I would like to list some of the Chinese restaurants I visited in this trip (and in the past). I will also list some web sites which I think will be helpful to plan Chicago trip.
Lao Sze Chuan (web site here): this is the first Chinese restaurant I visisted in Chicago (2001?). I waited for more than 30 minutes in a hot summer afternoon. The waiting line is much shorter nowadays because there are more authentic Chinese restaurants. It is located at China town. Some of the food (e.g., rabbit meat) are very spicy in my opinion. Get a map here.
Yu’s Mandarin Restaurant at Schaumburg (web site here): I visited this one couple years ago (hosted by friends). This time I found it via GPS, and I read the review from tripadvisor to confirm this is the one. The direction given by Garmin GPS is a bit off (in the end). We found it after a U-turn. The environment is fine, but this time we ordered too much food. I didn’t remember they gave such a big portion for beef, maybe last time we did not order. I remember we ordered some dim sun last time and it was VERY good. Anyway I still recommend visit this one as they have a lot of options.
Three Happiness: the small Cantonese restaurant near the banner (Tian Xia Wei Gong) to China town. The seafood is good. It’s cheaper compared to the two I mentioned above.
Qi Bao: you need to walk a few blocks south after seeing the banner. This one is even more casual eats than Three Happiness. They serve kongee, noodles and wonton. I learned those two places from my friend.
Hong Ta Shan Zhuang: this one offers authentic Yu’nan (southwestern China) food. Remember ordering the Yu’nan Mi Xian there. It’s also in China town, though on the new town side (the same side as Lao Sze Chuan).
CTA (Chicago Transit Authority, they offers trains and buses, buy a multi-day pass if necessary)
Art institute of Chicago (museum)
Premium Mall (Aurora)
Chicago CityPass (5 destinations for $69)
Chicago explorer pass (3 destinations for $52)