For a True Treat, Try Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings
An essential Chinatown staple, Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings has been consistently featured by popular food review programs like CheckPlease and Chicago's Best. Q.X.Y. prides themselves on authenticity, freshness, and accessibility.
The restaurant's interior is almost surprisingly beautiful. It's small and cozy, and the amount of beautifully crafted wooden furniture is worth noting. The place settings are carefully-detailed, with customized wooden chopsticks, cloud-shaped chopstick-rests, embroidered napkins, and wonderfully painted plates. Diners can expect to be greeted by a friendly, knowledgeable staff and to be seated and served promptly–especially during less busy hours.
Q.X.Y.'s specialty is of course dumplings (steamed, fried, boiled, however you like them!), but they also serve other authentic Chinese dishes like fish tofu and lamb skewers.
This restaurant is perfect for a small group of friends. After a busy day on campus, I hit up Q.X.Y. to catch up with two classmates from the quarter before. We shared the shrimp, pork, and cabbage dumplings (boiled), beef and onion dumplings (pan-fried), and the lamb and cabbage dumplings (steamed). Although they were all delicious, the steamed lamb and cabbage dumplings were so good that we got two orders.
Doubling up on the lamb and cabbage was unnecessary (we left the restaurant quite stuffed) but well worth it for the price. We only spent ~$20/each and gained a new favorite place to gather with friends in Chinatown.
All images via Yelp.