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China Live

4.6
1853 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 1853 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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CB
CandyB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our first time back since the pandemic and China Live exceeded our expectations! The food, the welcoming service, the fun atmosphere—it was all there. We had the soup dumplings, working hands dumplings, firecracker chicken and ribs. They were all excellent. And their ginger vinegar is delicious— so we bought some to take home!

ZH
vipZakH
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So good. This is a modern take on Chinese food, but they do it so well. Can’t wait to go back. Sit at the chefs counter (dumplings) if you want to watch them make them. Super cool.

R
Rebecca
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Incredible food, great experience and would absolutely go back.

AL
ALtraveller
Birmingham
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dry good food, large portions so everyone can share

E
Erica
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really fine food. A pleasure every dish. Subtle flavoring infused crispy chicken. Yum eggplant. Veges cooked al dente each dish unique. Thank you! Next time...upstairs!!

A
Alleycat
San Francisco
47 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Service was terrific! Surprised at size of portions (abundant).. Visit was Inspired by restaurant week with 3 friends which allowed us to taste many options- which were scrumptious!

AC
AngeloC
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was an amazing experience for our party of 8. Our server was attentive and excellent in recommending portion sizes and selection. Would recommend to anyone looking for a great dining experience in the Bay Area's Chinatown area.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful experience. We ate outside and you wouldn’t have guessed it was raining because of the impressive service. We did the SF restaurant week plus additional food items only because everything looked so tasty and we were happy to have left overs!

DR
DRINAR
New England
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Excelent food. Everything we had was very tasty and unusual.

C
Campbell
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server Julius was great and was very helpful at ensuring the amount food we ordered would be enough and not too much as some portions can be larger and some can be smaller. Every dish that came out seemed to be better than the last. Definitely would recommend!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Dallas
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious!

Report
OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food3service4ambience5

Unfortunately, most of the food is not authentic Chinese. Wonderful atmosphere however:)

MO
vipMikeO
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food5service3ambience5

Love China live,. Made a reservation through open table for 8:30, we were a little early. It was a birthday dinner for my son and family. Sat down, ordered some cocktails and apps. Waiter, came back even before we had our drinks and told we had to order “now” “ Kitchen was closing”! Wait, What? Part of the fun of China Live is ordering small plates… family style … ordering more food… disappointing experience this time☹️

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food2service2ambience5

The location and vibe were amazing!! Unfortunately the service and food were not. My husband and I enjoyed our date but wouldn’t go back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Mexico City
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food5service1ambience3

Crappy service. Waiter rushed us all the time, took half of our order and left. Never offered us drinks.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We sat outside which worked well. Our waiter was great! Food was very good. Soup dumplings tasty and not too hot. Firecracker chicken was good but not great. Peking duck was excellent And the buns were light and crunchy. Pickled cucumber was excellent. Green beans good but served well after the final dish so that was disappointing. Brownie was just ok.

p
peaches
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food, fun ambiance, attentive and kind staff.

j
vipjohnk
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience4

Food didn’t taste particularly special; go to a much cheaper mom and pop Chinese place and food will be much better and cheaper!

AR
vipARixon
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience2

One of the worst dining experiences we have had - we ordered 5 dishes, one from each section - the dumplings that were recommended were sub par, the hot dry noodles were almost inedible and the lobster was abysmal. There was nothing authentic or delicious about this experience.

NP
NatashaP
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food, very lovely space, good separation of tables to keep it feeling Covid-friendly. Some great shop items in there too.

HT
vipHeleneT
Philadelphia
75 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pleasantly surprised and most delighted with our experience at China Live. As there ordering procedure is a little different, we were helped by the waiter as to what to order and how much to order. Everything was delicious and brought out hot. Would definitely come back if we are in SF again.

C
lawrenceC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was amazing good. Truly the best Chinese food in the city. Our server Rafi was perfect. This was one of the better dinners out I have had in long time

MR
MichaelR
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great experience as usual. I most enjoy sitting by the location where they make the fried pork buns. It's a nice, casual, yet classy place.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love China Live - Frankie the asst chef in the back corner is THE BEST!!!!
The bartender upstairs in the bar is THE WORST - very rude and condescending- makes a BAD impression on China Live.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely fantastic food!

BL
vipBrianL
Los Angeles
15 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent. Honestly, everything was delicious. The service was very attentive. They gave us space when we needed it and were on the spot if we needed anything. They bring food out as it is ready so the temperature for all the food was great. Highly recommend!

LL
LupitaL
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service.

BP
BethP
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best Chinese food I’ve ever had. Everyone needs to eat here. The tastes are dynamic and well prepared

HJ
vipHarshaJ
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We went there for my birthday and were a group of 9 people and were seated outside in a nook which was quite cozy and warm and removed from all other tables.
This is a haven for vegetarians with every dish being phenomenal. We ordered the scallion bread, and the veggie dumplings for starters and both were excellent. For the main course we ordered the fried rice. Eggplant and mapo tofu all of which were just excellent!!
For dessert they brought a lava cake with green tea filling which was amazing! Would definitely go back there!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was amazing! The ambience was awesome and the staff was some of the best service I’ve ever had. To top it off, the food was excellent!

b
bluemonday
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Accommodated us when we arrived 20 minutes before the kitchen closed. Food and service was great!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food5service2ambience5

Loved it but everyone is busy!

F
Feedbck
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

great food and experience. dumplings and vegetarian dishes were a highlight

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New Mexico
17 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely great food and service within China town. Highly recommend the signature dim sum. Thank you for an amazing experience.

l
viplackattack
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Food was delicious and the service was excellent. will definitely come back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Greasy, too expensive, loud, and much better dim sum a couple of blocks away

RP
RanPS
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food and service were excellent. The server even asked us if we still wanted the last dish we had ordered as we had over ordered and he knew it! We appreciated that and declined it. The food came out a little fast, before we could enjoy our drinks. The ambiance is interesting, but we found the chairs very uncomfortable. That said, we would definitely return

TB
TomB
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Place ,food was terrific, great vibes, our server was outstanding
Thanks China Live!

DG
vipDGDG
San Francisco
7 reviews