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.
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.
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/
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.
Susi Wabi is unbeatable in my opinion. agree the environment is very contemporary but the size of the restaurant makes up for it. when its crowded its at its best. reservations recommended