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Lao Sze Chuan (Chinatown)

Restaurants, Chinese Armour Square
4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
Photograph: Erica Gannett Lao Sze Chuan

Tony Hu has spots in Chinatown for Shanghainese food (Lao Shanghai) and the cuisine of Beijing (Lao Beijing), but neither draws the nightly lines of heat-seekers that this spot does. 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.


Venue name: Lao Sze Chuan (Chinatown)
Address: 2172 S Archer Ave
Cross street: between Wentworth and Princeton Aves
Opening hours: Lunch, dinner
Transport: El stop: Red to Cermak/Chinatown. Bus: 21, 24, 44, 62.
Price: Average main course: $10
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

This is a great restaurant in the heart of Chinatown. Service is ok but the food is worth the trip! Salt n pepper squid, mapo tofu, spicy chicken...all was amazing.


Holy Spicy! I decided to check this place out with a friend of mine who had spent a year in China studying Kung Fu, and he gave it his flavor stamp of approval (not price though, because apparently for what we spent for two, you could have gotten enough food for six in China.) We got everything that was recommended from the Timeout review, and overall it was not that bad. The Chengdu dumplings were basically wontons taken out of the broth and were nothing terribly special. A few of them had even broken open. Then, we got the Dry Chili Chicken and the Hunan Mixed Vegetables. Holy smokes! That chicken was fire! The amount of dry chilis that comes on the plate is ridiculous as well. 

Service was not so great, but I don't expect too much from a Chinese restaurant in all honesty. I just had to keep asking for water, and the server asked us if we were ready to order every minute and a half, so things were a bit rushed. But, like I said, not a deal breaker. 

moderatorStaff Writer

This is my favorite spot in Chinatown! The upstairs seating is great for large groups and you'll want to bring a group to try everything on the menu. The hot pot is the standout here but you can't go wrong with Tony Hu's dry chili chicken.