Located in the newer section of Chicago’s Chinatown, Chi Cafe is a modern Chinese restaurant that serves both traditional and modern dishes. Whether it’s 1pm or 1am, Chi Cafe is always full of hungry customers. Catering to a younger crowd, this vivid and bright restaurant cooks up dishes that are the perfect size to eat alone or to share. Having been there many times before, I can confidently say that the later you go, the better the food tastes. Eating Chinese food at 1am was one of the best food experiences I’ve ever had. Maybe it was the contemporary decor, the Top 40 radio, or ridiculously tasty food that had me in awe…

Photo by Megan Tang

1. Beef Brisket Noodle Soup
This is one of my favorite dishes to order at any Chinese restaurant. At Chi Cafe, the beef brisket is tender, the noodles are very soft and the broth is perfectly seasoned. This dish is ideal for when the Chicago weather is -30°F or if you’re just craving a huge bowl of noodles. For only $4.25, you can and most definitely should order three!

Photo by Megan Tang

2. Stir-Fried Rice Cake
There simply is nothing more satisfying than biting into a gooey rice cake. With some bean sprouts, green onion and chicken mixed in, this dish will not disappoint.

Photo by Megan Tang

3. Western Style Braised Oxtail
Though it might sound strange, braised oxtail is one of the most tender meats that always “falls off the bone”. At Chi Cafe, they make a hearty stew with onions, pepper and ginger, which serves as a wonderful marinate. This dish is a must try, especially over rice.

Photo by Megan Tang

4. Broccoli Beef
And now for the classic but delicious broccoli beef. Chi Cafe gives you generous slices of beef smothered in a tasty gravy all over fresh broccoli. If you’re a Chinese food newbie, start off with this dish.

Chi Cafe is perfect for a quick lunch or late night feast. Plus, it is super cheap and a short walk from the Cermak-Chinatown Red Line Station. Check this place out the next time you’re starving at 2am on a Friday night.


Hours of operation:
Sunday to Thursday: 8am-2am
Friday & Saturday: open 24 hours

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