The best soup dumplings, hot pot, hand-pulled noodles, and more

The history of Chinese food in San Francisco goes back for about as long as there has been Chinese food in the US — back to the days of the gold rush, the intercontinental railroad, and, of course, the start of the country’s oldest (and still vibrant) Chinatown. These days, San Francisco is still home to the kind of robust dim sum scene that befits its Cantonese roots, but over the years the city has also seen a burgeoning of China’s other regional cuisines, especially out west in the Richmond and Sunset neighborhoods. Eat your way through the 21 restaurants on this greatest hits list — spanning hot pot, soup dumplings, red-cooked pork belly, and more — for a taste of why SF is still one of America’s preeminent Chinese food cities.

Eight Tables by George Chen 陈家八桌
The crowd-pleasing, something-for-everyone Market Restaurant on the first floor of George Chen’s mammoth, $20 million-plus China Live complex might seem like the more obvious pick, but Eight Tables, the swanky supper club upstairs is the more ground-breaking spot for SF: a restaurant that leans into the luxuriousness of traditional high-end Chinese dining while also translating the experience for a Western diner. At $200+ a pop, the tasting menu format obviously isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but the very best dishes — like the nine-item opening salvo of cold plates — are simply stunning. – Eater San Francisco (10.15.19)