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Sai Cafe
Sai Cafe

Sai Cafe Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.saicafe.com
  • Phone: (773) 472-8080
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 4:30 PM - 11:00 PM, Friday - Saturday: 4:30 PM - 12:00 PM, Sunday: 3:30 PM - 10:00 PM.
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Executive Chef: James Bee
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout
  • Catering: Our full menu is available for carry-out, delivery and private catering events. To place an order for a special occasion, please call the restaurant for further details.
  • Private Party Facilities: Private dining is offered for parties up to 30 people. Our knowledgeable staff will gladly assist you in planning your special occasion or business dinner.
  • Private Party Contact: James Bee (773) 472-8080

Getting there

  • Cross Street: W Armitage Ave.
  • Public Transit: Brown line Armitage station.
  • Parking: Valet
A word from Sai Cafe
Sai Cafe is a hidden gem located in the heart of Lincoln Park, Chicago. We specialize in Japanese Seafood and Sushi prepared to your specifications. For twenty-four years, Chef and Owner James Bee has been serving the freshest and highest quality seafood to our patrons. Additionally, our friendly staff has been expertly trained to provide exceptional service and answer any questions that might arise. We welcome all walk-in, take-out and delivery orders and recommend reservations for weekend evenings. Our menu is critically acclaimed by numerous media organizations and has acquired several awards. Thank you for your interest in Sai Cafe and we look forward to serving you soon!Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerJapanese
Diner Reviews
  • "Ever since I moved here 10 years ago, this has been one of my staples, a completely reliable choice in Chicago. I've taken many guests here over the years, had romantic evenings over consistently delicious food and have had many family "moments" here. Always reliable, open later when I need it, valet parking if needed plus typically some street parking… The fried rice is exceptional - crazily delicious, sushi is fresh, seaweed salad perfectly seasoned, and the cod with miso and agadashi tofu are sumptuous. I could go on and on but just accept this - it's great! Services is also always friendly and wonderful."
    Dined on 8/27/2014
  • "My friends and I went to dinner at Sai and we thought that it was a BYOB, but when we arrived we learned that the restaurant has a full bar and if we want to drink a bottle of wine that you brought, there's a $20 corkage fee. We really enjoyed the hot towels to start the experience and the food was really good! We just wished that the corkage fee wasn't so steep."
    Dined on 8/27/2014
  • "They always have the freshest sushi. Their sweet shrimp and oyster shooter are the best in town. Every staff are friendly specially Mr. James, the owner, and his sushi chiefs. Love to set at the sushi bar. They remember what we like even for our kids. Love love them."
    Dined on 8/26/2014
  • "Lived in the area when Sai Cafe first opened and both the food and service are still as good as I remember. Had some picky eaters in our group and everyone found something to eat that they thoroughly enjoyed. Very attentive service. Maybe not hot and trendy, but great food and service without pretentious pricing is ok with me!"
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "As always, Sai Cafe impresses with top notch ingredients and imaginative dishes"
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Said used to have fantastic sushi/rolls and nicely priced. Not anymore. The food was mediocre and they've significantly raised their prices. Will not return."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Sai Cafe was referred by a co-worker.... The service was impeccable! The recommendations from the manager were exqusite! I will definitely return."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Sai is one of my favorites, there are staples that I must have every time I go and I am constantly surprised when I try something new and love it even though I've been eating there for a lifetime. Always fresh, always friendly, you can't go wrong."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "I've been looking for a great Sukiyaki place since Azuma closed decades ago, this one is great"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "We had dinner here with my daughter and nephew when I was in chicago since they are in college and missed good asian food. I live in San Francisco so we are used to really good sushi and I would say the sushi was pretty good, but not excellent, but remember I have had some REALLY good sushi. That said it had a g good ambience and service so I would go back again. "
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "The trendy sushi joints come and go, but I've been going to Sai for 20+ years and I think they have the freshest and best sushi in town. The service is terrific and the prices are most reasonable. I hope Sai is around for another 20 years. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Great place to stop in for sushi. Quiet and easy for conversation."
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "Everyone was friendly and service was exceptional. Doesn't hurt that the food was amazing!"
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Have been to Sai Cafe a number of times and it has some of the best sushi in the country. Always excellent."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Sai cafe may not have the most creative sushi menu, but the quality of the fish, and the generosity of the cut, are the best in Chicago. Service is always very good to excellent."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Great food and service. Had not been there in 15years and truly enjoyed the Sushi!"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "We tried Sai Cafe because we were hungry for sushi and this looked like a great possibility. We were sorely mistaken. The sushi was simply average. My chicken teriyaki was served tome stone cold and the chicken was simply thin slices and not flavorful. But the service was horrendous - the servers didn't appear to have any table assigned to them so 5 - 6 flitted around the table constantly. They kept asking if we were done with our food - which we were not - and moved the food around as though it were on a game board. We will NOT be back."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "I was a bit disappointed to be sat near the sushi bar. It was fine but I was looking for a more cozy feel that the larger room provides. The sushi was super fresh, as usual and the service was very attentive."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "We had a reservation at 7:30pm although we still had to wait 10 min it was fine. It was on a Saturday night and they were super busy. The food was EXCELLENT the toro tartar was amazing and if you like they mix it together for you. The halloween maki and volcani maki were amazing as always. My husband hates fish but loved the volcano maki which was amazing,"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "This little neighborhood gem is worth seeking out for some of the freshest sushi this side of Tokyo. Beautiful presentation."
    Dined on 2/10/2014
  • "White tuna crunch roll was awesome!! Also the volcano roll! Best miso soup I've tasted. Service is great"
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "After reading so many glowing reviews my wife and I decided to try this place out for her birthday. The fish was decent and generous portions but in every maki it is ground up, something the wife and I don't care for.. Nigiri was good but four out of the nine selections I made they were out of on a Saturday night. We did enjoy the dynamite and toro tartare appetizers they were delicious! Ended our meal with the green tea creme brulee (sp?) Which was very tasty. All in all, the prices are a bit steep for the average experience you receive here."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "First time we sat at a table, but the sushi bar looked like fun, so we tried it the second time. Completely different dining experiences, but both great. The server recommended the scallops appetizer- they were fantastic. Their sushi is very fresh and the chef made several recommendations to those at the bar. It was nice to be able to ask the chefs what they were making. If we lived downtown, I'd be here every couple of weeks."
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "Been eating here my entire life. A classic neighborhood gem and honestly one of the better sushi spots in town. Extremely fresh fish. Highlights include their ahi poke, black cod, rolls, and nigiri (special shot out to the eel)."
    Dined on 12/24/2013
  • "It's no wonder the Sai Cafe has been around for 28 years this place is truly something special. I travel for work and spend about half of my time away from my home in Minneapolis. I have eaten sushi in most of the states and many other countries, including Japan. In my opinion Sai Cafe is easily one of the best sushi restaurants period. Itis definitely a landmark in Chicago, and an easy decision when I am in the mood for sushi. For those who love real sushi this is the place to be. The unagi is truly fantastic, I don't know what they do different but it really shows. Also the pan fried scallops are amazing. The sushi, well, you just have to stop in and see it for yourself. Their formula for success still works, a must try for any occasion!"
    Dined on 11/29/2013
  • "Consistently great sushi. Have been there a number of times and have always found it great."
    Dined on 11/10/2013
  • "I am fine with kids in restaurants but this night was particularly over run with small children. They were not sitting at their tables and one family even had a scooter for their kid in the dining area. I know it is not the restaurant's fault but it definitely took away from the dining experience with friends. It was actually kind of annoying. Other than that the food was good and fairly priced."
    Dined on 11/9/2013
  • "Sai Cafe has fresh, delicious sushi every time we visit! It's always a pleasure to have dinner at Sai."
    Dined on 10/15/2013
  • "Sai Cafe has always been my special sushi place . There are many newcomers on the market with exotic rolls and stuff but for me, Sai Cafe is still the best!"
    Dined on 9/13/2013
  • "Before sushi became the sensational trend that it is today, there was Sai Cafe. Althought I have yet to try Katsu in West Rogers Park, Sai Cafe to me, is the best overall sushi/Japenese dining experience in the city."
    Dined on 9/11/2013
  • "Sai Cafe has been a favorite of mine for the last decade and continues to be. I've eaten at dozens of other sushi restaurants in various cities and continue to rank Sai at the top when it comes to quality of fish and flavor. The owners and staff are always friendly and the chefs behind the sushi bar enthusiastically welcome customers and thank them when they depart."
    Dined on 9/10/2013
  • "The quality of the sushi is consistently very good at Sai cafe. They have some classic Japanese appetizers, such as tskimono (Japanese pickles) that you don't find elsewhere. Their seaweed salad is also excellent."
    Dined on 8/25/2013
  • "One of the few sushi restaurants in Chicago where the fish have not gone through several freeze-thaw cycles."
    Dined on 8/8/2013
  • "Dinner at Sai is always fantastic. Great sushi-always incredibly fresh. Great menu, appetizers-everything is always top-notch."
    Dined on 7/13/2013
  • "open later than other restaurants. The staff is always friendly and the sushi is great!"
    Dined on 7/12/2013
  • "We have been here before and enjoyed our experience and food. We did not like the large rolls as much as the bite size rolls. Also, be sure to ask about what dishes are as we thought we were ordering a roll and got some type of casserole."
    Dined on 7/5/2013
  • "We loved Sai when we lived in Chicago 6 years ago. We moved away and were back for a visit and Sai still has the best sushi. The hamachi jalapeño is incredible and their rolls and individual pieces are great quality and very generous portions."
    Dined on 6/30/2013
  • "We called ahead, made a group reservation and enjoyed sushi/apps with our group of friends. The food was prepared in a timely manner and very organized so that everyone got their food at the same time. Great sushi options!"
    Dined on 6/21/2013
  • "Lincoln Park is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago, so my wife and I found this cozy little sushi place on Zagats on-line. Great, casual atmosphere and good selection of sushi as well as wine. The miso soup was rather cold, but everything else was very good."
    Dined on 6/1/2013
  • "Omakase was elegantly presented, tasty, and expensive. The kind waitress made sure we understood that it was $70 per person."
    Dined on 5/22/2013