Chef Mitch Kim takes great pride in his sushi preparations, telling Metromix that Toro Sushi practices "one-and-half day turnover on our fish." The result is extraordinarily fresh maki at a great price. There's almost always a wait at this no-reservations spot, but you can give the hostess your cell-phone number and wait at a nearby watering hole.
The Chan family has made a name over the last 15 years with their sophisticated Japanese cuisine at Mirai Sushi. Their latest spot is Macku, named one of Chicago magazine’s best new restaurants in 2010. Sashimi and sushi rolls are dressed up with truffle oil and foie gras, and daily specials include ceviche with kumquat and fried pineapple.
Named one of country’s top-ten sushi restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit magazine in 2012, Arami is a study in elegant simplicity. Traditional torii gates open to a garden-themed dining room, and diners enjoy uni shooters, sashimi plates, and maki rolls. Edible orchids and decorative seashells pay homage to the owner's Hawaiian heritage.
When the outdoor patio is closed at this laidback spot, diners grab a spot at the sushi bar to watch chefs prepare freshest fish. Hand rolls and non-traditional small plates such as kobe beef sliders and goat-cheese tempura have caught the attention of The New York Times, which called the food "pristine," "expertly formed," and "outstanding."
After more than 20 years, this French-Asian fusion spot is still garnering praise from the culinary aficionados at Gourmet Magazine, Zagat, and Chicago magazine, which named it one of the top 40 Chicago restaurants ever. Chef Yoshi Katsumura has earned a reputation for putting innovative twists on classic dishes, such as tuna tartare and shrimp tempura maki.
A combination of sweet potatoes, salmon, and "spicy dynamite sauce" earned Seadog’s Triple S maki roll a spot on Time Out Chicago's "best things we ate (and drank)" list in 2011. Bring a bottle of wine and settle into a cozy booth to sample Michelin Guide-recommended creations, such as tuna and jalapeno temaki.
It's been hard to nab a table at this Melvin and Carlo Vizconde spot since it opened in June 2012, thanks to a 22-seat capacity and the "sushi twins" recognizable name. A spot on Chicago Eater's "Where to Eat Right Now" list won't make that easier, but the flaming tuna roll, an omakase menu, and a BYOB policy make it worth the wait.
Sushi O Sushi’s Chef Andy is a legend in Chicago's sushi scene, since he personally greets every customer who walks through the door and challenges patrons to chugging contests during unlimited sake-bomb parties. This festive atmosphere, captured in photos on a "hall-of-fame" sake-bombing wall, comes with sophisticated sushi such as the fresh-tuna-topped Armitage roll.
Deal or no deal, our editors strongly recommend these businesses based on their reputation, popularity, and quality of service.