The greatest Chinese food restaurant in Chicago

The greatest Chinese food restaurant in Chicago

I’m not a fan of those fancy Chinese food restaurants; they’re overpriced and never as good as the local spot down the street. I’m sure we could argue all day over who has the best pot stickers, but I feel I need to inform you of the greatest Chinese food restaurant in the city: New Chinatown Chop Suey

(Note that they do not have a website. This is a clue that it’s delicious.)

Clue #2: it’s in Chinatown. I’m endlessly baffled by the number of people who have never been to Chinatown. You must go! I’m no expert on Chinese food authenticity, but you won’t find Orange Chicken on any of the menus. (Fun fact: did you know Orange Chicken was invented by Panda Express? That’s why it’s so gross.)

The New Chinatown Chop Suey menu is just the right amount of fake American and authentic Chinese food at a very reasonable price. The minced beef over rice is one of my favorite things on the planet. The various fried rice options are perfectly seasoned with an excellent meat-to-veggies-to-rice ratio, and the soups are everything you want out of comfort food. And it’s important to note that the portions are huge, so be prepared to take some home with you.

Located in Chinatown, at the corner of Cermak and Wentworth, this fine establishment opens at 6:00 p.m. and closes at 5:00 a.m., give or take a few minutes/hours. This brings in a pretty interesting crowd of patrons. Everything from family gatherings to bums coming in and asking for money. Yes, I’ve seen both.

Another thing to note: There’s been a sign in the window for about ten years now that says the credit card machine is broken, so be prepared with cash.


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  • I like P.F. Chang's. They're like the Apple of chinese restaurants.

  • Sue Eng's on Harlem just south of Lawrence.

  • The American version of Orange Chicken may have been invented by Panda Express, they just Americanized an authentic Chinese dish.

    Authentic orange (peel) chicken is less sweet, and less goopy, but really Chinese (Hunanese, to be exact). And you will find it on many of the menus in Chinatown - you can get both orange (peel) chicken and orange (peel) beef at Lao Szechuan in Chinatown (corner of Archer and Princeton).

  • Oh - thanks for reminding me of Panda's orange chicken. Best Chinese food ever!!

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