Subway: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Chicago(312) 822-9600 japonaischicago.com41.896570 -87.643203 600 W Chicago Ave (at Larrabee St) River North, Chicago
Lunch (Mon–Fri), dinnerAverage main course: $27
Spend a million bucks on building a restaurant on an undeveloped part of town, and you too can have a spot capable of transporting Chicagoans to a distant land. The space is swanky, sexy and vibrant, and the kitchen offers incredible cuisine, centering on superb-quality raw fish, presented simply or whacked out into tasty rolls. Must-haves include the Kobe carpaccio, Tokyo drums (sweet-spicy chicken drumettes), kani nigiri (baked nori-wrapped crab), yukke toro (diced fatty tuna topped with a raw quail egg) and “Le Quack Japonais” (a delicious roasted duck).