Lao Sze Chuan - Downtown

4.2
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540 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Chinese

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Casual
Lao Sze Chuan Downtown is Chicago’s premiere restaurant for gourmet, authentic Chinese cuisine - most notably, our Szechuan flavors, traditional Peking Duck, and handmade dim sum. Lao Sze Chuan is beloved locally and nationally since our founding in 1998 and rated as one of the best Chinese Restaurants in the USA by The Daily Meal.
What 540 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.3
food
3.9
service
4.0
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Service was bad from the moment I walked in. I informed the hostess that I had a reservation. He didn’t care to grab my name and told me to keep walking forward. When I asked him if you wanted my name, he said no and to keep walking forward unless I wanted to take out. The water did not have ice. They charge for white rice and tea unlike other similar restaurants like Ming Hin. There were no toilet paper in the bathroom. When I brought it to the server’s attention, she didn’t seem to care. The food was overly salty and greasy. The waitress never refilled my water.

M
Chicago
29 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience2

Tepid $7 teapot that would be free in any place in Chinatown

Food not hot

Lousy waiter too busy flirting with a waitress to provide decent service

GK
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love the relaxed feel of this place – like a comfortable dining room in a friends home. I definitely would return to try more dishes. The food was amazing! I have been to many Chinese restaurants and this one by far exceeded all of my expectations! I also found out that we have one in our home town. Definitely making it a regular stop.

G
Chicago
105 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best Scallion Pancakes in Chicago! I thought I was back in NYC! Lovely and extensive offerings.

OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

We feel the price for the portions are too high. We get more bang for our buck at Lao in Chinatown. Also, sizzling rice soup on Lao Chinatown.

M
Chicago
24 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Loved my Mu Shu!!!!! Yum!!!! New Years Eve!!! Loved their food and the Lychee Martini!!

LL
Orlando
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food and ambiance. My two children LOVED the meal and we will definitely return!

DR
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Lao Szechuan's sichuan dishes are always excellent. Prices are a little high, but the potions are generous to huge. Service is brisk and efficient, if not warm. The decor is great - hip meets Chinese restaurant. We visited on a busy night, but the restaurant's high ceilings made it remarkably quiet.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

This place refused to honor our reservation. They turned away other guests who had reservations with open table as well. When I checked the open table app, it showed the same restaurant still accepting reservations. Waste of time getting there on Christmas Day. Horrible customer service and would not explain why they wouldn’t honor our reservations. Please do not allow this kind of restaurant associated with your app.

n
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall1food3service2ambience2

They sat us 30 minutes late for our reservation. Food took 55 minutes to arrive. Will not be coming back.

HM
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall1food5service1ambience1

I made a reservation in October for Christmas Day at 5:45. Show up at 5:40 and the line is out the door. There is no hostess stand, head to the front of the line to ask about tables for parties who have reserved. He said no, go wait in line. So they do not honor reservations. Waited in line a long while and they then asked if we could share a table with other parties. Fine by me, we have a broadway show to get to by 8. Shares table includes me/my guest, another twosome, and a threesome, all at a nine top table. This area of the restaurant was not super loud, well lit so we could communicate and not so closely bunched that we were overstepping the other parties at the shared table. We got waters and plates but no napkins, no chopsticks, no utensils. We ordered what we wanted quickly because we had been waiting so long and now felt rushed. We waited. And waited. Over an hour goes by and still no food. It is getting close to showtime so we had to leave, we could not even ask for our order to be put into takeout boxes and pay. The one star is for the complimentary spicy cabbage cup they doled out while we waited, it was very tasty, or maybe it just seemed that way because we were so hungry. Probably will not try again.

W
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience3

All dishes were incredibly greasy! Poor quality food. Service is confused and inefficient.

JE
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Quite possibly the worst dining experience of my life. Avoid like the plague.

O
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantasy duck. So happy Tony was there!

MS
Chicago
25 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent coctails and gourmet Chinese food.

RB
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Chaotic arrangements for an appropriate table. We are seniors, had a reservation, and should not have been asked to sit in a row at the bar. A table was finally found.

KA
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience2

Unfortunately the service was pretty bad. Our waitress was overwhelmed and messed up our order as well as our bill at the end of the evening.

H
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Food was delicious! I will definitely be back for more

GM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

We ordered a Chili Chicken dish and they served us Chili Beef despite telling them upfront we don’t eat beef. So be careful here.

JW
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good and authentic chicken soup (Chinese style).

HG
Hawaii
80 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Had 7:00pm reservation for four. After waiting 15 minutes and being told that they couldn’t predict how much longer we would have to wait we left.

s
Western NC
4 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a treat! Best Chinese food this side of the Pacific.

L
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

We are long time fans of Lao starting in their Chinatown place and now right downtown near where we live. Once again, it met our expectations. The atmosphere here is pleasant, in a “Chinese restaurant” way. By that I mean friendly and efficient, but not warm - which works for me. We go there for the food, and it does not disappoint. Everything we ordered was tasty, and served hot. To top it off, prices are very reasonable. A very good choice in the heart of downtown Chicago.

OT
Chicago
32 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Once again we were served my same server and she was excellent. Our foods were served as made freshly prepared and piping hot and very savory.

LG
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

The food was excellent and our server did a great job. We would’ve loved a little more elbow room for our table for two.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience. Been to the original in Chinatown for years. Tried this one to see where it would rank. My expectations at first were not very high in comparison but I was mistaken. This location can stand on its own success. Delicious meal on its own merit. Now I have two locations to choose from!

OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Peking Duck is absolutely incredible!

LH
Los Angeles
29 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

The restaurant was good. I enjoyed going and the ambience was great. I do think however that the food is better at the original restaurant in Chinatown. The food in Chinatown is more authentic and the prices are probably more competitive. This was easier when in the miracle mile district.

OT
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

I have been able to try a variety of food here at a teambuilder. The duck is fantastic along with the soup dumplings and the crab rangoon. I enjoyed the spicy cabbage as well. Pleasant service.

CL
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2019
Overall3food5service4ambience3

Had a great dinner with Jesse as our server. Food was

OT
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

The hostess was bad and started arguing!! The food was not the same. We have eaten here so many times but looks like the chef is changed cause all the dishes were bad and tasteless. The waitress had no interest in serving. Forgot drinks, didn’t get the sauce and was lost all the time. The drinks came with food and when we asked, she said it generally takes that time and guess what was the drink..... plum wine. Over all..... we are done with this restaurant. We are actually permanent customer of thia place. But not anymore

L
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall3food5service1ambience1

Great food but poor customer service

OT
Chicago
33 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Awesome Duck Fried Rice! Thank you for the great service. Crispy and Moist Beijing Roast Duck.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Food and service were terrible

s
Miami
5 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Ambience is a cute, tiered seating space like a loft above the main floor. The view out one window is to the city, though the opposite side looks right into a mall where I could see a Panda Express and Jimmy Johns. Though we ordered with 10 minutes of sitting down, we never saw our server again after eating, no other server checked on us throughout our meal, and I asked a busboy to please tell a server to bring our check, and eventually a different server did.
The xiao long bao and the vinegar it came with was delicious! The two other dishes, and eggplant dish with ground pork and chow mian with beef were just ok.

l
Chicago
181 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Delicious crispy shrimp with lemon sauce; disappointed that it didn't have vegetables. Excellent fried rice with shrimp Pinot noire wine was very good for $10 a glass.

YM
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall2food5service1ambience5

Host is really bad and the way he treat people. I had guests from LA and they got really bad impression of Chicago because of his attitude. Waitress service was ok.

JK
New England
11 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Arrived at 8:53 pm on Saturday night for 9 pm reservation, so many staff passing through the counter next by the door but no one greets us until we found out we need to talk to a staff who stand in the middle of the restaurant with iPad surrounded by a lot of guests, that's really wired never visit any place like this.
Food was very salty and tasteless, I will recommend Grandee cuisine within 10 minutes walk from Nordstorm instead of this place, the food at Grandee was way better than here.
The restaurant owner should be proud of s/he server assistance team, you can tell most of them was really busy for busing/ cleaning/ running all the time.
Even though so many comments complaining about the bad/ slow services here, but I'm lucky to have a nice server (Eason C.), he was busy for his section but he still helped the guest was not seating in his table, that's not easy for a server to keep their face when they are busy.

N
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The service and flavors are just great. Highly recommended are the Pecking Duck of course, the double cook pork and Don Don noodle.

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect!!!!

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