Sometimes, when the urge to have Chinese dim sum strikes, nothing satisfies until you get it. In Chicago, some of the best Chinese restaurants are located in the Chinatown neighborhood, just south of downtown, although many are also found throughout the city, too.
Whether you prefer well-known Chinese dishes like dim sum or if you're feeling more adventurous and want to try exotic foods (braised shark fin, anyone?) you'll find it all on the menu. And some hot tea to add to the experience.
A specialty of many of Chicago's Chinese restaurants is dim sum. This type of dining consists of bite-sized, steamed dumplings stuffed with a variety of fillings, brought to your table by little wheeled carts and served in small bamboo bowls. The food, almost like Chinese tapas, is placed on a circular, moving platter, so it's perfect for sharing with families or large groups.
The one challenge we often find when dining out for Chinese is that the menu descriptions in English are often lacking, so you'll need to rely on menu photos are use Google Translate to read the menu so you're not surprised with your order.
Chinatown is congested pretty much anytime of the day or week, so consider taking the Red Line L train. For a more scenic ride in the summer time, take the Water Taxi from downtown Chicago (near Ogilvie Transportation Center).