We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Family Chinese Dinner”
Review of Lao Sze Chuan

Lao Sze Chuan
Ranked #1,043 of 10,175 Restaurants in Chicago
Price range: USD 0 - USD 30
Cuisines: Chinese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighbourhood: Chinatown
Reviewed 14 May 2018

Went for a graduation dinner with family. Place was busy, and entrees were good sized portion of tasty Chinese options. Left overs are a bonus and prices are reasonable. Try to beat the dinner rush by arriving early as it is a popular Saturday night option.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TravelerG8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (172)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages

4 - 8 of 173 reviews

Reviewed 3 May 2018

8 of us went for a casual business dinner. We ordered 6 entrees, 2 sides, 2 potstickers and 1 rice - more than plenty of food to share on the lazy susan in the middle of the table. Everything was great! The menu is HUGE!! Service was great!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank BMeghanG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2018

My husband and I were not fans of Chinese food until we tried this place! It's best to go with a group so you can try a bunch of different dishes. They have a ton of options for vegetarians! Some of our favs are their mapo tofu (highly recommend this if you enjoy spicy food!!), garlic sauce eggplant, and chow mein.

Ambiance and service aren't the best, but the food more than makes up for it.

    • Service
    • Food
Thank Tanvi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2018

After having eaten several times in China Town in Chicago, we found this restaurant strolling througy the square.
They have an amazing huge menu and every dish we tried was delicios.
We thought, that due to it's popularity they would have increased heavily the prices, but this wasn't the case.
May be, you will have a little bit trouble to comunicate with the staff, which doesn't speak very good English, but the food is worth it.
Ask for advice, because not all the dishes in the menu are for western world preferences, but you shure will find something you will be delighted.
Will definetly come back.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank HerbertHuayacocotla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2018

It was time to indulge in some hot-pot and Lao Sze Chuan's at 2172 So. Archer is an ideal venue to do so.
Although they don't take reservations for parties of fewer than 6, we figured we'd just try our luck, figuring that there are so many excellent options within a one or two block radius that we wouldn't have an issue finding a viable alternative if need be. As it turned out, we found street-parking right in front of the restaurant- arriving at 7:30 on Friday evening, and there were two four-tops open in the otherwise humming restaurant - lucky us.
My dinning companion and I ordered the 'hot-pot' - for two, one side 'hot', the other 'mild.' The 'mild' side being akin to a vegetable soup broth with some vegetables in it and the 'hot' being filled with chilies, chili-flakes and chili-oil. Surprisingly, the 'hot' side was not so 'hot' as to numb one's gums, but, quite flavorful all the same. We were immediately presented with a pot of hot tea and a plate of diced cabbage with chili-flakes and chili-oil. Shortly thereafter two platters arrived, one for our meal, consisting of beef and lamb, both sliced as thin as carpaccio, and both in more than ample servings. The other platter was massive and had on it mushrooms, cabbage, baby-spinach, clams [in their shells, though I'm not sure which species there were, as they weren't steamers, razors, little-necks, top-neck or cherry-stones; perhaps they were quahogs / the actual mollusks were about an inch and a half in length contained in a three inch shell, the inner rim of the shell having a greenish line around its circumfrance], prawns [medium sized, also in their shells], fish-filet [in fairly small pieces], chicken-filet [also in fairly small pieces], cow's stomach/tripe [again, sliced into small strips], as well as a 'green' we simply couldn't identify [it had the texture of a fungus/perhaps mushroom, but, somewhat of a sea-infused flavor]. A little later into the meal a plate of vemicelli noodles was delivered to the table [more on those later].
Once the liquids in the pot began to boil we utilized our chop-sticks [two sets were provided for each person - one to use on the raw ingredients and the other to consume the cooked product with]. Taking the un-cooked food and putting some into the small strainer-like device that had a long-handle, one could either rest the handle on the edge of the pot, or hold the handle and use the chop-sticks to turn the food within the cup of the strainer while cooking it. Sometimes we would just put the vegetables into the liquid and retrieve them using the chop-sticks. However, at least for such as the mushrooms, meats, fish and/or chicken it's advisable to use the strainer.
Our server - 'Jo Jo', couldn't have been more attentive. Though her Chinese accent was rather pronounced, she was thoroughly intent on our enjoying our meal to its fullest. Periodically over the course of the meal one of the staff would arrive with a kettle of boiling hot liquid [of the broth of the 'mild' side] and inquire as to if we wanted either side of the pot topped off [during the extended time of the meal the liquids both evaporate and get absorbed by the foods you've cooked, so, toppings off may be indicated] - though such would dilute the chili/'hot'-side.
When my dining companion and I were about ready to throw in the towel, so speak, we'd saved room for the vermicelli-noodles. Placing equal amounts in either side of the pot, after giving them about 4 minutes to cook and retrieving them with the use of the long-handled strainers and chop-sticks; we found that they absorbed the flavors of the liquids - respectively, they'd been cooked in. For the first time over the course of the meal, I found the noodles that had been cooked in the 'hot' / chili side of the pot to be approaching spicy-hot {though, still, not gum-numbing so}. In drinking some of the tea we found that it acted to serve to loosen and vitalize some of the chili-oils that had accumulated in our mouths over the course of the meal; in so doing concluding the meal on a tasty note{s}.
Remarkably - and bearing in mind that we simply couldn't consume nearly a quarter to a third of the foods provided; this... feast cost the two of us under $40 {combined, excluding tax and gratuity}. You can order ala-carte from 50 different options of ingredients, or, go for the set-hot-pot {the latter of which we'd opted for}. Prices for the set-hit-pot vary depending on the day of the week and/or on special occasions, e.g., holidays.
Otherwise, there's a substantial menu of alternative offerings, some being Westernized and others being traditional Chinese/something for every pallet.
Bring an appetite and relax. We spent two and a half hours over our meal and never felt rushed whatsoever. One item to be aware of is that it's a fairly small dinning room and can get rather loud at times.

2  Thank SavyTraveling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Been to Lao Sze Chuan? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing