11 Best Restaurants in Chinatown, San Francisco

China Live

$$ | Chinatown

It's been compared to a Chinatown version of Eataly, but George Chen's ultra-ambitious market, restaurant, bar, and fine-dining-experience project is its own unique place. The main ground-floor Market Restaurant excels at a wide variety of specialties from dumplings to duck, served in a refined, industrial-style dining room surrounded by different cooking areas; upstairs, the intimate Eight Tables is one of San Francisco's most elaborate special-occasion tasting-menu experiences.

644 Broadway, San Francisco, CA, 94133, USA
415-788–8188
Known For
  • sheng jian bao pork dumplings
  • "nine essential flavors of Chinese cuisine" dish at Eight Tables
  • outstanding tea selection
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch

Coffee Bar

$ | Chinatown

For seriously good local roast in Chinatown, head to this tiny storefront at the entrance to St. Mary's Square.

433 Kearny St., San Francisco, CA, USA
Known For
  • Havana Latte, with sweetened condensed milk
  • unique seasonal coffee drinks
  • high-quality joe in out-of-the-way spot
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed weekends

Eastern Bakery

$ | Chinatown

Claiming to be Chinatown's oldest bakery, this packed space is a must-stop, with the goods to back up its rep. Try the moon cakes and egg custard tarts. Cash only.

720 Grant St., San Francisco, CA, USA
Known For
  • addictive coffee crunch cake topped with toffee pieces
  • moon cakes and flaky dan tat (egg tarts)
  • Chinatown's oldest bakery, opened in 1924

Recommended Fodor's Video

Good Mong Kok Bakery

$ | Chinatown

At this line-around-the-corner, no-English-spoken bakery, the delicious dim sum is strictly to-go, so picnic at Woh Hei Yuen Park on Powell Street or Portsmouth Square.

Great Eastern Restaurant

$$ | Chinatown

Dine here for fresh, simply prepared Cantonese cuisine, especially the seafood—from tanks that occupy a corner of the main dining room—as well as kid favorites, such as stir-fried noodles, cashew chicken, and fried rice. Dim sum starts at 10 am, but there aren't any carts—you order off a paper sheet, and the dumplings come out of the kitchen piping hot.

649 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA, 94133, USA
415-986–2500
Known For
  • shrimp dumplings
  • ornate pagoda-roof exterior
  • then-president Barack Obama ate takeout from here
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues.

Hang Ah Dim Sum Tea House

$ | Chinatown
Enjoying the barbecue pork buns and curry chicken at this Chinatown icon dating to 1920 is a bite into both culinary history and San Francisco's past. Located on an alley, it's one of the smaller, more homey, and less frenetic sit-down dim sum choices in the city, with a small dining room simply decorated with pieces of Chinese art and a few Bruce Lee movie posters.
1 Pagoda Pl., San Francisco, CA, 94108, USA
415-982–5686
Known For
  • the country's first dim sum house
  • soup dumplings
  • red-bean bun desserts decorated like cute animals

Hing Lung Co.

$ | Chinatown

It's impossible to miss this Stockton Street Cantonese barbecue butchery icon—just look for the air-drying ducks and pigs hanging from above and the sign in the window that reads "Go duck yourself," the name by which many locals know this to-go favorite. Roast duck, crispy roast pork, and succulent honey barbecue pork are the marquee items on the concise menu, and must-try signature tastes of Chinatown history. This isn't a café or an eatery—order a half pound of a few meats with rice and braised greens and enjoy it as a snack on the go or to bring back to the hotel/condo for dinner.

1261 Stockton St., San Francisco, CA, 94133, USA
415-397–5521
Known For
  • char siu (barbecue pork) with deliciously thick char
  • perfectly roasted duck
  • runs out of favorites later in the day
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues.

Mister Jiu's

$$$$ | Chinatown
Brandon Jew's ambitious, graceful restaurant offers the chef's delicious contemporary, farm-to-table interpretation of Chinese cuisine that sometimes tweaks classic dishes with a California spin (hot-and-sour soup with nasturtiums) or enhances fresh produce with unique Chinese flavors (local asparagus with smoked tofu). The elegant dining room—accented with plants and a chrysanthemum chandelier—provides beautiful views of Chinatown, while the menu breathes new life into it.
28 Waverly Pl., San Francisco, CA, 94108, USA
415-857–9688
Known For
  • sea urchin cheong fun (rice noodle rolls)
  • standout cocktails
  • large-format roast duck with pancakes
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. No lunch

R&G Lounge

$$ | Chinatown

Salt-and-pepper Dungeness crab is a delicious draw at this bright, three-level Cantonese eatery that always has a packed crowd for its crustacean specialties—crab portions can easily be split for three—and dim sum. A menu with photographs will help you sort through other Hong Kong specialties, including Peking duck and shrimp-stuffed bean curd. Much of the seafood is fresh from the tank.

631 Kearny St., San Francisco, CA, 94117, USA
415-982–7877
Known For
  • three treasures with shrimp and black bean sauce
  • stir-fry "special beef"
  • high-energy crowd of all ages

Sam Wo Restaurant

$ | Chinatown

Few restaurants in San Francisco can match the history of this city treasure that has been around since 1908. You'll want to try as much as possible from the menu, which is a unique mix of Cantonese dishes, a few items from other regions of China, a couple Southeast Asia–inspired noodles, and more familiar Chinese American fare. It's a brisk, efficient operation where tables turn over fast.

713 Clay St., San Francisco, CA, 94108, USA
415-989–8898
Known For
  • iconic sign
  • jook (rice porridge)
  • barbecue pork noodle roll
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues.

Z & Y Restaurant

$$ | Chinatown

San Francisco's signature Sichuan restaurant is a wonderful place to sample the often spicy, mouth-numbing (that's the "mala" heat, then the cooling effect of the peppers and chilies) cuisine of that northern China region. It's a long menu, so ask for advice from the servers. Be sure to book in advance for dinner, as the place is equally popular with visitors and diners from all over the Bay Area.

655 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA, 94133, USA
415-981–8988
Known For
  • house spicy fresh fish
  • "couple's delight" beef-three-ways appetizer
  • energetic dining room
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues.