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Best Chinese restaurants in Chicago

For dim sum, roast duck and other Chinese dishes, head to one of the best Chinese restaurants in Chinatown and beyond

Photograph: Martha Williams
A food lover's tour of Chicago isn't complete without a visit to Fat Rice.

Chicago has a long lineage of Chinese restaurants, from Tony Hu's spots in Chinatown and beyond to Abe Conlon's Fat Rice in Logan Square. With some of the best Chinatown restaurants serving pork buns, dim sum and roast duck, here's our list for the best Chinese restaurants in Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of the best Chicago restaurants

Best Chinese restaurants in Chicago



The chef at this ornate dinner and dim sum spot, Xi Xin Lin, has a mystical way with creamy egg-yolk buns, delicate free-form dumplings stuffed with shrimp and dried scallop and steamed rice-noodle crêpes paired with crunchy bits of celery. This is classed up dim sum at its most traditional, mirrored by the over-the-top, glitzy, gilded look of the second-story restaurant, making it a favorite pick for Chinese wedding banquets.

Armour Square

Fat Rice

Owners Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo (formerly the duo behind the supper club X-Marx) are cooking the food of Macau—a former Portuguese colony along the South China Sea. As such, their menu is heavy with influences both Portuguese (bacalhau, salt cod) and Chinese (pot stickers, Szechuan peppercorns), not to mention any other forays toward which Conlon, the chef, is guided. If this convergence sounds like “fusion,” what’s remarkable is it certainly doesn’t taste like it: The food—especially the paella-like wonder that is the signature “fat rice” and the comforting crock of tofu, pork belly—is vibrant, personal and natural.

Logan Square

Friendship Chinese Restaurant

After his father passed away, Alan Yuen renovated his family’s chop suey house (even installing beautiful hardwood floors himself) and set about turning out solid Canto-American classics. Sesame beef and honey-walnut shrimp are joined by creations such as stir-fried seafood in a shredded potato “bird’s nest,” pan-seared salmon with champagne apple, and boneless Peking duck with Grand Marnier sauce. Don’t want to go out? Take advantage of the brisk delivery service.


Xi’an Cuisine

At this Xi’an spot, order an array of small dishes to share with the table. Start with super thin slices of raw potato, soaking in sour and spicy sauce; hand-stretched noodles with lamb in a gamy broth; and tofu skin with celery in white vinegar sauce. But everyone at the table should order their own lamb flatbread—stuffed with tender, cumin-spiced lamb and tucked into seared, crisp bread, this is one dish you won't want to share.

Armour Square


For some, Sundays are for church. For others, it’s dim sum time. This spot offers one of the largest selections in town and proves the most consistent overall. People pack the giant banquet space to settle in for the barrage of carts that wheel by brimming with a dozen different dumplings (shrimp-peanut, chive and pork stand out); fluffy buns (barbecue pork and pan-fried veggie-pork are awesome); and various fried and steamed morsels of hangover-absorbing snacks. Don’t miss the taro puff, ribs, pot stickers and sweet egg-custard tarts.


MingHin Cuisine

The crackly skin attached to a juicy barbecue duck and a slab of “Macau” pork belly is like a primal call to fans of Cantonese-style roasted meats, and we’d recommend both, along with the perfectly cooked beans in the string bean “casserole” and the chubby rice noodles pan-fried in a lightly spicy XO sauce. But with extensive seafood offerings and an interesting dim sum lineup offered from early in the day to late in the evening, what we really recommend is going to the slick, contemporary dining room and choosing your own favorites.

Armour Square

Sun Wah BBQ Restaurant

This no-frills joint tempts passersby with lacquer-skinned roast ducks hanging by their necks in the steamed-up window. The menu is expansive but inexpensive: The Pei Par BBQ duck and the Hong-Kong–style barbecued pig are sublime in their simplicity, savory and slick with fat. Chinese broccoli arrives jade-green and crisp, and the beef chow fun comes out charred and tasting of the properly smoking wok. Even the egg rolls are notable, dotted with bits of roasted pork. Our advice? Order lots and eat the leftovers at home.


Lao Sze Chuan

Tony Hu uses plenty of Szechuan pepper, dried chilies, garlic and ginger to create flavors that are incredibly addictive. Our favorites are Chengdu dumplings, crispy Chinese eggplant with ground pork, twice-cooked pork, mapo tofu, Szechuan prawns and “chef’s special” dry chili chicken. Trust us or choose at random—you won’t be disappointed.

Armour Square

Hon Kee

Those ducks hanging in the window? Yeah, you’re going to want to order one—you’ll want to experience the interplay of the crispy skin, the soft fat and the rich, gamey meat. You’ll also want the spiced, hot shrimp encased in an addictively crisp and salty coating; the sweet roasted pork with scrambled egg over rice; and the fresh dumplings, so thin you can see the pink shrimp and cabbage hiding within.


Go 4 Food

The Chinatown restaurant fuses multiple Chinese cuisines together to yield dishes like the chili crab, huge Dungeness crabs cooked with curry, onions, ketchup and other ingredients for a spicy, messy, delicious meal. There's the usual suspects, like ma po tofu, but you're definitely rewarded when you try something new.

Armour Square

Best Chinese restaurants in America


Emma B
Emma B

I'm not sure the recommendation of Lao Hunan is accurate. They have switched owners/chefs and the food quality is absolutely not the same as it was a year ago.

Megan E
Megan E

 Oh man, now I'm hungry! I've never even heard of Lao Sze Chuan! I'll definitely have to go there sometime. I'm a sucker for a good Chengdu dumpling. The post said that the chef there uses lots of szechuan pepper, dried chilies and ginger...sounds delicious.
Megan | http://www.sunwah.com.au/#!menu/c786

Samantha B
Samantha B

@Megan E the Lao Sze Chuan location in Chinatown was closed for serious health code violations. I highly recommend MingHin. The new location in Streeterville is very quick, clean and friendly. 

Johnny S
Johnny S

I love Chinese food. I spent two years in Taiwan and was lucky enough to come across some really amazing dishes. Out of all the things I miss the most, dumplings is definitely one of them. There is nothing better than fresh handmade dumplings.That's the first thing I look for in a Chinese restaurant. http://www.lilacblossomrestaurant.com