Conveyor belt sushi (or kaiten sushi) have been around for a decades but we were surprised to find that they were a relatively rare option in Chicago. There’s a few spots in the suburbs, but it’s something harder to find within city limits. What is conveyor belt sushi? Diners are seated at tables alongside a rotating conveyor belt that moves plates of sushi and small bites throughout the restaurant. Plates are color-coordinated according to price. As the plates pass by their tables, diners can grab whatever they like. At the end of the meal, the plates are tallied to determine the total bill. Conveyor belt sushi is casual fast food but can be fun and entertaining.
Sushi + Rotary Sushi Bar opened their Lakeview location about a year ago. In addition to the typical rotary sushi, they also have an upper track that delivers custom and specialty orders directly to the tables. Each table is suited with an iPad menu. Browse through the visual menu, select your desired items, and send the order to the kitchen. Shortly afterwards, your order is delivered to your table in high(er) speed in a cute race car.
On the conveyor belt, you’ll find plates ranging from $1.50 to $6.50. They have a pretty nice selection of nigiri sushi, sashimi, and maki rolls. On the iPad menu, you’ll find a few more elaborate maki rolls and sushi selections, along with other appetizers, yakitori skewers, poke bowls, ramen, udon, and bento boxes too.
Here’s a peek at a few things we ate. We ordered the Sake Sashimi and Tobiko Gunkan off the iPad. The sashimi comes in four slices which is a nice portion. Gunkan maki, also known as Battleship maki, is an oval shaped rice ball held together by a strip of seaweed and topped with roe. In this case, it was black flying fish roe.
We also had Tako Yakitori and Teriyaki Scallops delivered to our tables via race car. The octopus skewers and grilled scallops both had a sweet teriyaki glaze.
Off the conveyor belt, we also came across the Tokyo Sandwich. Instead of bread, the fillings are enclosed by two triangular rice molds. Inside, there’s spicy crab meat, avocado, tempura flake, and unagi sauce. The sandwich holds together nicely. They also have desserts, like coconut pudding, cheesecakes, and mochi balls!
You can find Sushi + Rotary Sushi Bar at 3219 North Broadway, slightly north of Belmont Ave. They are open for lunch 11:30am-2:30pm and dinner 5-10pm weekdays (5-11pm on Fridays). They have longer hours during the weekend, 11:30am-11pm on Saturdays and 12:30pm-9pm on Sundays.
Tips: Check in on Yelp and receive 10% off your order. Receive a rewards card after your meal. Collect stamps and get discounts on future visits.