For this week’s Sites and Bites we’re checking out one of my very favorite spots in Golden Gate Park, The Japanese Tea Gardens and a nearby delicious eatery in inner Sunset, Park Chow. I love visiting the Japanese Tea Gardens in the morning when it’s still pretty empty and everything is still misty and magical. It was originally designed to be part of the World Fair, but was made into a permanent exhibition soon after. Native plants, dwarf and cherry trees were imported from Japan along with birds, and the gigantic goldfish which kids love!
Today it is impeccable maintained and overflowing with gorgeous plants, beautiful walkways, bridges and pagodas. Rumor has it that fortune cookies were first introduced to the United States here at this tea garden! They would serve them to visitors of the gardens and they quickly became a popular Asian-American treat. You can even have a tea ceremony in the gardens. I’ve never done it but it sounds wonderful!
A short 5 minute walk from the Japanese Tea Gardens is the perfect spot to get some brunch at Park Chow in the Inner Sunset. There are a few locations, but this one is super convenient for any park outings you might have and a really cozy interior that’s family friendly as well.
Park Chow is a great spot for any meal, but they’re breakfast is particularly delicious. My picks are the Marion pancake with ricotta, lemon, and raspberries, and also the blueberry pancake. Yum! You can see the full menu here.
They have great outdoor seating for a sunny day and a cozy interior with a fireplace for a cool evening. Don’t forget the patio, and if you’re there for dinner the ginger cake is a must!
Keep reading to see more pictures of the Japanese Tea Gardens and a map!