Best of San Francisco’s Chinatown: Restaurants in San Francisco

Established in 1848, San Francisco’s Chinatown is the most important and oldest neighborhood of its sort within the nation. Drawing extra guests yearly than the uber-popular Golden Gate Bridge, this actually is a rustic inside a metropolis, twenty-four sq. blocks of Chinese American tradition that has its personal distinct hospitals, parks, social golf equipment, parades and, after all, eating places.

The odor of Chinese meals dominates most of Chinatown, whether or not it is the candy waft of recent egg tarts from Golden Gate Bakery or the savory aroma of stirfry scorching from House of Nanking. To perceive San Francisco’s Chinatown is to eat in San Francisco’s Chinatown, so making an attempt some dim sum is a should.

Plan for an extended stroll, too, maintaining your eyes huge open and your ears tuned as in the event you’re a traveler out of the country – as a result of, for all intents and functions, you might be.  If you need the complete historical past and cultural context of Chinatown, then do not skip The Chinese Historical Society. If you are an adventurous traveler who believes each journey – even a visit inside one’s personal nation – ought to embody one thing of the mysterious and unique, then head to Chinatown.


Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy

Chinese meals lovers flock to Hunan Home’s Restaurant for award-winning delicacies that is seemingly “the best kept secret in Chinatown.” The in depth menu options all the normal gadgets you anticipate finding, together with basic Kung Pao hen, Mongolian beef and eggplant with spicy garlic sauce. Diners significantly love the hen with orange peel, prawns with honey walnuts, pot stickers and, after all, sizzling and bitter soup. Attentive service rounds out an genuine and satisfying eating expertise. Opened in 1983, Hunan Home’s has remained a favourite for vacationers and locals alike. Owned and operated by the Yuan household, the restaurant has stayed remarkably constant over the eyars.

Recommended for Best of San Francisco’s Chinatown as a result of: President Obama ate right here in 2012 and raved about it.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: Longstanding restaurant with well-earned fame for wonderful meals.

Read more about Hunan Home’s Restaurant →

Golden Gate Bakery

Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy

Venture via San Francisco’s Chinatown for a go to to Golden Gate Bakery, a candy store that has clients braving lengthy, out-the-door traces for its extremely tasty egg custard tarts. In addition to those flaky, custard-filled pastries, patrons can select from a variety of different confections, together with lotus seed paste truffles, moon truffles, flavored napoleons and basic chocolate chip cookies. The bakery additionally serves savory favorites like barbecue pork roll and hen pie. You cannot depart San Francisco with out experiencing Chinatown, and you’ll’t expertise Chinatown with out a go to to Golden Gate Bakery, so get in line and anticipate that delicious egg tart.

Recommended for Best of San Francisco’s Chinatown as a result of: Golden Gate Bakery typically has a line out the door, so plan accordingly.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: Try the egg tarts!

Read more about Golden Gate Bakery →

R&G Lounge

Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy

Known for its progressive but conventional Chinese dishes, R&G Lounge is a relative newcomer to the Chinatown restaurant scene, having opened its doorways in 1985. While almost thirty years of expertise may appear a very long time, in Chinatown, the place traditions in cooking run 1000’s of years deep, it is only a passing second. But R&G’s reputation cannot be denied, having expanded from one to 3 flooring in that point. Most patrons credit score the success on R&G’s capability to observe the traditions of Chinese cooking (specifically balancing the weather of Wood, Water, Earth and Fire) however including their very own improvements. The easy however luxurious Chicken Salad appetizer is a good instance.

Recommended for Best of San Francisco’s Chinatown as a result of: Opened in 1919, it is one in every of San Francisco’s oldest eating places.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: Try their signature salt and pepper Dungeness crab.

Read more about R&G Lounge →

Sam Wo Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy

For followers of Conan O’Brien, take a look at his hilarious spoof-commercial of Sam Wo’s throughout his 2007 go to to San Francisco. Although the brand new Sam Wo shouldn’t be on the authentic location – that Sam Wo’s closed in 2012 after over 100 years at that location – the video nonetheless describes the quintessential Sam Wo’s expertise: fast, low cost however satisfying Chinese meals. To inform the reality, even in the event you do not feel like consuming at Sam Wo’s, simply visiting this basic San Francisco establishment needs to be a part of any San Francisco go to. And, in the event you occur to be hungry, take a look at the menu of “jook,” a basic, genuine Chinese porridge dish.

Recommended for Best of San Francisco’s Chinatown as a result of: Saw Wo was opened in 1907, proper after the San Francisco earthquake, after which re-opened in 2015. It’s a San Francisco landmark.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: The Combination Wonton Soup ($8.99) offers you the general taste of Sam Wo delicacies.

Read more about Sam Wo Restaurant →

China Live

Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy

If you are on the lookout for a extra trendy and glossy Chinese meals expertise – with some California-infused perspective – attempt China Live. This grand 30,000 foot sq. area belies its identify, as Chef George Chen desires friends to witness the talent and thoughtfulness that goes into every dish served. From the BBQ station to the Salad station and Dimsum Station, this interactive and experiential meals corridor is a delight for all of the senses. Also that includes a Market Place and Cold Drinks Bar, China Live allows friends to carry goodies residence, as effectively. And for many who need a extra upscale expertise, “Eight Tables” by George Chen, China Live’s fantastic eating counterpart above {the marketplace} and restaurant, was acknowledged as one in every of TIME Magazine World’s Greatest Places in 2019.

Recommended for Best of San Francisco’s Chinatown as a result of: China Live may not observe within the footsteps of the extra conventional Chinatown eating places, however it’s laborious to argue with their scrumptious choices.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: Don’t go up the Stone Oven Roasted Duck Peking with Seasonal Fruit Glazes.

Read more about China Live →

Lucky Creation Restaurant

If you have been up and down the alleys of Chinatown, and the egg rolls and dim sum are all beginning to style the identical, drop by Lucky Creation for a distinct tackle Chinese. Although the ambiance of this restaurant is cramped and divey, the employees take nice pleasure and care in making dishes that you’ll swear is actual meat. Their orange hen alone will make you chew twice to consider it is actually not hen…! The pan-fried noodles are crisp and light-weight, and the clay pot choices are spectacular and attractive. This is a enjoyable restaurant to take that lifelong meat-eater to.

Recommended for Best of San Francisco’s Chinatown as a result of: Lucky Creation is rising in fame as among the best vegetarian eating places within the metropolis.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: Even probably the most die-hard meat lovers will love vegan pork buns!

Read more about Lucky Creation Restaurant →

Z&Y Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy

If you want your Chinese meals Szechuan spicy, Z&Y Restaurant will fulfill that urge. Just the names on the menu would possibly make the weak sweat: Spicy Beef Jerky, Tiger Skin Jalapeno (with Preserved Egg ) and Hot Spicy Tofu soup are just the start. But this isn’t wild spicy for wild spicy sake. Chef Han, a Michelin-starred chef who was additionally the previous govt chef of San Francisco’ s Chinese Consulate General, is historically skilled and understands the way to use spice so it attracts out as a substitute of overwhelms all the opposite flavors.

Recommended for Best of San Francisco’s Chinatown as a result of: Many Chinese celebrities and dignitaries select Z&Y Restaurant after they go to San Francisco.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: Z&Y Restaurant provides a “Combo Family Special” bundle for $128 that options six completely different dishes, together with a improbable Fried Rice with Black Truffle.

Read more about Z&Y Restaurant →

House of Nanking

Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy

If you need a really distinctive Asian eating expertise, head to House of Nanking. But be ready to place your self into the fingers of head chef/proprietor Peter Fang, who since 1988 has down his greatest to get patrons to disregard the menu and permit him to find out what’s the perfect meal of the day. The service is brusque however efficient, with servers not shy about making an attempt to get the tables turned over for the subsequent group ready within the very lengthy line. But the unorthodox strategy not often fails. The Famous Nanking Sesame Chicken is a should order – even when it earns you a glare from Fang.

Recommended for Best of San Francisco’s Chinatown as a result of: House of Nanking has been acknowledged nationally and worldwide as a “must-visit” Chinatown restaurant.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: Be positive to order the hen in Tsingtao beer sauce, a stunning combine with tangy however yummy outcomes.

Read more about House of Nanking →

Empress by Boon

Photo courtesy of Empress by Boon

Empress by Boon is San Francisco’s latest, must-visit
vacation spot within the coronary heart of Chinatown. Using recent substances from native sources such because the restaurant’s farm primarily based in Gilroy, Michelin-starred Chef Ho Chee Boon produces distinctive modern dishes infused
with Cantonese flavors. The expansive restaurant with fastidiously designed eating areas occupies an iconic location in San Francisco’s Chinatown with hanging metropolis views. Reimagined by Chef Ho and workforce, the area embraces trendy design components making a welcoming ambiance. If you are on the lookout for a Chinese delicacies expertise that’s each modern and wealthy in custom, you’ll want to ebook a desk at Empress by Boon.

Recommended for Best of San Francisco’s Chinatown as a result of: Empress by Boon has the potential to be an opulent Chinatown mainstay for a few years to return.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: The prix fixe menu begins at $78 and options rotating specialities equivalent to Iberico Ham Shanghai Xiao Long Bao and Steamed Zucchini-Prawn Dumpling with recent Australian Black Truffle.

Read more about Empress by Boon →

Mr. Jiu's

Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy

Created with equal components mind and love, the gorgeous Mr. Jiu’s restaurant could possibly be described because the mind and love youngster of proficient chef/proprietor Brandon Jew. Featuring wonderful Cantonese staples which can be made in-house, Mr. Jiu’s is a superb possibility for diners who need a extra slow-food strategy to most of the different eating places in Chinatown. Using native and seasonally obtainable substances, the dishes exude a California vibe however keep entrenched in good traditions. The important restaurant is in a big banquet corridor, so group meals are very best. This is a severe place for severe foodies; the restaurant even revealed its personal cookbook, “Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown: Recipes and Stories from the Birthplace of Chinese American Food.”

Recommended for Best of San Francisco’s Chinatown as a result of: Mr. Jiu’s is without doubt one of the hardest reservations in all of San Francisco.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: If you need a extra intimate expertise that features improbable cocktails, ebook a spot on the Moongate Lounge, simply above Mr. Jiu’s.

Read more about Mr. Jiu’s →

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