China Live

4.5
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1166 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Chinese
"Restaurant of the Year" - EaterSF
Our first floor restaurant features a daily changing seasonal menu cooked from 8 specialized stations that merge traditional Chinese and Western culinary equipment. A main dining area plays centerpiece, appointed with chairs and tables all handcrafted in China from reclaimed Chinese elm. These exhibition kitchens, with plenty of bar seating, will allow you a more close-up view of the deft chefs in action.
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Private Dining

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What 1166 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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s
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

It's really gone downhill since it's first opened! I used to go all the time, but they've changed the menu and everything was oddly sweet...from the "spicy" cocktail to the "spicy" chili paste.

RS
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 2

Uncomfortable seating and deafening noise. The food was rushed and served together.

Y
San Francisco
49 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Invited guests and they were very impressed with environment and the food. And these people are used to good food. All well done. Nothing went wrong.

N
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ah-maxing. Best Chinese food I’ve ever had!! Definitely need one of these in Chicago!!

N
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food but it was difficult to hear as well as difficult to chat. The atmosphere is quite loud.

DK
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

LOVED the food. The noise level was so loud we almost had to shout to be heard and we were at a table for four. Our server definitely went above and beyond! One of our guests has seafoods allergies and the server made sure she checked all the ingredients in each dish ordered to let her know what she could and couldn't eat. Corkage fee was rather pricey compared to other restaurants I have been to, especially since we had wines that were not on the menu.

KB
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great dinner at China Live for my bachelorette party. The Service was excellent and the food was as well. Dessert was a little underwhelming ut the rest was great.

OT
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We liked it!

AC
Louisville
5 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best dumplings I've ever had. Try to sit at one of the bars where you can watch the chefs prepare the food. We sat looking into the dumpling kitchen and it was really fun to watch. The "hand worked" (or something similar to that) dumplings were my favorite, but my wife thought their house dumplings were the best. Both were incredible, as were the duck sliders. We both said we now will figure out a way to have a meal here anytime we're in San Francisco.

PC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great venue with great food&drinks, amazing service, and a cool ambience.

JR
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Friends and family
Joined us for an amazing Friday night dinner! Thanks again china live

j
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

A beautifully designed restaurant, very spacious and well-planned visually. I only wish the same creativity had been applied in the kitchen. Perhaps we ordered the wrong dishes, but the noodles in Taiwan 27 beef broth were rubbery, Siu Mai shrimp dumplings had way too much salt, and the deep-fried chili calamari were overly breaded. You can easily eat better and cheaper at almost every hole-in-the-wall restaurants on any block in Chinatown. Did I say it was a lovely concept?

AB
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 4

Service was horrible. Waiter was not helpful and did not come back to table at all. No refills and seemed very annoyed when we asked questions about menu. Would not recommend this restaurant at all. Food was good but service was horrible.

R
France
2 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The food was excellent and very authentic except for the crab, which was overcooked. It is a very charming place with the feel of a street kitchen. Staff was attentive, but too busy. The noise level was extremely loud, which is the reason I do not rate the place higher.

A
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

This is my second time at China Live and I must say, I was a little disappointed because I got high expectations of getting great food. The impossible dumpling was perfect, it was delicious. My tea was amazing as well but my entree wasn’t. It was too oily and well, it took a while for the chef to make my plate. Once the entree got to me, it was too plain, it wasn’t as flavorful and to be honest, it is something that I can order at a regular Chinese restaurant and that made me sad. I didn’t leave satisfied at all.
On the brighter side, my server was amazing. He was definitely on top of his game and he was super friendly.

EI
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Service was slow for the amount of customer at the time we came.
Food good but quite pricey.

KM
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The food was incredible, I got the Peking duck, the dumplings (first ones on the dim sum menu) and the kung pao. It was all amazing and I would recommend it to anyone who asked!! It’s a little pricey but amazing!

f
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, great ambiance and service. Recommend reservation; on time seating.

OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

It was a great place but not enough service staff

S
New England
5 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Food was delicious and service was great but it’s a bit awkward to dine amongst all the retail products for sale. Also felt that everything was overpriced.

R
San Francisco
43 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

This was my fourth visit to China Live— I have really enjoyed the food and feel that it offers some unique preparations that you can’t find in other local restaurants. I also like the vibe and thought my husband and son would too, so this time I finally brought them! They were also impressed with the dishes. My husband has a little difficulty with his hearing so he couldn’t participate in conversation. Our service was efficient but the servers were indifferent. Overall, I think this is a great dining experience.

j
Las Vegas
6 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible space.. incredible food ... amazing experience.

SB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and concept.

OT
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent spot all around!!!! Food delicious!!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We took a group of friends here for diner! Was such a fun experience! Service, food and ambiance was 💯! Be sure to go early and have a drink at the bar upstairs!

J
Seattle
34 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Food was mediocre at best

PW
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been to China Live several times and have enjoyed it very much. I try to order different items each time to taste a variety. I have a reservation for next Wednesday evening.

M
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Amazing food and great space but it’s seriously so loud. Loud like hard to hear the waiter or person next to you.

J
Philadelphia
56 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a very interesting Chinese restaurant combining food, ambiance and a small store. Food was outstanding! A must visit Chinese restaurant in Chinatown.

CG
New England
3 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They take Chinese cuisine and really take up a few notches in terms of flavor and quality!

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was treat but 3xs the price of any place around there. I think it is a place that you should go to at least once but then the next time go to a place that is more affordable.

VJ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I live the great quality food, great service and ambiance but the place get very noisy

AB
London
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great good and service. Would definitely recommend to anyone .

EE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Yummy food, quick dining, good service

MH
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

It was great food but we were seated near a place where the staff kept logging orders in which was not suitable for our party of 8, and the waiters kept bumping into us and spilling stuff

FD
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious and fresh authentic Chinese food! Loved it!

GC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server Michael was terrific. Great recommendations and service. Very attentive and thoughtful. Excellent experience.

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Nice place, pricey like everything in SF.

PN
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 5ambience 1

Many restaurants are loud these days. This is the loudest. Exceptional service is offset by weak bland flavors from the vegetarian part of the menu. A lot of show with less substance.

t
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Kind of pricy Chinese restaurant. Food just ok, nothing is special. Really noisy inside.

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