Costumed performers and rows of vendors calling out to passersby from booths offering street food, shiny trinkets and herbal remedies added to the hubbub of Oakland’s Chinatown over the weekend during the 25th annual Chinatown StreetFest.
Oakland’s Chinatown has been hit hard by the recession. Fewer and fewer customers shop there, and job opportunities have been hurt. Food-related industries have suffered greatly, especially the small markets and restaurants.
This busy part of 8th Street is the site for one of the many proposed bikeways in Oakland. However, some Chinatown leaders said the city should think twice before adding bikes to the mix on 8th Street, as well as parallel 9th Street, which has a similar bustling vibe.
Over the next month, Oakland North is featuring a food series on summer treats in Oakland. Chinatown is the first installment in the series. One day last week, two Oakland North reporters wandered around Oakland’s Chinatown sampling all sorts of different Asian treats, from lotus seed buns to basil seed jello to pork meat cookies–these are their top ten.