Establishment neighborhood
Mister Jiu’s
28 Waverly Pl., Chinatown
If you're looking for world class Chinese food in the heart of San Francisco's Chinatown, Mr. Jiu's is it. Chef Brandon Jew takes a modern approach to traditional Chinese food, putting his own twist on classic dishes such as pork buns and black sesame cake, already earning him a Michelin star in his first year. The wood paneled floors give the space Old World charm, but the views over the financial district let you know that you're at the heart of the city. They also have a wonderful bar with drinks such as “Harmony” and "Clarity", again blending Western spirits with traditional Chinese flavors like green tea, ginger, and lime.
China Live
644 Broadway, Chinatown
This newly-opened 30,000-square-foot space in Chinatown is a veritable foodie wonderland, and early comparisons to Eataly are well-deserved: the ground floor incorporates a café, a casual table-service restaurant, cocktail bars, and retail space with a curated selection of everything from condiments to produce to cookware. The food lives up to its mecca-like digs—at Oolong Café, you’ll find a rotating selection of artisanal teas sourced directly from farmers in Greater China and Taiwan; the restaurant offers a constantly updated menu, cooked from eight specialized stations (including one that houses a Chinese earthen oven used to prepare their Peking-style roasted duck). Exhibition kitchens with ample bar seating help further China Live’s educational spirit, as do the guides who populate the market area performing tastings of products and assisting guests. The not-yet-open second and third floors will soon house a fine dining spot, another bar, and a large banquet space.
Good Mong Kok Bakery
1039 Stockton St., Chinatown
"If you are on the go in SF and don’t have time for a sit-down meal, be sure to head over to this bakery and pick up some takeout. This is where Chinatown’s denizens shop for everything from breakfast to afternoon tea. Arrive early, since things sell out fast, and then power down into full Zen mode while hanging around in that long line. The counter ladies can be cranky and rarely speak English, but then again you just need to hustle your way to the counter, place your order, plunk down your cash, and leave. Snag some baked char siu buns, whatever steamed dumplings grab your fancy, and a couple of flaky pastries." —Carolyn Phillips
New Asia
772 Pacific Ave., Chinatown
This place is as cavernous as a high school basketball court, but it's inevitably jam-packed with Chinese folks. Lots of them are elderly, telling you that it's good and cheap. The deep-fried radish cakes, Chinese beignets, and crackly-skinned pork belly here are the best. Always order off the menu and get things freshly made—this is especially important with the fried and steamed items, which lose too much of their magic when they’re wheeled around that enormous room. Get here before the rush. Park in one of the city lots and then wander around old Chinatown to work off those delicious calories.