Daniel and Eric Wat have us all wrapped around their fingers thanks to their incredible restaurant, Lao Peng You– which means ‘old friend’. The once under-the-radar restaurant has recently gained a cult following among dumpling enthusiasts in Chicago. The Wat brothers, who first learned how to make dumplings from their grandmother, have transformed a small Ukrainian Village storefront into a must-eat destination.
You certainly feel like an old friend here, with the vibrant atmosphere and steaming food. It’s the dough that really hits, as each dumpling is made using wheat and flour. The half-moon style dough is then filled with options like beef and green onion, pork and chive, beef and green onion, and mushroom and chive.
Each dumpling order includes 10 dumplings that sit perfectly in a bowl of broth, made with infused soy, black vinegar, and chili oil of course– the perfect pairing for each dish. These dumplings served in soup are called ‘suan tang shui jiao’ and originated from Xi’an in Central Asia.
The menu isn’t strictly dumplings– Lao Peng You serves up variations of Dan Dan noodles, soups, and other comforting options like handmade tofu, chicken dishes, eggplant small plates, and Cong You Bing– a fragrant green onion bread, amongst other options.
Lao Peng You focuses on bringing a sense of togetherness to its restaurant and is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Address: 2020 West Chicago Ave. Chicago IL, 60622