The 7 Best Sushi Spots in Chicago’s West Loop

From Michelin-starred omakases to casual hand-roll counters lining Restaurant Row.

Mako
Mako | Photo by Brad Danner
Mako | Photo by Brad Danner

The West Loop is home to some of the city’s best restaurants—and sushi establishments are no exception. Within recent years the neighborhood has welcomed a handful of chopsticks-wielding newcomers, all of them boasting some serious service alongside ocean-fresh seafood flown in from Japan and transformed into flawless maki, nigiri, sashimi, and other bite-sized creations.

From a trendy food hall hangout to sleek Michelin-starred stunners, here are the best spots for sushi in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood.

Information listed here may be subject to change depending on the developing situation with COVID-19's Omicron variant. Please check for the latest updates available or contact each establishment directly for more info.
Mako
Mako | Photo by Brad Danner

Mako

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Diners have just 22 seats to choose from at this intimate restaurant—and between its Michelin-starred status and wealth of four-star reviews, bookings are even harder to snag. Credit B.K. Park and the decades he’s spent refining his technique behind the counter, where he prepares an omakase menu of carefully sourced nigiri, sashimi, and hand rolls. Enjoy them in between composed dishes of Kani Miso with tozazu jelly, Black Cod with burnt scallion ponzu sauce, or Kakuni Pork with kabocha, miso turnip, and baby bok choy.
How to book: Reserve via Tock.

Nobu

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With locations of his namesake restaurant around the globe, chef Nobu Matsuhisa chose Chicago as one for his most recent openings—an arrival that touched down in tandem with the hotly anticipated arrival of Nobu Hotel. Settle into the 10,000-square-foot restaurant (be it in the lounge, dining room, or at the 32-seat sushi bar) and prep yourself for a feast: Options here are abundant (and addictive), starting with luscious Maguro and Hamachi Nigiri and meandering into maki like Salmon Avocado and Spicy Tuna rolls. Or, surrender your menu and opt for the omakase for a showdown of signature courses from the chef team, widely praised for specialty like Tuna Ginger Tosazu and King Crab Tacos.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable or order take-out and delivery via Caviar and DoorDash.

This sushi fixture originally opened its doors in 1998 as Sushi Wabi, before relocating across the street under its new name in 2013. In the years since, it’s garnered a loyal following for its comprehensive approach to Japanese dining. Omakase takes on a personalized touch here with the “server-kase” spin on it, a chance to dialogue in detail with the team about what’s best for the table. Spoiler? It’s probably the Tuna Truffle or Sake Tochi Nigiri to start, followed by can’t-miss rolls like the Crispy Maguro (with tuna, red onion, and fried shallots) or the Godzilla (with tempura shrimp, cream cheese, and wasabi mayo). Pair them all with a Japanese Manhattan or any of the sake selections here—the sheer range is impressive.
How to book: Reserve via Tock or order take-out and delivery via ChowNow.

Arami

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This booth greets diners as soon as they enter the southwest doors of Time Out Market—a surefire sign that they shouldn’t pass it by. That’s thanks to dynamic medleys of crisp nori, hyper-fresh fish, and bold sauces, as evidenced by rolls like the TOM Cali Rainbow or the beloved Trio Maki, a colossally wide composition of hamachi, salmon, avocado, and the epic herbal-hot trinity of spicy mayo, chili oil, and cilantro. More of a classicist? You’ll do just as well by traditional maki selections or the nigiri plate, decked out with six pieces of Pacific tuna, Norwegian salmon, and Japanese hamachi.
How to book: Stop by for counter service or order take-out and delivery online.

When Boka Restaurant Group opened this restaurant in the heart of Fulton Market, it brought with it a menu showcasing contemporary Japanese fare and interiors worthy of group celebrations and special date nights alike. Sushi is the specialty here, as evidenced by fish sourced directly from Tokyo’s Toyosu Market and classic offerings of maki, sashimi, and nigiri. The roster is expansive, so if you’re seeking a little guidance, let the chef team make the selections and round it out with any of the house favorites (think lightly seared salmon belly with kombu or the Momomaki, a signature roll spanning spicy octopus, bigeye tuna, and pickled daikon). Post-meal, grab a drink at Izakaya at Momotaro, the restaurant’s subterranean, Japanese-inspired lounge.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable or order take-out and delivery online.

Tanoshii
Tanoshii | Photo by Luna Luxe

Big flavors and fanciful presentations are the focus at this family-owned and -operated restaurant, whose Uptown sister location made a name for itself with clever combinations courtesy of “Sushi Mike.” They’re equally praised for their omakase program, a practice continued and encouraged here with small bites, traditional pieces, and maki—many of which call upon unexpected additions of chive, chili, truffle, and other showstopping ingredients. Sample by way of standout rolls like the Italian (with seared tuna, kanikama, and Italian sauce) or the Salmon Truffle (with salmon, cucumber, peach balsamic, and truffle honey).
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable or order take-out via Ritual.

Only a handful of seats line the sushi counter at this Michelin-starred hideaway, where chef SangTae Park puts forth a 16-course tasting menu journeying through starters, sushi, and sweets. Though the selection changes on the daily, you can always expect highly flavorful cuts like otoro, kanpachi, king salmon, and madai, among others small-plate enticements.
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Nicole Schnitzler is a contributor for Thrillist.