Where to Eat and Drink in Chinatown
A vetted dining and drinking guide to the neighborhood
Chinatown is probably San Francisco’s most iconic neighborhood — the one Chinatown in the US whose history goes about as far back as there have been Chinese people in this country. Somehow, though, the neighborhood has acquired something of a reputation as a tourist trap, where tchotchkes abound but good food is hard to find. That simply isn’t the case. Take just a few steps away from the most touristy stretch of Grant Avenue, and you’ll find that deliciousness abounds, from inexpensive takeout dim sum to new-school cocktails and tasting menus.
The truth is, Chinatown can be a bit intimidating: There are so many restaurants and bakeries, and the menus are so lengthy — and, often, only feature one or two standout items. Follow this guide to explore 21 of the very best spots — and, just as important, to know exactly what to order when you go.
1. China Live
A relative newcomer to a neighborhood with many institutions, China Live brings a lot to the table. Downstairs is a grab-and-go cafe, retail market with Chinese cooking tools, teas, and pantry staples, and a bustling restaurant with killer pan-fried buns and Peking duck. Upstairs is Cold Drinks, a stylish Scotch bar, and Eight Tables, chef/owner George Chen’s luxurious tasting menu–only restaurant.- Eater San Francisco (01.17.20)