Foodie Finds: Best Chinese in Downtown Chicago

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Apr 29, 2009 / 1 comments


Best Chinese Restaurant in Downtown Chicago

Well, we've just returned from a fantastic trip to Chicago and truly enjoyed ourselves. We stayed on the Magnificent Mile and sampled many global cuisines. However, when we googled Best Chinese Food in downtown Chicago, there was hardly any offerings for us to follow up on. We queried our oorman, several concierges at excellent hotels, and a few locals - and have two recommendations for our readers - one in Chinatown that we heartily recommend, and one right off Michigan Avenue that will do in a pinch if you're not interested in Thai food (which we love).



Best Chinese in Chicago

Chinatown, Chicago


The Best Chinese Restaurant that we've found in Chicago is located in Chinatown. It is called "little' Three Happiness Restaurant because there is another, larger Three Happiness Restaurant across the road (separately owned). Little Three Happiness Restaurant has a slew of restaurant and wining awards, and has even inspired a foodie forum for finding great restaurants! You can see the LTH thread here, on the LTH forum:

Located just down the block (west) from the big Chinatown sign on Cermak, Little Three Happiness is an unassuming storefront with a few reviews posted in the window.  We headed in and were helped immediately to find a seat, given a dim sum sheet and regular lunch menu, and brought hot tea and ice water.


Best Chinese in Chinatown Chicago

Spicy Chicken


Best Chinese in downtown Chicago

Crab rangoons, served with a delicious homemade orange sauce


Best Chinese in downtown Chicago

Diced chicken in brown sauce


My daughter and I love crab rangoons, and always test a restaurant on this. These were perfect - hot, and filled with gooey and crabby filling. We also got the diced chicken with brown sauce. My husband got a spicier chicken dish and loved it. Other recommendations were noodle dishes (but we'd had that the night before, at a Thai restaurant)...

I highly recommend "little" Three Happiness Restaurant.

You can find "little" Three Happiness at
209 W Cermak Road (on the south side of Cermak)
Chinatown, Chicago, IL 60616

It is very difficult to find Chinese food right downtown. We tried a Chinese take-out restaurant just a few blocks off the Magnificent Mile, on Ohio Street, called Yu Shan. They don't use MSG, can steam your food, and are very friendly. The open kitchen is fun to watch. There is only one small table and you'll probably want to get it delivered and eat in a bit more comfort. As for the food, the ingredients seemed fresh, especially the vegetables. The hot and sour soup was delicious, as were the crab rangoons (really gooey inside). I did not like the tempura shrimp, but my husband raved about his spicy chicken dish. If you're craving Chinese food and are staying in the downtown area without a car, this is probably a good option for you. There are several non-Chinese menu items (corn on the cob, Italian beef, etc) which seemed strange to me.


Best Chinese in downtown Chicago

Crab rangoons


Best Hot and Sour Soup in Chicago

Hot and Sour Soup


Best Chinese in downtown Chicago

Spicy Chicken


Yu Shan Restaurant
17 E Ohio Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Comments (1)

  • Kerry Dexter

    15 years 1 month ago

    Two of my favorite places to eat (read, get take away) in Ireland are Chinese. They too have small sections of what they call European dishes -- hamburgers, chips 'n curry, sausages and peas...but for some reason the canned soft drinks they offer seem the strangest choice to go along with Chinese food to me. and in Scotland, Kung Pao chicken and Irn Bru, anyone?

    thanks for the suggestions, Jessie.

    Kerry Dexter

    Music Editor,

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