River North’s Best Japanese Restaurants

River North is jam-packed with restaurants. You can find just about any cuisine you’ve got a craving for, from Chicago classics like deep dish pizza and Italian beef, to upscale contemporary cuisine by the city’s best chefs.

One of the most popular cuisines in the neighborhood is Japanese, so we’ve picked out our favorite Japanese restaurants in River North.


Cocoro has been a River North standby for years. The traditionally decorated casual restaurant offers shabu-shabu, a Japanese form of fondue cooking. You can also try some of the freshest sushi in the city and an izakaya menu featuring small plates.


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Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar

For an urban vibe and fusion food, check out Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar. Known for their creative menu, you can’t go wrong with items like the “Buffalo” duck wing or the short rib ramen. Seafood lovers will dig into the marinated albacore tuna and the smoked super white tuna carpaccio. The most popular time to be there is between 5 and 6:30 for $1 oysters and half-price “Pride of the City” sake, their in-house brand.

They call me Fish Papa. #chicago #notdetroit

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Taketei Sushi

Michelin Guide-recommended Taketei Sushi opened a River North location in the Felix Hotel this summer. While the original Evanston storefront is BYOB, the newer restaurant offers beer, Japanese whiskeys, and sake. They’ve kept their prices affordable, with combinations available for $20 and under and a salmon maki for just $6.

Perfect for sharing #taketeisushi

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Get your noodle fix at Ramen-san in the heart of River North’s dining district. This relative newbie to Hubbard Street is part of the Lettuce Entertain You family of restaurants and is reminiscent of noodle dens in Japan. The menu serves up traditional tonkotsu broth, and you can also get a kimchee and fried chicken twist. Wash it down with ice cold Asahi on draft or a sake bomb.

#noodles please ?

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With restaurants like these you’ll never have far to search for Japanese cuisine in River North. For more tasty places to eat in the neighborhood, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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