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China Live

4.6
1695 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

Instantly increase your points with dining rewards

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Sun 9:00PM - 9:00PM
Mon - Thu 5:00PM - 5:00PM 9:00PM - 9:00PM

What 1695 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
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Solid meal

A
Audi
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall3food3service4ambience4

The service was nice. This does seem like a touristy restaurant and I prefer authentic.

R
Richard
Central Coast
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, beautifully presented
In a spectacular setting a reasonable price. W

What more can you ask for?

s
shawnlike
Vancouver
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Reunion with an old friend

JA
vipJasonA
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall1food1service3ambience2

Worst food I’ve had in San Francisco.

C
Cindy
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant is a must for my husband and I every visit to SF. Our server, Billy, is very professional and makes great menu suggestions.

MR
MichelleR
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was AMAZING! We never had food like that before, each dish we had kept beating the one we ate previously. I would highly recommend going and trying for yourselves.

A
vipAmazing
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

China Live is my favorite restaurant in SF! Such a great experience every time.

JP
vipJenP
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service3ambience5

It was lovely. Good food, nice staff. Love the market

F
Futuresimon
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience1

The food was incredibly salty, almost inedible. Nothing at all special about the flavors, salt masked anything that could’ve been interesting. Their quality has gone way down; I remember fondly a meal I enjoyed before the pandemic.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food and service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience3

As soon as you arrive you are told you have 75 minutes and hurried to a table. 1. I get u need to turn the tables but 2. I felt so rushed I didn’t feel like I could two my time to review the menu (first time there). Server was amazing but he seemed rushed as well. Food was ok not great so I give it a 3

RN
RobN
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best dumplings ever! Service was great. Will definitely return.

m
vipmmmm
Phoenix
34 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a great experience. The food is inventive and delicious. The staff is welcoming and actually listens to what you have to say. It’s our go-to restaurant in San Francisco. Love it.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great service! Raffi was excellent as was the food. Would definitely go back!

GB
GarrickB
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This may have been the best Chinese meal I have ever had. Definitely a top three. Great food. Great ambience. And I had the most incredible service. I cannot recommend more highly. Definitely, hands down, the best Chinese food (and service and ambiance) in San Francisco. You won't regret it. Be sure to check out the speakeasy bar upstairs (follow the bats). My next visit I am going to go to Eight Tables--their high-end chef-driven concept also hidden away on the second floor. Go there, eat, enjoy, explore. There are all sorts of hidden gems. Amazing place.

WM
vipWillMcsf
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful evening at China Live. They were extremely busy but everything ran like clock work. We were seated promptly and with a smile. Our server was fantastic, anticipating what we needed and checking in on us periodically. The bussers were refilling water and clearing dirty plates as needed. Cocktails were really good.
The food was off the hook. Everything was delicious.

FL
FLIP
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent Chinese Food in a very lively atmosphere. Seated right on time and the fun began. Really some of the best food we have had in a long time.

BH
BHub
St. Louis
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great staff that gave excellent recommendations. Everything we ate was exceptional, the char duo bbq pork.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
52 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is amazing! Order the crab spring hand rolls, Char Siu BBQ Pork Dutch Crunch Baked Buns and their
#1 best seller Shen Bao SJB pan fried pork dumplings for starters. Great ambiance and service too!

m
vipmmmm
Phoenix
35 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had not been back to China Live because of the pandemic. When we knew we were coming to San Francisco, it was the first reservation I made. And the second. We are going back on Friday. I met Richell, one of the employees. She was so kind, helpful and lovely. All their employees are exceptional and the food is not to be believed. It is not like any other Chinese restaurant you have been to. Try it and you'll be back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and service!

H
vipHector1
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They have service down packed the food is amazing as well.

g
geooot
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

An elevated take on traditional chinese food. Great service and all dishes, very good.
I've eaten here quite a few times and never had a bad food experience.
I always get the peking duck buns but everything is top notch.

MM
vipMartinM
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience3

Ultra modern. Excellent helpful waiters. Food disapointing. To much dough, and not enough meat or vegetables. We had four different dinners: two types of pork dim sum, one fish dim sum, and rozst Duck.

Price high, value only moderate.

There are better Chineese restaurants.

g
gingergirl
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall3food2service4ambience4

The service was great, but the food was not. The dumplings were burned in the bottom, the spare ribs tough. No one answers the phone when you call as well. Cooks be they are just getting their feet on the ground post pandemic .

L
Lazatx
Austin
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

The fried scallion bread was the first and best selection. After that everything was just ok not as great as I expected. The Brussels sprouts were good as well as the shrimp and scallop Shumai. The whole Dungeness Crab was cooked nicely but not much meat for the $. The entree Scallops were cut in half and over cooked, calamari was heavily battered and also very over cooked. We don’t eat meat except for seafood so maybe the meat items are better? We ate outside and the server was very friendly and efficient. I did check out the beautiful setting indoors.
Overall China Live is very pricey for what you get.

M
Michellea
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

China Live has excellent food, drinks, service and ambiance.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience1

Service was poor. We didn’t get our drinks until after the food. Outside dining unpleasant due to the busy, noisy street. Food was good, but overpriced. Family style dining.

m
vipminervinij
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience3

These dumplings are out of this world...

LC
LorenaC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Lugar bonito, bien decorado. La comida buena pero no la mejor que he probado. La Host muy estricta con la hora de irse del lugar

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was perfect! The food was delicious

SS
SandraS
Los Angeles
15 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience3

The food over all is tasty (but many good Chinese restaurants have tasty food); the value is not at all impressive. I asked the waiter about the crab - no price available, priced daily. He never mentioned the price (was with guests so it wasn't appropriate to ask).

One small crab, barely enough for 1 person, tasty but very messy at a cost of $60!! The plate of crispy duck had 7 small pieces with mostly fat, crispy skin and barely any duck meat. We had the same experience with the chicken dish.

The best 'value' was the veggie rice, beans, broccolini and dumplings. At least the portions were appropriate. There was an obligatory 20% gratuity charge on the bill. I strongly feel that 15% is more reasonable with the option of increasing it according to service (which was pretty good except for the wrong rice dish served and a long time before it was corrected).
The choices of beer, wine and sake was very poor.
The restaurant space is quite large with a big retail display everywhere. Some areas had less noisy areas.

Overall, very little value for the excessive cost. I'll go to other Chinese restaurants with a better value next time.
Bye bye China Live....

DI
vipDIzzy
Los Angeles
40 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Their #1 dumplings did not disappoint. Duck salad, noodles and ribs good! We sat outside but next time will be inside. Also had drinks at the lounge which was nice and cozy… I can imagine how crowded it will be when in full swing…. Stay strong China Live!

CT
ChizzleTizzle
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience5

The Impossible “pork” Working Hands dumplings were incredibly good. I would like to see more vegan substitutes.

JD
JennD
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

We loved the open market atmosphere of the restaurant and food DELICIOUS! Dumplings and Goza so good! Only reason gave a 4 was kinda felt rushed and a bit more interaction from server would have been nice. The host tells you, that you have 75 mins when she seats you. I get with Covid they need turn around time but a party of 2 we were done before that anyways. But that aside again, definitely recommend, food and atmosphere... awesome!

SR
SamR
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

China Live is always delicious and exciting! And it’s become one of my favorite places to take out of town guests. They also have a wonderful shop with teas, condiments, and novel home goods, which is fun to browse before or after your meal.

CF
CeciliaF
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience1

We were disappointed the outside seating is super uncomfortable. The server did not help us with re commendations. Food is super expensive for what ir is.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Very good food but it would be nice some knives for the ribs and glasses for the cokes… 20% services should include basic items without requesting... Fortunately we found Angel, a Mexican waiter that made our night with their recognized warm service… thank you!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall3food4service5ambience5

Nothing special. Our expectations were probably too high

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.