Best Chinese Restaurants in San Francisco by Neighborhood
San Francisco is home to the first and oldest Chinatown, as well as a large Chinese population. These two reasons alone mean there is delicious Chinese food around every corner. Yes, every corner.
With so many delicious options, we understand why it’s such a difficult decision. To alleviate the stress of making the tough decision, we’re coming in to save the day and give you the ultimate guide to the best Chinese restaurants in the city by neighborhood. You’ll never need to look anywhere else. We have it all right here.
Mama Ji's (4416 18th Street)
One of the newest kids on the block, Mama Ji serves Sichuan home-style cooking that she grew up on. This is fast becoming a popular Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood. Most Popular Dishes: Shrimp and cilantro dumplings, chongqing chicken.
Type: Sichuan, Dim Sum
R&G Lounge (631 Kearny Street)
Since 1985 R&G Lounge has been known to have the best Chinese food in San Francisco. Regardless of this fact, they will always be known as the Chinese restaurant Anthony Bourdain went to and would not stop talking about the food. Most Popular Dish: Salt and pepper crab.
Website / Type: Chinese, Seafood
House of Nanking (919 Kearny Street)
Sitting on the border of Chinatown and North Beach, House of Nanking has been welcoming regulars for years. To get people in the door and fed quickly, if you're taking too long to decide what to order, the wait staff will choose for you. Don't worry - every dish that comes out of the kitchen is spectacularly delicious. Most Popular Dishes: Crispy honey beef, sizzling rice soup.
Z&Y Restaurant (655 Jackson Street)
If spice is your game, then you need to put your name on the waiting list here. Home to the spiciest food in the neighborhood and to the mouth-numbing chicken, their dishes will be leaving you in tears (which is a good thing). Most Popular Dishes: Chicken with explosive chili pepper, spicy numbing beef tendon.
Mr. Jiu's (28 Waverly Pl.)
From Chef Brandon Jew, comes Mr. Jiu's, a high-end Chinese restaurant with a California accent in a restored historic space with high style. Mr. Jiu's is recognized globally with its Michelin Star.
Website / Type: Chinese, Californian
Mission Chinese Food (2234 Mission Street (in Lung Shan Restaurant)
Out of nondescript Chinese restaurant came a Sichuan pop-up that became so popular that it took over the space permanently. Mission Chinese Food continue to be popular for their unique take on Chinese food, that one needs to get their early to put one's name on the list. They do not take reservations. Most Popular Dishes: Kung pao pastrami, salt cod rice, thrice-cooked bacon.
Type: Loosely Sichuan
Eric's Restaurant (1500 Church Street)
You want a homey Chinese experience outside of Chinatown? Eric's is the spot for you. Sit in the dining room among numerous orchids and delicious Hunan Chinese food. Most Popular Dishes: Sesame beef, walnut prawns, shanghai chicken.
Shanghai Dumpling King (3319 Balboa Street)
Shanghai Dumpling King has made a trek to the cool, foggy Richmond neighborhood well worth it. They specialize in Shanghai-style dumplings, which might be foreign to most people because of their scarcity, but the soup-filled dumplings warm everyone's heart and fills their stomachs. Most Popular Dishes: xiao long bao (pork & chive and spicy).
Hong Kong Lounge (5322 Geary Boulevard)
Up a few blocks from Ton Kiang, Hong Kong Lounge packs the house to the brim every weekend for their delicious dim sum options. There will always be a line, but that's because it will always be delicious Most Popular Dishes: Duck
Type: Dim Sum
Spices! (294 8th Avenue)
Some say this is the restaurant that was the inspiration for Mission Chinese Food. We say it's delicious and so do a lot of other people. If you are adventurous, you'll want to go here. They have dishes you can't find anywhere else. Most Popular Dishes: Stinky tofu with pork intestine, lion's head meatball
Yank Sing (One Rincon Center)
A San Francisco landmark dating back to 1958, Yank Sing serves internationally acclaimed, award-winning Hong Kong-style dim sum, individually hand-crafted by skilled chefs. Most Popular Dishes: Steamed pork buns, sesame balls. Type: Dim Sum
SO (1010 Bryant Street)
A SOMA favorite for Asian fusion that locals in the neighborhood swear by, SO will leave you with enough leftovers that you'll be eating for days. Most Popular Dishes: Black bean noodles, chicken wings, spicy mao pao.
Website / Type: Asian fusion
Hakkasan (1 Kearny Street)
An outpost of the London original, Hakkasan is a sophisticated, upscale dining experience serving modern Chinese food. Most Popular Dishes: Black truffle roasted duck, braised pork belly, crispy duck salad.
Type: Cantonese, Dim Sum
San Tung (1031 Irving St)
San Tung is a popular no-frills Chinese restaurant among locals that packs the place every night. This is the reason people go out to the Inner Sunset. Most Popular Dishes: Dry fried chicken wings, fried green beans.
Kingdom of Dumpling (1713 Taraval Street)
Located in the outer reaches of the Sunset in a microhood called Parkside, Kingdom of Dumpling serves delicious steaming dumplings. It's what they know and they 19 different kinds of them. Most Popular Dishes: Pork and shrimp dumplings, pork and chive dumplings.
Type: Dumplings, Dim Sum
M.Y. China (845 Market Street)
Inspired by legendary chef and TV host Martin Yan, guests can see, taste and discover contemporary Chinese food. Inspired by years of experience traveling through China, we bring back the best ingredients, flavors and techniques. Most Popular Dish: Wild boar scissor cut noodles. Type: Contemporary Chinese
The Chairman Truck
We would be remiss if we didn't include a roving food truck on our list, especially one as popular as the Chairman. Their baos are inspired by the original street food of Asia - it's bold, spicy, unique, fast and delicious. Most Popular Dishes: Tender pork belly, spicy chicken.
Location / Type: Street food, Baos
Photo by Sometimes I Crave.