This is part four in a series revealing America’s best Chinese restaurants. Find part one here, part two here, and part three here, part four here, part five here, part six here, and part seven here, and stay tuned for the complete ranking.
If you live near Chicago and haven’t been to Lao Sze Chuan, here’s a word of advice: Go. Now. You can consider yourself fortunate to be living in a city that’s home to a Chinese restaurant of this caliber, run by Tony Hu, dubbed the mayor of Chinatown and proprietor of a handful of restaurants throughout the city. The Chinatown original is the best, though, and folks are lining up every night to get in. The Szechuan fare served here is spicy and intensely flavorful, and it’s racked up accolades including three forks from the Chicago Tribune and a designated ‘bib gourmand’ in the Michelin Guide. Classics like ma po tofu, cumin lamb, dry chili chicken, and twice-cooked pork are flawless, and the house specialties — like Tony’s Three Chili Chicken: sweet, crispy, moist, and not too spicy — will keep you coming back (or ordering delivery) again and again.