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Where to find the best sushi in Chicago

When raw cravings hit, find the best sushi in Chicago at these top-rated restaurants

Morgan Olsen
Emma Krupp
Written by
Morgan Olsen
&
Emma Krupp
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We might be hundreds of miles away from the nearest ocean, but Chicago is a true beacon for sushi dining amid the otherwise seafood-starved reaches of the Midwest. Whether you're craving cheap rolls at BYOB spots or want to ball out on high-end omakase menus, you'll find something for every type of sushi appetite (and budget) among the best Japanese restaurants in Chicago& and other local seafood joints. Want to nab enough nigiri and maki to feed a small crowd? Head to Lawrence Fish Market to find massive, inexpensive platters. Craving tuna imported straight from Tokyo's Toyosu Market? Visit Sushi-san for ultra-fresh fish offerings shipped over daily from Japan. Your options are bountiful and bountifully creative: There's even a secret, speakeasy-style omakase spot hidden inside a Chicago hotel on this list. Here's where you can enjoy the best sushi in Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Discover more of the best restaurants in Chicago

The best of the city under one roof

  • Restaurants
  • West Loop

There are few things on this planet that are more satisfying than pristine raw fish. We’re talking about the kind of stuff that practically melts on your tongue and tastes like fresh, open waters. At Ty Fujimura’s sushi palace in West Town, the menu revolves around that level of quality. The seafood here is wrapped in warm, toothsome rice and crunchy, toasted nori—creating the perfect mélange of texture and temperature. For Time Out Market, Fujimura pored over Arami’s past and present menus to create an all-star lineup of fish-filled rolls to cure all your sushi cravings.

Best sushi in Chicago

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • River West/West Town
  • price 2 of 4

Although you can order a la carte, the affordable omakase menu at Melvin and Carlo Vizconde's restaurant is the way to go, and includes more food than you can eat—rich oyster and uni shooters doctored up with ponzu sauce and egg yolks disappear in seconds, seared tuna maki adorned with truffled scallions and takoyaki, a fried dough ball with a nugget of octopus inside. While these are all fun, utterly delicious takes on Japanese food, the decadence stops short of overwhelming the great fish in the maki and sashimi. Tuna and salmon are packed into a balanced roll with jalapeño, avocado, cilantro, masago, chili and lime, and the omakase ends with a generous plate of sashimi.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Logan Square
  • price 4 of 4

One of Chicago's most extensive (and expensive) omakase experiences can be found at Kyōten in Logan Square, where chef Otto Phan offers upwards of 20 courses at his eight-seat sushi counter. Right now the omakase menu is only available for private reservations, which give guests access to the entire restaurant for a night to nosh on oceanic treats like kanpachi, uni, ebi and maguro. Priced at $600 per person for a group of two, $550 per person for a group of three and $500 per person for a group of four, it's an expensive meal—even more so than usual—but the menu pulls out all the stops, with dishes catered individually to each guest. For a more economical option, try the restaurant's Bento Boxes to-go, loaded with Phan's selection of nigiri, oshizushi, rolls, tamago and soup.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Sheffield & DePaul
  • price 2 of 4

Want the best sushi deal in town? It's at Juno, where sushi chef BK Park is doing God's work when it comes to raw fish. The chef’s choice sashimi, perfectly sliced, spread over ice and adorned with shells and orchids, is $42 for 18 pieces of fish (two each of nine different kinds). This is a steal, and while it's enough for a solo diner, there are more great things to eat, like the smoked hamachi, which arrives under a glass dome with two spoons cradling lightly smoked pieces of fish. The Juno King consists of two single bites of tuna wrapped around rice and topped with spicy crab—they're delicious. Even the spicy tuna roll is elevated, with a thick piece of tuna and scallions, and a trace of sriracha and chili oil.

  • Restaurants
  • West Loop

Celebrated sushi chef BK Park serves an extensive omakase menu at this small West Loop restaurant, which fetches $175 a head for 23 courses. The menu, which is sprinkled with pieces of sashimi and nigiri, fluctuates with the seasons and includes indulgent morsels like king crab with uni miso, A5 wagyu butter and potato chip. The sushi counter boasts just 12 seats (there are an additional 10 seats behind it in the dining room), and each seating is limited to two hours. No need to rush: The chefs are trained to keep things moving at a comfortable pace.

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  • Restaurants
  • Fusion
  • West Loop

The posh Nobu Hotel—co-owned by Robert De Niro—opened in the West Loop last summer, with its equally stylish flagship sushi restaurant arriving a few months later. Inside the 10,000-square-foot space you'll find a dining room, lounge, two private dining areas and 28-foot sushi bar inspired by a jewelry box, where guests can feast on chef Nobu Matsuhisa's signature dishes like black cod with miso and yellowtail jalapeño sashimi. (There's also an omakase-style tasting menu available if you don't feel like sorting through the myriad seafood options.) Want to take advantage of the good weather? Head up to the 11th floor for nigiri, sashimi and maki at the Rooftop at Nobu, a sprawling outdoor terrace with Japanese-inspired design.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • River North

You're in good hands with sushi star Kaze Chan (Kaze, Momotaro), who's crafted a menu of hits using super-fresh ingredients and wildly simple techniques. For a full understanding of Chan's skills, splurge on a San-Set, consisting of portioned collections of nigiri, sashimi and rolls that are designed to share. For a totally different experience, grab a seat at the hand roll bar, where fresh pockets of crispy seaweed, warm rice and pristine fish are served directly to you from the chefs behind the counter. Chan argues that this type of sushi should be gobbled up as soon as it’s constructed; even a 30-second delay in service could spoil the experience.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • West Loop

The omakase menu at this tiny West Loop restaurant changes daily based on chef Sangtae Park's whims and what's in season and available to him. But if you're willing to put your trust—and $150—in the knowledgeable sushi chef, you can indulge in a 16-course menu that's packed with appetizers, sushi and dessert. Only 16 guests are served each evening at the omakase counter, so make sure to snag a reservation well in advance.

  • Restaurants
  • Pan-Asian
  • Lincoln Park

As if omakase menus weren't fancy and intimate enough, Sushi Suite takes things to the next level by transforming a 500-square-foot hotel room (located within Hotel Lincoln) into a secret, six-seat sushi speakeasy for private feasting. The 75-minute, 17-course menu from chef Jordan Dominguez serves up artfully arranged sushi topped with shrimp, uni and other seafood delights for $155 per person—for an even luxer experience, combine your meal with a trio of pairings from the suite's self-serve sake vending machine.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • West Loop
  • price 3 of 4

There are more than enough good things at Momotaro to have an entire meal without even glancing at the sushi menu, but that would be a mistake. Toss in individual nigiri or sashimi pieces or go all in on sushi rolls, like the Momomaki with big eye tuna, octopus and pickled daikon. There are several meatless options for the vegetarians at your table, including rolls stuffed with shiitake mushrooms and gourd.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Andersonville
  • price 2 of 4

Look for the loyal following of Mike-heads: sushi foodies who’ve followed chef “Sushi Mike” from Hama Matsu and San Soo Gab San to this sushi bar in the West Loop. If you try the cooked items, you’re likely not to go back. If you order your own sushi, you’re likely to offer up a “So what.” But if you make like the regulars and put yourself in Sushi Mike’s hands (name your price, and he creates a combo), you might just become a believer.

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Lawrence Fish Market
  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Albany Park
  • price 1 of 4

This takeout-only spot in Albany Park is an unexpected gem for sushi. First, it's insanely cheap—a tray with 16 pieces of nigiri, a California roll and a spicy tuna roll is just $22, and most nigiri are $1 apiece, with six-count maki rolls starting at $2.50. These prices are cheaper than grocery store sushi, and while the maki may not be perfectly wrapped, it tastes worlds better—flavors are clean, from a sweet snapper to supple salmon.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

This New York and South Beach import is a jack of all trades when it comes to seafood, serving oysters, caviar, lobster rolls, tuna tacos and a crispy Asian snapper for two. Lure Fishbar also boasts an expansive sushi menu (all prepared at a dedicated sushi bar), including a selection of signature rolls and platters laden with sushi and sashimi. If you're looking for something a bit different, opt for the crispy sushi rice, which places spicy tuna, yellowtail, uni or blue crab atop fried rice patties.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pan-Asian
  • River North

You've likely heard about Tao because of its 1,000-person capacity club, but the venue's posh restaurant is not to be overlooked. Snag a table in the dining room or saddle up at the sushi counter, where you can order sea-kissed treasures a la carte or through a decadent omakase menu. Sashimi and nigiri pieces are cut with precision, while specialty rolls conceal spicy tuna, buttery salmon and creamy lobster salad.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • River West/West Town
  • price 1 of 4

This BYOB-friendly West Town sushi joint serves monstrous rolls with a side of art. Some of the Yuzu jumbo rolls are served on platters that are decorated with colorful sauces in Instagram-worthy patterns and shapes. Try the unholy Green Habor, which is packed with broccoli and sweet potato tempura, grilled asparagus and cucumber and then topped with avocado, spicy mayo and sweet soy sauce. Open wide!

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • River North
  • price 3 of 4

Shaw's is one of our go-to spots for oysters and lobster rolls, but the sushi menu is also worth exploring. Given how serious Shaw's is about seafood, it's not surprising that its takes on sushi are simple and well-executed. There are neatly rolled and balanced maki, including combinations like Alaskan King crab, avocado, cucumber and masago, while the slices of salmon, tuna and yellowtail sashimi are precisely cut.

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