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Seven spots for poke bowls in Chicago

Written by
Anthony Settipani

Chicago is a frozen tundra for nearly half the year, so it's only natural that we crave a little taste of Hawaii in the form of poke. Thankfully, Chicago chefs and restauranteurs have kept the fishy trend alive and well with creative takes on the classic dish. Here are a few of our favorite poke bowls in the city. 

Firefin Poké ShopThis growing fast-casual chain was one of the first on the poke scene in Chicago. Try the Tree Fish, a blend of ahi, albacore and salmon with a spicy honey mayo sauce. The shop’s menu stretches the definition of poke, which simply means “chopped,” to include dishes centered around chicken, marinated tofu and snow crab.

MahaloStop by Wicker Park’s modern Hawaiian kitchen for Poke Tuesdays, when all poke dishes are half off. Check out the salmon poke bowl, which is topped with assorted vegetables, sesame-yuzu crunch and citrus-wasabi aioli. 

Joy DistrictThis multilevel River North bar is known for its creative fusion cuisine, like Spanish octopus tacos and phyllo-wrapped tiger shrimp. But you must try executive chef Matt Wilde’s unique take on poke—raw fish stuffed inside tiny ice cream cones. 

Yard HousePoke might be the last thing you’d expect to see at this beer-centric sports bar. Chef Carlito Jocson’s poke nachos are a true collision of cultures with marinated ahi tuna topped with avocado, cilantro, serrano peppers, sesame seeds, nori and green onions. The dish, which sits on a bed of crispy wonton chips, is finished off with a drizzle of white truffle oil and Sriracha aioli. How’s that for game-day cuisine?

F.I.S.H. Poke BarThis delivery-only joint offers a range of different poke-inspired dishes, such as yuzu-marinated ahi tuna with grilled pineapple. If you’re in the mood for some fusion, try one of their Pokerittos, which take any of their signature poke dishes and wrap it up in a sleeve of nori and rice. 

Oki Sushi at Mariano’sStop by the sushi bar at any Mariano’s for their take on the dish, which includes sushi-grade salmon or tuna (or both) on a bed of rice topped with avocado, edamame and crispy bread crumbs. 

Union SushiPoke is just one of many ahi-centric dishes at this hip sushi and barbecue spot in River North. This poke is served in an edible cup topped with white onion, seaweed and chili-sesame oil. 

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