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China Live

4.6
1789 Reviews
$30 and under
Chinese
China Live, Eater's "Restaurant of the Year," features fresh, seasonal Chinese cuisine cooked from specialized stations that merge traditional Chinese and Western culinary equipment. Our main dining area, with views of our exhibition kitchens, plays centerpiece, appointed with chairs and tables all handcrafted in China from reclaimed Chinese elm. We also offer outside dining.

Support China Live during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Staff temperature check required
  • Diner temperature check required
  • Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors

Offers

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Sun - Thu 5:00PM - 5:45PM 8:45PM - 9:00PM

What 1789 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
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C
Charlie
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall1food2service2ambience1

This place is a bad joke, an expensive one. The seating is uncomfortable; the loud ambient noise makes pleasant conversation impossible; the service is minimal: several items charged on the bill simply never arrived; the food is irregular: several dishes were just OK, certainly nothing special, while the basil glazed pork ribs were all but inedible at best; finally the bill adds 25% for service and the SF Mandate; and to add insult to injury, the chit asks for a TIP!@#$%^&.
In summation: Don't bother. We won't be going back.

LT
LTB1
Seattle
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food1service4ambience4

If you are looking for authentic Chinese food or good food, don't come here.

KS
KenzS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Loved it! Amazing food with a cool atmosphere. Highly recommend

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Heard about this place quite sometime.
Finally got to try it.

Tried the chili dumplings, Prawns, butter garlic noodle, duck, veggie and tofu stair fry and two drinks.

Overall food was decent. I really loved the Garlic butter noodle. The best one I have ever had. Dumpling was pretty bland but I added house chili sauce and vinegar it was just out of the world. Pack of umami. I love food with MSG.
Almost bought the sauce to take it home but next time.

Duck was very good as well, it was quite sweet, i’d like to try some duck plate if they have it next time.

The prawns was a bit disappointing. It was really fresh and big prawns but I wish there was more flavor in the sauce.
It was more on the salty note than variety of flavors. Especially the spinach on the bottom was heavily salted.

Tofu and stair-fry was decent. The ingredients were perfectly chopped and cooked.

The cocktail was just okay. I tried 7x7 and whiskey drinks
7x7 taste was really off. Somewhat bitter and artificial pear taste. The balance of the drink was way off.
Whiskey was almost just straight up whiskey with dash of simple syrup.

Service was good. Friendly staffs and ambience.

The chair was really small and painful to sit for a while.
Hope I can get the better seat next time.

PT
PpTt
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Eating outside is safer during these COVID times. I would prefer the quietness and intimacy of indoor dining, nevertheless, it was an interesting change to be eating in the middle of a grittier setting with the continuous passing of cars only feet away and the parade of pedestrians ranging from tourists to street people.

D
Deejay
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience2

We were in a sort of hall outside so The ambiance was a bit stark. Food delicious, but price was...ulp

m
vipmarcydel
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience2

Although we put in the Open Table reservation that we were celebrating a birthday, nothing special happened. But everything else was good. The food was excellent and the wait staff were very nice.

AV
AndrewV
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food3service2ambience4

Fun place. Some entrees better than others-- but nothing wow-ed us. Waiter was not helpful or pleasant. With so many other options in SF won't beat a path back to China Live.

EM
EmmaM
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

China Live was such a fun ambiance and the food was amazing! Very helpful and accommodating to gluten and mushroom allergies.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Food was great! We got the pork buns, Peking duck from the bbq, shrimp shumai, soup dumplings, and broccoli. Everything was delicious and I would absolutely come back! I wouldn’t order the broccoli again but everything else was fantastic. Cold drinks bar upstairs is worth it to check out too!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

They charged 20% service fee

WB
vipWilliamB
Atlanta
16 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Overall good experience. Food is more Sezhuan, northern Chinese influence with Anise flavors. Personal preference is Southern Chinese/ Cantonese. Peking duck dishes are non- traditional. Service was very good.

PE
PastorEdman34
Tampa
53 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an Amazing Time and Experience

JC
JulieC
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best mabo tofu my husband and I have ever had!!!!

JD
JoeD
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall2food4service2ambience3

Decent food, but not the value or service for the price point. There’s a lot better options in China Town

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience5

While service is slow- probably due to having not enough staff these days. Our waiter Mike was fantastic!! He apologized for all the issues place was having and entertained us all evening! While most of us were ok with situation we had one person in our party that was a bit disruptive- Mike handled them with ease and made the evening a memorable one- He’s a major asset to China Live!!

SD
SueD
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic soup dumplings. Service was excellent. Was seated right on time since we had a reservation. Clean outdoor seating

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Veggie lettuce wraps and veggie lo mein were amazing! Service was friendly and attentive. All around, great experience!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is to die for! Never disappoints. Will go back when we are back in town.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Super friendly waiter

DK
DonaldK
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2021
Overall1food1service3ambience2

Food is pre frozen and not cooked to order. Like a fast food Chinese restaurant. Not very good

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience3

Everything went good. The food it’s amazing and place it’s ok. The waitress treated us really bad. The boss boy was loving.

T
Troy
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The pekin duck and the dumplings were delicious. Great place to eat.

JD
JDKEZ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place. It is my go to Chinese restaurant––nothing else like it. Enjoy>

JH
JimH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great spot…great menu….attentive staff. Definitely a go back spot

EC
EricC
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall3food5service2ambience2

Food is good but you’re eating between store displays and it’s hella pricy for quick dim sum in a over lit store

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

What a great place with great food! We did a birthday dinner here with 9 friends because we knew it would deliver! We ordered too much food, but happy to have the leftovers!

b
bluegirl
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience3

Great food, VERY SLOW service. The time limit your stay, but that doesn't work when it takes 20 minutes to get a drink. It was a 30% sur charge which is criminal.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The wait staff was so friendly!!

RS
RobertS
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience2

Reasonable westenized chinese food in a large ambient surrounding. Restaurant seems to suffer from lack of service staff for the huge floorplan. Server forgot one dish from a two dish order and we were unable to raise the issue to her as she was busy serving other tables.

CJ
CheJ
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The food was creative and delicious. Unfortunately, the restaurant was out of a few items that we wanted. However, the food was FRESH. The crowd was surprisingly young. I would definitely go back.

S
vipSwankie
San Francisco
95 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service from Joshua , beautiful place. Glad we decided to dine inside and felt safe. Best Chinese food in Bay Area! The Peking Duck was to die for!

RM
vipRamblinMan
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday celebration. Perfect spot. Festive atmosphere. Good cocktails. Food is delicious and well presented. Recommended.

MM
vipMoMonki
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Everything was above average but none stands out as extraordinary. The casual ambiance & the attentive service were great.

L
Lombo
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good food. Kung Pao firecracker hot but tasty. Lo mein noodles excellent.

Atmosphere is awesome!

SF
SandyF
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food- buns, dim sum, blistered green beans, Hong Kong fried noodles all outstanding!! Great cocktails also!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Michelle went above and beyond to make my boyfriend’s birthday special! Food was phenomenal as usual. Thanks China Live!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and impeccable service!

MG
vipMadhavG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience3

The outdoor tables (patio ones by the door) are too small to fit a party of 3.

GL
GoodLifer
Cleveland
3 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Eating in some restaurants in a post-COVID world is a much lesser experience than it once was. Sad.