The Best Chinese New Year Displays in S.F.

Ring in the Chinese New Year weekend with this treasury of the best storefronts and displays that let the Year of the Dogs out.

Old Shanghai, Image: Joe Kukura, SF Weekly

Chinese New Year celebrations ignite this weekend, and many San Francisco storefronts and streets are hot-dogging it with Year of the Dog holiday displays. In preparation for Saturday’s Chinese New Year Parade, SF Weekly is handing out red envelopes to the best decorative displays celebrating the Chinese New Year (which was actually last Friday, Feb. 16.)

The Paper Lanterns of Chinatown

Our sentimental favorite of the bunch is of course the annual display of paper lanterns on various Chinatown streets like Grant Avenue and Waverly Place.

Asian Image

This light-up purple tree at the Grant Avenue and Clay Street gift shop Asian Image is a real crowd-pleaser, and you’d better believe everything hanging from that tree is for sale.

Great Eastern Restaurant

They’ve done lovely work to the entrance gate at Jackson Street and Wentworth Place’s Great Eastern Restaurant, whose photos will prove the place has been visited by President Obama, Yao Ming, and Stephen Hawking.


The Union Square Macy’s has kind of buried its head in the sand with no acknowledgement of Chinese culture in what we assume is a Chinese New Year display. But there are plenty of porcelain dogs involved, and SF Weekly is a sucker for writing about dogs as frequently as possible.

Merchant of China

We have a far superior Year of the Dog canine-themed display at Grant and Jackson Streets’ Merchant of China. Good dog display. Gooood dog display.

McGarden Bakery

Not sure whether this is a Chinese New Year display, or if they just forgot to take down the Christmas decorations at the Excelsior’s McGarden Bakery. But those spray-painted gold to-go coffee cups are so adorable that we couldn’t not include them.

Peking Bazaar

Do you need any red tassels or paper lamps? Oh my god, do they ever have red tassels and paper lamps at the very splendid Peking Bazaar Discount Imports.

The Market Street Paper Lanterns

Yeah, yeah, everybody’s already seen the Market Street paper lanterns. But they’re cute as hell! And they spread the joy of our annual Chinese New Year festivities all over downtown.


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