Whether you’re looking for delicious dim sum, a multi-course Peking duck meal, or spicy Sichuan delicacies, Chicago’s best Chinese restaurants have you covered. While Chinatown is a natural starting point, there are numerous fantastic options throughout the city, from Uptown to Hyde Park. This article on the top 15 Chinese restaurants in Chicago will explore the best Chinese restaurants in Chicago that offer delicious food and exceptional culinary services.
Year after year, Chinese food is at the top of the list of favorite cuisines in the United States (sometimes neck and neck with Mexican food).
However, getting true Chinese food may be difficult because most Chinese food found in the United States is actually American-Chinese food. So finding Chinese restaurants in Chicago that offer authentic Chinese food is therefore at the top of every Chinese food lover’s list.
Top Chinese Restaurants in Chicago
There are so many restaurants in Chicago you can get Chinese food that it could be difficult to know the real deals.
To help you find the best Chinese restaurants in Chicago, we have put together a list of 15 top Chinese restaurants in Chicago whose food and services will leave you asking for more.
1. Dolo Restaurant
To say that the menu at Dolo is extensive is an understatement. The trendy Chinatown eatery serves a variety of dim sum dishes, including bitter melon custard cakes, durian crepes, delicate pork shumai, creamy egg tarts, and fluffy pork buns.
But that hardly scratches the surface of what Dolo has to offer: A unique-sized menu features beautiful photographs of seafood by the pound, beef tenderloin, crunchy fried shrimp, spicy jellyfish, mango, and stir-fried lo mein, among other special meals.
If we haven’t already stated it, come hungry and bring a friend or two.
2. Shanghai Inn
Shanghai cuisine is famous for being slightly sweeter than most other Chinese meals, and it is also known for its numerous dim sums and light dishes.
Go to Shanghai Inn for a bowl of authentic little won tons and feel the heartiness fill your soul if you’re looking for the best Chinese restaurants in Chicago. Alternatively, you could try one of the traditional Shanghai home dishes.
3. MCCB Chicago
MCCB (an acronym for Modern Chinese Cook Book) is one of the top Chinese restaurants in Chicago that specializes in Canton-style cuisines and Sichuan, so guests can expect an extensive menu that spans several regions of China.
Dry chili fantail shrimp served in a little fryer basket are examples of “modern” fare. The specialty dish of this Chinatown eatery, however, is an entire fish steeped in fiery chili soup before being grilled and cut at your table.
4. Jade Court
Carol Cheung, who took over from her late father Eddy Cheung, presents a fantastic variety of aquatic gems at this Hyde Park restaurant.
Though egg foo young, Peking duck, and orange beef are available, the lobster and Dungeness crab, which can be served in a variety of ways, are the actual stars of the show.
The dried fish, typhoon shelter-style -tossed with chilis, and garlic chips and heaped high on the plate is highly recommended. It’s a mouthwatering sight to behold.
5. Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings
This simple dumpling restaurant, which, by the way, is one of the best Chinese restaurants in Chicago, began as a walk-up stand in the Richland Center’s basement before going above ground to a gorgeous, airy location in the center of Chinatown.
The menu is a dumpling lover’s dream, with pillowy pockets stuffed with beef and tomato, lamb onion, egg, chicken dill, cabbage, and other flavor combinations.
When you’re sick of popping dumplings (if that’s even possible), get a few kebabs from the grilling section—the grilled lamb is delicious.
6. Lao Peng You
There are few purer joys on this planet than handmade dumplings and noodles, which brothers Daniel and Eric Wat have mastered thanks to their grandmother and generations of women before her.
Chicagoans heartily agree, because the brothers’ modest Ukrainian Village restaurant, one of the most popular Chinese restaurants in Chicago, has been popular since it debuted in early 2020.
The cold noodles serve as a medium for peanuts, chile oil, soy sauce, and cilantro, while the dumplings are presented in a wonderfully spicy broth suitable for dipping and slurping. In terms of carbohydrates, the chung yao bing bread is a must.
7. Nine Bar
A cocktail lounge has finally opened in Chinatown, and it has been well worth the wait. Nine Bar, one of the best Chinese restaurants in Chicago, is located behind Moon Palace Express and is a dim and moody environment inspired by the universe of Blade Runner.
The Asian-inspired menu features drinks like a Mai Tai blended with almond cookie orgeat and an old-fashioned made with plum wine, rice vodka, and barley instead of whisky.
There are additional side dishes like a McKatsu sandwich and wings tossed in General Tso’s sauce.
8. Go 4 Food
Go 4 Food, which many will agree is one of the best Chinese restaurants in Chicago blends many Chinese cuisines to create meals like the chili crab, which consists of large Dungeness crabs cooked with onions, curry, ketchup, and other ingredients for a hot, messy, and tasty feast.
They also have obvious suspects, such as mapo tofu, but you will be rewarded if you try something different.
9. Golden Bull
Golden Bull, a Cantonese institution since 1992 and one of the best Chinese restaurants in Chicago, specializes in home-style cooking and substantial rice casseroles.
They go well with proteins like a chicken with ribs in black bean sauce or black mushrooms. The rest of the menu includes dishes such as pig tripe, beef tongue floating in XO sauce with deep-fried quail, and pickled mustard greens.
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10. D Cuisine
Danny Fang, a MingHin veteran, and his partner, Cuiwen Chen, bring authentic Hong Kong-style dim sum to Lincoln Park with this stylish restaurant, which is one of the best Chinese restaurants in Chicago.
All day you can have shrimp dumplings, pan-fried pot stickers, barbeque pig buns, and other small meals. Try the Guangzhou-style roasted chicken for something heartier.
11. Phoenix Restaurant
Phoenix, one of Chinatown’s most popular restaurants, serves classic Cantonese cuisine in a vast and elegant setting.
Come for dim sum and sample a variety of classics such as egg yolk buns, chicken feet, and steamed beef balls. Large groups can order a multi-course specialty that can feed up to ten people.
12. The X Pot
Hot pot, a communal dish that entails simmering raw dishes in boiling broth, doesn’t get more luxurious than the experience offered at this South Loop eatery. Guests can indulge in premium wagyu beef as well as other delicacies such as caviar, uni, and foie gras.
The sleek and sophisticated restaurant, which is one of the best Chinese restaurants in Chicago, also serves individual-sized hot pots, and dishes are brought out by robot servers. And don’t forget to get the dancing noodles for a fantastic show.
13. Da Mao Jia
Da Mao Jia (previously known as A Place by Damao) transports guests to the streets of Chengdu and specializes in heat and taste. Spicy Chengdu fries, braised duck wings, and silky homemade dumplings will set your taste buds on fire.
Almost everything here is rubbed or coated with mouth-watering Sichuan pepper, so add the warm water jelly cake with black sugar to your order for respite at the end of the meal.
14. Chengdu Impression
This Lincoln Park restaurant will undoubtedly delight visitors looking for something real, utilizing ancient recipes and techniques from Chengdu (the capital of China’s Sichuan province).
The menu is crammed with intriguing items that dare guests to stray from General Tso’s chicken (which is also available).
Before going for the Zigong-style frog with ginger and pickled chiles, you should begin with the dry chili chicken, which is filled with hot peppercorns.
15. Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar
At Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar in Bucktown, the culinary geniuses behind the famed Chicago restaurant Giant serve spicy variations on sweet and sour chicken, walnut shrimp, Mongolian beef, and other crave-worthy Chinese-American takeaway staples.
Pair it with a cocktail from the menu, which has amazing sippers with ingredients like orange blossom syrup, lavender gin, and fresh lime leaf. A trio of warm almond biscuits rounds off every order.
Chicago is home to many Chinese restaurants offering delicious dishes prepared in the traditional Chinese way.
In this list of top Chinese restaurants in Chicago, we have listed restaurants offering enticing dishes like fluffy barbecue pork buns, Hong Kong-style crab, crackling roast pork, and supple dumplings filled with lamb and shrimp.