Great Eastern Restaurant
649 Jackson St (Near Grant)
San Francisco, CA 94133
When we get asked, “where do we get the dim sum in Chinatown?” The answer usually is.. Great Eastern Restaurant San Francisco has been serving Cantonese Chinese food in this location for many years. They serve dim sum during lunch and traditional items during dinner. We visited for dim sum lunch lunch, early on a weekend day. Great Eastern Dinner was reviewed on a separate visit. President Obama ate here in 2012. Our last visit for dim sum was 1/30/2017.
Cuisine – Cantonese Chinese
Location – San Francisco Chinatown
Decor, Vibe – Great Eastern is a Busy, loud Chinese restaurant with Asian artifacts and wall decorations. Some tourists, big family gatherings, and some Caucasians were dining.
Great Eastern Restaurant, San Francisco Menu
You order on their paper menu and items are slowly brought out to you. Great Eastern has 83 different types of items on the menu, pretty standard classic variety, not a lot of modern inventive dishes. Some classics are not found on very many menu’s any more. Prices rose in 2017 to start from $4. (Was $2.60 in 2011)
Great Eastern Picks:
28 Deep Fried Meat Dumpling ($4) or Ham Sui Gok were hot out of the fryer and very good. Thick-skinned, nice minced meat filling.
54 Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll ($5) was had tasty big shrimp, chewy rice noodle wrapper, and a nice soy sauce. The har gow was actually better than this.
29 Deep Fried Sesame seed ball ($4) arrived freshly made. Larger than most. Hot with a thick skin but just the right sweetness of black sesame inards.
24 Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf ($5) was very good. Three of these bad boys. Rice was cooked just right, lots of filling, and a small egg yolk and Chinese sausage inside.
8 Steamed Chicken Feet with black bean sauce ($4) was made the classic way, with massive quantities, and hit the spot 100%.
7 Steamed beef balls ($4.70) had three medium sized meatballs with a smattering of peas underneath. Not too salty and all in all a solid.
9 Steamed Shrimp Dumpling ($4.70) or Har Gow were four medium-sized bites of dim sum. Shrimp was excellent. Wrapper was done well. Some of the best in the SF Bay Area.
2 Steamed Pork Buns ($4) had 3 medium sized buns filled with tender red pork. Better than average.
10 Snow peas sprouts with fries scallop and shrimp Dumpling ($4.70) – 3 pretty big dumplings that were flavorful and still pretty hot. Nice balance of shrimp and pea shoots.
13 Zhiu Zhou or Chiu Chow dumplings ($4.70) were very well done, big and messy dumplings, filled with peanuts and cilantro.
59 Turtle Shell Jell-O ($5) is an acquired taste that combines black grass jelly with some sugary syrup on top. Well done, slightly bitter aftertaste.
Conclusion – Great Eastern Restaurant and R&G Lounge have been our goto places for Chinese food in San Francisco’s Chinatown and continue to be. The food continues to be very good.
While places like The Kitchen and Koi Palace on the San Francisco Peninsula offer top notch food with many exotic specialties, Great Eastern continues to deliver solid traditional Chinese dim sum.
Service – Service was decent although you need to track down the server for most actions.
Value – Pricing was in line with other dim sum restaurants and cheaper than many.
Alternatives – Nearby restaurants include R&G Lounge, Cityview, and the expensive Yank Sing. Bund Shanghai across the street, has gone downhill. Hong Kong lounge in the Richmond district offers good value but average quality.
Verdict – Great Eastern Restaurant is a solid Chinese restaurant in San Francisco for both lunch and dinner. Their menu is available in Chinese and English, making it easy for all to order.