Did you know San Francisco's Chinese New Year Parade is "the largest celebration of Asian culture outside of Asia"? Well that's what its handy website is saying. Superlative statements aside, it's always fun to hit the streets for glimpses of the 250 foot Golden Dragon and Miss Chinatown U.S.A.—in doses. This year, we'll be there, but not without several "breaks" for respite from the jam-packed street, a drink, or a delicious bite along the way. Make the parade your excuse to follow our crowd-dodging itinerary.
Located right across from the Transamerica Pyramid, the downstairs parlor here abuts the old sea wall, but the overall effect is more clubby basement bar than Barbary Coast. This room (as well as upstairs area) is rentable with a per-person rate for drinks and food. Prices vary.
582 Washington St., 415-981-1500, aventinesf.com