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An Insider's Guide to
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fortune cookies

A Sweet and Fortunate Treat

June 03, 2019

A genuine hometown creation, the fortune cookie’s origination actually has nothing to do with China. It was conceived and created by Makoto Hagiwara, the same Japanese gentleman who is responsible for the San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden. Regardless of who invented them, these crispy, redolent, and tasty little treats are now an entrenched and iconic part of American culture and are almost always served as a traditional ending to a meal at any Chinese restaurant in the country. Many of those cookies are also made right here in San Francisco at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.

Since August of 1962, the folks at the GGFCF have been turning out as many as 10,000 custom fortune cookies every day—all from scratch and made by hand. They also make their cookies with a variety of flavors. While the traditional vanilla-almond flavor is most popular, you can also find them flavored with chocolate, strawberry, and green tea, and they will customize your fortune for you! The cookies are always baked fresh, and visitors are welcome to come and watch how it’s done. Be sure to take home a few bags to munch on later.