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China Live

4.5
1478 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 1478 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
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LS
vipLuvSF
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Central Coast
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
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 7 days ago
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 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We will be back!

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

D
vipDick
San Francisco
43 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!

Report
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
23 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!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Also great to takeout from! Please call them to do takeout during the Coronavirus shut down!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Expensive! Hong Kong noodles with little protein and very very greasy!

CG
ChristianG
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An outstanding meal, service was exceptional, shared a bottle of Red Car Chardonnay with the table and really enjoyed all the delicious food.

HG
HeatherG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall3food2service2ambience5

Numerous complaints- Despite what the website said, Cold Drinks Bar was closed without note or explanation. No one with the staff apologized for that or tried to make it right. Plan B was drinks at ChinaLive bar in main dining room. Bartenders were polite and helpful if not a little too timid. One of them didn't know what gluten-free vodka was and couldn't make a Moscow Mule (used flat tonic water instead of ginger beer). Had I known, I would have ordered something else. My friend's drinks were also unimpressive.

The ambiance is really lovely and the marketing is perfect. Hated looking at the bathrooms all night- it's disgusting how many people don't wash their hands when leaving the bathroom. It became a topic of conversation at our table and certainly didn't help our appetites. Our server was knowledgeable but not warm/friendly. He didn't refill waters or ask about additional drinks. The food was overpriced and unimpressive. I don't mind spending $ for a good meal, this is SF afterall, but for the money I would have had better food almost elsewhere else.

Finally, and worst of all, we saw a mouse run through the gift shop/ tea room area at 8:30 pm. If they feel comfortable being seen at prime dinner time, I can only imagine how many come out when it's quiet. We reported this to the hosts and they were unconcerned. That seemed to confirm our fears. It was clear to us that they were accustomed to seeing them around.

Very very disappointed, had it not been for the beautiful ambiance, I would have given it 1 star.

JF
JayF
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Food was great. As first timers it would have been nice to have a little more direction from our server. She also tended to drop by and just talk over our conversation. Overall great food and a fun environment.

W
Weezer
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

China Live was alive. Good cocktails, nicely paired wine list, and of course the food.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing, you order family style. They have a cool little gift shop with tea pots, lose lead tea, bowls, their own sauces... I'll be returning next time I'm in SF.

MJ
MartieJ
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

You must stop here if you are in San Francisco! Great Food, not your typical Chinese food.
Great ambiance!

CL
CindyL
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Quality of food has declined. Have eaten here many times. This time food was awful. Noodles were dry and chewy. SJB dumplings were burnt. XLB dumplings came deflated with no soup inside! Suckling pig was mushy inside and sea bass was uncooked. Very disappointed. Will not be back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Enjoyed a bit of shopping while waiting for our table. Yummy entrees, especially the eggplant! Going to do all dim sum and appetizers next time to experience more of the menu.

OH
OmarH
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Food was good !!!
Service .. just ok ... feel like the waiter don’t really care about us !!

h
viphappyhappyhappy
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server Amy was awesome!!

P
vipPamness
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

I had lunch at China Live last week and loved it. The chili shrimp, soup dumplings and lettuce cups were great. The charred Chinese broccoli was a big hit. Am also a big fan of their condiments and purchased say sauce, vinegar and chili be an sauce to be shipped home.

VL
vipVeggieLover
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Food was quite amazing. Service was just okay. We didn't have any issues with shareable plates but wish the dishes had come with serving spoons and knives to cut things up!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Great, but loud. Prepare not to be heard.

M
vipMaxi
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2020
Overall1food4service1ambience4

They don’t respect reservations and order of arrival so even with a reservations you will wait 20/30 min. The receptionists are also very disrespectful and rude

G
Girlinred
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

I like the ambience at the restaurant and our waiter was amazing. The only thing I can't stand was how loud the restaurant was. Me and my friend almost needed to shout to each other in order to have a conversation. The echo is the restaurant was so bad that by the time we were done with our dinner, we almost lost our voice from talking. I would not recommend going to the restaurant with 2-4 people, as the seating for a smaller group was horrible and prevent you from having any conversation

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall3food5service1ambience3

Amazing food. Great spot, fun. Our waiter was terrible. Condescending and not helpful in the least. Very disappointing as I have had other great experiences there.

A
Annie
San Antonio
4 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great! Amazing dumplings, firecracker chicken...perfection.

DP
vipDaveP
10 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place for newbies to Chinatown. I grew up going to hole-in-the-wall and banquet places there and always enjoyed trying to find them, but this place is next level. Large, branded and shiny . . . sure to entice new generations and less adventurous food crowd.

BG
BaptisteG
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall3food5service4ambience3

Very good food and nice place, but a bit noisy and we were sitting at the bar even though we had booked in advance

P
vipPumpvixen
Palm Springs
56 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall4food5service2ambience3

Food was fabulous, waiter was horrible.

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 4.5 stars by 1478 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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