CHIReview

Eating at this AYCE, rotary, shabu shabu restaurant in River North is a chaotic hurricane of activity. But once you get past the sensory overload, Friends Station can be a fun experience. This small place is bustling with loud music, colorful plates of meat, seafood, and vegetables zooming around on a conveyor belt, and diners seated shoulder to shoulder. Light broths (vegetable kumbu or sukiyaki shoyu) are served individually, and develop richness as you customize them with the wide selection of circulating ingredients. Our favorites are the thinly sliced ribeye, pork belly, and lamb shoulder, especially when dipped in a spicy, garlicky hua lampong sauce. Warning: don’t let the underwhelming appetizers distract you—with only 80 minutes allotted per meal, channel your inner Masterchef and focus on cooking meats and flavoring your broth before time runs out.

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The Best Restaurants In River North guide image
Guide
The Best Restaurants In River North

There’s a lot going on in this neighborhood, and deciding on a restaurant can be tough. This is where you should be eating.

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The Best Restaurants In River North guide image
Guide
The Best Restaurants In River North

There’s a lot going on in this neighborhood, and deciding on a restaurant can be tough. This is where you should be eating.

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7.7
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Ramen-san

Solid ramen with Wu-Tang and old school H.O.V.A bumping in the background. Ramen-san is ideal for posting up solo with hot food and a cold beer.