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The view from San Francisco's Chinatown, Empress of China restaurant


The interior of the Empress of China in San Francisco's ChinatownIn a Nutshell...

One of the views from the dinning floor of the Empress of ChinaSituated in the heart of Chinatown, the Empress of China has some of San Francisco’s best restaurant views of the city. Most of the city’s restaurants with views look out over the water, but the Empress of China looks out to the east over Portsmouth Plaza to the Transamerica Pyramid and the Financial District, to the north at Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower. Its bar has a great view to the west of Nob Hill. While the food may not be gourmet (it rarely is in view restaurants) it is quite good.

The decor is a mix of antique Chinese and retro (tired) 70’s. One feels nothing has changed in a very long time, which, in a city where everyone seems to be trying to be trendier than the next, may not be such a bad thing. Unfortunately, in this case, that includes greasy windows, which is indeed a very bad thing in a restaurant whose main claim is its view. Bowtied Chinese waiters, white tablecloths and bizarre ancient chandeliers complete the grownup, civilized atmosphere.

On the lunch menu, most entrees are about $16, but there are also multi course choices such as the Princess, $17.50 per person, featuring tea, soup, steamed rice, wonton, sweet and sour pork and the very tender Empress (broccoli) beef. Portions are large enough to fill this big eater.


  • Great city views
  • White tablecloth service


  • Dirty windows


Looking down Grant Avenue in the heart of San Francisco's ChinatownThe Basics:
Happy Hour: 3:00 to 6:00, half priced drinks and appetizers

Price Range: $10 - $30


Alcohol: Full bar

Booths: Yes



Credit Cards: Yes

Outdoor Seating: No


The view of Coiit Tower from the Empress of China in the heart of Chinatown

Daily, 11:30 am to 10:00 pm
Neighborhood: Chinatown

838 Grant Ave (between Clay St & Washington St)
San Francisco, CA 94108

(415) 434-1345 / EmpressOfChinaSF.com


View Empress of China in a larger map


The views from the Empress of China really are spectular


bottem of the shadow


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