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Why choose between quality and quantity when you can have both? There’s a common misconception that all-you-can-eat (AYCE) sushi is inevitably of lower quality than a la carte sushi. Thankfully, Chicago is on a mission to prove everyone who believes this to be wrong. Here is our complete guide to the best AYCE sushi in Chicago.
Top 3 Best AYCE Sushi in Chicago
The following three AYCE sushi restaurants in Chicago are by far the best. If you’re able to go to one of these spots, go. However, if you’re unable to get a reservation or nowhere near the neighborhood that these restaurants are located in, then check out the additional AYCE sushi restaurants in the next section below.
Despite being the most expensive AYCE sushi restaurant in Chicago, Sushi Taku is still the best AYCE sushi in Chicago. You’ll get the most value at Sushi Taku with the nigiri, but that doesn’t mean you should discount the other menu items. The sashimi salad is a must-have, and the takoyaki and baked mussels are a couple of my favorite appetizers. As for the nigiri, try them all! The fish:rice ratio on the nigiri at Sushi Taku is one of the most generous I’ve seen. Sushi Taku also offers some drink options, including sake bombs, or you can BYOB. They do charge a $10 corkage fee for any drinks you bring in, however, so you’re probably better off ordering some sake from the restaurant.
Not all AYCE sushi setups are conducive to solo diners because you want to try as many different items as you can without leaving food on the table. The portions at Sushi Taku are small enough that even solo diners with a big appetite can get their money’s worth here.
One final note about Sushi Taku is that there is usually a wait, so either gather a group of 6+ and make a reservation, or come early. I showed up at 12:10pm on a Tuesday one time (the restaurant opens at 12:00pm), and half of the tables were already filled. On weekends, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to show up ~30 minutes before the restaurant opens.
Address: 1904 W. Division St. (Wicker Park)
Price: $25.99 Dinner; $19.99 Lunch
If you’re willing to make the hike up to Ravenswood, you will be rewarded with lower prices and the same delicious sushi. Bring a big group to Sushi Tokoro so that you can order enough sushi (a “boat” load, some might say) to warrant receiving your order in a boat. Sushi Tokoro is also BYOB and does not have a corkage fee, so you’ll save yourself a lot of money on booze too.
Address: 4750 N. Western Ave. (Ravenswood)
Price: $22.95 Dinner; $16.95 Lunch
Not only does Wabi Sabi Rotary offer AYCE sushi, it offers it pre-plated on a conveyor belt. Customers are seated at tables around the conveyor belt, and if a particular sushi looks good to you, all you have to do is pick it up as it moves past you on the conveyor belt. In addition to the standard appetizers and nigiri you would expect from an AYCE sushi restaurant, Wabi Sabi also offers udon and ramen noodles in its AYCE package. You won’t go home hungry, that’s for sure.
Address: 4521 N. Sheridan Rd. (Uptown)
Price: $21.95 Dinner; $17.95 Lunch
Not the Best AYCE Sushi in Chicago (But Still Good)
For a big city like Chicago, there aren’t a ton of AYCE sushi options here. If you’re unable to make it to one of the three AYCE sushi restaurants above, and if you’re not too picky about your sushi, then I would recommend checking out one of the spots below. While the AYCE sushi restaurants below wouldn’t necessarily be my top pick, they’re also not a bad value for the amount of food you’ll consume.
The AYCE sushi at Wasabi Cafe is heavy on the maki rolls, with nearly 50 different types of rolls. There are a variety of appetizers and nigiri available as well, but with a maki-heavy menu, you’re best off showing up with a big group. Each table has a call button, so you can summon your waitress any time you need to place an additional order. Pro tip: You can get $2 off your final bill if you pay in cash!
Address: 3908 N. Lincoln Ave. (North Center)
Price: $21.95 Dinner
Sushi Para has two locations in Chicago – one in Lincoln Park called Sushi Para II and another in Wicker Park called Sushi Para M. Both locations have a well-balanced menu of appetizers, sashimi, and rolls, although the quality may not be up to par with its competitors. If you order enough sushi for the table, you’ll have it delivered in a sushi boat, which is a fun touch. Both restaurants are very well-located, so if you’re looking for a fast and cheap AYCE sushi meal, you’ll want to consider Sushi Para.
Address: Sushi Para II, 2258 N. Clark St. (Lincoln Park); Sushi Para M, 1633 N. Milwaukee Ave. (Wicker Park)
Price: $21.99 Dinner; $17.99 Lunch
Located near University of Chicago’s main campus, Shinju Sushi caters to the college crowd, as can be seen through its low prices. While the quality of fish may not be the best here, you really can’t complain for the price you pay. Also, they do offer a well-balanced menu of appetizers, sushi, and rolls, so at the end of the day, just focus on eating all the sushi you can possibly eat for just $15 instead of critiquing.
Address: 1375 E. 53rd St. (Hyde Park)
Price: $20.99 Dinner; $14.99 Lunch
Not only is Sushi Sai the only AYCE sushi restaurant in downtown Chicago (The Loop), but it’s also extremely well-priced for where it’s located. The menu here is a bit smaller than at other AYCE sushi restaurants, but it still includes a good mix of appetizers, sushi, and rolls. The appetizers here are limited and nothing special, so I would recommend saving room for the rolls and sushi.
Address: 123 N. Wacker Dr. Suite 125 (Loop)
Price: $21.99 Dinner
If you have a layover in Chicago and are craving some AYCE sushi, there’s no better option than Royal Sushi. Located about a 10-15 minute drive from O’Hare, Royal Sushi offers a balanced AYCE menu of appetizers, sashimi, and rolls. The torched dragon roll (pictured above) and the turtle roll are two of the biggest hits here.
Address: 7258 W. Foster Ave. (Norwood Park)
Price: $21.99 Dinner; $16.99 Lunch
Another option for AYCE sushi near O’Hare is Umami Sushi. Located a short 10 minute drive from O’Hare, Umami Sushi is open every day from 11:30am to 10:00pm, with slightly shorter hours on Sundays. Like Wasabi Cafe, Umami Sushi’s menu is heavy on the maki rolls. However, there are a number of appetizers available, as well as a list of sushi options. The menu here isn’t as well-balanced as the menu at Royal Sushi, nor is the sushi as quality.
Address: 4626 N. Cumberland Ave. (O’Hare)
Price: $21.99 Dinner; $17.99 Lunch
Is our complete guide to the best AYCE sushi in Chicago missing any key spots? If so, let us know below!
Looking for more places to eat and drink in Chicago? Then you might want to check out these posts:
- A Local’s Guide to the 35 Best Restaurants in Chicago
- 25 Most Instagrammable Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes in Chicago
- 11 Best Chicago Coffee Shops According to a Local
- A Local’s Guide to the 15 Best Breweries in Chicago
- Best Ramen in Chicago: Top 5 Ramen Shops to Visit Right Now
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