Lao Sze Chuan review image

Lao Sze Chuan


2172 S Archer Ave, Chicago
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

Located on the edge of Chinatown through one of the side gates off Archer, the original Lao Sze Chuan - a member of Tony Hu’s Chinese food empire - is a casual Chinese restaurant, with great Szechuan-style dishes.

This place serves comforting Chinese food, and the menu offers everything from dry chili chicken, to hot pot to Szechuan green beans. We generally like to stick with some of our favorites, while always ordering something new from the long menu.

While Lao Sze Chuan is reliable for its food, the atmosphere isn’t always so easy to pin down. We’ve been on a number of Friday and Saturday nights when it’s crowded, likely due to the fact it’s BYOB, but we’ve also been at similar times when it’s dead. We honestly can’t figure it out, but what we do know is you can make the mood whatever you want. Show up in sweat pants and a hoodie, or come with a group of people ready to drink and hit the bar. Nobody will judge you, and at Lao Sze Chuan you shouldn’t care either way.

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Food Rundown

Spicy Cabbage

A nice spicy side to have around for snacking.

Szechuan String Beans

You need something green, so vegetables mixed in a black bean sauce are a good way to go.

Chef’s Special Dry Chicken Chili

This dish is like 60% Szechuan peppers and 40% chicken, and a fantastic option if you’re a fan of the mouth-numbing spice.

Tony’s Chicken With Three Chili

There’s a reason this is a standard menu special and also our favorite. The lightly fried chicken comes in a well-balanced sweet and spicy sauce, highlighted by peppercorns and chili peppers. Order it.

Shrimp Lobster Sauce

A thick lobster based sauce with shrimp that’s meant to be eaten over rice. We dig the seafood flavors.

Hot Pots

We are fans of Lao Sze Chuan’s hot pots, particularly for lunch. Mix and match the available meat, seafood, veggies, and noodles that you like best in a spicy or non-spicy base.

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