About Lao Sze Chuan

Tony Hu

About the founder

Tony (Xiao Jun) Hu is a celebrity chef, restaurateur, culinary teacher and mentor, and community leader. Hailing from China’s Sichuan province, Chef Tony graduated from The Culinary Institute of Sichuan, China’s premier culinary institute, in 1989. In 1993, he immigrated to the U.S. as a special technician chef, establishing himself in Chicago as a trailblazer for introducing authentic Sichuan cuisine to a Chinese culinary scene largely dominated by Canton cuisine.

Chef Tony’s unwavering passion for promoting and elevating Chinese culinary culture in the United States was first realized in the founding of the very first Lao Sze Chuan in 1998 in Chicago’s Chinatown. And thus grew the Lao family, which now includes nine locations total, six in Chicagoland – Lao Sze Chuan Chinatown, Lao Sze Chuan downtown on Michigan Avenue; Lao Sze Chuan Uptown; and Lao Sze Chuan in Evanston, Skokie, and Downer’s Grove; as well as three across the country in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Connecticut.

Nicknamed Chicago’s “Mayor of Chinatown,” Chef Tony shaped Lao Sze Chuan into one of America’s most beloved Chinese restaurants with a nationally-acclaimed reputation for providing traditional Sichuan cuisine with high-quality ingredients. He and his restaurants have been successively reported on and interviewed by local and national media including ABC, CBS, NBC, WGN, FOX, and “Check Please” on WTTW; Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Magazine, New York Sun-Times, Crain’s Business Chicago, Time Out Chicago, World Journal, Singtao Daily.

Lao Sze Chuan

Famously Delicious

The very first Lao Sze Chuan opened in 1998 in Chicago’s Chinatown and has since become one of the most beloved Chinese restaurants nationwide. The brainchild of Sichuan-born Chef Tony Hu, Lao Sze Chuan prides itself on providing traditional Sichuan cuisine with high-quality ingredients. In 1999, Lao Sze Chuan was recognized by the Chicago Tribune as “One of the Best,” receiving a “three fork” rating that was considered a prominent accomplishment for Chinese restaurants at that time.

Our Mission

The Place To Dine

Although Lao Sze Chuan has flourished since humble beginnings, our mission to offer, elevate, and promote gourmet authentic Chinese cuisine and provide exceptional customer service has never wavered. Our Grade A chefs are skillfully trained in Sichuan cuisine to provide the most authentic flavors at all locations. To this day, Lao Sze Chuan lives by the mantra “One Style For One Dish, A Hundred Dishes Have A Hundred Different Tastes,” a saying that keeps our most frequent customers coming back for more.

In the Media

Lao Sze Chuan is not only recognized locally as the Best Chinese Restaurant in Chicago by multiple mainstream food columns but has also received numerous national accolades including “The Best Chinese Restaurant”; “The Most Authentic Chinese Food”; one of the “Top Ten Chinese Restaurants in the U.S.”; “Best Chinese Restaurant for Celebrating Chinese New Year”

“No.1 Chinese Restaurant in the U.S.” – Travel & Leisure 2013

“No.1 Chinese Restaurant in the U.S.” – Travel & Daily Meal 2015

“Michelin Bib Gourmand List” 2010 – 2016

“The best Chinese Restaurant in the U.S.” – Travel & Leisure 2013

“No.1 Must To Go Restaurant in Chicago” – Choose Chicago

“Ambassador of International Chinese Cuisine” – Chinese World Restaurant Association

“Famous International Restaurant for Chinese Cuisine” – World Association of Chinese Cuisine

“Lifetime achievement” – Timeout Chicago 2012

“One of the Best” – Chicago Tribune by Monica Eng, WGN9

“The best authentic Chinese food” – Zagat Survey

“Top Ten spots for spicy food, Lao Sze Chuan is about as good as Chinese food gets in this part of the world” – Mr. Phil Vettel (Chicago Tribune Critic)

“Such a wonderful restaurant in the U.S.A., One style for one dish, hundred dishes have a hundred different tastes” – World Journal

“Possibly the most interesting menu in Chicago they do a super job on all selections” – Chicago Reader

“Absolutely the best Chinese foods in the country just like our hometown food. But even better” – China Star News

“This is the best Sport for Szechuan cuisine in town” – Time out Chicago

“The closest to Chinese home cooking the best authentic Chinese food. The best restaurant and the best dishes in Chicago” – Chicago Magazine

“Hungry Hound” – Recommended by ABC7, Steve Dolinsky

“Excellent place for authentic Chinese Cuisine” – “Check Please” Channel 11

“Rated top 10 Chinese restaurants in the U.S.” – Chinese Restaurant News

“Best Chinese Restaurant in 2014” – The Reader

“Neighborhood hero” – Chicago Tribune 2012

“One of the 100 most powerful Chicagoans” – Chicago Magazine Award 2012, 2013


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