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Jan 20, 2011 03:15 PM


my husband and i will be in chicago this saturday night for a last minute trip. we'd like to go out for sushi and are hoping to get some good recommendations. we'll be staying at the intercontinental, so added points for something in that area, however it's not necessary. also, any suggestions for cocktails (thoughts on the violet hour?) would be greatly appreciated too!

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  1. I don't eat sushi, but the sushi at Sunda is supposed to be very good, and it's right near your hotel. Since it's Saturday night, make sure to make reservations in advance. They're on

    For cocktails, there's no need to travel all the way to the Violet Hour; Sable is only a couple of blocks from your hotel, and has some of the best artisanal cocktails around. (They hired their chief mixologist away from the Violet Hour.) The food there is also excellent; don't miss the sweet corn creme brulee!

    1. Violet hour is much cooler than Sable, you should go (and I really like sable). The drinks at both are equally creative and well made.

      Sushi depends on whether you just want a really good tradtitional sushi dinner or one of the more creative spots.

      My go to River North traditional sushi spot is Naniwah on N Wells between Grand and Ohio. Nothing fancy, actually kind of Tokyo utilitarian, but great fish.

      For more interesting options and trendy decor (also River North) you can try Sushi Sambi Rio or Japonais. Both bring up the price tag, but both are excellent. Just don't go to either if you're only going to order California rolls.

      Its supposed to be cold this weekend, so take cabs. Will be $6 with a tip and 5 minutes to any of these options.

      Japonais Restaurant
      600 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60610

      Sushi Naniwa
      607 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654

      Sushi Samba Rio
      504 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654

      1 Reply
      1. Consider Mizu on North Avenue - quick cab ride. They're not one of the big names here but present superb sushi and a great yakitori list as well as a very good offerings of sakes. The place is quiet, nice room with wonderful service and low prices forbsuch very good quality.

        Mizu Management
        315 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60610

        1. thanks for the suggestions everyone. sunda looked great and we decided we'd try it - unfortunately when i called to make a reservation i was told they are booked until 10pm! i'm thinking we may just go around 7 or so, have a drink and wait for a table. hopefully we don't end up waiting the night away!

          1. A lot of the "sushi" you'll see lately seems to be pre-cut, assembled on site by technicians (many of whom are, shall we say, not Japanese?) Not a big fan of pre-cut sushi or sashimi.

            Naniwah I believe still cuts their own. Try also Kyoto, short cab ride up Lincoln. They're more creative rolls but for that, they're excellent.