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Best Teppanyaki In The Chicago Area

Although the numbers have dwindled in the city, teppanyaki restaurants continue to flourish across the suburbs as the interactive dinner and campy food acrobatics thrill families and cooing couples. You have to admit that flipping shrimp into a chef's pocket, making a volcano out of stacked onion rings and cracking eggs in mid air is entertaining. And on top of that, the food is generally quite good in these classic and updated teppanyaki restaurants.
(Photo Credit: Teppanyaki)

Kampai Japanese Steakhouse
2330 S. Elmhurst Road
Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
(847) 640-6700

I guess you can say Kampai has a made a go of it with 34 years in the same location. Owner Suki Suh says, "We try to the make the dining experience as comfortable as possible so we won't rush you out and you'll leave happy and very full." The most popular item on the menu is the shrimp with Golden Yolk sauce as an appetizer or even as a dinner option. Regulars love the Kampai special which includes sirloin steak, chicken and golden shrimp. Meals comes with steamed or fried rice, soup, salad, shrimp app, vegetables, tea and dessert of ice cream or sherbet. Lots of other combinations, a kids' menu and a floating sushi bar next door (it floats to you by way of a little wooden boat) make Kampai a fun and value-driven night out.

Sakura Teppanyaki and Sushi
730 W. Diversey Parkway
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-2882

Block out a couple of hours, grab a group and head to Sakura for guaranteed laughs and a tasty meal. Expect the typical menu items as well as nice seafood choices like salmon, scallops and red snapper. Miso soup, vegetables, noodles and fried rice are included and repeat customers rave about the curry fried rice. There's also plenty of sushi as well as Thai options for those so inclined. Snag a free teppanyaki dinner and dessert on your birthday if you come in with a group of four or more.

(Photo Credit:

Kyoto Steak & Sushi
5690 N.W. Highway
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
(815) 477-8300

Kyoto was flipping shrimp at its flat metal tables when the town was primarily farm land and the sidewalks were pulled in at 9 p.m. It moved to bigger digs just a few years ago and proved itself a winner even among the most provincial of appetites. Although many other sushi spots have opened in strip malls in McHenry County, you can count on Kyoto's maki rolls and sashimi to be squeaky fresh and inventive. The teppanyaki dinners are also spot on in terms of taste, showmanship and portions. Big eaters go for  "Emperor's Combinations" which feature premium proteins like filet mignon and lobster, but regular combos and single-item dinners are just as satisfying.

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Kohan Japanese Restaurant
730 W. Maxwell St.
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 421-6254

If you're not a people person and the thought of yukking it up with strangers around the teppan turns you off, try Kohan where extroverted chefs grill your food in the display kitchen instead of two feet away. Practically every Japanese steakhouse offers "and sushi" in its name now, and Kohan does a decent job with raw fish, but the University Village spot also offers Korean savories like Kalbi, Kim Chee stew, beef bulgogi and bibimbap.

Fuji Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi
15132 S. La Grange Road
Orland Park, IL 60462
(708) 403-1580

Let's hear it for the south side, or at least the south suburbs, which can boast a bit about Fuji. Most teppanyaki eateries offer a similar show and menu, however a diner must separate the shrimp from the tempura breading and delineate by quality. Family owned and operated since 1987, Fuji offers top-notch steak and seafood and its maki rolls and sushi offerings are almost painterly on the plate, not to mention fresh and delicious. With prices close to others of its ilk, Fuji offers well-executed, excellent food, making it a pretty good value.

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Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at

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