China Live

4.5
450 reviews
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$30 and under
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Chinese
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fun
Our first floor restaurant features a daily changing seasonal menu cooked from 8 specialized stations that merge traditional Chinese and Western culinary equipment. A main dining area plays centerpiece, appointed with chairs and tables all handcrafted in China from reclaimed Chinese elm. These exhibition kitchens, with plenty of bar seating, will allow you a more close-up view of the deft chefs in action.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Chinese, Chinese (Sichuan), Asian
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Hours of operation
Monday - Thursday: 11:30 am - 10:00 pm; Friday: 11:30 am - 11:00 pm; Saturday: 10:30 am - 11:00 pm; Sunday: 10:30 am - 10:00 pm
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Phone number
(415) 788-8188
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
George Chen
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Catering
We offer delivery via Caviar:
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Stockton & Grant (@ Powell)
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Parking details
There are several public parking options also available:

North Beach Public Parking (0.2 miles, ~4 min walk)
Address: 735 Vallejo St #763, San Francisco, CA 94133

Vallejo Parking Garage (0.2 miles, ~4 min walk)
Address: 766 Vallejo St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, High Tea, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

China Live can host everything from intimate parties of 10 people to large reception-style events for up to 825 with multiple sensory experiences.

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What 450 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.2
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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5.0Dined a day ago

Food amazing and the shopping so much fun!

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4.0Dined 2 days ago

We arrived and were kindly checked-in. We were going to try to sit at one of the bars on the corner so we could watch food preparation, but also have a conversation. We decided it wasn't going to be the best way to have a conversation, so asked to be moved to a table. The restaurant was empty at 11:45 and we were told we had two options - one small table for four (tight) or a communal table, but we had to be finished by 12:30. So we took the smaller table. Point of this part of the review was that the restaurant was far from full by the time we left at 1:00.

The service was okay. We had to constantly look for our waiter to ask for things. Only slightly frustrating because we were on a lunch "hour". As I mentioned, the restaurant wasn't that busy. Our waiter DID make great recommendations however. So to the food...

Peking Duck with Kumquat Glaze, Traditional Condiments in Sesame Pockets. Delicious. I could have eaten several of those for my lunch alone.

Xiao Long Bao 'XLB' with Rich Consomme - also delicious.

House Famous Kung Pao "Firecracker" Chicken - not so out of the ordinary. I would probably try something more exotic.

Sichuan Red Chili Prawns, Rice Lees, Bloomsdale Spinach - very good. Small portions for $28, there were 8 prawns total on the dish.

Charred Chinese Broccoli, King Oyster Mushrooms, Roasted Sesame (v) - this was good, but not mind blowing.

It is a nice space, clean, inviting, exciting. They have a real rickshaw out front, a lovely store with teas, spices, condiments, cooking tools. A lovely different experience with Chinese cuisine in San Francisco.

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5.0Dined 2 days ago

Everything was fantastic.

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

An amazing surprise in an otherwise non descriptive section of Chinatown. Other than a bit loud, everything about the restaurant was superb.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

We were extremely impressed and happy with our decision to dine here. Mike was our waiter and he was attentive as well as personable. The manager was also very gracious, he personally recommended some wines for my wife who didn't see anything she liked at first. He went as far as providing her with a couple of different samples as options after talking to her about her tastes. They both stopped by through out the meal to make sure our experience was a good one. I would go back in a heart beat.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

This place is really fun with great food!

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Very nice approachable meal. Some different items and some classics; all prepared very well. The Peking Duck is very good. Would definitely return.

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2.0Dined 5 days ago

Very noisy & service is slow. Food is good but comes out one by one so there's always an awkward pause in between dishes.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

I was truly impressed with this spot and our server recommended all the right menu items. Would definitely recommend and come back

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

China Live never disappoints. It's my favorite spot for friends who are visiting San Francisco.
They always want to come back.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Our waitress was amazing and so terrific! It was packed and such a fun spot!

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2.0Dined 6 days ago

A friend and I came here for dinner on a Saturday evening. The place was packed and very noisy. Dress was very casual. To hold a conversation it was necessary to speak loudly with heads close together. It has a modern upscale decor. However, my primary purpose for being there was the food and my dining companion and I were disappointed. I'm vegetarian but found that the menu is not friendly in that regard as there was not much to choose from. If you're a meat eater, this menu is for you. We ordered dumplings to start and they were good. We also shared a mixed salad. The dressing was a bit too sweet. Overall it was just, meh. For a main course I chose the mixed tofu dish which I found to be boring in terms of flavor and presentation. What it lacked in flavor it made up for in spiciness which just made the dish harsh on the palette. My friend ordered a duck dish. It consisted of three pastry shells, each with a small piece of duck inside, some shredded leak, and hoisen type sauce. She found it just average and had to request more sauce to punch up the flavor. For dessert I selected the chocolate and raspberry cake. It was a small square thing encased in an odd thin crust. It seemed somewhat stale and lacked richness and flavor. It gave me the impression that it had been made in some distant mass production bakery, shipped to a distributor who then sold it to China Live. My friend had the matcha tiramisu. It too was quite diminutive and bore very little resemblance to the traditional preparation. There seemed to be a shortage of wait staff. Our waiter seemed harried as he attended to multiple sets of diners. His responses to our inquires came across as brusque and not so friendly. For the two of us, our tab came to $110. For that price one expects a superior experience compared to dining at your typical mom 'n pop Chinese restaurant. We did not feel we got that. I can't recommend this establishment.

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5.0Dined 7 days ago

Excellent food and beautiful place. Big tables for groups.

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5.0Dined on August 11, 2018

The dishes were all to be shared, but with just me and my husband we were full quick because they were a bit large. Everything we tried was delicious, but the chicken lettuce cups were our favorite. I want to go again soon, but with a group so we can order everything from the menu!

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5.0Dined on August 11, 2018

We love this restaurant! We keep coming back.

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5.0Dined on August 11, 2018

Arrived early and were seated at bar area. Food and drinks (non-alchoholic) were excellent. Fresh corn salad, and 10 ingredient salad were delicious. But to me the stand out were the pork buns. I’m still dreaming of them. Absolutely delicious morsels!!

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4.0Dined on August 11, 2018

Loud, but tasty

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5.0Dined on August 10, 2018

Great food, enjoyable experience. Clients loved it!

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5.0Dined on August 10, 2018

I picked this restaurant as an adventure in eating and I was correct. The food was innovative and delicious. The service was outstanding. We had a chance to meet the general manager but also the executive director and learned all about the restaurant, scotch bar, chef and Eight Tables, a very exclusive and expensive restaurant featuring only 8 tables. It truly was an amazing experience. Highly recommend.

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5.0Dined on August 9, 2018

Delicious!! Definitely would go back again.

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5.0Dined on August 8, 2018

We loved our meal at China Live as visitors to San Francisco we were looking for a restaurant in Chinatown where we could experience a local atmosphere and authentic food that was not aimed at tourist - we found both at China Live. The firecracker chicken and tofu lived up to the reviews we’d read. We had very jetlagged 9-year old twins with us who enjoyed the steak & asparagus as well as the chicken chow Kevin. Our lovely server could see the kids were flagging and rushed our order for us, ordering us a taxi to enable us to make a swift exit! I would love to go back the atmosphere and food were fantastic!

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4.0Dined on August 7, 2018

Best Chinese food in Chinatown. Good twists on staple. Great homemade chili sauce. Bought some for my home.

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3.0Dined on August 7, 2018

Bel locale, un po’ rumoroso! Cibo buono!

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5.0Dined on August 7, 2018

Modern and lively place, that my two teenage girls loved. Food tasty and great for sharing. Staff very friendly and able to give good recommendations. Didn't like that you wait in the shop without anywhere to sit, even though we had a reservation and are on time.

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5.0Dined on August 7, 2018

delicious food!

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5.0Dined on August 6, 2018

Great food in a lively and fun environment. The menu is updated daily and always has a twist to the dishes.

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5.0Dined on August 6, 2018

Missed it when we were here last year - glad we finally made it! The food was delicious, fresh, abundant.

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5.0Dined on August 6, 2018

Great food, excellent service and a nice place to meet. It is a bit loud in there, but the excellent food makes up for it.

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4.0Dined on August 5, 2018

We really enjoyed the Crackling Skin Cantonese Garlic Chicken, Charred Chinese Broccoli, Char Siu BBQ Pork Baked Buns and the cocktails! Went back the next day to get a takeout order of the baked buns! Can’t wait to go again to try other yummy things. The duck looked amazing. Thoroughly enjoyed the food even though the noise level was very high. Great service.

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4.0Dined on August 5, 2018

Fun place to try, but super loud. Food is very good and unique.

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

Lived up to our expectations. They honored our reservation, even though we were a little early and the restaurant was crowded. The waitress was extremely helpful in setting us in our dining direction. We really enjoyed China Live- so glad we found it!

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4.0Dined on August 4, 2018

This was a great restaurant. But it is NOT gluten free friendly. There were very few options.

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

The restaurant was packed. High noise level. Service was exceptional, the waiter timed every dish and held back the last dish to give us some breathing time. The food was delicious, exotic, and filling.

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4.0Dined on August 4, 2018

Fun and energetic atmosphere with good food and service. Don’t go for quiet conversation because this place is loud. We brought our kids and we were surprisingly please with how much they enjoyed too.

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

We had a wonderful dinner here after a little snafu figuring out who would be our server! The Chrysanthemum salad, XLB dumplings, Peking Duck pockets, and Shanghai Lobster were all amazing! Very good Mai Tai as well! No room left for dessert though the options were very enticing!

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5.0Dined on August 3, 2018

Great service. Cool atmosphere. Fabulous Food!!

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5.0Dined on August 3, 2018

Excellent repas! Tout était tout simplement parfait! L'endroit, la nourriture et ken notre serveur

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4.0Dined on August 2, 2018

We had friends form out of town and this was the perfect place to see a little of chinatown on the way. We especially enjoyed the dumplings and the fried onion bread.

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5.0Dined on August 2, 2018

Great team — Angelina and Kourtney waited on us and were FANTASTIC. So friendly and super helpful. Made us feel at home. Everything came quickly and we loved everything!

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5.0Dined on August 2, 2018

Great place. Great food. Family loved it! Kung pao chicken was great. Pork dumplings insane. The green beans were to die for. Kids loved the buns!

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