Mike Gebert
 Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
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1. Joong Boo Market 3333 N Kimball Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (Avondale)

This hot spot is one part supermarket, one part fast-food Korean restaurant. The Avondale market is packed floor-to-ceiling with the all of the best Korean products, including housewares and kitchen utensils. Come to shop, and stay for the chicken wings and pork wang dumplings, served in the back of the market. For years, it’s been one of Chicago’s best kept secrets for good, inexpensive eats.

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2. Ajida 201 N Wells St Unit C, Chicago, IL 60606 (West Loop)

The West Loop’s first dedicated ramen spot offers a break from sandwich and salad shops, with a traditional menu featuring classic Japanese salads, skewers, ramen & udon, and more.

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3. Cocoro 668 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

Cocoro offers traditional izakaya-style cuisine in River North, including Kushikatsu (deep-fried pork skewers), Ika maru-yaki (grilled squid), and Shabu-shabu (thinly sliced beef boiled in water at your table).

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4. Itto Sushi 2616 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lakeview)

This old-school Japanese spot, has some great ramen. Try the shoyu ramen -- a comfy bowl of soy-based broth with good chewy noodles.

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5. Slurping Turtle 116 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

The celebrated chef of Bucktown's Takashi is recreating childhood memories of noisy noodle bowls and other Japanese comfort food in ST's open kitchen, which overlooks a 30-seat communal wooden table hovered over by a mezzanine. We think that Slurping Turtle is one of the best restaurants in Chicago.

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6. Urban Belly 1400 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607 (Avondale)

Simple Asian street food is revolutionized with gourmet flavor combos, such as lamb & brandy dumplings and bay scallop soba.

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7. Four Belly 3227 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657 (Lakeview)

Four Belly is an Asian street food-inspired grub hub in Lakeview.

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8. Wasabi 2539 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

From two children of the Rising Sun bent on dropping their homeland flavor on Chicago, Wasabi fits a rustic tavern vibe into linear, high-ceilinged digs, with dark wood columns running up the exposed brick walls, a weathered beam ceiling sporting a wrought iron chandelier, and seductively glowing lantern fixtures over the sushi bar, setting the perfect vibe for you to get your mackerel on.

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9. Oiistar 1385 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

This vibrant bar features a projection screen playing vintage cartoons, thumping music echoing off the birchwood walls, and RAMEN. The homemade noodles are served on daily-made broths that take 18 hours to prepare, and include various flavor schemes (pork belly, poached egg, mushrooms, etc.).

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10. Sozai Banzai 1089 E Golf Rd, Arlington Heights, IL 60005

Tucked away in an unassuming strip mall is some of Chicago's best ramen -- Sozai Banzai is your destination for authentic Japanese dishes on the cheap.

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11. Yusho 2853 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (Logan Square)

Because apparently not everything in Japan gets lost in translation, former Charlie Trotter's exec chef Matthias Merges drew on the energy and community he discovered in the country's street food scene when conceiving Yusho. His architect wife channeled his vision into an eclectic space with a bar made from century-old wood beams and a skylit back room projecting anime. Crunch on salmon and chicken skins while you sip a boozy soda or one of the formidable offerings of Japanese and domestic beers. Then share a bowl of mentaiko carbonara, a seaside leaning take on the Italian pasta with spicy cod roe and bucatini from sister restaurant A10.

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12. Santouka 100 E Algonquin Rd, Arlington Heights, IL 60005

This well-loved ramen chain lives in the back of the Mitsuwa Marketplace, offering up consistently tasty bowls of noodles and broth.

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13. High Five Ramen 112 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607 (West Loop)

Brought to you by Brendan Sodikoff, this West Loop resto is a cozy, dimly-lit space offering a concise menu featuring both traditional and modern ramen offerings, eye-popping “canzillas” of Asahi beer, and boozy slushies to temper the heat of the noodles.

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14. Ramen Misoya 1584 S Busse Rd, Mount Prospect, IL 60056

Found in a nondescript strip mall out in the suburbs, Ramen Misoya is a hidden noodle treasure that is well worth the journey to get there -- quality ingredients and respect for tradition result in a no-bull, delicious ramen experience.

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15. Strings Ramen Shop 2141 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616 (Chinatown)

Using a Japanese noodle-making machine, Strings churns out some of the best bowls of ramen in town. Thick, flavorful pork broth and perfectly textured noodles bring this place to the next level of slurpy goodness.

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