China Live

4.6
584 reviews
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$30 and under
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Chinese
"Restaurant of the Year" - EaterSF
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 multiple Delivery Services (i.e. Caviar, GrubHub, etc), plus Zesty & Moby Dish. If interested in learning more please email events@chinalivesf.com
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Stockton & Grant (@ Powell)
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Parking details
In addition toValet & Street Parking, 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 94133Vallejo 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, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Menu, High Tea, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, 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 584 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
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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J
Miami
29 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I absolutely love this unique restaurant. It never disappoints! The staff is very attentive. The place is beautiful. And the drinks and food is out of this world! I strongly recommend going with a group that likes to share plates.

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J
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Reservations are just a formality. You reserve a 7:00 table, but then you are herded into a "specialty store" for you to browse meta-Asian goods, like matzo chips and ginger infused maple syrup. Food is, though authentic, is by-the-numbers Chinese food. If you really like PF Chang's, you'll be right at home here.

Nothing special here.

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J
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

Slow and bad service, mediocre food and the most unbalanced cocktail ever

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N
New England
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

We were seated 45 minutes late.

The waiter advised us on how much to order. We ordered 2x the food we needed. Seriously. Huge waste. They were entirely out of sake (it’s an Asian food restaurant on a Friday.)

They comped a dumpling to apologize for the 45 minute wait.

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OT
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food! Pretty noisy but great place

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LR
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very modern ambience with great quality food.

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M
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We went as a group of 5 and were glad we waited for the full table to be ready for us as we filled it with many delightful dishes - from the dumplings in different styles to the wonderful duck dishes. Each dish was outstanding with fresh and flavorful ingredients. Accompanying tea and sake were great too. The room is very open, and while eye appealing, does not buffer sound too well. So it is not a place for quiet dining, but overall the atmosphere is energetic. Worth the trip!

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J
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

We visited China Live for a late lunch on Friday. We missed the lunch rush and got there as staff must have been preparing for the dinner shift. We were seated quickly, but our server was slow from that point on. We had to request service on multiple occasions as our server was MIA and none of the other staff seemed interested in helping cover for their colleague, simply dropping the standard "Your server will be with you shortly" and doing nothing about it, which was a bit disappointing for a restaurant of this caliber. Once we got our orders in, the food and drinks were tasty and of a high quality. I am sure this restaurant is a great experience if you turn up in prime time, when all the focus is on the customer, however they let themselves down when staff are distracted with other tasks.

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a
San Diego
21 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We sat at the kitchen counter and watched the cooks and the chef putting out dish after dish. Much, much busier than a year ago when we first came here. Congrats!

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TJ
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Great ambiance if you don't mind shouting. This restaurant is seriously loud. Some dishes great, others not so. The Xiao Long Bao dumplings had a super-think skin which was a disappointment.

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C
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excelent restaurant, an amazing pleasant surprise. Fantastic ambiance, decor, overall fit and feel are on point.

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TI
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was very good. Can’t wait to go back.

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SL
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food. Waiter was AMAZING at explaining everything.

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m
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We really enjoy going to China Live. Having lived in Asia for 8 years, we appreciate good Asian food. This restaurant offers great food in a fun atmosphere . Their wine selection is good and the prices are reasonable, considering the quality of the food. The only negative to me is that when the restaurant is full it can get noisy.

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OT
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

It was my first time to China Live. I liked their dim sum dishes a lot and pork buns. Clay pot dish was amazing too. Service was okay since it was very crowded on Tuesday night. It was a bit loud.

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CY
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

China live is incredible!!! The staff was amazing and friendly. The food is authentic and well executed (They have a large variety of options to choose from, gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, no problem). I highly recommend you check out the secret bar on the second floor called cold drinks bar! Go before and or after dinner!

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PC
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Will come again. Nice place. Food awesome. Really enjoyed variety's

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OT
3 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice restaurant with very good dim sums !

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CJ
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great addition to the China town food scene. A vibrant spot welcoming newcomers to Chinese cuisine, with top-notch service, delicious food and drinks in a market-style atmosphere (food comes out as it's ready, from different stations around the restaurant).

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NB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved eating at China Live! First time at this restaurant and had a fabulous waiter who advised us on what to order and his favorite choices. Tried his recommendations and our choices were awesome! Great atmosphere and enjoyed watching the kitchen prep and make the entrees.

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R
London
7 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

All of the food was delicious

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WN
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 5

Couldn’t have been more thrilled with our food- every bite was better and more flavorful than the last, from the soup dumplings to the duck. Really, really disappointing service though. We ordered wine then 20 mins later, after already receiving half our meal a different waiter came out and told us they didn’t have that wine anymore. Then after ordering different wine we waited another 10-15 mins before it arrived. We had 5 different people help us but no one was really in charge of our table, so we had to flag someone down every time we needed something. Amazing atmosphere, so fun and lively, incredible food- but service really couldn’t have been worse.

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H
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 3ambience 1

Noise was intolerable.

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D
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Wine and beer list need work. Very spendy for the dishes. Dumplings are the best bet.

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GG
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We loved it! I got mixed reviews on this place, so was hesitant to try it but honestly we were blown away. Me and my fiance had the best time got about four dishes, and not one disapointed. Standouts: The soup dumplings and the peeking duck. SO GOOD will come back!

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A
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 1ambience 4

We were brought two corked wines. Not enough porkless food.

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B
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have eaten at China Live over a dozen times and it is always great, tasty choices, good service and a fun atmosphere. Everyone I bring here has loved it.

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JD
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. Especially the dim sum. Everything tasted fresh and authentic. Nice selection of wine and cocktails. Service was great. Food all came out very quickly. You can even watch the chefs preparing dumplings and pastries behind the counters.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food with beautiful surroundings.

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G
Mexico City
3 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Amazing food, very lively, great concept.
A little bit crowded
Service was poor

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic service of our 19-person group. Food was stellar. Highly receommended

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V
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Of all the restaurants I’ve eaten at while visiting San Francisco, this by far is at the top of my list. Delicious food, great ambience and overall beautiful restaurant. Highly recommend this place.

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J
San Antonio
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 2

Good food. Outrageously, maybe even dangerously noisy? Do go if you want to shout to your friends. Dont go, at least on a Friday night, if you want to have a conversation. Great service. Acoustic tiles, anyone?

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R
Los Angeles
37 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Too busy! Couldn’t get a drink at the bar and then sat down and wait another 15 minutes to get a drink. Once we got served the service was much better. Very busy very loud. Very good food though. Would return would recommend. But difficult to hold a conversation due to the noise level.

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HH
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Everythingas very good...except the NOISE. due to all the concrete and lots of people it is always very noisy. THEN...they actually play music! Don’t need the music. Can’t hear it anyway. It’s just adds to the noise level. Hard to talk over it.

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AB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing experience with both super unique and fresh dim sum as well as larger entrees. Always way more things on the menu than we can order for one meal. Open kitchens are also fun to watch, especially the dim sum stations.

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BS
New England
28 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved China Live. We sat at the bar and Austin and another woman bartender were so helpful in suggesting cocktails and dishes. We were from out of town, so wanted to try the most popular in spicy dim sum and they led us to some great choices. Duck in a sesame pocket, pork, shu mai, yummy noodle dish and they make a unique twist on a Mai Tai that was delicious.

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KT
Montreal
7 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such a great place we came back again during our week in San Francisco- this time brought friends and once again the consensus was amazing food and drinks, great atmosphere and service.

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CT
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A big surprise in China Town. It is really good to see a very airy, clean restaurant serving really good Chinese food. The detail work put into this restaurant is just amazing. Servers were very friendly. I love this place. Keep up the good work!!! We will definitely come back.

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A
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Pros: The food is good and is a mix of different Chinese styles (Sichuan, Cantonese, Shanghainese, etc). Large space that isn't deafening when full of people.

Cons: Inconsistent service. Waited 20 min past our reservation time to be seated, on a Monday.
Design of tables/seating. Our table was a large wood slab with stools around it with no where to hang jackets or put purses. When I asked about a place to hang our jackets (it is SF after all), I was told they didn't have anywhere and the person shrugged and walked away.

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