2100 S. Archer Ave., 312-326-6888, caichicago.com
The battle these days is between MingHin Cuisine and Cai, dueling dim sum emporiums on opposite ends of Chinatown’s Archer Avenue complex. Verdict: Cai wins by a mile. Its jumbo har gao, the classic shrimp dumpling, is positively bouncy. Executing all the usual dishes with flair, Cai goes the extra mile with standouts such as the chiu chow dumplings (filled with an intriguing jumble of minced pork, peanuts, celery, and scallions), the chicken and taro spring rolls, and a luscious version of sticky rice with chicken. Desserts excel too: Don’t miss the sweet and salty egg yolk bun, the crunchy and chewy sesame balls, and—everyone’s favorite—the light and flaky custard tarts. The only negative is Cai’s banquet-style seating, which can be awkward for parties of two. So take a group. Problem solved.