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For sushi in the River North part of Chicago, pay a visit to Cocoro Sushi. This restaurant is incredibly relaxed and designed to cater to the after-work happy hour crowd that wants to have some high-end Japanese cuisine with their conversation.
Cocoro Sushi serves amazing cocktails made with sake and even features an authentic sushi bar, perfect for those who are enjoying a meal on their own. The menu at Cocoro Sushi also features octopus, shell crab, mackerel, tuna, pork and much more. Make sure you try the uni shooter (made with sea urchin) and always ask what the daily special is.
This was one of the worst dining experiences I've had in some time. Even with a reservation and hardly anyone there, it took 20 minutes for us to be asked about our order for dinner. The wait staff were standing around a lot. The male waiter was waving his hands around constantly talking to the female waiter. It was odd and distracting. He also stopped by our table twice rambling on about basically the entire menu with no real information. Everything "was really good." He wasn't even our waiter. He made the experience worse. We ordered grilled eggplant and what we got was smushed, gross looking eggplant. It was maybe the worst thing I've ever eaten at a restaurant in Chicago. The male waiter asked us what we thought about what we had so far. I told him it wasn't good. He kind of shrugged and agreed. Nothing was done by them. The sushi was actually nto that bad. The wait staff was slow and not really useful. There is no ambiance unless you think the way to cover up cracks in the wall is with greeting cards. I'm not joking. I will never go back.
I am 1/2 Japanese and 1/2 Mexican - first time in Chicago and had a desire for Udon(Japanese noodle soup). This is hard to find in any but traditional Japanese restaurants!
Cocoro is exactly that - small; clean and wonderful, Japanese cuisine.
Good for on the run or a wonderful, special dinner.
The service was comically bad. Multiple forgotten dishes, incorrect orders, super long wait between various dishes. We think our waiter was actually an alien imposter trying trying to impersonate a waiter. Some of our party genuinely thought we were on some kind of hidden camera show. If you don't really care about service and are OK with bland at best food this could be the place for you.
While the food was good the overall service and experience was a huge disappointment. The server gets our orders wrong but we couldn't tell him that because he simply disappeared from the table. Waited 30minutes before getting our first drinks. 2.5 hours late we were still waiting for 2 last rolls. His response? "Chef has prepared this, it's not what you ordered but would you like it" no thanks - we'd rather be on our way now. I would not return here. There are many better options in that area.
Delicious. ..very good food. would definitely go again. .and sooner than later. Highly recommend.
Very authentic Japanese cuisine! You know when the place is packed with Japanese patrons it must be the real deal. Their noodle soups can be on the spendy side but they're huge and more than enough for 2 people. The takoyaki is always a favorite! The sushi rolls themselves are fine, but I would steer more towards pieces (which are great!) They used to be BYOB, but they have more recently gotten rid of that policy. $5 cocktails are still always on special, and dang are they strong!
The sushi was great! Very original rolls and other options for non shushi eaters. The restaurant was loud enough that we didn't feel disruptive with our large group and still quiet enough to hear each other. We had a group of ten which seemed to be a challenge for our waiter. He took our order in three groups, walking away from the table each time and we kept having to flag him down for the rest of us to order.
The meals all came out approximately together though so in the end it was okay.
I would still recommend checking it out before a night out as it's reasonably priced for this neighborhood.
This was our first dining experience at Cocoro. With Ai sushi closing last year, we were in search of a high quality casual sushi place in the downtown area. We like Masaki too but felt that it was a bit pricey for everyday dining. Kamehachi is also an options but all they have is a sushi bar. We were a party of four and we ordered several appetizers: the Manila clams were excellent. Cooker has traditional Japanese appetizers that were overall excellent. We also ordered Maki rolls and sushi al la carte, I especially liked the Aji, the Salmon, and the Unagi (done to perfection). You can tell the sushi was very fresh and not left over. We also tried their soup ramen noodles--that was really good. The soup base was made with real ingredients instead of that instant stuff found in most other restaurants. We finished with green tea ice cream and home made red bean paste. Overall, an excellent dining experience, will definitely go again.
The sushi was great, but even the appetizers were amazing. Everything is done well here.
We were a party of 9 and ordered too much. If you get some of the large dishes (tempura) ask if it comes with salad and miso soup before ordering those items as appetizers. We ordered family style to try different things, which I'd recommend. You can always order more sushi... Had reservations at 6pm and it was pretty empty. It was packed after 6:30pm.
LOVED that this was traditional Japanese downtown, without being fusion (I can get that throughout the city)! Great neighborhood find.
Street parking (esp on Huron) was easy before 6pm. Much cheaper than the parking lot across the street.
Will definitely be back!
we had a group of 12 people, so it was expected that service may be less than perfect, but this place had the worst service I've ever experienced. The waiter took each persons drink order separately and retrieved each drink one at a time. It took an hour just to get everyone's drinks! And then an entire meal was forgotten, so we all were all sitting watching our one friend inhale his meal at the end. It took over 3 hours for the entire meal. I will never go here with a group large or small again.
I've been on a mission to find a true Japanese restaurant (not just sushi or fusion offering huge cream cheese rolls) in the Windy city...trust me, it's a very long search (for 2 years!) and this family run business is a gem. You can tell it's authentic because it's mostly Japanese guests.
All of our ramens (tonkotsu, shoyu & miso) and were well balanced and delicious. I've been to order places where it is overly salty (yes, I'm talking about you, Slurping Turtle). Also ordered the takoyaki (real octopus inside), homemade gyoza & lightly fried agedashi tofu, all of which were excellent.
My first review was glowing, as is this one. This is an authentic Japanese restaurant. We were the only American's in there. Cocktails and Saki excellent. All sushi fresh and melt in your mouth. Tried ramen, squid, shumai, all excellent. While the flavor of Katsu - Ju was good, the crispy texture we like in Ton Katsu was not there. Our mistake, not theirs. Can't wait to go back and try more.
Really glad to find this place after Ginza closed down last year. It's definitely the old fashion Japanese restaurant we were looking for in downtown area. Fantastic menu selections and reasonably priced. Will definitely make it a regular of ours from now on!
If you're looking for pan-Asian fusion, this is not your place. Cocoro is a great place to go for delicious, authentic Japanese sushi and traditional dishes. One of the best in the city!
Every time I eat here my first thought is that I need to come here more often. Start with delicious cocktails or choose from excellent saki selections. Sushi melts in your mouth. Some of the best I've ever had. Too many authentic dishes to mention. I haven't tried their ramen, but everyone else raved about it. Must return soon.
The server broke a martini glass full of an melontini on the guest of honor, cut her with the glass, charged her for the broke drink and the replacement. Our server, the self proclaimed "manager" wore a bluetooth headset the entire dinner, didn't make any apologies for anything. We also had to wait 25 minutes between EACH ROLL- for 8 women this ended up being a 3 hour dinner, with the only drink refills coming from a different server after one of us sought her out. The website is a joke of a representation of the inside of the restaurant and the online menu is misleading. I wouldn't recommend anyone but the health inspector go there.
Authentic Japanese food with very good service. Moderate prices and good portions.
I liked that this place was BYOB, especially in River North that's almost impossible to come by. The sushi we ordered was pretty standard and I liked all of what we ordered, but thought it was a little pricey for the quality. I've had better quality fish for cheaper in the city, but overall had a great experience. It's a quiet little place so it's great for date nights and the ramen bowls are HUGE to share. Definitely recommend getting that - we did a few rolls of sushi and a ramen bowl and were full but not too over stuffed.
They had a traditional Japanese menu as well as Soba, Ramen and full sushi, they also had Shabu Shabu tables.
Great place, nice servers, price is moderate.
This place is great, the service is genuine and the food is always wonderful!!
A little hard to find, but I like it a lot. Takoyaki and the eel combination with soup and salad are my favorites. The plum wine is nice too. It's not crowded so I like this place for a get-together. Why does it not have desserts?
We got seated quickly, and our server was relatively attentive. However throughout the meal, the service seemed to get worse and worse. The food came out sporadically and the man bringing it to the table would set it down in front of random people without knowing who it belonged to. He never spoke a word to explain which dish/roll was which despite that we explicitly asked every time he dropped off a plate.
We mostly got sushi rolls, and they were average, but with so many sushi restaurants in the city, I would never feel the need to return to this one.
This place is a block from my house. The service was really slow and they kept serving our table the wrong food - it should have gone to the people next to us. The service was like molasses but once the good came it was decent. Not great of impressive but good. I'd recommend this place as a laid back casual neighborhood sushi bar. Since its so close I'll be back but I wouldn't go out of your way to eat here.
Quality of the food was overall very good and we were happy to find a neighborhood sushi restaurant that is authentically Japanese and not fusion. Fresh, quality ingredients made for some very good dining.
Service throughout the meal was inattentive and, even though we had a reservation, they tried to seat us at a table we did not want, saying the other ones were "reserved." Really?
Nabayaki Udon was delivered with two tiny soup spoons so we couldn't get the broth or noodles out. A long-awaited ladle was not much bigger.
Service was very slow and staff forgot couple of items ordered.
Could get in on a friday night, the staff was friendly, the food was good, the sashimi was expensive but it is sushi.
A hidden jem. Ate there on Christmas Day.
I can't believe I just found this restaurant! The sushi was some of the best I've ever had, and that was on a Monday. I was shocked.
The Una Ju was outstanding. This is an authentic Japanese restaurant, not some chain facsimile. We ordered numerous apps to share and everything was perfectly cooked and delicious. Large sushi plate also delicious. Going back to try the Ramen.
Brought My girlfriends for a birthday dinner and we had a blast! We had multiple servers and they were all so accommodating (we are somewhat of a difficult bunch). The food was really inexpensive but delicious and we all brought our own wine. No limit to how much and no corking fees made this a very affordable way to celebrate a birthday! I highly recommend this place if you are out with a groups that doesn't want to fork out tons of cash to eat in river north!
The sushi is definitely not the best I've ever had, but by no means bad. I'm still giving the food 5 stars though because everything else on the menu is fantastic and extremely authentic! The service is spot on every time we go. And who doesn't love a BYOB with no corkage fee that ALSO services $5 cocktails on a Friday night!
very well prepared real japanese food without pretension
good value, fair prices
definitely an excellent venue for cooked japanese food
the sushi is very good, but not a go to place for the finest examples
This place was great! Food, awesome. I never wanted a thing we were so attended to. I'm very happy to have discovered this place,
cocoro japanese restaurant is VERY AUTHENTIC JAPANESE FOOD great sushi and great ramen dishes as well as appetizers.
a real surprise..... when we got in front of the restaurant, we thought we would be dissappointed as the buiding inside and outside is very plain. but quality of food made up for that! service was very good also, adn the owner was one of our wait persons!!
Haven't had authentic Japanese food like this since going to Japan, definitely not in Chicago. Very fair price, too. Staff is very willing to help and provide guidance, if you ask. Bring a sense of adventure though... there are a few things on the menu that you may be surprised by. And, if you think Japanese food all has spicy mayo and tempura crunch in it, you might be disappointed. That said, they have a big list of rolls that I was too full of appetizers and sukiyaki to try. Next time. There will definitely be a next time.
Food is very good, traditional Japanese style. Don't know who was our server. This part was confusing. Not sure if they were all working together or not?
Also, they didn't have my reservation. Luckily, we're there early so it was not a problem.
Our new go to Sushi restaurant.
food is great, but service gets bad when place is overwhelmed~
This place has some great authentic Japanese food. Their Japanese curry is delicious and the list of Japanese appetizers must be explored. This was a great find and I plan on returning and trying more of the menu!
Why go to Tokyo when we have Cocoro? Excellent authentic Japanese cuisine. Not pretentious. Very friendly service. One of my favorite restaurants in Chicago.
Cocoro offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (312) 943-2220.
Cocoro is rated 3.8 stars by 68 OpenTable diners.