The Izakaya at Momotaro

4.7
171 reviews
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$30 and under
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Japanese
Top Tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Bar Seating
  • Good for Groups

The Izakaya is located on the subterranean level of Momotaro. The Izakaya and its shared-plates pub-inspired menu echoes the Yokocho street scene of Tokyo. Narrow lounge-inspired ‘alleys’ around a central bar bedecked with hand-painted Japanese menus, moody neon lights, and vintage Tokyo street signs set the scene for the Izakaya’s direct nod to Tokyo’s most famous post-war black markets. Dark, energetic, and ripe with expectation, the Izakaya additionally offers a 30-seat bar featuring crafted cocktails, sakes, and a quality selection of Japanese whiskeys.

PLEASE NOTE: The Momotaro Main Dining Room Menu is NOT available in the Izakaya. To view our new Izakaya menu, please click on the menu tab.***
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Japanese, Sushi
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Hours of operation
Monday & Tuesday: Closed


Wednesday & Thursday: 5:00pm - 1:00am (Food served from 6pm - 12am)


Friday & Saturday : 4:30pm - 1:00am (Food served from 6pm - 12am)


Sunday: 4:30pm - 1am (Food served from 6pm - 12am)



***PLEASE NOTE: The Momotaro Main Dining Room Menu is NOT available in the Izakaya. To view our new Izakaya menu, please click on the menu tab.***
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Phone number
(312) 733-4818
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Mark Hellyar
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Green
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Parking details
Valet is located on the corner of Lake & Green
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Public transit
#8 Halsted Bus at Lake Street. Green & Pink line at Morgan stop.
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Special events & promotions
To host your upcoming event at the Izakaya at Momotaro, visit bokagroupevents.com.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 171 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
1 review
4.0Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 4

The general atmosphere and style of the place was really fun. The food was a bit underwhelming, but the price list was interesting. Unfortunately, we felt our service lacked in charm and interest.

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FA
Chicago
5 reviews
5.0Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent food, nice inventive tasty. Service was attentive. You cannot miss the uni shot.

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TB
1 review
2.0Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

The service was the best part of the experience, waiter was attentive and friendly. The food was not bad, it just simply wasn’t anything remarkable. I have had better kushi and sushi for half of the price, the portions were tiny even for izakaya/small plates type.

Good sake selection, though a bit pricey for their selections.

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OT
Chicago
8 reviews
5.0Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyable and delicious!

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OT
1 review
5.0Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is amazing. Service is outstanding. Favorite restaurant upstairs and down. 10/10 would recommend!

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OT
Chicago
8 reviews
5.0Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

A great experience. Will go back.

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OT
St. Louis
3 reviews
5.0Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cool vibe. Friendly service. Good food. Went with a buddy and had a blast!! We've both been to Tokyo and appreciate the ambiance. Maybe not ideal for a 1st date as the music was a bit loud.

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NB
Chicago
5 reviews
5.0Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Perfectly prepared Japanese bar food. I usually find things to quibble about, but in this case the food was so well done that I was denied an outlet for my picky nature. The service was great as well. It's not cheap, in fact it's expensive, but worth it.

This is a bar setting, so the music probably should be loud, but when we were there the crowd was light and the volume seemed a bit excessive. Other than that it was as close to a perfect dining experience as you could ask for, in my opinion.

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OT
1 review
5.0Dined on July 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great ambiance and food is superb!

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OT
1 review
5.0Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a lovely time at this restaurant! We went for a pre-outing quick meal. The food was delicious! The woman I believe was the manager, brought us a delicious dessert that was simple and perfect! The manager and waitress were both very kind and attentive. The restaurant's music was a little on the loud side, which was to be expected since it's in theory a casual version of momotaro. I only mention, if you go there planning to talk a bunch. Wonderful experience and will gladly go again!

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RM
Chicago
16 reviews
3.0Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I have been there several times.
Service is always great, but the food was very salty, and the room was too cold.
The octopus in the momotaro Makki was hard to chew!!
A bit disappointed this time

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l
Chicago
14 reviews
5.0Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
5.0Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great overall . Reasonable food and good service on a Saturday night.

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GS
Louisville
3 reviews
4.0Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very cool spot. The food was really tasty and the drinks were quite good as well. Had great music playing and really cool atmosphere.

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EW
San Francisco
8 reviews
5.0Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved it! Not only was the food amazing, their willingness to advise and amend dishes for our dietary restrictions was amazing. Great place, interesting and delicious food. Keeper!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
5.0Dined on May 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great and service was exceptional. I just wish the food was not so over priced for what you get.

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LP
Chicago
2 reviews
5.0Dined on May 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So amazing!

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JB
1 review
5.0Dined on May 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic service from Amy and the front of house. Kitchen absolutely kills it every time. Chef Eric and his team know how to make you question eating anywhere else. Definitely check out the Izakaya.

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OT
Chicago
13 reviews
5.0Dined on May 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best omurice!!

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f
Chicago
22 reviews
5.0Dined on May 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place. It reminds me of izakayas in Tokyo. Great food and cocktails. Definitely get the skewers and the karaage.

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m
Chicago
9 reviews
3.0Dined on April 30, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 5

Nice food and atmosphere but a bit overpriced. Might as well pay the same amount and eat upstairs at Momotaro

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RM
Houston
4 reviews
2.0Dined on April 26, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 2

Service was very slow- food was really good....patience is huge..

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JC
Chicago
17 reviews
4.0Dined on April 25, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was delicious and staff was very kind. Excited to go back!

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OT
Chicago
13 reviews
4.0Dined on April 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Really excellent food—I wanted to order everything on the menu.

The only issue I had was that the server told us that they feature shared plates, but then asked us to order all of our food at once. It is a pet peeve—if you are serving shared plates, you should allow your diners to at least have one course before deciding how to round out the meal. Izakaya is supposed to be slow paced and order as you go, like tapas—not all at once so they can rush you out of there. And when you order all at once the food comes all at once. I hope they reconsider this.

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S
Chicago
7 reviews
4.0Dined on April 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice change of pace for a middle-aged couple celebrating their anniversary! 6pm reservation on a Sat (6pm is when the kitchen actually starts). That said, attentive service, helpful with menu suggestions and cocktails. Food came promptly--suggest getting there before 7pm. Place was pretty crowded by the time we left around 8pm. Most of the crowd was probably half our age.

While the food was very good, I wouldn't say anything knocked our socks off, but each dish was focused on the main item which is typical of the Japanese style (do one thing really well, and make that the focus). Example dishes: goma ae made with broccoli rabe instead of the usual cold spinach and very good; spicy king crab salad with just enough bite to call mild; chili tuna maki was tasty (for a 3rd gen Japanese-American who's not into raw fish); WASHUGYU which is basically skewered steak but marinated really nicely, grilled and extremely tender. For the cocktail, I had the CHICHIBU REBELLION. I'd describe it as a Manhattan-like drink but made with gin instead of bourbon. By the way, the staff were nice enough to provide us each with a glass of a complimentary sparkling wine because of our anniversary. Nice touch.

Overall, I think this is meant as upscale bar food, which for that is really good. That said, our mainstays are in the north suburbs, and I'm talking both Japanese and other ethnic cuisines. Once you factor in the drive and cost for that (parking, time)--we took Uber in this case--that really tips the scale on the overall cost for the evening. Glad we went, but it's not someplace where we'll necessarily return ourselves but would recommend if you want to try someplace new.

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OT
Detroit
1 review
5.0Dined on April 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great post-meeting hangout. Great food, drinks, and ambiance.

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RI
Chicago
2 reviews
5.0Dined on April 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great, service is the best in the city.

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NR
Detroit
1 review
2.0Dined on April 6, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 4ambience 1

Having seen it was called “Izakaya”, I was expecting a traditional izakaya experience. However, it turned out that this was nothing but a typical bar with loud music and a Japanese theme to it. It’s what you would expect if an American who spent their life in bars in the US decided they wanted to open a Japanese bar. The service was great despite what you would expect from the atmosphere. Also the sake and shochu list were fantastic. If you’re looking for a traditional izakaya experience, this is not the place for you. If you’re looking for an obnoxiously loud, American-style bar with a Japanese theme to it, I couldn’t recommend a better place.

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s
Chicago
1 review
4.0Dined on April 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Very authentic atmosphere - felt like I was in Tokyo. One of the characteristics that I associate with izakaya is an extensive menu. The menu at Izakaya at Momotaro is quite limited. On the other hand, the dishes that we ordered were quite good.

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CC
Chicago
3 reviews
5.0Dined on March 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great great place. I felt cool just entering.

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v
San Francisco
21 reviews
4.0Dined on March 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Excellent food and ambiance. Smaller than upstairs, which is nice.
Prices a bit expensive. Would go back, knowing better what to order.

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SN
1 review
5.0Dined on March 17, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We loved it. Our waitress was really nice! The sake was really smooth and easy down the hatch. ;)

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OT
Detroit
4 reviews
5.0Dined on March 3, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

So great! Server was excellent and personable - food was fantastic. Overall great time out on the town!

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CS
Chicago
3 reviews
5.0Dined on March 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I don’t typically like the lighting this dim but everything else was great. Service was excellent and faster than I expected for a Friday night. I could see myself coming back once a week or every other week.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
5.0Dined on February 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great bar. Super friendly staff!

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PG
Chicago
1 review
2.0Dined on February 10, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Restaurant week menu was awful. Couldn’t finish any of the courses including dessert.

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HM
Chicago
8 reviews
5.0Dined on February 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for restaurant week - food and service (Amy) were wonderful! Amy had perfect suggestions, and I rarely feel that way😃 I will definitely return!

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OT
Chicago
4 reviews
5.0Dined on February 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing dishes, there were four of us and we all ordered something different, so we had ten different items to sample. Each was delicious!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
5.0Dined on February 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food here was AMAZING. It is officially my favorite restaurant in Chicago! My favorite dish was the Unagi Don, it was so flavorful and nicely sized. The matcha vodka drink was amazing as well. It’s definitely a little expensive so save this for something fun!

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a
Chicago
2 reviews
5.0Dined on February 1, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

The setting was great. Dark, japanese hipster vibe perfect for a fun date.

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