If you're craving some fluffy steamed rice, sweet and sour chicken, or delicate dim sum, you'll find no shortage of places to try some great Chinese food in Chicago. The city is teeming with hidden gems, from friendly noodle bars to fine dining restaurants. If you're ready to take your tastebuds on a culinary journey, these are the 10 best places to get Chinese food in Chicago.
10. Phoenix, 2131 S Archer Ave
With its jaw-dropping views of the Chicago skyline, exceptional service, and elegant decor, the Phoenix combines a fine dining experience with a family-friendly atmosphere and some of the best dim sum in Chicago. Everything is cooked to order and wheeled steaming hot to the table on the restaurant's signature silver trolleys. The shrimp-and-chive dumplings are particularly delectable. Those looking for something a little more substantial will find plenty of choice on the extensive menu, which includes an eclectic selection of American-Chinese fusion dishes alongside some classic stir-fries and clay pot dishes.
9. Chengdu Impression, 2545 N Halsted St
If you like the hot stuff, head for Chengdu Impression, a Lincoln Park favorite where chilis and peppercorns rule the day. The authentic, creative Sichuan menu is peppered with fiery dishes like BonBon Chicken (hammered, hand-pulled chicken leg served in a spicy Sichuan chili sauce), Mao Xue Wang (Chongqing style beef tripe with pork and blood cake in a fiery Sichuan sauce), and Boiled Fish Sichuan Style (Sichuan style boiled sole fish fillet with napa cabbage and celery in a spicy sauce). Be sure to leave a little room for dessert - the Lao Zao Tang Yuan (sticky rice balls filled with black sesame paste and served in a fermented rice wine broth) is particularly memorable. For something a little more refreshing, try the Sichuan Ice Jelly.
8. Homestyle Taste, 3205 S Halsted St
If you're a fan of tripe, intestines, and liver, don't miss a visit to this beloved family-run operation. An offal lover's dream, its menu is bristling with delights like slivers of kidney stir-fried in handfuls of cumin and red chilies, and quick-fried intestine, tripe, and liver served in a piquant sweet and sour sauce. If you're after a less adventurous culinary experience, there are plenty of tamer options to try, including silky mapo tofu, scallion pancakes, and a warming pickled cabbage and pork meatball soup thick with bouncy noodles and chunks of seasoned tofu.
7. Sun Wah BBQ, 5039 N Broadway
Walk into Sun Wah BBQ and you'll immediately start salivating at the sight of the slabs of hanging barbecued pork and salt-baked chicken. But as Eater.com says, the main attraction of this legendary Uptown eatery is the Peking duck, which is carved tableside and served with steamed bao, garnishes, and hoisin sauce. There's no bar, but you can bring your own bottle.
6. Shanghai Terrace, 108 E Superior
Save the take-out for another day and treat yourself to a sit-down feast at Shanghai Terrace. The restaurant, which was voted the number one "Chinese Restaurant in Chicago" by Zagat Survey, boasts stunning views over the Chicago skyline and historic Water Tower along with a 1930s supper club décor that's the very definition of elegant. The menu isn't exactly lacking either, delivering dish after dish of incredibly lively Cantonese and Shanghainese delicacies that are as much of a treat for the eyes as they are for the belly.
5. Daguan Noodle, 2230 S Wentworth Ave
You wouldn't expect a restaurant with a Bib Gourmand designation from the Michelin Guide to come up short in the menu department, and this first-rate Chinatown eatery on South Wentworth Avenue certainly doesn't do that. The focus is on noodle soups, all of which are freshly prepared on the premises each day. According to the Michelin Guide, the broth tastes like liquid gold. There's a huge variety of options to choose from, including Tomato Rice Noodle, Pig Intestine Rice Noodle, Pig Intestine Rice Noodle, and Beef Shank Rice Noodle.
4. MingHin Cuisine, 2168 S Archer Ave
Named one of the best Chinese restaurants in Chicago by Trip 101 MingHin Cuisine ticks all the boxes, serving up a winning combination of good vibes, friendly service, and authentic Chinese delicacies. Bring your appetite and prepare to enjoy a sizzling hot menu of classic dishes like Crab Rangoon, Braised Birds Nest, BBQ Duck, Deep Fried Pigeon, and Pan-Fried Bitter Melon Omelet. By all accounts, it also has one of the biggest and best Dim Sum menus in the state.
3. Chef Ping, 1755 Algonquin Rd
If you like Chinese American dishes like General Tso Chicken, Chef Ping won't disappoint. But don't stop there - this is a place where the menu is far too good not to take your tastebuds on a culinary journey around classic homestyle dishes like Fu Chi Fae Pian (a signature Szechwan dish of thinly sliced beef and tripe soaked in a fiery spice mix), Gan Pong Squid, and Kung Pao Chicken. Both eat-in and take-out options are available.
2. Katy’s Dumpling House, 665 N Cass Ave
If you're in the mood for some dumplings, take the advice of thechicagotraveler.com and head for Katy’s Dumpling House, a restaurant that will make your tastebuds sing with its huge selection of dumpling treats. There's also a fabulous selection of soups (the beef noodle soup with in-house hand-pulled noodles comes particularly highly recommended), along with classic entrees like Sesame Beef, Sweet and Sour Shrimp, Mongolian Chicken, Moo Shu Pork, and Salt and Pepper Squid. Non-meat eaters have a good selection of vegetarian dishes to choose from. The prices are incredibly affordable, and while the restaurant itself is on the smaller side, the big flavors and exemplary quality of the dishes make it a must-visit.
1. Dolo, 2222 S Archer Ave
Dolo is the only restaurant in Chicago's Chinatown area to have a full bar, making it ideal for diners who like to wash their meal down with something with a boozy kick. But while the selection of wines and cocktails is excellent, the drinks aren't the main reason to come to this sleek eatery. That privilege goes to the food, which includes some delicious dim sim and an impressive specialty menu that includes delights like tea-flavored chicken that's been brined for two days for maximum tenderness, creamy flakes of steamed sea bass in a piquant broth of ginger, picked peppers, scallions and cilantro, and slivers of jellyfish marinated in a tart blend of chili oil and Sichuan peppercorns.
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Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn