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Custom Fortune Cookies

When visitors come to town one of my favorite places to take them is the Fortune Cookie Factory on Ross Alley. Did you know that Fortune Cookies were invented in San Francisco? It’s off the beaten path in a little Chinatown alleyway. It’s in a lot of guidebooks so there is usually a tourist or two there but for the most part it is pretty empty. It isn’t well marked and if you didn’t have the address you could easily walk right by. Inside is three or four Fortune Cookie machines. The machine smooshes the little flat cookies and then they are taken off while they are still hot and folded with the fortune inside. Once they cool they stay in their shape. It’s really cool to see. I like to bring my own fortunes and they make them there on the spot for just a few dollars. Even if you don’t plan ahead they usually have slips there so you can hand write your own on the spot. If you can’t make it to Chinatown this site lets you order some online (from another vendor.)

  1. andrea

    August 10, 2012

    I have been to that very fortune cookie factory. I stood in line behind a number of non-tourists and watched them each hand over their $2 for a bag of cookies. When I got up to the line I was charged $4. It was still a bargain in my mind (although I admit, that as a Bay Area resident, to being a bit miffed at being pegged as a tourist…)

  2. Becca

    August 10, 2012

    Excellent fortunes!

  3. Lisa

    August 10, 2012

    I went to the Fortune Cookie Factory on a field trip as a kindergartener. Over the years, I forgot until I dropped in with my young son. As soon as I walked in, I remembered every moment of my past visit. I mentioned it to the girl who sold us the bag, and she called out in Chinese to the cookie folder. She told me that the cookie folder had likely been there when I was a girl thirty years earlier.

    Great memory. Awesome cookies.

  4. Kristin

    August 10, 2012

    This looks like a lot of fun! But I could have done without ‘that wasn’t chicken.’ I mean, really?

  5. Jodi

    August 10, 2012

    Oh I would have loved to do this. I spent most of my weekends in SF this summer. My husband was there for work from Utah. Fun things like this make me want to accept our full time job offer there. But paying rent on 800 sq ft for FAR more than my 4000 sq ft home make the decision much harder.

    My girl friend gave me your blog address and I have visited a few of your suggestions over the past few month.


  6. Amanda Jane Jones

    August 10, 2012

    I thought the chicken one was clever. 😉

  7. Gina

    August 10, 2012

    I love this. I had an idea of doing a Sadies asking back in high school with fortune cookies. This is brilliant!

  8. Amanda

    August 10, 2012

    So fun! You make me want to live in SF! (except for the costs of apartments)

  9. Lindsey

    August 10, 2012

    Haha! Some of those are really funny! I always loved doing the fortune cookie game where you read out your fortune and end it with either “in bed” or “in the bathroom”.

    “Something wonderful is about to happen…in the bathroom.”

    Oh, memories…

    Et tu, tutu?

  10. Elena @ Randomly Happy

    August 10, 2012

    Ha ha. Love your fortunes, especially ‘your head is too small for your body’ and ‘that wasn’t chicken’! Do they deliver to the UK? :o)

    x Elena

  11. Kayla

    August 10, 2012

    I went there for a field trip in elementary school! I had totally forgotten it existed. Thanks for spurring the memory!

  12. holly

    August 10, 2012

    I just spat out my water reading the fortune “that wasn’t chicken” LOL!

  13. Orchid

    August 10, 2012

    I’ve just added this to my list of places to visit in San Francisco. So glad you posted about it! That’s something that looks like it’d really be fun to see in person. Also, that chicken fortune is hilarious!

  14. kimberly michelle

    August 10, 2012

    I love the fortune cookie factory in SF! but… um… the “Chicken” fortune, is, um… how do I say this politely… really racially offensive?

  15. Sue

    August 10, 2012

    re: “that wasn’t chicken” – I grew up with this running joke about Chinese food and just know that this is not funny/witty to many of us!

      • jordan
      • August 10, 2012

      I’m sincerely sorry! No offense meant. I looked up funny fortune cookies online and had never heard that used as a phrase before and I thought it was funny. Sometimes meat restaurants is questionable so I thought it was making fun of that. I removed the photo. I’m sorry to upset you!

  16. Hilary

    August 10, 2012

    I love this, ha!

  17. zee

    August 10, 2012

    awesome! although i dont know how i’d feel if i git the you just made the biggest mistake of your life fortune! lol

  18. Emily

    August 10, 2012

    This is great! I recently found a recipe for five-spice fortune cookies. I haven’t tried it yet, but they look so delicious and like so much fun to make!

  19. Laura

    August 11, 2012

    I love the idea of a custom fortune cookie – how fun! 🙂 We have friends in San Fran and this is now on my “to-do” list for our next visit.

  20. Hanna

    August 11, 2012

    I love fortune cookies

  21. Crystal

    August 11, 2012

    Wouldn’t custom fortune cookies be an awsome way to annouce a pregnancy? Get the whole gang together for take-out and the break out the “Jim & Julie are having a baby!” fortunes at the end. Even more fun if you could do “You will soon be an aunt/uncle/grandmother”etc. You’d just have to keep each recipient’s cookie straight!

  22. Jessica

    August 11, 2012

    I am adding this to my must-do list right now. Thanks for sharing!!

  23. Luna

    August 12, 2012

    The ‘hugest mistake’ had me LOL and I don’t do that often while blog-reading. This could be done for almost anything, even announcements with an Oriental theme: engagements, weddings, baby etc.

  24. Elissa Shaw

    August 12, 2012

    When we stayed in San Francisco in 2009, this was on our list to do (we stayed literally right at the entrance of Chinatown), but then somehow we didn’t go. Wishing we would have–guess that means we just have to go back.

  25. Rachel

    August 12, 2012

    I absolutely love the “you just made the hugest mistake of your life” …I couldn’t help cracking up!!!

  26. Lottie

    August 13, 2012

    i love fortune cookies and if i am ever in san francisco i am definitely going to go here and make my own fortune cookies 🙂

  27. how2home

    August 13, 2012

    Thank u so much for sharing the online custom ordering link! This is going to be very useful 🙂

  28. cat

    August 13, 2012

    This is such a great find! I’m so happy that this place is in SF. I think this would make for a great birthday surprise/treat too! 🙂

  29. Nati Veneziani

    August 14, 2012

    Cool idea!

  30. Kelly

    August 14, 2012

    I’m absolutely dying to go here! I keep hearing about it…sooo much fun!

  31. Lori

    August 16, 2012

    I’ve been there many times and my favorite thing is the ‘flat’ unfolded cookies they sell in big bags. Curiously, did they ask you for money to take photos here? I’ve see the ladies sometimes ask people for money to take photos. I haven’t been there in about a year, but just wondering…

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