Best Place to Explore 

Oakland Chinatown

Oakland's Chinatown may not have the touristy draw of the one across the bay, but there's much to be rewarded for those willing to push up their sleeves and explore. The best way to do so is on foot, as the diagonal crosswalks make this place a pedestrian's paradise (plus car traffic can get gnarly). You'll find the freshest, stickiest dumplings and stores packed floor to ceiling with ornate slippers — all for very little money. Grocery shopping can get a bit crowded at times, with dozens of people hovering over outdoor selections crammed onto sidewalks, but perseverance pays off. You can pick up fresh herbs, spices, and produce that are hard to find anywhere else. Plus the offerings go beyond China — you'll find specialty foods from Vietnam, Korea, and Japan, as well. Don't leave without a fresh Vietnamese banh mi sandwich from Cam Huong on Webster Street.

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