China Live

4.5
789 reviews
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$30 and under
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Chinese
"Restaurant of the Year" - EaterSF
Our first floor restaurant features a daily changing seasonal menu cooked from 8 specialized stations that merge traditional Chinese and Western culinary equipment. A main dining area plays centerpiece, appointed with chairs and tables all handcrafted in China from reclaimed Chinese elm. These exhibition kitchens, with plenty of bar seating, will allow you a more close-up view of the deft chefs in action.
What 789 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We sat at the bar next to one of the exhibition kitchens snd it was a great experience. It made us want to eat everything!

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J
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious. Great soup dumplings. Our server Mike was excellent. He gave us great recommendations. China Live is a great place to come with friends and share authentic Chinese food in an upscale atmosphere.

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SL
New York Area
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Indoor decor is modern and clean. Good for groups with their long tables.

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CM
San Joaquin
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing! Can’t wait to go back!

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OT
Des Moines
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Such great food. A reservation is needed so plan ahead and come hungry!

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AM
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 1

Reserve a month ahead, get the worst tabke in the restaurant near a door that said: “no exit” but was used all the time. Cold, super noisy and a grumpy waitress on top. Food was good though. Pitty, wont come back.

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JR
Atlanta
14 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it! A great restaurant with good, hot, food brought quickly to your table. This is high end Chinese food so expect to pay a premium.

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OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was excellent! Our waiter was awesome, made great recommendations. The food was delicious and came out fast! I will be back!

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MS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Food was mediocre at best especially considering how expensive it was.

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JR
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

I would recommend for those who need a spotlessly clean, higher end dim sum. As for us the small plates we had were mediocre in our opinion but we are not huge fans of or very sophisticated when it comes to dim sum. The service was perfect.

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I
San Francisco
107 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

China Live is an under appreciated gem! My wife berated me afterward for not taking her there before. We had the dim sum and some of the lunch menu items as well and every single dish was unfailingly spectacular, especially the steamed rolls that were crispy on the outside (interesting turn) and the scallion rolls that were served hot and were incredible. That’s saying something, given how competitive the market in San Francisco is for dim sum in San Francisco. The best part is the venue, open, cool, modern and energetic. The food takes a little while to get there but that’s because the dim sum is made fresh—a better solution that the carts that circle around and give it to you over steamed sometimes. The only reason I didn’t want to post a glowing review is that I was actually able to book a peak hour table on OT the day before and I don’t think that trend will last with more crazy thumbs up reviews.

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PB
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Loved it! Definitely recommend! Really enjoyed the atmosphere! It’s joanna Gaines meets China town

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EC
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was absolutely incredible! Such great flavors and a clean feeling after unlike many other Chinese restaurants I have experienced. The atmosphere was gorgeous and the service was amazing!

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l
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

China life is a lively dining experience that provided incredible drinks and a culinary experience especially in a large group where we were able to try many of the dishes. We will definitely be back!

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F
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun atmosphere and great food!

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D
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

China Live is somewhat hit or miss. Some dishes are wonderful - the duck, dim sum and bbq. Some are not scallops, veggies etc. at least for the price they charge. I still will go back but for specific items. It seems the small plates are much better than some of the large plates. It is better to go with 4 or more, too.

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JH
Austin
43 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Fun place in SFO food very good

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DS
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

We had to wait 15 minutes even though we had a reservation. The waitress was slow and we couldn’t find her most of the time. The food was good but some could have been warmer, the dumplings were kind of cold. The decor is very nicely designed and fun and the atmosphere is energetic.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing and delicious!

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good Chinese fusion food.
Nice environment.
Amazing service

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AU
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Edgar at the shop was really nice and made the experience that much better!

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MT
Atlanta
48 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Came to China Live while in town for work as it was highly recommended. Food was definitely tasty, service was OK, but overall it was a great experience. I’d definitely recommend someone to try this place out!

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OT
Memphis
11 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We are here on Spring break. This place was great!!! The raspberry dessert was divine.

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OT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

China Live manages to improve and subtlety change the traditional flavors of Chinese food without losing authenticity. The design of the market and restaurant itself is amazing, and the food is some of the best.

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CP
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and great service. We’d never been to Live before and the wait staff was great at leading us through the menu, which is varied and delicious. Would highly recommend!

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service 😊

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LR
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The atmosphere was relaxed but vibrant and exciting in a very modern furnished restaurant . from the moment we arrived we were made to feel welcome and that it was important that we had an enjoyable evening ,Ken our server was again relaxed and made some good food and wine recommendations .everything about our evening was Quality and we would highly recommend it to anyone visiting San Francisco - I only wished there was me in the UK so we could return more often - next time we’re in San Fran we will definitely be returning

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JC
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was excellent but the value is poor, given you can find authentic dim sum at much lower prices in other places. You are paying for the trendy ambience more than anything else. Probably wouldn’t go back, even though the food is delicious

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J
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

My favorite spot in Chinatown and I live 3 blocks away! Inventive menu and decent value for high quality food. Duck pockets are amazing. Service is diligent and friendly though not always knowledgable but fun room and casual. Great beers and fun desserts.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Service was very good, and recommendations from our server was excellent. I enjoyed everything!

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GR
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

Terrible service and way too loud, not worth going. Our table wasn't ready and we spent 30 minutes at the bar and were unable to get the bartender to serve us a drink. The restaurant is so loud that the next day all of us (for people) had ringing in our ears as if we went to a loud metal concert. The food is just okay and not worth the bad service and the crazy noise level. I will not go back and don't recommend it.

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EL
15 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fast and hot. Excellent and very fun!

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AP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food. Great service. Great decor.
Very noisy. Recommend first seating before the place gets real busy and hard to hear.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had lunch with my family (two kids 3 and 5 years) and we really enjoy the experience!

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j
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

Horrible service. Waited 15 minutes to get anyone to acknowledge us. Then food came before our drinks. Food was good but not special.

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EW
Detroit
8 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food, service and ambience were all spectacular. We were a group of 9, there were no mistakes in order or lapses in service.

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RB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Fun, hip, good food, lively ambiance and great shop.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Can't imagine why this restaurant would be rated so highly. The food was garbage and the service painfully slow and inattentive. Never again!

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S
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We loved every bite of our meal at China Live. We were on the raucous first floor. Very attentive service from Rafa, who made excellent recommendations. Pork buns and Chinese broccoli were standouts.

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J
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Very nice setting in Chinatown with good traditional Chinese-American fare and excellent service. Surprisingly good wine list.

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