Sites and Bites

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!




Liz–I just stumbled upon your site, I absolutely adore it!! I love seeing your “sites and bites”. As a San Francisco native (4th generation!) it’s fun to re-discover some wonderful SF gems!


We have a branch of Chow in my town in the East Bay and love it!! The food is delicious. The chocolate pie is amazing and worth every penny. Thanks for the reminder that Kevin and I need another date night there asap! 🙂 We will need to come in the city and try Park Chow sometime too.

Oh jeez. Now I’m going to have to make pancakes this weekend. Those look amazing!! Definitely the number one thing I miss about the US: eating out for breakfast. 🙂

I love this series! When I get out to that side of the continent, you bet I’ll be referring to these!!!

Park Chow is great! but it costs a little more than I think it should… The Crepevine is just around the corner, and it’s super yummy, too!!! And one of my favorite Indian restaurants, Masala, just down the block!! Pacific Catch is pretty good, too! Obviously, I like this area… ahahaha! 😀

Yes! So many great ones in that neighborhood. I’ve never been to the Indian place, will have to check it out!

Best thing is that if you go to the Tea Gardens before 10am on Mon, Wed or Fri, it’s free! They are sticklers about being there by 10, if you’re a minute late, you pay full price.

I’ve never been to Park Chow, those pancakes look amazing.

Loving this series Liz!

So last time I was there it was on one of those days/times and it wasn’t free! we asked and they said it was only once a month now. this time i went on wed morning and it was free. i forgot to ask what the deal was but i’ll have to check next time

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