The Best Affordable Sushi Restaurants In Chicago

Casual sushi restaurants perfect for any day of the week.
The Best Affordable Sushi Restaurants In Chicago image

As much as we love it, Lake Michigan isn’t the ocean. This inconvenient truth means that many of the best sushi restaurants in Chicago are expensive, and that many of the less expensive places have not-so-good fish. But luckily, those aren’t your only options. There are plenty of great casual neighborhood sushi spots around, if you know where to look. Here’s where to go when you want good sushi, but still want to be able to afford an Uber home—or keep saving up for that trip to the actual ocean.



River North

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsBirthdaysCasual Weeknight DinnerDeliveryDrinking Good CocktailsEating At The Bar


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If you’re familiar with Sushi-san’s sister restaurant, Ramen-san, then you know exactly what to expect from this spot in River North. It’s nearly identical, with wooden tables, loud rap music, and a menu that’s a mix of traditional and contemporary Japanese dishes. They have a few appetizers that are decent, but we recommend focusing on the nigiri and sashimi. This place has quality fish and is both reasonably affordable for the neighborhood and a fun place to go with a group.

photo credit: Kim Kovacik



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312 Fish Market is not just one of our favorite affordable sushi spots, it’s one of our favorite restaurants in Chinatown. There are many food stalls in the massive supermarket, 88 Marketplace, but 312 is the only one with its own seating, complete with a sushi counter and a handful of tables. And considering that this place is from a Sushi-san alum, it’s not surprising that all their maki, sashimi, and nigiri are really good. Like the konbujime medai which has a ton of rich seaweed flavor and is topped with citrus to round the bite out. We also like ordering their platters for takeout.

Before Tanoshii Sushi Mike’s popped up in the West Loop, it was a restaurant in Andersonville. And while both have great sushi, the original is our favorite location when we want something quiet. Try one of the chef’s choice rolls, which often come with a light truffle sauce that’s good without being overbearing. Don’t forget it’s BYOB.

This place definitely belongs in your sushi rotation. It’s a small, low-key restaurant in Albany Park, and its fish offerings vary depending on what’s been flown in that day. They have omakase starting at $75 as well as great a la carte options. If you’re into rolls, the Omega maki with fried salmon and shrimp tempura is pretty good, but we suggest going for the nigiri and sashimi instead. Make sure to try the tamago—it’s excellent.

Not only does Miku have quality raw fish, but they have some of the best sushi deals on this entire guide. Every day from 11am-6pm all of this Lincoln Square spot’s straightforward maki are half off. Standard rolls like tuna or salmon are $4.50, and combination rolls like their Samurai with tuna, yellowtail, and masago go for just $7.50. The long, narrow dining space has plenty of table and counter space, so it’s perfect for a group. Plus, it’s affordable enough that you can order a lot and not feel like you need to to cancel all of your streaming subscriptions.



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There aren’t too many neighborhood-type spots on Rush St. in the Gold Coast, but we’ll always have Friends. We hope. From the outside, it just looks like a townhouse with a sushi sign out front. But inside, it feels like a retro vision of a futuristic lounge—filled with all-white furniture that would fit in on The Jetsons. The smallish space gets crowded on the weekend, so come here during the week for a more low-key night. You can’t go wrong ordering from the large selection of maki.

Sushi Dokku does a good job of catering to all needs, with everything from sashimi to signature nigiri to a shrimp tempura roll you might crave. The prices aren’t ridiculous, and it’s a good choice for a low-key lunch or dinner in the West Loop.

Your parents are visiting and they want to see what you’ve been up to in the neighborhood. Check out Sai, a quiet sushi restaurant in Lincoln Park that’s been around for over 20 years. They have non-sushi options, like chicken/beef/fish teriyaki and noodle dishes, in addition to raw fish, and the friendly service and relaxed environment make it a great spot to hang out with Mom and Dad while they try guilt you into moving back home.

The stretch of Clark between Fullerton and Belmont in Lincoln Park is full of casual spots that are affordable enough for college students, and Toro falls into this category. Because of its high-quality sushi, small space, and no-reservations policy, this place is always crowded. Increase your chances of getting a table by coming with just one other person, not a group, and remember to BYOB.

If you’re going to name yourself after the famous Tokyo fish market, then you’d better have some pretty good sushi. And while Tsukiji (the restaurant) isn’t serving million-dollar tuna that’s been auctioned off in Japan, their nigiri and sashimi are worth your time. It’s a good option in Noble Square for sushi, and a trip there is cheaper than a flight to Tokyo.

Sushi Hall is a great spot in Lincoln Park for a casual meal. Its sleek, cozy dining room is perfect for a casual date or a one-on-one catch-up, and if you’re planning on coming with a larger group, they also have a second separate dining space with a few large tables. Their long menu has a wide range of raw seafood, including sashimi and well-crafted rolls, like the BFF: tempura, spicy tuna, and eel topped with a sweet unagi sauce. And while you’re here you can expect a visit from the friendly chef who likes to check in with each table and fist bump every diner.

The next time you want to eat an exorbitant amount of sushi, go to Sushi Tokoro in Lincoln Square. Here, $23.99 gets you a combo with three rolls, two pieces of nigiri or sashimi, and an appetizer like miso soup or gyoza. Or, you can upgrade to an AYCE sushi feast for $4 more—just make sure you’re actually hungry enough to avoid any extra fees for leftovers. There’s plenty of group seating in this brightly lit BYOB spot, so it’s a great place for a casual dinner with friends after work.

Go to Butterfly when your college friends are visiting from out of town and you need an upbeat BYOB spot. There are three locations, all in the West Town/West Loop area, and all of them serve tasty rolls and decent Thai food. This is good for Gina, who doesn’t actually like sushi but likes vodka sodas.

With its mismatched cushioned chairs, old dressers, and an old electric organ, Komorebi in Wicker Park feels like a sushi restaurant that’s sponsored by The Brown Elephant. But the combination of vintage furniture and bright, wooden interior is cozy and inviting versus feeling like a claustrophobic maze of nostalgia. The menu has plenty of loaded rolls that all fall around $17, but if you prefer simpler preparations, nigiri and basic maki are all about $8. And whether you’re at this BYOB spot for a low-key date night or catching up with some friends, you can always count on consistently good sushi that won’t require you to take out a loan.

Being at Sushi X feels like eating sushi in a (BYOB) nightclub. There’s Japanese animation projected on the wall, and loud house music playing—so it’s not the best choice for a quiet date night, but it’s perfect for a group. The menu is fun, with a section called “Giant Monsters” that has rolls like “sushi fruit” (salmon, tuna, hamachi, pineapple, melon, mango, coconut flakes, tempura, daikon, eel sauce, and cucumber). You can get regular rolls and nigiri too, which are fine, but like the atmosphere, the vibrant rolls are why you’re here.

Blowfish is a good sushi spot in Edgewater with a casual neon-lit interior and plenty of seating. And those seats are often full of Bryn Mawr Red Line commuters grabbing some dinner when they realize that they forgot to get groceries. The sushi here is definitely tasty, but the main draw of Blowfish is its affordability. Most pieces of nigiri cost $4, classic maki hover around $8, and loaded rolls are all about $15. Plus, their combination sets are all $26 or less.

Though Lawrence Fish Market in Albany Park is takeout only, it's one of the best places for an affordable sushi feast. It's been around for over 40 years, and has a very long menu full of delicious (and reasonably priced) nigiri, sashimi, rolls, and trays. Many pieces are less than $2 and most rolls are $4-$9. Just know that it’s cash-only, so make sure to stop by an ATM beforehand and prep your dining table for the 5,000 pieces of fish you’re about to consume.

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Suggested Reading

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The Best Sushi Restaurants In Chicago

Our guide to the greatest sushi spots in Chicago, from incredible a la carte meals to bucket list omakase options.

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Momotaro is a great Japanese restaurant in the West Loop.

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Raisu is a casual spot in Albany Park that serves high-quality sushi.

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