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Sep 8, 2012 04:56 PM

Chinese / Taiwanese Restaurants in Greater Chicago Area

Hi Guys,

I will be moving to Chicago soon, after many years in the NYC/NJ tri-state area. Although I visit Chicago often, I haven't really explored the Chinese restaurants there. Do you have any suggestions for authentic Chinese / Taiwanese restaurants in the Greater Chicago Area? Also, how is that Taiwanese place in Evanston (called "Cafe 527"? I think ). I walked past it a while ago but didn't get a chance to eat there. If anyone knows about it, please let me know what you think.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. I like Cafe 527. The niu rou mian there is very respectable.

    6 Replies
    1. re: camusman

      I like it too. I'm no expert on Taiwanese food, but I've liked what I've eaten there.

      Oh, and it's called 527 Cafe, after its address at 527 Davis Street. They had a website at but it now appears to be gone.

      1. re: nsxtasy

        They are overhauling their website and have a temporary website up at until they get the upgrade done.

        Note: I've heard good things about their weekend Taiwanese breakfast, but I have not tried it.

        1. re: camusman

          I ate there on a weekend morning. I got the impression that the menu is the same as the rest of the time, with a few added dishes - something like fried dough and also something like a custard, IIRC.

          1. re: camusman

            They have diou-jiang (soy bean milk -- sweet and savory versions), yiou-tiao (crullers), radish cakes and fan-tuang (rice rolls) for weekend breakfasts.

            A better option for Taiwanese in Chicago would be T Tasty House.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              I used to like T Tasty, but I had a couple of disappointing meals there earlier this year after they changed owners. I hope they have been able to turn things around since then.

            2. re: camusman

              The website at for 527 Cafe in Evanston is up and running...

        2. Thank you for the recommendations! I will have to check out 527 Cafe. I went to Joy Yee last time instead and the food was just so so...I got takeout and actually didn't finish some of it :(

          Is the T Tasty House in Chinatown? I can check it out when I am in the area.

          Also, has anyone been to the Taiwanese food court at Pasquinelli Square in Westmont? It was popular years ago. Is it still open? If so, is it any good? Just curious.

          Thanks again!

          3 Replies
          1. re: bearmi

            Yes, T Tasty House is in Chinatown.

            As far as Westmont goes, try Oriental Food House.

            1. re: camusman

              Thank you. Lots of places to try. I go to Du Page County often...will check out Oriental Food House too!

              1. re: camusman

                I went to the Orienal Food House a few weekends ago and it was good. I ordered the "red tofu" (pig blood tofu) soup and pork pie (ba -wan) and both were good (I didn't like the sauce they used on ba-wan but I got a few to go and used my own sweet/hot sauce at home). I also ordered rice sausage, stir fried/boiled intestines and Su Sem Soup (pig stomach soup with herbs and pearl barley). They were all pretty authentic and the owners didn't skimp on the key ingredients. It is a little far from where I live but it was not too bad of a drive via the highway. I plan to go back to stock up on Taiwanese snack items and soups on a regular basis. Some items such as pork pie and rice sausage freeze pretty well so I don't have to go every weekend :)

                Thanks for the reco!!

            2. Mei Shung has both Chinese and Taiwanese dishes. I've had a few things there that were pretty good. Here's a link to their web site. It's at 5511 N. Broadway.


              2 Replies
              1. re: deesher

                "Mandarin" dishes does not equal "Chinese" (in toto) dishes. "Taiwanese" is a subset of "Chinese", in a CULINARY sense. Political affiliations are NOT being considered here.

                1. re: deesher

                  Sounds good to me. I will have to check it out. Exactly what I am looking for!!!

                2. The original comment has been removed
                  1. Yu Ton in Westmont is hit and miss, but their stinky tofu and breakfast items are pretty solid.

                  2. For Taiwanese food, I like Mei Shung and Great Wall (2759 Maple Ave, Lisle, IL). International Mall in Westmont is a food court that offers Taiwanese tapas (小吃) and weekend breakfast (it's okay; so go when you're desperate).

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mountsac

                      Despite the rather large Taiwanese population in Nappyville/Downers Grove, etc.,International Mall is still the ONLY place to get Taiwanese breakfast in all of Chicago.

                      Great Wall is Taiwanese owned/operated, but despite having lived only 1 town over, I've been exactly .. twice. Food isn't quite sex. If it's not good, it's just not good.

                      I've been told T Tasty's NRM borders atrocious.

                      So the answer is: abstain til you graduate from NU, then move back to NJ or move to LA. If you're moving there, shit, sorry, better start buying ingredients.

                      1. re: TonyC

                        It seems like International Mall has been getting more and more run down over the years. It is a hole-in-the-wall type of place. I used to work in the mall. The only restaurant I thought was worth going to was Chinese Cafe. Back then, the cafe was only open on weekends. I don't know their hours these days.

                      2. re: mountsac

                        Wow the International Mall is still operating? My first time there was like 1986!!

                        Oops, I am moving to Chicago for work not for school. I think you guys have given me some good tips already. I do plan to visit NY / LA on a regular basis so it will be worked into my relocation :)