Best hole-in-the-wall sushi? Lawrence Fish Market.

I’m fortunate that I live within walking distance of the best, cheapest sushi in the city of Chicago. There aren’t any frills along the way — that stretch of Lawrence Avenue is an unlovely piece of road. And the grubby exterior? Not inviting. If you muster up the gumption to go inside, it’s clear that you’re not meant to stay. You could wait for your order in the torn-out car seats, but it’s probably not a good idea. I get the feeling there’s more than loose change lurking around.

If you don’t know what you want, peruse the typed-up list of sushi and sashimi choices as the guy behind the counter stares. Oh you could ask for recommendations about what’s good, but no one will understand you because everything is fresh and good and cheap. Amazingly so.

While there are no bad decisions at Lawrence Fish Market, there are better decisions — chose sushi over the rolls. The key here is to keep things simple and focused on the fish. I’ve had unripened avocado show up in rolls and unexpected tempura bits, though at these prices that’s quibbling.

The best plan to tackle Lawrence Fish Market is to adjust your expectations, order in advance, pick it up, take the sushi home and then feast. Or if you’re really hungry, eat it in your car — unfortunately there are no benches or parks nearby. The Market is cash only, but if you plan to spend more than $10, then your capacity for sushi far exceeds the amount I can eat in a meal.

Lawrence Fish Market
3914 West Lawrence Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625-6212
(773) 267-6838