The Best Peking Duck In San Francisco

San Francisco’s diverse culinary scene is home to some of the best Peking duck in the country. If you’re looking for the most authentic and mouthwatering Peking duck in the Bay Area, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The House of Nanking in Chinatown is widely regarded as the best spot for Peking duck in San Francisco.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know to find the very best Peking duck that San Francisco has to offer. You’ll learn about the top restaurants serving up this Chinese delicacy, what makes for high-quality Peking duck, and tips for getting the most out of your Peking duck dining experience.

What is Peking Duck?

Peking Duck is a famous Chinese dish that originated in Beijing, China. It is a roasted duck dish that is known for its crispy skin and succulent meat. The dish has gained popularity not only in China but also around the world, with many restaurants offering their own versions of this delicious delicacy.

Origin and History

Peking Duck has a long and rich history that dates back to the imperial era of China. It is said to have originated during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and became a favorite dish of the imperial court.

The dish gained further popularity during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) when it became a staple in the imperial cuisine.

The art of preparing and cooking Peking Duck was passed down through generations, and it eventually made its way to the public during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). Today, Peking Duck is not only enjoyed by locals but has also become a must-try dish for tourists visiting China.

Preparation and Cooking Method

The preparation and cooking method of Peking Duck is what sets it apart from other roasted duck dishes. The traditional method involves inflating the duck with air to separate the skin from the fat, which creates a crispy skin when roasted.

The duck is then marinated with a mixture of soy sauce, honey, and various spices.

After marinating, the duck is roasted in a closed oven or hung over an open flame. The cooking process is done slowly to ensure that the skin is crispy and the meat remains tender and juicy. The result is a perfectly roasted duck with a golden-brown skin that crackles when bitten into.

How to Eat Peking Duck

Eating Peking Duck is an experience in itself. The dish is typically served with thin pancakes, scallions, cucumber, and hoisin sauce. To enjoy it, you take a pancake and spread a small amount of hoisin sauce on it.

Then, add a piece of crispy duck skin, some slices of cucumber and scallions, and roll it up like a burrito.

The combination of flavors and textures is what makes Peking Duck so special. The crispy skin, tender meat, and the freshness of the vegetables create a perfect balance of flavors. It is a dish that is meant to be savored and enjoyed with friends and family.

If you’re in San Francisco and craving the best Peking Duck, be sure to check out, a popular restaurant known for its authentic and delicious Peking Duck. They have perfected the art of roasting the duck to perfection, ensuring that every bite is a delightful experience.

Where to Find the Best Peking Duck in San Francisco

San Francisco is known for its diverse culinary scene, and when it comes to Peking duck, there are several restaurants that stand out from the rest. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these establishments are sure to satisfy your craving for this iconic Chinese dish.

The House of Nanking

Located in the heart of Chinatown, The House of Nanking is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Their Peking duck is cooked to perfection, with a crispy skin that is full of flavor. The dish is served with traditional accompaniments such as pancakes, scallions, and hoisin sauce.

The House of Nanking is known for its generous portions and friendly service, making it a must-visit for any duck enthusiast.

Great Eastern Restaurant

Another Chinatown gem, Great Eastern Restaurant is renowned for its Peking duck. The restaurant has been serving this delicacy for over 30 years and has perfected the art of roasting the duck to achieve a crispy skin and tender meat.

The Peking duck at Great Eastern is served with steamed buns, cucumber, and hoisin sauce, allowing diners to create their own delicious duck wraps. With its authentic flavors and welcoming atmosphere, Great Eastern is a top choice for Peking duck in San Francisco.

Mister Jiu’s

If you’re looking for a modern twist on Peking duck, then look no further than Mister Jiu’s. This upscale Chinese restaurant offers a unique take on the classic dish, combining traditional flavors with innovative techniques.

The Peking duck at Mister Jiu’s is served with house-made pancakes, pickled vegetables, and a variety of sauces that add a depth of flavor to each bite. With its stylish ambiance and creative culinary offerings, Mister Jiu’s is a must-try for those seeking a contemporary Peking duck experience.

R&G Lounge

R&G Lounge has been a staple in San Francisco’s Chinatown for over 30 years, and their Peking duck is a crowd favorite. The duck is roasted to perfection, resulting in a crispy skin that crackles with every bite.

It is served with pancakes, scallions, and hoisin sauce, allowing diners to assemble their own mouthwatering wraps. R&G Lounge is known for its consistent quality and generous portions, making it a go-to spot for Peking duck enthusiasts.

China Live

Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown, China Live offers a modern take on Chinese cuisine, including their delicious Peking duck. The duck is roasted to perfection, resulting in a crispy skin and tender meat that melts in your mouth.

It is served with traditional accompaniments such as pancakes, scallions, and hoisin sauce. China Live’s contemporary setting and commitment to quality make it a standout choice for Peking duck in San Francisco.

What Makes for Excellent Peking Duck?

Peking Duck is a popular dish that originated in Beijing, China, and has gained popularity all around the world. It is known for its crispy skin, succulent meat, and unique flavor. Here are some key factors that contribute to an excellent Peking Duck experience:

Thin, Crispy Skin

One of the defining characteristics of a great Peking Duck is its thin and crispy skin. Achieving the perfect balance of crispiness without being greasy is no easy feat. The skin needs to be meticulously prepared by separating it from the fat underneath and then air-drying the duck to remove excess moisture.

Once cooked, the skin should have a golden brown color and a satisfying crunch when bitten into. It is this delicate texture that sets apart exceptional Peking Duck.

Tender, Juicy Meat

While the skin is undoubtedly important, the meat of the duck is equally crucial. The best Peking Duck will have tender and juicy meat that is packed with flavor. This is achieved through a combination of proper marination, cooking technique, and the quality of the duck itself.

The meat should be moist and succulent, with a rich taste that complements the crispy skin. A perfectly cooked Peking Duck will melt in your mouth, leaving you craving for more.

Classic Peking Duck Sauce

No Peking Duck experience is complete without the accompanying sauce. The classic Peking Duck sauce is a savory and slightly sweet mixture that enhances the flavors of the dish. It typically includes ingredients like soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar, vinegar, and sometimes additional spices.

The sauce should have a balanced taste, complementing the richness of the duck without overpowering it. A good sauce can elevate the entire dining experience and bring out the best in the Peking Duck.

Proper Carving and Serving

The final step in delivering an excellent Peking Duck is the proper carving and serving technique. A skilled chef will carve the duck tableside, ensuring that each slice has both skin and meat. The duck is traditionally served with thin pancakes, scallions, and cucumber, allowing diners to assemble their own wraps.

This interactive element adds to the enjoyment of the dish, allowing each person to customize their Peking Duck experience. Additionally, the duck should be served hot and fresh, as this enhances the flavors and textures.

Tips for the Best Peking Duck Experience

Make Reservations in Advance

If you’re planning to indulge in the best Peking duck in San Francisco, it’s important to make reservations in advance. This popular dish is in high demand, and many restaurants have limited quantities available each day.

By securing your reservation ahead of time, you can ensure that you won’t miss out on this culinary delight.

Request the Peking Duck When You Arrive

When you arrive at the restaurant, don’t forget to request the Peking duck specifically. While it may seem like an obvious step, it’s important to communicate your preference clearly to the staff. This will ensure that you receive the authentic and delicious Peking duck that you’ve been looking forward to.

Ask About Carving Styles

One of the unique aspects of Peking duck is the way it is carved and presented. Different restaurants may have their own carving styles, which can affect the taste and texture of the dish. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff about their carving techniques and choose the one that appeals to you the most.

Try Different Dipping Sauces

Part of the joy of eating Peking duck is experimenting with various dipping sauces. While the traditional hoisin sauce is a classic choice, some restaurants may offer additional options such as plum sauce, garlic sauce, or even spicy chili sauce.

Be sure to try different combinations to find your favorite flavor profile.

Enjoy the Meat and the Skin Separately

When it comes to savoring Peking duck, it’s customary to enjoy the meat and the skin separately. The meat is often served first, usually wrapped in thin pancakes with cucumber, scallions, and hoisin sauce.

The crispy skin, on the other hand, is typically enjoyed on its own or with a sprinkle of sugar to enhance its flavor. This allows you to fully appreciate the unique textures and tastes of each component.


With its impressive number of high-quality Chinese restaurants, San Francisco offers exceptional Peking duck for those seeking an authentic taste of this Chinese specialty. By following this guide to the top spots and best practices for ordering and eating Peking duck, you are sure to have an outstanding culinary experience. We recommend heading to The House of Nanking in Chinatown for the absolute best preparation of Peking duck in San Francisco. Their crispy duck with thinly sliced meat served with steamed buns and sauce is unmatched in both taste and presentation. Whatever restaurant you choose, be sure to make reservations ahead of time and savor each decadent bite of juicy meat and shatteringly crisp skin.

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