Looking for the best Chinese food Chicago has to offer? Then you’ve come to the right place!
No matter if you’re craving authentic dim sum or a perfectly carved Peking duck, you’re sure to be satisfied after eating at Chicago’s best Chinese restaurants.
It is impossible to begin your journey in Chicago without traveling to Chinatown, which boasts a phenomenal concentration of international eateries and landmarks.
The best Chinese restaurants in Chicago are spread out across many areas, from Uptown and West Loop to Avondale and Lincoln Park.
The classics like mapo tofu and shrimp crepes are served by some restaurants, while others offer innovative dishes such as wok-charred brussels sprouts and lobster dumplings laced with truffle. Any order you choose, you can count on the best Chinese restaurants in Chicago to deliver.
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Best Chinese Food Chicago
2247 S. Wentworth Ave., Chicago // +13129822969
Traditional Chinese cooking has four taste sensations: sour, bitter, sweet, and salty. A harmonious blend of these four elements creates a balanced meal. Of course, the meat used in virtually every Chinese dish is meant to satisfy a carnivorous appetite.
The same holds true for the noodles on virtually every Chinese menu — but very few do it like this Slurp Slurp Noodles.
Served in soup or stir-fried, the noodles are hand-pulled and hand-shaved in-house. Beef spare ribs, pork belly, brisket, lamb, seafood, some offal cuts, and more are available as protein options.
Dolo has a very nice atmosphere and a nice setup. Many restaurants in China operate like this one, where you order at the front and have the food brought to you at the table. While they have an array of Chinese dishes, they specialize in Cajun-style boil, which I highly recommend.
With made-to-order dim sum and fresh seafood, the spot is essential for those of you looking for lunch or dinner.
You can share rice rolls and potstickers for lunch, and for dinner, you can try classic Cantonese dishes or Cajun-style boils. Parking is available in a private lot, so you won’t have to worry about finding a spot.
2138 S. Archer Ave., Chicago // +13128810168
MCCB is the brainchild of well-traveled chef-owner Xie Bin. Bin, whose eponymous first restaurant was in Amsterdam, has cooked in China’s top kitchens.
Here, he applies his signature Chongqing style to a range of dishes: radish with fried garlic, spicy fish soup with bean dumplings, and pickled mustard greens with dried fish. Dumplings also abound, including Jiangsu soup dumplings with pork and crab meat and Beijing duck dumplings with hoisin sauce.
2020 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago // +18722068624
Lao Peng You was opened by brothers Daniel and Eric Wat in late 2019 and quickly gained attention for its handmade cuisine.
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill Chinese restaurant. It’s a Lao Peng You restaurant, so you can be assured that the cuisine you’re about to indulge in is deliciously different from anything you’ve tried before.
Using family recipes and childhood memories as inspiration, they have created exceptional dumplings swimming in hot and sour broth and noodles available cold or in soups.
Also, their Spicy Dou Hua with silken bean curd, crispy chili, garlic, and sesame seed is a must-try! Don’t forget to save room for the lamb-cumin flatbread as well.
The atmosphere invites you to linger from the moment you step into Phoenix. It’s no wonder that many regard this 35-year-old Cantonese restaurant as Chinatown’s premier dining spot, where multi-course, family-style meals are served regularly.
The restaurant serves dim sum from pushcarts both in the restaurant and via delivery to your table — a great way to enjoy the food without getting stuck in Chinatown traffic.
With around 50 items available at any given time, guests can order small plates and entrées such as xiao long bao (soup dumplings), chive cakes, shrimp rice rolls, barbecued pork buns, spare ribs, egg tarts, pan-fried pork buns, sticky rice stuffed with red bean paste, steamed potato cake stuffed with seafood or pork, and much more.
18 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago // +17735984093
Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings (Jiao) is the latest dumpling establishment to hit Chicago’s Chinatown. It was opened in 2019 by the team behind the renowned Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings, serving up authentic Chinese cuisine for over ten years.
Jiao offers quick-service ordering, so the food is ready in minutes. The menu features eight types of dumplings available steamed or pan-fried, a few appetizers, and cold tea drinks.
And while Jiao specializes in dumplings, it also offers a menu of other traditional dishes to appeal to diners looking for a complete dinner.
2148 S. Archer Ave., Chicago // +13123261219
There is nothing quite like dining at a Shanghainese restaurant that serves authentic home-cooked Chinese food. I visited one of the city’s most popular, BBQ King, and was pleasantly surprised with their prices and entrées. Traditionalists and newbies can both find something to love at the Chinatown BBQ King.
A typical Peking duck dinner feeds three to four people and is served with additional courses such as fried shrimp and duck bone soup.
Other menu highlights include soy sauce chicken, barbecued pork, and roasted pork. Plus, there are no obligations to fill your stomach with other food items, as you get a discount on your bill if you order one of their unique dishes.
242 W. Cermak Rd., Chicago // +13128081668
Golden Bull is the place to go if you’re looking for no-frills homestyle cooking in Chinatown. It’s one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago. If you like dark, divey, and cheap places that have homestyle cooking, then you will love it.
The restaurant is beautiful both inside and out, with walls decorated with little historical tidbits about other Asian Americans contributing to Chicago culture.
Golden Bull serves up Sichuan-style homestyle cooking at affordable prices that will appeal to your wallet as much as your stomach.
Their pan-seared beef and enormous steamed oysters are terrific, and those in need of late-night sustenance will find salvation in the rice casseroles. It’s some of the best homestyle Chinese food Chicago has ever seen. Trust me!
2621 S. Halsted St., Chicago // +13129292088
You’ve probably heard of Sichuan cuisine. But in a region with over 30 provinces in China, and each havinitsir own unique take on dishes, another type of cuisine is often forgotten.
Da Mao Jia explores Chengdu street food, and the results are as mouth-watering as the bold and spicy flavors.
This means more offal bits and less focus on meats like duck and chicken, although many dishes are cooked in a fiery chili oil that packs quite a punch.
You’ll also find a tempting selection of offal bites and regional dishes, such as spare ribs, Zhong dumplings, and sweet and spicy noodles. Just prepare yourself for bold and spicy flavors.
1516 E. Harper Ct., Chicago // +17739664106
Jade Court has been a favorite Chinese restaurant in the city since 2016, when former Tribune critic Phil Vettel hailed it as one of the best. Unfortunately, the Cantonese restaurant closed in 2019 after its owner, Eddy Cheung, passed away; however, his daughter Carol revived it at a new location last fall.
Their menu features items such as Tsingtao beer-batter fried tofu “paddle” with seaweed, lemon, hot sauce, and pickled veggies.
Their Peking duck feast gives guests the opportunity to sample a trio of duck preparations that play off the musky, gamey fowl’s natural complex flavors. First, the charred ducks are turned into cold appetizer servings of Peking duck soup dumplings.
The braised version is served on a sizzling platter with roasted chestnuts, scallions, and crisp beancurd skins. Delicious!
Final Thoughts On The 10 Must-Try Chinese Restaurants In Chicago
It’s no secret that the food scene in Chicago is on the rise, and Chinese cuisine has never been better. So if you’re craving a perfectly slivered vegetable spring roll or want to try some of the world’s most succulent chicken, these above are the best Chinese restaurants in Chicago.
These Chinese restaurants also serve chicken, beef and broccoli, Chow fun, and General Tso’s chicken. Aside from the usual offerings of American Chinese food, there are many other delicious options.
There’s something for everyone at these restaurants, ranging from spicy Sichuan cooking to dim sum. Even though Chinatown is the mecca, there are also great places on the North Side and in the suburbs.
Visiting other destinations in Illinois? Check out our other delicious guides:
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Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever