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China Live

4.7
1499 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
What 1499 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
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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HF
vipHumbertsFood
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Excellent outdoor dining experience in these Covid times. I would go back again.

BD
vipBenD
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food3service4ambience3

Eating outside food gets cold v quickly. Don’t hang about!!

RG
vipRobG
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, service and ambiance at China Live. Highly recommended!

G
vipGlobetrotter
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Friendly, knowledgeable, attentive service, as always! Food was delicious and managed to stay hot even though we ate outside on a chilly evening. The parklet seating was charming, with nice lighting, adequate distancing and space heaters. IMO the price/value is just right for a special occasion.

KK
KellyK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We sat outside bc of the pandemic, so it wasn't as exciting as sitting inside, but the food was incredible. We did have a one hour time limit on our seats, so we had to eat quickly, but we made the best of it and know this quick hustle eating will ultimately help George Chen (the amazing owner behind this China Live concept) to turn more tables during this pandemic so we were happy to hustle. We want our SF restaurants to make it during these hard times so it was ALL worth it!!! We had dim sum and the peking duck sliders, truly amazing.

C
Carichelle
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The food was delicious! Industry friends always raved about China Live and we finally had the chance to try it out. The flavors were wonderful. Our server was attentive and although we are limited to a specific amount of time per Covid guidelines we never felt rushed. We will be back!

LT
LilT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, as always. Outdoor dining was nice too.

NS
NitaS
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the evening. Everything was perfect -food, ambience,service.

CC
CherylC
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing, service was great and the crab was delicious. I did feel a little rushed with the one hour time limit but I knew that once I made the reservation. I would definitely recommend this place.

CS
ChanderS
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Excellent food, initial service from host not so great. However the server was excellent.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The server was really amazing.
Please bring back your amazing deserts. I was a little disappointed that your deserts were custard.. China live is better than that. Bring back your sweets!! Please.

c
vipchinkisista
San Francisco
166 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

One must give into consideration dining during covid is extraordinary. It is extraordinary that the restaurants work so much harder to create a safe and comfortable environment for their guests.
Our celebration dinner last night was extraordinary. Covid safety protocols were followed.
Our outside table was in a sheltered parklet with a heat lamp to ward off the chill.
Our menu also offered special dishes for Chinese New Year.
We started with their popular SJB pan fried juicy pork bao, it is really quite surprisingly juicy. Also had the wok seared filet mignon “steak kow”, very favorable large cubes of tender beef. The special CNY dish we tried was the Nian Gao, I would liken it to rice cake version of gnocchi. The nian gao with Chinese sausage has a soft texture with a nice chew.
For dessert we could not help choosing the curious “mushroom” steamed Bao with custard. When you see it you would just laugh because inside e steamer are 3 cute buns that look like mushrooms. One bite yields an eggy custard filling. Because we mentioned we were celebrating a birthday, we were present with a cream filled cupcake with a candle. We truly appreciate the attention.
All staff members were friendly and attentive. Overall an excellent dining experience.

g
vipgeewhiz
San Francisco
88 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

China Live offers classic dishes as well as some less traditional takes on Chinese standards. All delicious and their food is very good value. Great, friendly staff. Good assortment of drink options. Definitely one of my faves for Chinese food!

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

Amazing meal and amazing service!!!!

JS
JeffS
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Waited almost an hour and half for food. I do not recommend attending during peak hours. Have trouble managing to go orders with regular sit down ones. Food came out cold as well

KD
vipKarenD
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Food was great as usual; service a little flippant but when the tip is already included, that tends to happen. Host/hostess were extremely pleasant.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great service! Great food!

NL
vipNLLL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious as always and doing a great job during the pandemic. Recommend outdoor dining here for everyone.

TH
vipTimH
San Francisco
108 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Great dim sum dishes. Authentic for the most part. Just thrilled to be able to eat out again even if it's in the middle of the street in January. One complaint: they charge a 20% service fee and they do not mention it. You have to ferret it out on the bill. Beware of possibly over tipping if you do not notice it.

KB
vipKarenB
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I eat and entertain at China Live all the time (prior to the pandemic). Love the food, the ambiance and the service. Our hostess and waiter were fantastic and generous!

JO
vipJaneO
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Aside from the food being phenomenal, service all around was great. Had to sit outside due to covid restrictions but allowed us a safe view of inside. Host and our man Joshua made this dining experience still special!

C
Cooper
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Appreciate the outdoor dining during COVID. Service is awesome.

China Live
Responded on December 2, 2020

Xie Xie - so glad you enjoyed your food & service -- Hope you'll join us again soon!

Report
LS
vipLuvSF
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Everything was so delicious! Very friendly staff. The duck is highly recommended!

China Live
Responded on December 2, 2020

Xie Xie - we very much appreciate your support during these challenging times. Hope you'll join us again soon!

Report
OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love this place. We live in Washington DC but try to eat at this restaurant Everytime we are in the area. The manager, the servers, are so polite, knowledgeable and amazing! The food is top notch! Thank you

ES
vipEricS
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

San Francisco was outdoor dining only. So it was not the best experience. But the food was fantastic and the restaurant certainly made the best of a bad situation.

JW
JWoo
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We will be back!

Tables were a bit too small, but we were able to make it work!

D
vipDick
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Always a great meal. Killer dumplings, peking duck buns, lettuce wraps. Well done!

IK
vipIkeK
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience2

Heat lamps didn't provide enough heat even though they were on full blast. We don't get cold easily as we're Chicago natives.

NO
NnennaOS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and great service. I appreciate all the precautions they are taking. It’s still up to the customers to abide the rules. Please abide the rules people!

CS
vipCarlaS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful meal, as we always do! Highly recommend

WS
WendySB
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved everything we ordered especially the Sheng Jian Bao. Went during happy hour and enjoyed the Jade cocktail-delicious and 1/2 off during the happy hr. Ended up doing some shopping in the retail space and brought home Cindy’s Granola (who knew they would be selling granola in a Chinese restaurant, but the goji berries must be the Asian twist in granola)

s
silverbullett
Tahoe
2 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a experience that we will cherish forever. The duck was our most memorable dish. San Francisco is blessed with China Live as a premier world class dining life experience.

H
Huuuuuu
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2020
Overall2food4service2ambience2

Although the food was good, the servers’ attitude was bad and charges 20% service fee

ZG
vipZhuanjiaG
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food here is always amazing, and only to be rivaled by the service. Try their dumpling please, especially the XLB. You won’t regret it. Thank you China Live for reopening with the same quality and service that you always offered!

China Live
Responded on November 11, 2020

Wow - you made our day. That was our goal to deliver that same great experience. Xie Xie - we very much appreciate your support during these challenging times. Hope you'll join us again soon!

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CB
CarolB
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Because of COVID we had to sit outside but the patio heater was great, waiters fun and food was excellent!

RF
RobertF
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Joshua was great. Excellent all the way around. Thank you.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Amsterdam
2 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great set up with COVID! The way they arranged the tables made it a nice private setting for each party.

P
vipPeach
Phoenix
26 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful experience. The service was fabulous. The food was the best chinese I have ever had. The ambiance was great! Will definitely go back again.

LR
LucyR
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went to China Live amid the beginnings of the social quarantine in San Francisco so it was a slower night for the restaurant but we had the best meal and were given excellent recommendations by our waiter! The Hong Kong noodles were phenomenal not to mention the dim sum! Will recommend and will return here for sure!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Came here when I was in town, and it was AMAZING! Loved the service, and they had the most tasty food and beautiful ambiance. I LOVE the onesie I was gifted here too!

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from China Live using the Order Online button. China Live also offers delivery in partnership with Caviar and 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 1499 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.

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