Chicago’s 10 Best Sushi Joints, Ranked
Get it while it’s cold
We all have our go-to sushi spot. So if you ask someone to name the best, you’ll get as many answers as there are combinations you can put in a maki roll. Relax. Here’s a starter kit of the top 10 local spots, ranked. (But really, they’re all number one in our hearts.)
This is how the Gold Coast does sushi. (But of course there’s a $25 Waygu-slider appetizer.) Next time you’re in the mood for a swanky kind of sushi date, book a lowly lit booth and order up the Cherry Blossom. The roll has avocado, cucumber, and--naturally-- tempura lobster tail.
1009 N. Rush St.; 312-660-3111 or jellyfishchicago.com
9. Sushi Burrito
This will horrify your sushi-snob friends. But a ginormous mix of rice, fish, and veggies--all wrapped up in seaweed--forever settles the sushi-or-Mexican-for-dinner debate. The answer? Have both.
2904 N. Broadway St.; 312-866-9555
8. Roka Akor
The sashimi platter here is a thing of fresh, thinly sliced beauty. Served on ice, the platter offers a sampling of that day’s fresh catches. Items could include yellowtail, West Coast oysters or bluefin tuna. And the dish has a dramatic presentation--replete with wee accent flowers--to boot.
456 N. Clark St.; 312-477-7652 or rokaakor.com
7. Sushi Para
The thought of an $18.99, all-you-can-eat sushi dinner may frighten you. Don’t let it. This local chain not only has unbelievable deals, it has rolls that don’t quit. Try the Mountain, made with avocado, cucumber, tuna and spicy sauce.
6. Tanoshi Sushi
When you get here, don’t ask for the menu--ask for Mike. He’s the owner and chef, who whips up specialty rolls depending on your preferences. Just think of Mike as a sushi mixologist of sorts. But if you want a real cocktail, he's got those too. (The Elder Lychee is delicious.)
They go to great lengths to make the sushi here as authentic as possible--um, like flying in fish directly from Japan. And when that fish arrives, the chefs work magic on it. Try the cilantro-laced ArtMex maki. But save some room: The ramen here is to die for, too.
2115 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-227-8180 or wasabichicago.com
This is no ordinary restaurant. This is where you go to celebrate a promotion, toast an anniversary or...OK, just make up an excuse. Start with the Momotaro Tartar and then make your way through any of the beautiful makimono rolls--mmmm, sushi coma.
820 W. Lake St.; 312-733-4818 or momotarochicago.com
You’re going to need a moment when you taste the fish at Ani. It’s so good you’ll want to reflect on it. The melt-in-your-mouth cuts reflect the owners’ penchant for whatever’s freshest. Order the Hamachi, Ahi & Cilantro for clean flavors paired with creamy avocado.
3056 N. Lincoln Ave.; 872-206-8553 or anichicago.com
There’s one catch (and no, this is not a fish joke): We can’t tell you what to order here. The chef will do that. Belly up to the sushi bar, order the chef’s sushi selection and take whatever comes at you. Trust us: You won’t regret it.
2651 W. Peterson Ave.; 773-784-3383
1. Union Sushi
It’s easy to look past this spot’s club-like ambiance because your eyes will be on the gorgeous black-rice sushi. The white-rice alternative has fewer carbs and calories--and tastes almost offensively good rolled up in the Hokkaido roll with grilled scallop, avocado and roasted red peppers.
230 W. Erie St.; 312-662-4888 or eatatunion.com