I will be visiting the "windy city" in November and looking for a decent sushi restaurant ( on a convenyor belt perhaps?) or a vegetarian restaurant. Will be staying in the downtown core....
any other recomemdations would be greatly appreciated...(except for pizza)
Last time I was in your great city...I went to Charlie Trotters (1992) but this time I want a "cheap and cheerful" type of experience.
If you do want the "tofu/seitan/granola house"-type Vegetarian place, try either of these:
738 N. Wells St.
3411 N. Halsted St.
Both are of the "how many ways can you cook seitan" ilk.
Alternatively, there's a "Raw Food" vegetarian place (haven't been there and have no idea if it's good or not)
1901 N. Halsted St.
Definitely Green Zebra! (Owned by multiple-award-winning chef Shawn McClain. Not technically cheap, but one of the best--perhaps the best--vegetable-focused restaurants in the country. It's about what you'd pay for moderately upscale sushi dinner. Small plates format; plan on 3-4 dishes/person plus dessert (the desserts are very creative and not to be missed). Check out the menu; this isn't a tofu/seitan/granola house, it's definitely a chef-driven and highly creative place: www.greenzebrachicago.com
As far as sushi, the above rec for Meiji is a really good one; although some will probably disagree.
One of my favorite "cheerful" places is Carnivale, a vast and colorful pan-Latin place. I had a terrific lunch there today. www.carnivalechicago.com/
No good kaiten sushiya in Chi-town, but next time you're in Shinjuku, let me know.
There are a ton of good sushi spots.
Great traditional sushi - Mirai.
Excellent non-traditional sushi - Meiji
Good, solid sushi: Tsunami in the Gold Coast, Sai Cafe in Lincoln Park, Oysy in the loop, and I hear good things about Ginza on Ohio in Streeterville.
Personally, I've not been impressed with SushiSamba Rio or Naniwa - both on Wells. Sushi Wabi gets good reviews, but I find it a cold, sterile environment.
Vegetarian - Green Zebra the best around. I had a good outing with some vegetarians at May Street Market on Grand in the west loop - a mix of food, but several vegetarian entrees, appetizers, salads, etc. Personally, I loved the Venison entree and blue-cheesecake appetizer - but that is just the opinion of a lowly carnivore.