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Our friends at Chicago Eater have complied their list. We agree!

1 Katsu

This Rogers Park gem has earned countless accolades for its expertly executed omakase. Sushi purists flock for slices of super white toro, blue fin tuna and premium yellowtail fresh from Tsukiji, Tokyo. Each piece is delicately draped over white rice and accented by shiso, caviar, and flecks of gold leaf. It’s an extravagant experience in an unassuming location.

2651 W Peterson Ave
Chicago, IL, 60659
(773) 784-3383

2 Tanoshii Sushi

Those in the know go to Mike Ham, more affectionately known as Sushi Mike, for his masterful ability to manipulate maki. The oversized rolls filled with unagi, shrimp tempura, soft shell crab and more were so popular in the Andersonville location that it spawned a second spot on Randolph Row. A suburban outpost is located in Highland Park.

Tanoshii Sushi
5547 N Clark St
Chicago, IL, 60661
(312) 207-8894

3 Lawrence Fish Market

An unexpected spot for serious take-out sushi offers surprisingly good seafood and an equally shocking low price. Walk away with over a dozen pieces of nirigi, spicy tuna and California roll for just over $20. They also offer a la carte add-ons, from uni to toro and a laundry list of maki. Don’t let the out-of-the-way location and hand-written menu fool you; this fish is the real deal.

3914 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL, 60625
(773) 267-6838

4 Juno Sushi Chicago

Chef BK Park is an artist whose palate is fresh fish and paintbrush is a sharp knife. With them, he creates plates of live scallops, fatty tuna and sake-marinated sea eel. Follow-up a selection of nigiri with the signature tako maguro filled with both spicy tuna and octopus. With 24-hour notice, Park will prepare a multi-course omakase with dishes not seen on the regular menu.

2638 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL, 60614
(773) 935-2000

5 Toro Sushi

This tiny Lincoln Park joint is always a packed house thanks to an affordable menu of quality sushi. Owner and chef Mitch Kim delivers both classic and non-traditional maki like the aptly-named ‘Oh My God’ roll loaded with shrimp tempura, kani salad, unagi, cream cheese, mango, cucumber and avocado. Show up early or be prepared to wait; though you can spend that time doing some shopping to take advantage of the restaurant’s BYOB policy.

2546 N Clark St
Chicago, IL, 60614
(773) 348-7255

6 Naoki Sushi

Hidden behind Intro is Lettuce Entertain You’s tribute to fresh fish. Led by Naoki Nakashima, Lettuce’s long-time sushi chef, the menu offers “Naoki-style sashimi”—such as madai with charred shimeji mushroom and plum—as well as classic pieces and maki rolls. The space only seats 50 at an illuminated sushi bar and closely spaced tables reminiscent of an intimate Tokyo restaurant.

2300 N Lincoln Park W
Chicago, IL, 60614
(773) 868-0002

7 Macku Sushi

Treat yourself to omakase at this upscale sushi spot. Starting at $65 per person, chef Macku Chan breaks out the big knife to slice fresh seafood into nigriri, sashimi and maki. The regular menu is also rich with fish, from striped bass with braised fig and macadamia nut to sea bream with toasted pine nuts and fried shallots.

2239 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 281-4825

8 Coast Sushi Bar

‘Maine’ (lobster in ginger mayo with scallion, salmon roe and cucumber) and ‘Smokin’ Pumpkin’ (pumpkin tempura topped with seared salmon, mayo and masago) rolls aren’t likely to be found on any menu in Japan but you probably won’t care either after taking a bite. Coast eschews authenticity in favor of flavor bombs and it’s always a popular spot for any occasion. Vegetarians can opt for a wide selection of vegetable maki while the BYOB policy means you’ll have more money to spend on delicious, delicious sushi. Two other locations in South Loop and Evanston.

Coast Sushi Bar
2045 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL, 60647
(773) 235-5775

9 Sai Cafe

When a restaurant has been around for more than two decades, you know it’s doing something right. There are no gimmicks at low-key Sai Cafe; just quality and affordable fish that’s been delighting diners for years. Omnivores have plenty of vegetarian rolls to choose from while unique creations include the ‘Halloween’ maki—salmon topped with wasabi and black fish egg, wrapped around rice and green bean tempura.

2010 N Sheffield Ave
Chicago, IL, 60614
(773) 472-8080

10 Yuzu Sushi and Robata Grill

Anime artwork, an eclectic soundtrack and BYOB have made Yuzu a neighborhood favorite. The sushi’s great too, of course, featuring an array of exciting, seasonal options. For instance, the ‘River Walk Roll’ is a jumbo creation packed with tuna, super white tuna, avocado, cucumber and a whole host of other ingredients that somehow perfectly come together for one glorious bite.

1751 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL, 60622
(312) 666-4100

11 Arami

The gold standard for sushi in Chicago has long been this West Town spot that treats slicing fish like a science. Have a seat at the sushi counter to watch chefs Ajay Popli and Nelson Vinansaca prepare yellowtail drizzled in truffle oil or Scottish salmon marinated in soy sauce. One bite not to be missed is the lightly smoked hamachi carpaccio accented with ponzu, negi, and sesame oil.

1829 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL, 60622
(312) 243-1535

12 Kai Zan

At this lauded BYOB restaurant, it’s best to sit back and let sushi legends Melvin and Carlo Vizconde do the work. The twin brothers meticulously assemble creative interpretations of Japanese classics, including uni shooters with ponzu and quail egg, citrus-glazed scallops wrapped in salmon and something the brothers call an “Eskimo Cloud”—oysters wrapped in escolar with pickled wasabi and Tabasco foam.

2557 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL, 60622
(773) 278-5776

13 Roka Akor

Sushi is a rich indulgence but Scottsdale-import Roka Akor takes it a step further by offering one of the most decadent experiences in town. The staff is working with premium-quality ingredients and although California rolls are always available, we suggest going big with luxurious fatty blue fin tuna, fresh uni or Alaskan king crab. There’s also a second location in Skokie.

456 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL, 60654
(312) 477-7652

14 Momotaro

The Boka guys made a big splash with their foray into Japanese dining with a two-story stunner serving smoked aji and toro tartare alongside robata-grilled jidori chicken hearts and imperial Wagyu beef tongue. Downstairs, a Tokyo-inspired izakaya bar offers a limited menu of dumplings, ramen and sushi.

820 W Lake St
Chicago, IL, 60607
(312) 733-4818

15 Sushi Dokku

Although the days of downing Godzilla rolls at Sushi Wabi are long gone, the owners keep slinging sushi at their new spot across the street. Here, the same creativity is translated to hamachi garnished with grapefruit, and black lava sea salt; smoked unagi and After dinner, grab a drink at Booze Box, an Izakaya-style speakeasy serving Japanese beer on draft as well as pink peppercorn cocktails and chamomile whiskey sours.

823 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 455-8238
Tim Padavic

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