I discovered Sam Wo restaurant by accident over 20 years ago. We were tourists on foot and hungry in China Town, wandering the main streets past glittering restaurants with huge, carved doors and massive, gilded lions, declining numerous invitations from tuxedo-clad doormen to taste their characteristically expensive fare. On a whim, I choose to walk down a hill on one of the less traveled streets where the sidewalk ... view moreLike this review?Yes|Flag AbuseProvided by Citysearch
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My husband and I accidently found this. We were there for a seminar and just walking around. Decided to give this a try. The sign said it is a hundred years old and we wanted to feel the real Chinatown. You walk in through the kitchen, and then up very narrow stairs to the 3rd floor where there are about 8 small old wooden tables and chairs. We choose the table near the open window that overlooks the streets. It was ... view moreLike this review?Yes|Flag AbuseProvided by Citysearch
What can I say other than, “Sam Who is absolutely awesome!” This place is a true hole in the wall by definition. You have to walk through a kitchen an up a narrow stairwell just to get to the seating area, it’s an experience in itself.\r
Prices are ridiculously cheap, and portions are exceptionally large! For $10 you can feed two people with leftovers to spare. They are open until 4:00am EVERYDAY and about a... view more
We have been to Sam Wo's twice in the last 25 years. Once by accident and the other on purpose when we needed a fix from the surly, overworked waitress.
I know this does not sound like much of an endorsement, but if you go to Sam Wo's with a few bucks in your pocket and a hungry tummy, you'll get decent food for a low price.
If you go looking for high-brow service, stay away.
On our last visit, the harried waitres... view more
I have two things to say: 1) Pork Noodle Roll 2) Won Ton Soup. No other chinese restaurant makes pork noodle roll. It is sweet bbq chinese pork with cilantro rolled up into a cold rice noodle and sliced. You dip it into hot mustard sauce and it melts in your mouth. It is my most favorite treat in the world. They used to make it only for lunch so I would make any excuse to drive the 30 miles from Walnut Creek so ... view moreLike this review?Yes|Flag AbuseProvided by Citysearch
By far, it was the most bizarre restaurant we have ever been to. The ambiance is unpleasant and the food is borderline edible. It's really a miracle that this restaurant survived thus far. We were somewhat amused by the seemingly overworked lone waitress and would never come back unless there is a need to punish our children :)Like this review?Yes|Flag AbuseProvided by Citysearch
This is Chinatown, and this restaurant is not a tourist trap at all!\r
I doubt that tourists would brave these conditions, it is far too funky for the Denny's crowd.\r
This is the place that late night North Beach beat/hip/poor/struggling/desperate and hungry types have frequented for many many years, just to stay alive! Where else can you eat for $3!\r
It's authentic beat/psychedelic/whatever as far b... view more
This place is not for people without a sense of humor or adventure. After walking through the kitchen to get to the stairs that lead to the upper eating levels, We found ourselves in what I would describe as a ships galley. The surly yet amusing waitreess hands you menus and then informs you, " We no serve beer. You want beer, You go across the street to liquor store and bring it back." Did that. She gave us styrofoa... view moreLike this review?Yes|Flag Abuse
This is the only place you will find it authentic... Why? They impressed me by continuing to use the very old and traditional northeastern Chinese restaurants' method of #1 Having the chef cooking right where you walk in, #2 Having waiters and waitresses communicating from the 3rd and 2nd floor where the customers sit, #3 Having the wooden tables and chairs that are nowadays replaced by the modern furnitures in most ... view moreLike this review?Yes|Flag AbuseProvided by Citysearch
We were walking around Chinatown at 10:00 p.m. trying to find an open restaurant and stumbled upon Sam Wo's. What a trip. They say they've been open for 100 years, well I believe it from the condition of the restaurant. But who cares about the atmosphere if the food is good? And it was. And cheap. I was more amazed at the diversity of the customers; ranging from 20 somethings to senior citizens. Go figure that ... view moreLike this review?Yes|Flag AbuseProvided by Citysearch