You will find a large number of wonderful Chinese restaurants in San Francisco. My list includes dishes from all over China including dim sum (small plates of different types of dumplings), Cantonese, and Szechuan (or Sichuan) cuisines.
You will find top spots near Union Square, Chinatown, the Financial District, and North Beach.
Many of the Chinese restaurants in San Francisco are inexpensive. Continue reading to uncover a list of my 10 favorites.
Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.
If you love dim sum, then head over to Delicious Dim Sum in SF's Chinatown District. It's the perfect place for those interested in sampling a few dim sum dishes and not making a big fuss over lunch. The food is very yummy and they have a large selection of items on their menu.
If you don't speak Chinese and are not sure what a menu item includes, just ask. The wait staff is friendly and helpful and the food is both tasty and inexpensive.
Average Price: $2 to $3 for each dish, total per person is usually under $10
Address: 752 Jackson Street
Henry's Hunan is a spacious, clean, modern Chinese restaurant on the border of Chinatown in the North Beach District. They are open seven days a week and offer many popular Chinese dishes. Some of my favorites here include the kung pao chicken, the sweet and sour pork, and the beef with broccoli.
Vegetarians will be thrilled with the large selection of vegetarian options. They also have a number of other locations around San Francisco, but this one is closest to the districts most frequented by visitors.
Average Price: Full meals range from $10 to $25 per person
Address: 1398 Grant Avenue
District: North Beach
One of the best Chinese restaurants in San Francisco is the House of Nanking. The food is great and very reasonably priced. Don't be surprised to find a line outside waiting to get in. It's a small establishment and they also frequently sit more than one party at a table to fit in as many people as possible.
You'll see the brightly colored sign at 919 Kearny Street, between Columbus Avenue and Jackson Street. They are open every day for lunch and dinner.
Average Price: $6 to $14 per dish
Address: 919 Kearny Street
This traditional Chinese restaurant offers a large selection of tasty Chinese dishes. You will find more than three dozen items on their menu, including wonderful sizzling plates made with beef, chicken, or oysters. They also have almost a dozen vegetarian items for sale.
It's a great choice for its cleanliness, location near both Chinatown and North Beach, and the friendly and attentive servers.
Average Price: Main meals range from $10 to $20, with most around $11 to $12
Address: 622 Jackson Street
Another no-frills, inexpensive Chinese restaurant in Chinatown is New Lun Ting Cafe. This delightful place offers standard Cantonese food with incredibly large portions. By far, my favorite item on the menu is the roast pork gravy over rice. Other great options are the prime rib and the BBQ pork with scrambled eggs.
Average Price: $7 to $8 for most of their main dishes
Address: 670 Jackson Street
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Another favorite Chinatown spot for lunch, dinner, or a late night meal is Sam Wo Restaurant, a long-running family establishment serving classic Cantonese dishes. There are two levels of seating and the service is quick, not to mention they are open past midnight most nights of the week!
Sam Wo is located in the heart of Chinatown, right across from Portsmouth Square Plaza. Clay Street runs along the southern edge of the park, and you'll find the restaurant here between Kearny and Walter U Lum Place.
Average Price: Under $10
Address: 713 Clay Street
If you are staying in the Financial District or Union Square, you will love this little gem. Yan's Kitchen is a family-owned Chinese restaurant that is hard to beat. They offer large portions at a reasonable price. Their egg rolls are fantastic and very fresh. I also enjoy their General Tso's chicken and their BBQ pork fried rice.
Average Price: $6 to $10 for the main dishes
Address: 57 Columbus Avenue
District: Financial District
This restaurant's name might be a little harder to pronounce because it comes from the Sichuan Province of China, whereas most Chinese establishments in SF originate from Canton. However, the food is really tasty, and totally distinct. This place is known for its traditional noodle soups and spicy dishes made from a special peppercorn that produces a numbing sensation.
You'll find this little gem at Kearny and Jackson Streets, in Chinatown near North Beach.
Average Price: $11 to $30 per person
Address: 915 Kearny Street
9. Yank Sing: Offers mainly dim sum. Two locations: Rincon Center at 101 Spear Street, and 49 Stevenson Street. $7 to $25 per dish
10. Wonderland Restaurant: A great local place in the Lower Haight. 500 Haight Street. $6 to $14 a plate