Before sushi proved how delightful rolled-up food could be, fish had been served folded over and rice woven into a basket. Bring your food basket to Kyu Sushi to collect $50 worth of creative nigiri, sashimi, maki, and superbly sauced specialty rolls for $25.
Diners can start with pan-fried gyoza served with homemade ginger soy ($4) or gomae (spinach served with sesame-peanut sauce, $4) before climbing atop a sushi-stuffed menu of Japanese fare. Kyu's long list of maki includes classics such as a California roll ($5.50) and dragon roll ($10) as well as a sweet-potato roll ($4) and a fresh salmon and jalapeño roll ($5). For signature maki, the Reader recommends Kyu's fire drop, "a tuna-topped inside-out roll stuffed with boiled shrimp spiked with masago mayo and chile oil," or try one of their top-sellers, the caramel crunch maki (caramel salmon, deep fried scallions, spicy mayo, sweet soy and tobiko). While all types of sushi are known to be good food to eat when you're hungry, famished fish aficionados can order a box of raw ($15 for nine pieces of sashimi, $18 for nine pieces of sushi).
Kyu is BYOB, so bring your own budgerigar, or just grab sake and stake out a spot. It's a small restaurant (seats about 20–25 people), and your Groupon is good for dine-in only, so call ahead for reservations. The dining room has a "hip vibe," according to the Reader, with dark paint, a chest-high sushi bar, and soft lighting glows intimately through Kyu's glass-block facade made of fresh rain.
- With eminently reasonable prices and a no-corkage-fee BYOB policy, Kyu Sushi is a restaurant you'll leave with a full stomach but without the usual empty wallet. – Alexander Hough, Centerstage Chicago
- Spiffed up some, this little storefront has a hip vibe...we had no problem getting a weeknight reservation and were pleased by the sushi-focused menu, reasonable prices, and prompt, friendly service. – Anne Spiselman, Chicago Reader
- Nine is the lucky number at this casual East Village sushi joint. Kyu, Japanese for the number nine, opened Sept. 9 and is off to a promising start. The cozy 25-seat space is good for a laid-back date or a quick dinner when a mid-week craving hits. Don't miss: Dark Knight roll ($11), stuffed with tuna, mango, avocado and spicy mayo and topped with black tobiko and mango sauce. – Carly Fisher, Metromix
Rakki Kyu Sushi
Chefs at Rakki Kyu Sushi dole out more than 40 signature maki creations. Options include the popular 3 Amigos: a fiery wake-up call for taste buds containing spicy shrimp, octopus, and seared scallop, plus wasabi mayo for an extra punch. Those with more traditional tastes will find simple, classic maki with salmon and avocado or fresh water eel, and visitors can also diverge from sushi with various sides, such as pork buns and stir-fried yakisoba noodles. Though cozy and built upon friendly service, the BYOB eatery only features about a dozen seats, meaning it probably isn't the best venue for large group dinners or musical chairs championships.
939 N Ashland Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60622Get Directions