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China Live

4.7
1561 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

Offers

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Sun - Thu 4:30PM - 5:30PM

What 1561 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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C
Chuckster
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Immersive Van Gough

PC
PatrickC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The space having reopened after pandemic shut down is nice.

JC
vipJayC
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was excellent, food & service ALL stars!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was fresh and really good ! We will be back

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was outstanding, service was attentive and fast but not overbearing, heat lamps were had enough oomph to overcome a chilly SF evening outside.

A
vipAndy
New York Area
91 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience2

Service was great. Food was out quickly and tasted great. Just make sure that you look at the prices before you order. I had 2 beers, fried dumpling appetizer and the lobster. total bill including the 20% gratuity they added automatically (it said so on the menu) was $150 but it was at least a 2lb lobster.
worth the money overall as a treat to myself since I was dining alone.

v
vipvictorianol
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and wonderful service!!

A
vipAlobar
San Francisco
56 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Food was excellent when it finally arrived.
There was a long lag time between when we were seated & our waiter presented themselves. The hostess was curt & not friendly during this time. If not for this point, I would rate our experience 5 stars

DS
DougS
San Joaquin
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Been here a few times. This was the first time I have eaten inside. We were sat at a beautiful, large table for six. It was the only table in the room - lots of space throughout the restaurant. Great service: friendly and professional. The waiters are helpful with the menu and figuring out appropriate amounts to order. Food was varied but universally good.

p
patriciag
London
3 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Overall, very good. Although it was expensive. A small bowl of noodles $20.
Nice for an special occasion.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Miami
1 review
Dined on April 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Both amazing ambiance and food!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Delicious food and top-quality service.

OT
vipOpenTableVIP2014
21 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was so great to come back. They are doing a great job with safety precautions, and the social distancing was nicely done.

MA
vipMAYN
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is even better than ever!!!
We dined inside and tables were amply spaced apart. Service was attentive.

LY
LY14
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience3

An overall negative dining experience. The food is fine - does a good job of fusing Americanized Chinese food and authentic Chinese food, but nothing you can’t get elsewhere. The interior design is great. However, service is really poor, especially considering the importance of good customer service for upscale restaurants. We placed our order, and two minutes later the pan fried buns come out. We were amazed by the speed, until we tried the buns. The flavor and quality were fine, but they were lukewarm at best. When they are supposed be the signature dish of the restaurant, you would hope that the restaurant would have the decency of warming up the buns for you, even if they did not bother to fry them fresh. Nope. When we decided to send them back to the kitchen and brought up the issue with the waiter, there was no apology or concern for the customers. Our second drink order took more than 15 mins to fulfill, after we had to flag down the waiter a second time to remind him. We also overheard a couple next to us complain to the waiter about customer service and forgotten orders, which seems like this is an issue across the board. One has to wonder if the 20% included service fee serves as a disincentive for reasonable customer service. Pick up your game, China Live! I had such high hopes for you.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience3

I realize coming out of Covid is challenging. The wine list stated the Sandhi Chardonnay was the 2018 when after it was poured I realized it was 2013. That’s a big difference in white wine.
The vegetable dishes didn’t arrive until our dinner was finished.
What we did have was wonderful and in time I feel these bumps will be worked out.

TZ
TamaraZ
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Nice place, friendly service, great dumplings, and atmosphere!

YS
vipYosemiteSam
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We ate there for SF Restaurant week. 2nd time we have eaten at a restaurant since the easing of restrictions. I forgot what a lovely space China Live is. The food was delicious, staff from the hosts, Managers, wait staff and bus staff were glad to see us and we were glad to see them. It was a wonderful dinner because of the ambiance and the food.

AK
AnnK
San Francisco
37 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2021
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Meh! Granted it’s a covid effected menu but it was lackluster. I’ll be back when the vigorous pre-covid menu is back. I’m happy u are surviving and look forward to your old self.

PR
PeterR
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Went to China Live during restaurant week. Very pleased with selection, quantity and taste. Went with a friend and he was just as happy.

S
vipSteffan
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great food.

l
laurelj
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

we celebrated 2 birthdays within our party and the staff was so attentive and helpful!

t
viptonyt
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Incredible food..always a great dining experience..its often very cold so bring a jacket..they are adding fees to the bill of 25% so be aware

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience4

China live had a pretty nice outdoor dining situation. Road noise was not their fault. The servers were helpful in making suggestions. Food was pricey, but it is SF.

M
Marcellag
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was spectacular and the wait staff was helpful in making recommendations for us.
We ate inside, and they have the space set up so we felt safe and distant enough from other diners.

TH
TaylorH
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was the best meal we had in San Francisco. The ambiance and service were superior, the covid precautions were perfect, and the food was INCREDIBLE. We were there during restaurant week and got cucumbers, Kung pao chicken, dumplings and lo mein with shrimp, chicken and pork. Topped up with the best chocolate lava cake I’ve ever had. If you are in San Francisco, this place is a MUST!

J
Julie
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience3

The service was quite slow, probably because they were understaffed. The food was tasty, but a little too salty.

AF
AnthonyF
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sevan was fantastic and really made the difference in the experience. Thank you all for your hard work and making it through this crazy year. - Anthony

CA
CAROLYNL
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Didn’t realize SF was doing Restaurant Week ‘til I got an email from ChinaLive. On a whim, we decided to give it a go and were very pleased with the assortment of dishes, not to mention the generous portions. Dessert (molten chocolate cake with matcha) was absolutely delicious! A perfect ending to a most delicious meal.

AU
ArsenalUva
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent birthday dinner. The Duck was to die for

y
yiyisheep
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Favorite Chinese restaurant in SF. Great atmosphere and fantastic food. The Peking duck in sesame pockets is an absolute must have.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
3 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Temperature inside is cold!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing!

MP
MarcelP
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Went here with my girlfriend for a nice dinner out and it was very nice! Portions for noodles and proteins were generous especially for two people. Service was okay, but it was also busy at the time. Overall, we had a great time and the food was great! Will definitely be coming back!

KB
KenB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, with exceptional service. If you’re in town, this is one of the places to visit.

s
sammy
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

great food and customer service! enjoyed the food.

LG
LouG
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Food was great! Best dumplings! They did a great job during COVID with the set up of the restaurant etc

TS
vipTimS
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience2

Nice environment with an interesting variety of foods to choose from. Prices are steep, and the automatic 20% gratuity on top of it are off-putting.

CB
CandiceB
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience4

When my friend and I went into China Live - it was a breathtaking place. Very beautiful decor and vibes. However - after 7 minutes of sitting, no one came to take our order. Then a tentative waiter came and took our order, which he messed up... bad. I was told the duck was actual piece of duck but it came in buns, I ordered green tea but never got it (after asking 3 times). My friend ordered the Kung Pao chicken without peanuts and tamarind sauce on the side - the dish came out with peanuts and no sauce on the side. We reordered the dish and the second time, it came out with no kung pao sauce at all or tamarind sauce on the side. We spoke to the manager after the first set of mistakes and he made it seem like we were complaining but we were respectful consumers and the service was subpar. After all the fuss, we both had garlic noodles and the scallion buns which were okay. The manager ended up taking off the scallions buns our bill but honestly, he should've taken off the drink (my friend got a Mai Tai) as well. It was a very not pleasurable dining experience.

BB
BrunchBrat
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Can’t beat China Live food & ambiance. Always feels like a special occasion. The soup dumplings are a thing of beauty. And during COVID, they’ve taken over the shop to create more space

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from China Live using the Order Online button. China Live also offers delivery in partnership with Uber Eats. China Live also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (415) 788-8188.

China Live is rated 4.7 stars by 1561 OpenTable diners.

China Live does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://china-live.myshopify.com/collections/pantry/products/copy-of-100-china-live-gift-card.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.