Subway: Red to Cermak/Chinatown(312) 326-996641.854621 -87.632796 2109 S China Pl (between Cullerton St and Cermak Rd) Chinatown, Chicago
Lunch, dinnerAverage main course: $10
Tony Hu is on a roll, building an empire of regional Chinese restaurants at break-neck speed. Between stalwart Lao Sze Chuan, Mao-festooned Lao Hunan and flashy Lao You Ju, it's easy to miss Lao Yunnan, which occupies the space that was formerly Spring World and continues that restaurant's focus on the food of China's Yunnan province. But it's worth paying attention to this spot if only for the steaming, family-size earthen bowl of Cross Bridge Noodles (specify the spicy broth), a signature of the region. The rest of the menu's 800 items span the country (and Hu's repertoire), with highlights like tender lamb heavily seasoned with cumin, pan-fried boneless chunks of chicken laden with red chillies and surely a few hundred more dishes we've yet to uncover.