There's a fortune cookie “factory” in Oakland's Chinatown, and if you are not paying attention you'll miss it. Tucked into the span of two small storefronts lurks a small collection of fascinating cookie-making machines staffed by three busy women who don't speak a lot of English.
For $1, they will let you peek inside and sample cookies hot off the press. Some will be flat little pancakes not yet folded into cookies; others are proper fortune cookies. Another large machine made mini quarter-size wafers and my kids and I were each handed several of those, too. It's less a “tour” and more a peek inside the factory, but even my four-year old could tell that the women operated the various machines and the machines squirted batter onto hot plates to make the cookies, much like a conveyor belt of pancakes. If you take the disks off the press quickly enough, they can be folded before they cool and harden.
After we “toured” the “factory” I purchased a bag of cookies for the road. But I think that was an accident. I had asked if I could take some photos and instead they packed me some “for home”. Then they took our fortunes back, too.
It is a fun outing if you're near Chinatown. The kids enjoyed it.
Plan your visit
- For $1 per person you can walk around. Photos are an additional $.50 or $1 (or not allowed at all). There are also some cookies available for purchase.
- Cash only.
- Located at 261 12th St in Oakland near Lake Merritt, Oakland Chinatown. Between Lake Merritt and 12th Street BART stations.
- Not recommended for little ones who want to touch all the machines. Ouch!
[Photos and video were taken by me and Whitney with permission, I think]