ futures.

  6. Totally worth the 50 cents. Who doesn’t love a fortune cookie?

  7. Mmm, looks good! Who comes up with the fortunes?

  8. 50 cents OR giving you photo credit. πŸ˜‰

  9. Fortune cookies! One of my blog buddies had a post about fortune cookies yesterday.
    My favorite – Adidas does not a runner make. Well worth the 50cents

  10. This is the best place to get a fresh, hot fortune cookie! Yum!

  11. Great photo πŸ™‚

  12. I really really have to get to San Francisco, if only to eat my way out of their Chinatown.

  13. i love fortune cookies- my dad used to buy the broken ones by the box for like $5. best cookies ever!

  14. Yummy ! I’ve never imagined a Fortune Cookie Factory even existed !

  15. How fun, I have never thought about how or where fortune cookies are made before. Although when I saw this post title, I was sure it was going to be something about Rice Roni :).

  16. What a fun idea, visiting a fortune cookie factory. Totally worth 50 cents that photo.

    • Thanks, Sophie! The fortune cookie factory was on an organized tour I took that went through less-touristy parts of Chinatown. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known where it was.

  17. I’d love to see fortune cookies being made! I went to Chinatown for dim sum but didn’t know about this place.

  18. Such a cool photo … even if it cost you 50 cents. LOL!

    Looks like a fun thing to do. πŸ™‚

  19. I always find Fortune cookies tried out but I bet the fresh ones are in a different league. Always love reading my fortune too.

  20. Make that dried out instead of tried out!

  21. I think fortune cookies were invented in San Francisco too!

    • Actually, I came across something about them first being made in Japan and that you don’t find them anywhere in China. I’ve got some research to do. Does anyone else have some input?

  22. Really lovely photo that tells a story in and of itself. Great shot.

  23. I was just teaching my students about the history of San Francisco (including Chinatown, of course), and I was thinking about how special Chinatown is. I agree with Michael– this photo tells quite a story. I will have to go there on one of my future visits to SF!

    • I like visiting Chinatown in other cities, too, but San Francisco’s is very special. It’s the oldest one in N. America & is the largest Chinese community outside of Asia.

  24. Wow! That looks very interesting. At first I thought they were making some gold jewelries πŸ˜€

  25. Wow – 50 cents!? And they get a free promo…I think that woman’s fortune said, “You will be shrewd in business.” =)

  26. Very sweet photo, I love to visit the private side of places and traditions. I think Fortune Cookies are sold everywhere!

    • Thanks, Angela. It was a nice peek into the place where such a familiar product is made. I would have guessed that all fortune cookies were mass-produced somewhere, not in a small location down a side alley in Chinatown!

  27. I don’t think I could be in a fortune cookie bakery and limit myself to just one wafer. Curious – did you get a fortune with it?

    ~ Emme

    • Luckily for you, Emme, they sell them by the bag at the factory! No, I didn’t get a fortune with my sample cookie. Now that you mention it, they would have been a nice touch, don’t you think?

  28. Marcia had mentioned your post on my blog and I stopped by to check it out… Terrific post! πŸ™‚
    Next time I’m in San Francisco, I will stop in at that Fortune Cookie place and sample their goodies…
    I love them! πŸ™‚

  29. Love this place (thought I already commented- opps!) When we were there, they were selling them on the street, wouldn’t let you go in.

  30. Fifty cents is not bad for a photo moment. πŸ™‚ In Singapore, when most temples allow free photography, one temple in Chinatown charges USD$3 for photography. On another note…. I love fortune cookies… my last fortune cookie experience was maybe 20 years ago. πŸ™‚ Surprisingly in Malaysia and Singapore, you don’t find that tradition around these days. πŸ™

  31. WoW! 3 billion fortune cookies a year!

  32. Ooh, I really like fortune cookies. I always used to think that they’re a Chinese thing until I went to China and was sorely disappointed when no restaurant served them πŸ™‚

  33. How did I live in San Francisco for a year and not know about this place?!!! So visiting it next time! Thanks, Cathy! — Michelle

  34. […] for its brothels and gambling, Ross Alley is now much more subdued and known primarily for the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. You can watch the cookies being made and sample them fresh off the hot press. Golden Gate Cookie […]

  35. My partner always picks us up fortune cookies when we’re out and about. I had no idea so many came from so few places!

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