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What is the best szechuan restaurant in Chicago?

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I'm a hound living in LA returning to Chicago. In between Barnaby's Pizza and Wings and Cheddar Fries at Buffalo Joes, I will be searching for a great szechuan place. Is there one?

thnx!

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  1. Lao Sze Chuan
    2172 South Archer Avenue

    Hands down the best szechuan restaurant in Chicago!

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    Lao Sze Chuan
    2172 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

    4 Replies
    1. re: foodieprm

      Agreed. Lao Sze Chuan is excellent.

      Try the:
      Twice cooked pork
      Lamb with cumin
      Tony's chicken with three chili
      Szechuan Smoke Tea Duck
      Mapo Tofu
      Garlic Peapod Leafs
      Dan Dan Noodles
      Chengdu Dumpling

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      Lao Sze Chuan
      2172 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

      1. re: kathryn

        Another enthusiastic vote for Lao Sze Chuan. You can BYO wine for a modest corkage fee.

        I recently tried another Szechuan place in Chinatown, Double Li. Food was inferior to Lao and the owners are rotten people. I went at lunch, and got the regular menu. Then a Chinese couple came in and got the lunch menu (after I ordered). Guess what -- lunch menu had $5 options, and regular menu had $10 options and up. Hostess kept the lunch menus hidden underneath a stack of regular menus. Shameful.

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        Lao Sze Chuan
        2172 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

        1. re: jayh

          My experience at Double Li has consistently been the exact opposite. The food is far superior to Lao Sze Chuan (many of whose dishes taste alike), and the servers and owners are far more friendly at Double Li. The servers at Lao Sze Chuan are generally unfriendly and unhelpful, and don't always speak English well. Whereas the staff at Double Li are consistently friendly, and the owner, Mr. Li, is often available to help with menu selections. This is based on numerous visits to both places. I've always had great food and a great experience at Double Li, whereas Lao Sze Chuan can be hit or miss.

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          Double Li
          228 W. Cermak Rd., Chicago, IL 60616

      2. re: foodieprm

        Also agreed, and recommend the boiled beef in spicy sze chuan broth. Super spicy, very tender beef. Also love their dry chilli chicken and most items posted in kathryn's post

      3. My favorite is Double Li, in Chinatown. I like Lao Sze Chuan as well, but I like Double Li more. The staff is more helpful, the decor is more pleasant, and I like the food better too; not only do I like how it tastes better, but it seems to offer more variety. But both places are excellent.

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        Lao Sze Chuan
        2172 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

        Double Li
        228 W. Cermak Rd., Chicago, IL 60616

        1. If you go to Lao Sze Chuan, especially with a group of people, also consider the wonderful hotpot. I am unfamiliar with whether Double Li has one.

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          Lao Sze Chuan
          2172 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

          Double Li
          228 W. Cermak Rd., Chicago, IL 60616