Chasing our fortunes at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory [video]

If there’s one thing we like more than a good helping of sweet and sour chicken, it’s got to be the fortune cookie that usually follows.  We sniffed out the notorious Golden Gate Cookie Factory while meandering around San Francisco and were pleasantly surprised at what we found.  We thought that “factory” implied a big, corporate building with hundreds of workers dressed in scrubs, face masks, and gloves, pulling levers that dispersed the perfectly shaped treat.  What we really found was a tiny hole-in-the-wall store where a pair of older Chinese ladies patiently sat and folded every single fortune cookie by hand.

When eating a fortune cookie, there’s one rule that we always abide by: one must eat the entire cookie before they can read their fortune.  Where did this tradition come from?  We have no idea, but it’s something that we’ve always done.  Every now and then we also classically add “in bed” to the end of every fortune.  Why take everything so seriously?

… in bed.

If you find yourself in San Francisco, do yourself a favor and stop by the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.  They’ll give you a free cookie once you step in the door, and also sell them by the bag full for a great price.

The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory is located at 56 Ross Alley in China town, San Francisco.


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  1. Pola (@jettingaround)
    August 4, 2012 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    I’m guilty of reading the fortune before eating… Now I’ll know better. 🙂

  2. Emily in Chile
    August 4, 2012 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Aww, I love this place! I haven’t been in years, but it was the highlight of a class field trip or two back in the day.

  3. Emme Rogers @ Roamancing
    August 5, 2012 at 11:13 am - Reply

    That’s funny! And I did not know that fortune cookie rule.

  4. Raul (ilivetotravel in Twitter)
    August 5, 2012 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Wow, how cool! And how small the place!

  5. Leah Travels
    August 6, 2012 at 6:28 am - Reply

    I wanted to visit this place the first (and last) time I was in San Fran. Love this video, especially your pretty face. 🙂

  6. @mrsoaroundworld
    August 6, 2012 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Oh, I never knew. I love fortune cookies and hardly ever see any. I will certainly check this out next time I am in SF.

  7. Waegook Tom
    August 6, 2012 at 8:51 am - Reply

    Now, I’m off to San Francisco next year, and this looks exactly like the kinda thing I want to be doing there! Well, that and gawking over musclebound men parading around in little more than their underwear (that’s a daily thing there, right? RIGHT?!)

    I’m also liking your “in bed” style. I may have to start using that this week. It’ll confuse the hell out of my students.

  8. lola
    August 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    i love 2 things about this post so much! the “in bed” at the end of reading your fortune and chris’s face when he read his second fortune. HAHAHAHA! love you guys. 🙂

  9. the lazy travelers
    August 7, 2012 at 4:07 am - Reply

    definitely didn’t know about the fortune cookie rule of eating and definitely going here. who are we to turn down a free cookie?!

  10. Traveling Ted
    August 7, 2012 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Wow, I cannot believe a small metal bar is the secret behind the classic fortune cookie shape. She made it look so easy folding it, but I am sure if I had my hands on one those cookies it would turn out a mess. It would be a fortune blob.

  11. Craig Zabransky
    August 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    probably my favorite of your videos, well the subset I’ve watched. And yes, I might say that again… Cool spot indeed. Definitely strange to think my fortune was probably in her hands at one point. All of ours were. Powerful lady.

    stay adventurous, Craig

  12. Spencer
    August 16, 2012 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    Shame I didn’t know about this when I went to San Francisco in 2004. I would have loved to have gone here.

  13. Ava Apollo
    August 20, 2012 at 2:36 am - Reply

    Pretty cool seeing how they’re made!

  14. Kieu ~ GQ trippin
    August 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    I’ve been here my whole life and I haven’t even been here. Lol. I’m guilty for reading the fortune and not eating the cookie. Haha.

    August 29, 2012 at 11:45 am - Reply

    lol..very funny…I knew about this shop right after I immigrated to the US…cus THERE”S NO fortune cookie in CHINA!! everyone of my Chinese friend said that:)….will ck this shop out when I have a chance go to San Fran:)))

  16. David
    May 20, 2014 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    I love to read about traditions and nice to see you have your own personal traditions. I don’t think Fortune Cookies are so famous in the UK as they are in the States so will have to look out for them next time!

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