Slideshow: On the Hunt for Dumplings and Noodles Along Ogden Avenue

Yu-Ton Dumpling House
Yu-Ton Dumpling House

Tucked off of Pasquinelli Drive is a gem of a spot: International Mall, where families flock to a central food court for brothy noodle bowls, potstickers and, on weekends, piles of airy, fresh-fried crullers. The sky-lit setting is nothing to write home about, but it's the pillowy numbers from Yu-Ton Dumpling House you come for. It's situated next to sibling Chinese Café (a source of soulful, spicy beef noodle soup); pick your pleasure from the menu - both the toothsome potstickers and tender boiled pork dumplings in spicy chile sauce fare well. Zap them with some self-serve vinegar and soy sauce from the counter, and you're in business.

Yu-Ton Dumpling House, 665 Pasquinelli Dr., Westmont, IL 60559 (map); 630-323-2329

Good Children
Good Children

At Good Children, a Pan-Asian spot two booths down, small, slippery Szechwan "purses" filled with chives and pork are another, if somewhat less satisfying, selection. Next time, I'll give its pho or chap chae a whirl. Before hitting the road, pop into Whole Grain Market in the building next door for Asian staples, hard-to-find, imported ingredients and fresh produce.

Good Children Chinese, 665 Pasquinelli Dr., Westmont, IL 60559 (map); 630-920-1460; orientalpalacegroup.com

Spicy Beef Noodle Soup at Katy's Dumpling House
Spicy Beef Noodle Soup at Katy's Dumpling House

For a revelatory experience, though, nothing compares to Katy's Dumpling House down the road. Tucked into a multi-culti strip mall behind Jewel, it's a humble place turning out stellar homemade noodles. The star of the show in its incomparable, insidiously spicy beef noodle soup. Offset by hunks of garlic and chopped cilantro in fiery, burnished broth, it's the comfort food of my dreams.

Katy's Dumpling House, 665 N. Cass Ave., Westmont, IL 60559 (map); 630- 323-9393; www.katysdumpling.com

Chengdu Dumplings at Lao Sze Chuan
Chengdu Dumplings at Lao Sze Chuan

Drive a mile further down the road arrive at the suburban outpost of Tony's Hu's Lao Sze Chuan. Always busy and never dull, the restaurant's encyclopedic menu is pretty much point and pick. But in my mind, a star of the show are the slick, chile-soused, sesame seed and chive-specked Chengdu dumplings (pictured left). And the beef noodle soup here (pictured right)? It's everything—soothing, brooding, tongue-tingling—a bowl should be.

Lao Sze Chuan, 1331 Ogden Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60515 (map); 630-663-0303; tonygourmetgroup.com