Chicago is home to an impressive variety of cuisines, but Japanese food has become a staple in the city's culinary scene.
From sushi to ramen, there is no shortage of Japanese restaurants to choose from. Whether you're in the mood for a casual meal or a fine dining experience, Chicago has it all.
The Japanese cuisine in Chicago is known for its fresh ingredients, intricate flavors, and beautiful presentation. Many of the city's Japanese restaurants have gained recognition for their unique take on traditional dishes and innovative creations.
With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go. That's why we've compiled a list of the best Japanese restaurants in Chicago to help you narrow down your search.
From the ambiance to the quality of the food, we've taken into account all aspects of what makes a Japanese restaurant stand out.
Whether you're a sushi lover or a ramen enthusiast, you're sure to find a restaurant that suits your taste buds. So, without further ado, let's dive into the top Japanese restaurants in Chicago.
1. Roka Akor – Chicago
Roka Akor – Chicago is an upscale Japanese restaurant and bar that serves delicious steak, seafood, and sushi dishes in a contemporary setting.
The food is consistently excellent, with fresh fish and perfectly grilled octopus.
The glazed cod is a highlight and melts in your mouth. The service is exceptional and the price is reasonable.
This is a must-visit restaurant for anyone looking for a high-quality Japanese dining experience.
2. KAI ZAN
KAI ZAN is a small Japanese restaurant that serves outstanding sushi and beef flown in from Japan.
The food is of very high quality, and the sake selection is great. The staff is attentive and kind, and they do well at explaining the different options and plates.
The atmosphere is intimate, making it a great spot for a special occasion. The creative tasting menu is a must-try, and the chefs use the best quality ingredients to produce dishes that are simply delightful.
KAI ZAN is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for an exceptional Japanese dining experience.
Gaijin is a Japanese restaurant that serves amazing food with great presentation. The staff is welcoming and friendly, and the service is quick.
The atmosphere is lively and the restaurant has a hip, warehouse-like setting. The Hiroshima Okonomiyaki with soba noodles is a must-try and the mochi strawberry donut and matcha ice cream are delicious.
It is recommended to make reservations for groups larger than 3. The restaurant also offers creative shaved ice desserts and highballs.
Gaijin is an excellent place to dine for anyone looking for a great Japanese restaurant experience.
Momotaro is a modern Japanese restaurant that offers an above-average dining experience.
The sushi rolls are of excellent quality, and the prices are reasonable for the location. The bar program is impressive, with a wide selection of sake and innovative cocktails.
The atmosphere is slightly casual fine dining, and the service is attentive. The food is unique and delicious, with some small plates being a bit pricey.
Nonetheless, the meal portions are more than enough. Momotaro is a great restaurant for anyone looking for excellent Japanese cuisine and a unique dining experience.
5. Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ is a must-visit for meat lovers. The restaurant offers a wide range of perfectly seasoned meats that are grilled to perfection at your table.
The service is swift and warm, and the staff is knowledgeable about cooking times and placement on the grill. The decor is casual and comfortable, providing a relaxed atmosphere for a fun night out with friends.
The menu can be overwhelming, but the garlic noodles, garlic fried rice, and Lady M's Green Tea Mille Crepe w/ Ice Cream dessert are highly recommended.
The restaurant also offers a great happy hour with excellent prices. Reservations are highly recommended due to limited seating capacity.
6. Tsukiji Sushi Sake Bar
If you're looking for a unique blend of Japanese and Latin American cuisine, Tsukiji Sushi Sake Bar is the place to go.
The restaurant offers innovative dishes that are sure to impress any foodie. The upscale setting and welcoming staff create a comfortable and enjoyable dining experience.
The sushi is fresh and delicious, and the drinks are top notch.
Whether you're in the mood for a sake or a margarita, the bar has you covered. Don't miss out on this hidden gem for your next night out.
7. Midori Japanese Restaurant
Midori Japanese Restaurant is a must-visit for sushi lovers. The restaurant pays close attention to details, making every dish presented beautifully.
While the all-you-can-eat places may offer a better deal, the quality of the food at Midori is unbeatable. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is perfect for a quick get-together with friends.
The Bento box is highly recommended, offering a little bit of everything.
Midori has been around for decades and their consistency in producing solid dishes is a testament to their success. The establishment also offers private rooms for larger groups.
Sushi-san is a stylish Japanese restaurant that specializes in sashimi and cocktails.
The sushi quality is exceptional, and the service is top-notch. The atmosphere has a cool, hipster vibe that adds to the dining experience.
The menu is inventive and authentic, with interesting dishes like Vietnamese pork and Japanese pancakes for dessert.
The restaurant also accommodates gluten-free diners, with labeled menu items and options for customization. Sushi-san is a great place to eat with friends or for a special occasion.
9. Kizami Sushi
Kizami Sushi is a must-visit Japanese restaurant for sushi lovers. The restaurant offers fresh and quality ingredients that are skillfully crafted into delicious dishes.
Their service is fast and attentive, and they have a cozy and comfortable atmosphere that makes dining there a great experience.
The restaurant offers a variety of vegetarian options, and their sushi rolls are a must-try. The pricing is reasonable, and the staff is friendly and welcoming.
Kizami Sushi is a great spot for those looking for a casual yet high-quality dining experience.
10. Ikigai Sushi & Izakaya
Ikigai Sushi & Izakaya is a must-visit Japanese restaurant. Their sushi is top-notch and the miso soup is incredible.
The staff is friendly and attentive, making sure customers are comfortable.
It's BYOB, which is a plus. The kushiyaki skewers are also a must-try.
Prices are reasonable for the quality of food and service. Highly recommended.
11. Yellowtail Sushi Bar & Asian Kitchen
Yellowtail Sushi Bar & Asian Kitchen is a casual Japanese eatery serving up classic dishes and specialty sushi rolls. The high-quality ingredients used in their sushi create a fresh and authentic taste.
The Green Turtle Maki roll is a must-try. The appetizers, however, were not as impressive, with the Takoyaki being a bit soggy and the miso soup not quite hitting the mark.
The bring-your-own-alcohol policy is a nice touch, making it a perfect spot for a night out with friends.
The staff is warm and welcoming, creating a cozy atmosphere in the restaurant. While the noise level can be a little loud, the overall experience is enjoyable.
12. South Kawa Japanese Restaurant
South Kawa Japanese Restaurant is a hidden gem that offers authentic Japanese cuisine in a cozy and stylish atmosphere. The restaurant is perfect for those who are looking for fresh and flavorful sushi, as well as other Japanese eats.
The quality of the seafood is outstanding, and the chefs are visible behind the sushi bar, ensuring that all dishes are freshly prepared to order.
The prices are reasonable, and the service is friendly and prompt. The restaurant is BYOB, making it a great spot for a casual dinner with friends or a date night.
Whether you're a sushi lover or just looking to try something new, South Kawa Japanese Restaurant is definitely worth a visit.
13. Tanuki Sushi & Grill
Tanuki Sushi & Grill is a small, trendy Japanese restaurant that serves up fresh, well-made sushi and robata-grilled dishes.
The ambiance is rustic-chic, making it a great spot for a date or small family dinner. The menu has a wide variety of sushi rolls to choose from, including the Fire Dragon Roll and the Atlantic Monkey Roll.
The miso soup and seaweed salad are also delicious. BYOB is available, making it easy to enjoy your favorite drink with your meal.
The service is friendly and attentive, adding to the overall enjoyable experience.
14. Sushi Tokoro
Sushi Tokoro is a Japanese restaurant that offers all-you-can-eat sushi at a reasonable price.
Their sushi is of great quality, and the chefs are professional. The servers are friendly and provide excellent service.
The restaurant has a simple ambiance and is BYOB. They also offer traditional hibachi meals. Dessert is included, and their ice cream is great.
Sushi Tokoro is an excellent choice for sushi lovers who are looking for a new favorite sushi place.
15. 2AM Izakaya
2AM Izakaya is a must-visit for anyone who loves Japanese cuisine. This restaurant offers fresh and delicious food that is prepared quickly using only the finest ingredients.
The sashimi is particularly noteworthy, with every piece being incredibly fresh and beautifully presented.
The yakitori menu is also a highlight, with a range of grilled meats that are sure to satisfy any meat lover.
The staff are friendly and attentive, ensuring that every customer has a great experience. If you're looking for a new Japanese restaurant to try, make sure to check out 2AM Izakaya.