SF Restaurants You Actually Want to Eat At For Chinese New Year

Growing up Asian in SF was pretty normal, most of my friends were Chinese American. There was a mutual unspoken understanding of what Chinese culture was in SF, we didn't have to explain why our families gave in to strange superstitions going into the new year, forcing us to light bundles of incense + plastering the house with red decorative cutouts.  

While families might celebrate CNY a little differently than the next, one thing's forsure, families are expected to come together for dinner to celebrate the upcoming year with traditional dishes based on their homonym.  Each dish is steeped in tradition and is a homonym for a particular wish going into the new year like “make lots of money” or wishes for “long life and prosperity”.

If your family is anything like my family (I’ll pray for you), they will still find way to complain about where we go for our annual Chinese New Year dinner, which means THE PRESSURE. IS. ON.

So I rounded up the places you should go for dinner this Chinese New Year!

M.Y China


Celebrity Chef Martin Yan's newest restaurant located underneath the Westfield Mall dome in Downtown SF. To welcome Year of the Dog, M.Y China will be featuring Grandma Wu's special menu, equipped with eight shareable courses for $288 for a party of six.


To be honest, I was completely surprised at how authentic these dishes were. I used to walk by this place at the mall and see it  filled with tourists, I assumed it wouldn't taste legit...I mean it's in the mall! WRONG. Oh so wrong


Here's the online menu of what M.Y China is offering this Chinese New Year!  

China Live

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A modern marketplace located in the center of San Francisco’s Chinatown with eight bustling stations to eat, watch, and shop. China Live is often compared to New York’s famous Eataly, and it’s clear as to why. A 20,000 square foot eatery and marketplace + their high-end Eight Tables experience offered on their upper floor invites guests for a more private chateau-style dining incorporating a New Year's menu served all throughout February. 


You can read more about my first time at China Live here

R & G Lounge


SF is home to so many great Chinese restaurants, it’s hard to choose a favorite. But when it comes to this Chinatown staple, R&G Lounge takes the cake! R&G is known for their loud and hasty atmosphere and family-style dining. Oh! … and we can’t forget their Salt and Pepper Crab! Treat your family to a dinner their stomachs won’t forget when you order specialty dishes like honey baked black cod, honey walnut shrimp, peking duck and anything crab! Don’t forget to wash it all down with a nice cold lychee martini.