What On Earth Is a Poké Bowl and Where Can I Get One?
We already love Hawaiian cuisine. (We’re looking at you, Spam skillets and roasted pork.) But now a new island trend is coming stateside, and we’re eating it all up. Poké bowls consist of chopped pieces of sushi-grade raw fish, like ahi tuna or salmon, doused in creative sauces and topped with all the crunchy things. The light yet hearty result is the sort of lunch we’d be happy eating five days a week. Looking for a fix? Try one of these seven Chicago spots.
Credited with kicking off Chicago’s poké craze, this fast-casual restaurant serves up a serious selection of mix-and-match poké. Our favorite is the Aloha bowl: pineapple, cucumber, jalapeño and scallion with your choice of tuna or salmon.
Chicago French Market Suite #19; 312-877-5336 or alohapokeco.com
FireFin Poké Shop
All poké, all the time. That’s pretty much the words this Chicago spot lives by, offering a simple menu of ten different “FireFin Creations.” There’s the Classic Hawaiian, served over purple rice, or chicken poké for those of you who aren’t feeling the raw fish.
10 S. La Salle St.; 312-754-0609 or firefinpoke.com
This is poké in an ice-cream cone. Yes, you read that right. Embrace the strange-yet-delicious brainchild of chef Matt Wilde, who stuffs a waffle cone with fresh-as-can-be tuna, kaiware sprout and avocado.
112 W. Hubbard St.; 312-955-0339 or joychicago.com
This is our new favorite spot in Wicker Park to spend an afternoon sipping piña coladas and pretending Chicago winter isn’t a thing. To complement its uh-mazing cocktail selection, Mahalo’s serving up shrimp, octopus and tuna poké topped with fried wonton.
1501 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 708-328-3091 or mahalochicago.com
Three Dots and a Dash
Three Dots and a Dash is typically celebrated for its tiki bar-inspired cocktails like the Aloha Felicia (an unbelievable mix of coconut cream, Caribbean rum and Thai basil), but the food menu doesn’t disappoint either. A sweet poké sauce and spicy mayo seriously elevate the already delicious tuna and avocado in Big Ern’s tuna poké.
435 N. Clark St.; 312-610-4220 or threedotschicago.com
A build-your-own poké bar at its finest. First, you choose a base from either white rice, brown rice, salad or a mix of any two. Then it’s time to pick a protein: Tofu, salmon, yellow tail and shrimp are the standard offerings. Next up, layer on a plethora of toppings and sauces like wasabi cream and garlic aioli. Voilà! You’ve got yourself a masterpiece.
4600 N. Magnolia Ave.; 773-961-7624
Sunda specializes in all sorts of Asian cuisine, not least of which is sushi, but the poké packs a punch, too. Since the River North spot has so much fresh fish in rotation, you’ll get to choose from more exotic fare such as escolar and octopus.
110 W. Illinois St.; 312-644-0500 or sundachicago.com