Where to Eat in Chinatown | San Francisco Travel
A hilly street in San Francisco's Chinatown is pictured with red lanterns dangling and a streetcar passing by.
You can ride San Francisco's iconic Cable Cars right into Chinatown.

Where to Eat in Chinatown

Follow our recommendations for the best eats in San Francisco's Chinatown, no matter your budget, style, or preferred flavors.

Chinatown is one of the most historic neighborhoods in San Francisco. It is the oldest Chinatown in North America and is the largest Chinese community outside of China. For these reasons and many more, visitors flock here in droves.

Even though the neighborhood is very accessible, it can be hard to figure out where and what to eat in Chinatown. While most of the menus have been translated, the names of the dishes (and the ingredients) may be unfamiliar. It's enticing but daunting at the same time.

In reality, the restaurants of Chinatown are extremely delicious, reasonably priced, and offer a wide variety of regional Chinese cuisine. With our help, finding a delicious meal in Chinatown will be even easier the next time you visit.

Begoni Bistro

615 Jackson St.

From the mind of longtime Chinatown chef Howard Wong comes Begoni Bistro, a restaurant that serves Chinese food with a French influence. Think upscale Chinese food that is perfect for a date.

Dishes to get: Peking Duck, Minced Imperial Squab, French Puff-Pastry Soup

China Live

644 Broadway

It's a bar, a restaurant, a private dining experience, a customizable event space, and a signature shop all under one roof! It's China Live, where you're virtually guaranteed never to have the same thing twice!

Dishes to get: When dining in the ground floor Market Restaurant, we recommend the Dungeness crab spring handrolls, the crispy-skin roasted pork belly, and the kung pao firecracker chicken. If you visit their second floor bar, Cold Drinks, try the "Sometimes Old Fashioned" which contains Peking duck fat-washed Scotch.

Chong Qing Xiao Mian

915 Kearny St.

If you have an itching for Sichuan-style noodles, Ching Qing Xiao Mian is your place. This noodle emporium was opened by former employees of Z & Y, another restaurant on this list. Here, you can expect different varieties of noodles dressed in sauces topped with meat.

Dishes to get: House Cold Noodles Spiced with Sichuan peppercorn and Hot Oil, Numbing Noodles with Beef Tendon and the Spicy Wontons with Tan Tan Noodles

Far East Cafe

631 Grant St.

Far East Cafe is located two blocks away from the gateway to Chinatown and directly across from Old St. Mary's Church. Established in 1920, this classic place serves both Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine and specializes in fresh seafood. This restaurant is perfect for bigger groups.

Dishes to get: Live lobster and crab cooked in supreme broth, Honey Walnut Prawns

New and Notable

Four Kings

710 Commercial St

This well-known San Francisco pop-up has permanently settled in Chinatown, offering an exploration of Cantonese-inspired cuisine that is anything but stuffy or pretentious. Four Kings' new location allows for the next evolution of its founders' culinary dream, with clay pot meals, fried squab, and fried pepper steak, all created by fearless SF cooks Franky Ho and Michael Long.

Dishes to get: Mapo Spaghetti, Fried Squab, Scallop Vermichelli, Salt and Pepper Squid Skewers

Golden Gate Bakery

1029 Grant St.

If you try to eat at Golden Gate Bakery, we say, "Good luck!" Golden Gate Bakery is notorious for being finicky about its hours. How finicky you ask? There's a Facebook page that monitors them. This spot is famous for their egg tarts. They are well worth it, so our advice is to walk by to double-check every time you venture into Chinatown.

Dishes to get: Egg Tarts

Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

56 Ross Alley, between Jackson Street and Washington Street

Did you know that fortune cookies were created here in San Francisco? Visit the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factoryand see these famous treats being made from scratch. They even come in a variety of flavors!

Dishes to get: Fortune cookies

Good Mong Kok Bakery

1039 Stockton St.

For those that want to eat and explore the neighborhood, check out Good Mong Kok Bakery. You'll have to wait in line (a true sign of a delicious spot), but once you get to the counter, give them your dim-sum order and they'll put everything into a pink to-go box for you.

Dishes to get: Har Gow (shrimp dumplings) and the Char Sui Bao (steamed pork buns)

Great Eastern

649 Jackson St.

The quintessential dim sum restaurant in Chinatown—and one of two places President Obama dined when he visited San Francisco—Great Eastern boasts a menu of 83 items, which means they have everything you could possibly desire.

Dishes to get: Shanghai Dumplings, Har Gow, Mango Pudding

1 Michelin Star

Mister Jiu’s

28 Waverly Pl.

Winner of a Michelin Star in its very first year of existence, Mister Jiu's bridges the gap between fine dining and paying homage to the neighborhood it calls home. There are two dining options: the banquet-style Chinese tasting menu or the long bar where delicious cocktails are made.

Dishes to get: Everything

R&G Lounge

631 Kearny St.

R&G Lounge is another Chinatown stalwart that has been serving patrons, including Anthony Bourdain, for many years. Some say it is a testament to what Chinatown is all about. We'll let you decide.

Dishes to get: Live Crab with Salt & Pepper, R&G Special Beef, Lychee Martini

Sam Wo Restaurant

713 Clay St.

A cult classic since 1906, Sam Wo's has been a San Francisco favorite because of their late hours, (serving until 4:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays) and because of one surly employee, often called the world’s rudest, worst, most insulting waiter. 

Dishes to get: Jook (Chinese Porridge), BBQ Pork-Stuffed Rice Noodle

Bib Gourmand

Z & Y Restaurant

655 Jackson St.

Be ready to wait at Z & Y, a Sichuan restaurant that earned the praise of San Francisco culinary luminary Cecilia Chang, food critic Michael Bauer, and President Barack Obama, among others. Plain and simple: it's really, really delicious with the right amount of spice. The sight of full tables rendered speechless while enjoying their meals amps up the experience.

Dishes to get: Chilled Beef Tendon, Explosive Chili Pepper Chicken Wings, and a couple of Tsingtao

Dan Rosenbaum Headshot
Dan Rosenbaum

Dan is the Vice President, Global Marketing, at San Francisco Travel. San Francisco has been his home for over a decade (that makes him a local, right?). On the weekends, you can find him with a cup of craft coffee in hand, a playlist of good vibes, a growing list of books to read, or out at the city's hottest new restaurant or bar.

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