photo credit: Julia Chen

Sam Wo Restaurant image

Sam Wo Restaurant



$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerLunchClassic Establishment
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Like the awning out front states, Sam Wo has been cooking for over 100 years, and is one of the oldest restaurants in SF’s Chinatown. The two-story Cantonese restaurant—complete with a dumbwaiter—was famously home to “San Francisco’s Worst Waiter” before closing and moving to a new location on Clay Street back in 2015. The service these days is decidedly more polite (and they’re no longer open until 3am), but not much else has changed. BBQ pork noodle rolls and youtiao are mainstays on practically every table, and you’re just as likely to see multi-generational families doling out big portions of fried rice as you will a group of 20-somethings nursing hangovers over bowls of fish jook and wonton noodle soup. 

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Suggested Reading

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The Best Restaurants In San Francisco’s Chinatown

15 spots for juicy xiao long bao, steamed fish, and crispy pork belly.

25 Classic Restaurants In SF image

Eating in the city just wouldn't be the same without these spots.


Hon’s Wun-Tun House is a Chinatown fixture for wonton soup.


The Sichuan dishes at Z&Y in Chinatown are mouth-numbing and fantastic.

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