Between springy udon noodles, smoky grilled skewers, and juicy katsu sandwiches, there’s so much to love about Japanese cuisine beyond the usual suspects of sushi and ramen. Fortunately for locals, the Chicago area is seeing a slight influx in spots featuring both creative and nostalgic takes on heartwarming homestyle fare, regional hits that change with the seasons, and umami bar snacks that go well with booze. Explore Eater Chicago’s picks for the best spots from Arlington Heights to Bridgeport.
The city’s sushi scene, which has flourished in recent years, has its own map available here. Ramen is covered here.
As of June 11, Chicago restaurants have fully reopened and the city has lifted restrictions on capacity, masking, and social distancing. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following safety guidelines. The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is available here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Find a local vaccination site here.Read More