The Izakaya at Momotaro

4.6
221 reviews
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$30 and under
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Japanese
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.***
What 221 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Valentine’s Day! Great food and drinks. Service was very accommodating!

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AB
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great, hip, low key spot to catch up with a friend (or two) over drinks and small bites. Nice wine selection.

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d
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Nice atmosphere, but the food was nothing special. Went there because of the glowing review in the Chicago Tribune of the Winter Ramen. It was good, but not really special (I'm sure equally good ramen can be found at several other places in the city). The other dishes we tried ranged from ok to nothing special, and, in my opinion were significantly overpriced for what we got. The sake and other drinks our group had were fine, but again overpriced and not really special. In summary, I'd go there again if I was in the neighborhood, but I don't think this place is worth the cost of an Uber to get there.

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JM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 1food 4service 4ambience 3

Please take off Izakaya at Momotaro from Restaurant Week. I loved that place, but the Restaurant Week menu is a complete ripoff. The highest combination of their items was $23 for a $36 'promotional event'. Customers aren't brain dead. I'm going to be upset if I find out that my "3 course meal" that cost $36 is actually $23 (cucumber salad, and Pop's ginger chicken) on any regular day.

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VY
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 4, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 3

Quite disappointed. Food quality is so-so, portions are pretty small and extremely overpriced. Drinks have way too much ice which dilutes it a lot and again makes it extremely overpriced for an actual amount of drink that they add.

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OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food taste good, but on the pricey side, considering the menu is just izakaya style (tonkatsu, ramen, etc.)

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a great evening with good food, good drinks and great music.

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HL
Chicago
33 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Second time here and I still love it! The bar and atmosphere is a lot more vibrant and energetic than it was a few years ago (last time I dined here). The 2019 Chicago Restaurant Week menu was pretty great. Will definitely come back next year to see what they have in store.

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JN
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We checked out Momotaro Izakaya for restaurant week and were very impressed by not only the food, but the portion size - we took home leftovers! All the food was terrific and the ambiance was lovely!

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k
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have enjoyed Momotoro and we finally made plans to go to the Izakaya during Restaurant Week. It’s a cool, comfortable place. The food was excellent and the service was friendly and flawless. Only disappointment was that I think we paid more during RW (most offer a bit of deal) and that night the fish of the day changed after we ordered.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great everything!!

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OT
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service!

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JH
Hertfordshire
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 4

Absolutely terrified service, waited 40 minutes downstairs in the bar for our table which we had booked. Kept asking why we could get our table (the restaurant was half empty) no one came back to us.
Complained to the manger, who sorted it out immediately.
Then however my girlfriends starter arrived, then her main course, then after she had finished everything there was still no sign of my food.
I asked for the manager again and a different manager came a long with an unhelpful over defensive attitude who argued with us, refused to find the other manager.
Eventually my food arrived, I asked them to take it away as the evening was ruined.
The original manager then re appeared and I told him he should be ashamed of himself and asked him where he’d been hiding. The aggressive manager then came over and asked us to leave!!!
Must be my fault then - this is the most incompetent service I have ever known

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 5

They only served restaurant week menu.
It waa not reasonable value.
Actually i book a table but i had to wait for a table during 20min.

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M
Chicago
70 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

They changed their happy hour from what I thought it was going to be so I had expectations when I arrived that were not the case.

They did have some items on their happy hour menu, though some things I was interested in were no longer available. I had a couple glasses of wine (and appreciate it when the staff allows you to sample before deciding). For food we shared gomae, shishito peppers, hatsu (chicken hearts, which my friend ate not me), gyutan, saba gari maki roll and I had a green tea smores sammie, which was delicious. I am a big ice cream sandwich fan so this was a delight.

I like the atmosphere of the establishment down there. Very cozy. The tables seem low, even for me, and I'm very small, and wondered how the larger people maneuvered this space.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Small portions

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SH
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow! The food and drink at izakaya was phenomenal. I loved the atmosphere - tons of great energy!

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C
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

I was looking forward to The Izakaya at Momotaro, and my experience was underwhelming. When we sat down, we waited about 15 minutes for someone to come to our table. While those things happen I wish it had at least been acknowledged by the staff. Also, I was fairly disappointed that while I mentioned we were there for a birthday in the reservation (and the hostess mentioned it), the waiter did nothing/say anything about it. Once we ordered, the food came quickly. Overall, I get there are off nights but I thought the price of this meal did not match the quality of the food/service.

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MN
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved this place so much! Great fun vibes, waitress was very helpful and descriptive since we hadn’t been there before. Food was amazing (all recommendations from the server) as were drinks. Cool setting and great for a fun date!

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GB
Chicago
78 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

What a treat! We had an great time at the Izakaya. The food was innovative and delicious. The only negative was the lower cocktail tables. It was fine just not quite as comfortable as I would have liked. Service was friendly and efficient. My drink was outstanding and I loved the glass.Fried rice was unique and tasty. I loved the crab and cucumber salad- it was nice and spicy. Maki was perfect as well. The tonkatsu was good and I’d order it again but it was my least favorite of everything we tried.
Can’t wait to return with friends!

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EJ
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

I thought the place was cool and had great ambience but I can honestly say of the 5 dishes we had all were gimmicky but none were good.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful ambience, delicious food, nicely portioned, terrific drinks menu, especially saki & whiskies. If I lived in Chicago, I’d easily become a regular.

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KT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress was so knowledgeable about the entire drink list and the menu and took the time to explain so much to us and gave us great recommendations!

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GM
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

always a pleasure to dine here

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From drinks to dinner it was fantastic.

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M
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

That Niboshi Shoyu was sooooo good.

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BF
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Izakaya was a splendid dining experience. Dined in for the Akahoshi Ramen pop up and loved the atmosphere. It felt like a small Tokyo style hideaway with a great hip hop soundtrack.

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KB
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious authentic Japanese food with some creative but delicious twists! A fantastic selection of sake, beer and wine.

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KF
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Panko I have had east of Japan

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A
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food as always. Sometimes drinks took too long despite it being fairly empty but was ok.

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DW
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The waitress was very nice
Food was just okay and nothing special
Front desk lady was snarky and rude

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LM
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Honestly I love Momotaro, so this was a little disappointing. The food was good, I knew the menu would be limited compared to the restaurant and everything we got was nice. However there is such a drastic difference in service. The waiters upstairs are attentive, timely and considerate. The bar was not like this. It took a long time for anyone to even look at us (was 8PM on a Sunday and was quiet) before we ordered which was very surprising and was always difficult to add something to the order or ask for the check. I am glad I tried this spot out to see the entirety of Momotaro, but I will only be frequenting the main restaurant only from now on.

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great sake, got hammered. Pricey.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything amazing.

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M
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

WOW!! I'm a cold sake fan and Momotaro had some spectacular sake varieties that I've not seen in the U.S. They are readily available in Japan but not Stateside. Enjoyed "Bride of the Fox." It has a fruity flavor and a slight sweet finish. Amazingly drinkable. Afterwards, had a glass of Kyoto sake called "Pearls of Simplicity." A total joy!! Clean crisp from sip to swallow. Will go again for more sake adventures.

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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came to momotaro for my gf birthday, the waitress we had was super helpful and we left full and happy with our meal. Also the desert which was brought out for my girl was good too. I will def recommend to others and come back myself

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OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The burger was amazing!!

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OT
Detroit
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

The burger was great! The spaghetti wasn't anything special. Service was very slow.

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M
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and a variety of Japanese beer and sake choices.

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JO
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

We decided to sit at the bar and our bartender was very knowledgeable , friendly, and courteous. Ordered 6 items to try an array of the menu. I lived and worked in Japan for a Japanese company and went to Izakaya a lot. The Japanese Whiskey selection was excellent along with the Sake selection. The food was okay. The hamachi collar was a bit mushy and the Yaki items was not what I expected. The Ika and uni spaghetti was good. Would go back for a good Japanese whisky or Asahi on draft.

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