10Best List photo 10BEST says

Asian: Locals swear this is the best Chinese food in the city - and the line out the front door every night supports that. Although some local restaurant critics have said the quality may be going downhill, Mission Chinese is still incredibly popular and offers one of the more interesting Asian menus in the whole city. Where else can you start off your meal with Beer-Brined Sichuan Pickles? Or Tea-Smoked Eel? If you like spicy, there are several dishes that will sizzle your tongue, including the always popular Ma Po Tofu. If you're willing to wait for a table and fight some crowds for your dinner, Mission Chinese is worth checking out.

Chinese: Although locally respected restaurant critic Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle feels the service and quality of Mission Chinese has slipped, this restaurant started at such a great height, it could afford some slippage. Founder Danny Bowien was met with such critical and commercial success when he opened Mission Chinese in 2009 that he soon opened another restaurant in New York City. Some feel Mission Chinese has suffered from his absence, but his original dishes mixing traditional Chinese with California innovation still make this restaurant worth visiting. From the Sour Chili Chicken to the Stir-Fried Pork Jowl, you'll find Chinese-inspired dishes here that you can't find anywhere else. But get there early - the line forms quickly at this restaurant that's especially popular with Mission neighborhood locals.

Mission District's Best Restaurants: You could walk right past 2234 Mission Street and not think twice that you're passing one of the most popular restaurants in the city. And not just best Chinese restaurants outside of Chinatown, best restaurants, period. So good that head chef Danny Bowien opened a similar restaurant in Manhattan last year, and those picky New Yorkers were forced to admit that San Francisco did indeed have fantastic Chinese food, too. Like most California cooking, this cuisine has been slightly "westernized," which creates its unique appeal. Most dishes are hot and spicy, so be forewarned, particularly the beer-brined sichuan pickles, a local favorite.

Best of San Francisco's Chinatown: Locals swear this is the best Chinese food in the city - and the line out the front door every night supports that. Although some local restaurant critics have said the quality may be going downhill, Mission Chinese is still incredibly popular and offers one of the more interesting Asian menus in the whole city. Where else can you start off your meal with Beer-Brined Sichuan Pickles? Or Tea-Smoked Eel? If you like spicy, there are several dishes that will sizzle your tongue, including the always popular Ma Po Tofu. If you're willing to wait for a table and fight some crowds for your dinner, Mission Chinese is worth checking out.

10Best List photo Insider Tips

Local Expert Tom Molanphy Says:

Asian, Best of San Francisco's Chinatown: "Mission Chinese is incredibly popular with locals and tourists alike, so be sure to get there early."

Chinese: "Start your meal off right with Grandma's Pork Dumplings appetizer"

Mission District's Best Restaurants: "Lots of recent buzz about this restaurant, which doesn't take reservations, makes this a "plan-ahead" meal. Closed on Wednesdays."

Best for Asian Because: Started by beloved restauranteur Danny Bowen, Mission Chinese remains very popular.

Best for Chinese, Mission District's Best Restaurants Because: Locals swear this is the best Chinese food in the city.

Recommended as Best of San Francisco's Chinatown Because: Mission Chinese, a local sensation, is one of the most popular restaurants in the city.

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