Dumpling Delight

Our favorite dumplings in Chicago

Sinking your teeth into a perfectly plump dumpling can be a religious experience. Luckily, this city is rife with houses of dough-wrapped worship. Here are a few of our favorites.

Urbanbelly in the West Loop
Ask any chef where they eat on their day off; chances are they'll mention Bill Kim's cultishly loved noodle mecca. Pork and cilantro potstickers ($9) with salty-sweet soy balsamic glaze—on the menu since day one—speak to Kim's Korean-Puerto Rican sensibility.

Phoenix in Chinatown

After 19 years on Chinatown's main strip, Phoenix's fan base is vast. All-day dim sum carts heave with golden-crisp shrimp and chive dumplings, deeply porky potstickers and tender steamed shu mai (prices vary).

Lao Sze Chuan in Chinatown

The name Tony Hu is synonymous with consistently stellar Chinese cuisine at restaurants all across the city. At Lao Sze Chuan, scarf down an array of regional dumplings (Peking, Chengdu), both fried and steamed. A dunk in Lao's chile oil kicks things up.

Yusho in Logan Square

Diners flock to Matthias Merges's yakitori-inspired Logan Square haunt for all sorts of reasons; his contemporary take on steamed buns is one of them. Go for tangy blood sausage and red pepper, or the lighter—but still flavor-packed—tofu, black bean and yuzu ($9).

Mott St. in Wicker Park

Before you fill up on crab brain fried rice and kimchi empanadas, taste Edward Kim's menu mainstay: piquant, porky steamed dumplings ($7). Scallion and ginger in the filling lend a spicy crunch.

Katy's Dumpling House in Oak Park

Rent a car. Catch a bus. Bribe the Uber driver. Do whatever it takes to get to Oak Park. Then head straight to Katy's for dumpling heaven: steamed, pan-fried and boiled soup dumplings are available, filled with everything from pork and fennel to fish and chive (prices vary).

Chen's in Chinatown

Head to Chen's Chinatown location for pillowy bao stuffed with Peking duck, scallions and cucumber. Traditionalists can choose between beef or vegetable dumplings to round out the meal (prices vary).