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Chinese restaurants: 8 staff favorites

Where to get your fix during Chinese New Year, in and outside of Chinatown

  • Lao Sze Chuan in Chinatown
Lao Sze Chuan in Chinatown (Barry Brecheisen/RedEye )
January 23, 2012|RedEye

Just as you’re getting used to 2012, here’s another new year to throw into the mix: The Year of the Dragon. Chinese New Year started Jan. 23 and ends on Feb. 15, with most of Chicago’s celebratory events—like the annual parade in Chinatown—coming up this weekend.

From dim sum to barbecue to takeout staples, here are just a few of our favorite restaurants for a Chinese food fix. Share your favorite by tweeting us at @redeyechicago or e-mailing dining producer Lisa Arnett at lmarnett@tribune.com and we may add them below.

Sun Wah BBQ Restaurant
5041 N. Broadway 773-769-1254
I’ve been going to Sun Wah since I was a teenager growing up in Minnesota and Chicago was a popular summertime road trip. The location has changed, but the food remains a fond taste of childhood—and my fave Chinese restaurant in the city. Must-tries include the Peking duck, any of the noodle soups and, of course, the barbecue. –Tran Ha

Lao Sze Chuan
2172 S. Archer Ave. 312-326-5040
Like Chinatown restaurateur Tony Hu’s other restaurants, Lao Shanghai and Lao Beijing, the massive menu can be seriously daunting at this restaurant specializing in cuisine from China’s Szechuan region. I love the dry chili chicken; if you can really handle your spice, order it “spicy.” –Lisa Arnett

Papajin
1551 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-384-9600
Dishes from this cozy Wicker Park spot are flavorful and reliable. And it's open on Christmas! –Matt Pais

Spring World
2109 S. China Pl. 312-326-9966
I love the dirt-cheap lunch special at this Chinatown restaurant; for $4.95, you get an entree with rice and tea. They don’t advertise it readily, but it’s definitely worth the extra effort to ask for it. –LA

Manee Thai
1546-48 W. Chicago Ave. 312-773-3339
The name says Thai, but this West Town BYOB serves all kinds of Asian fare, from sushi to Thai to your Chinese favorites. I have never had a bad experience here and it is definitely one of my neighborhood favorites. Plus the price is right! –JC

Cai
2100 S. Archer Ave., Suite 2F 312-326-6888
The newest dim sum spot in Chinatown is giving neighborhood standbys such as Phoenix and Furama a run for their dumplings. You can make selections from the traditional roaming carts, or check off the items you want on a menu list. –LA

Shine
756 W. Webster Ave. 773-296-0101
I love this Lincoln Park restaurant for a girl’s night out; just head in with your gals and enjoy Chinese dishes served family-style. Other bonuses: A full bar and outdoor seating when the weather’s warm. –JC

Egg Roll King
4204 N. Broadway 773-883-2647
If you live within this Uptown restaurant’s delivery radius, call them. It’s the perfect comfort Chinese food to enjoy on a night in with your honey. –JC

READER FAVORITES

"Wok Cuisine in the Albany park area." --@AHKNEEBALL via Twitter

"Crab rangoon at Empire Restaurant, Division & Dearborn, is fantastic. Place is tiny, no frills."  @midwestninja via Twitter

 "Dee's--asparagus beef rolls, pan noodles, chicken + green beans, even the fried rice kills." @CAVandy via Twitter

"Chinatown!!!! Lao shanghai... Lao beijing, lao sze chaun." --@jabomb18a via Twitter

"Big Bowl!!!! Love love love." --Stacey Efstathiou via Facebook

"Evergreen in Chinatown!" --Edmund Cruz via Facebook

 "Chi-Tung [in] Evergreen Park?" --David Anthony via Facebook

 "Moon Palace in Chinatown." --Lois Casaleggi via Facebook

 "Pekin House in West Rogers Park." --Gina Fowley via Facebook

 "Another vote for Chi Tung. It's not fancy, but I like it!" --Rene Paquin via Facebook

"Shanghai Inn." --Danny Luwe via Facebook

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