Joy Yee's Noodles

Chicago, Illinois


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I have mixed feelings about Joy Yee.
For one, our food came out super fast--like under five minutes fast. For me that's not actually a good thing, because it means the food probably was microwave or reheated.
I had the tofu and mushrooms, which definitely supported that theory. The tofu was chewy and pretty awful and the mushrooms were undercooked.
However, I ordered the fresh seaweed salad as an appetizer, and it was probably the best I've ever had. If I come back, it'll be for that alone.

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I love the new location of Joy Yee's Noodles. The seating area is much larger and the overall appearance of the restaurant is greatly improved. The bubble tea is the main reason to go to Joy Yee's (over 100 flavors, many of which can be made vegan, made from fresh fruit instead of those gross powder mixes).

Unfortunately, there still aren't many interesting vegan meal options. I ended up ordering the Japanese Tofu and some sort of spicy string bean dish, which were both pretty good. The thing to keep in mind is that the string beans are considered an entree (as are many of the vegetable dishes), so I ended up getting a huge bowl filled with nothing but flavored string beans for $8. For this reason, I think that Joy Yee's is probably best enjoyed if you go with a group of friends and share all of the dishes.

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My partner and I recently visited Joy Yee's at their new location in Chinatown (they just moved a few doors down). The waiter was friendly and helpful, especially in letting us know what was vegan / vegetarian or not. The place was PACKED and noisy--probably more of a family / friends place then a date restaurant.

We were most impressed by the Taro Milk Freeze. It had a unique, mellow flavor, and a rich, smoothie-like texture. We also ordered two dishes--Buddha's Delight and Japanese Tofu with Two Mushrooms. The Buddha's Delight was a mixed vegetable / fried tofu stir-fry; good, but not extraordinary. The Japanese Tofu dish, however, was a completely new experience for us! The tofu in this dish was silken, but deep-fried--it melted in our mouths. One of the two types of mushrooms used (Shimeji, as I later found out) was like a group of rice noodles joined together at the end, but chewier. If you've never had these kinds of foods, you gotta try em out now! Finally, we shared Vietnamese Spring Rolls; these were also fine, filling, and came in nice, big portions with a bunch of hoisin sauce.

From a vegan / vegetarian perspective, Joy Yee's is worth going to at least once, if for only these dishes.

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I've always been able to find a couple of veg dishes here - I like the Japanese tofu w/ mushrooms, the veg spring rolls, seaweed salad, among others. The smoothies are great - I like the taro and tapioca balls; they make it with coconut milk, so it's very tasty. The service is generally pretty good, but it gets very crowded during the busy hours, often with a long wait.

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