illinois

My Favorite Sushi Places in Peoria

I’m pretty much addicted to sushi. You could probably guess that if you follow my instagram. I’ve found that a lot of people are intimidated by sushi, so I thought a little break down of the sushi restaurants in Peoria would be helpful. Keep in mind these are my preferences and I’m not exactly a food critic, but I think I can do a pretty good job directing people to a dish they’d feel comfortable with if they’re not sushi-savvy. These are in no particular order.

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1. Sushi Ko (Formally Sushi Popo) in the Metro Centre

I probably frequent this one the most, mainly because it is the least expensive and delicious. I usually get the avocado roll (they put a little bit of mayo in it, that makes it tangy, very good!) and a Boston roll (red tuna, cream cheese, and avocado). Both these rolls are about $5 each. Sushi Ko also has all your standard Chinese food selections – noodles, fried rice, orange chicken, crab rangoon, etc. This is a good restaurant to go to with people who absolutely do not want sushi, but are okay with Chinese food. A lot of their rolls are more “specialty rolls” and fun. I love the sushi chef there, he always says hello to me and tells me how much he loves my mini cooper. When I worked at Peoria Camera, I’d walk here for lunches. They’re inexpensive and they give you a ton of food. I tend to get take out when I eat here, because I’ve had some slow experiences when sitting down.
Price: $
Taste: 7/10
Consistency: 7/10

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2. Osaka in Grande Prairie

This is probably my favorite place to get sushi. They have quite a large selection, especially specialty rolls for those who aren’t super into raw fish. They also have delicious hibachi, noodle bowls, and teriyaki for our non-sushi friends. I frequently get whatever is on special, a Las Vegas roll (crab, avocado, spicy mayo), a tuna martini (seared tuna steak), and yummy yummy roll (shrimp tempura,spicy tuna, crunch, eel sauce). They have a sushi special Monday through Thursday 3-5pm where if you get 2 specialty rolls, you get one free. Love when I happen to crave sushi in the early evening, but it doesn’t happen too often.I usually get the agadashi tofu from them, because it’s amazing. I don’t like agadashi tofu at other places, though. Osaka slices the tofu a lot thinner than everywhere else and it soaks up the flavor a lot better. Their cocktails are very good here, as well.
Price: $$
Taste: 9.5/10
Consistency: 9/10

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3. Hokkaido on University Street

I actually like Hokkaido more for their hibachi than their sushi selection. Typically when I go here, I get the Las Vegas roll (crab, avocado, spicy mayo) or a simple roll like red tuna and avocado. They have a all-you-can-eat sushi special that I wish I could eat enough to qualify getting. I just can only do one or two rolls max, so I can’t justify the money on the all you can eat. It seems like a lot of people get this, though. The hibachi is superb here. Their miso soup and ginger dressing are some of my favorites. The fried oyster appetizers are amazing, as well. Sometimes the sushi is amazing and other times, I am less than impressed. I’d prefer a little more consistency, because their rolls are pretty pricey. They offer Japanese, Chinese, and Thai food if sushi isn’t your thing. Sometimes the service leaves much to be desired, though. Sometimes it takes a long time to get your food, refills, or just get an interaction with the waitstaff. Hokkaido is beautifully decorated inside, with my favorite feature being a little fish stream in the floor!
Price: $$
Taste: 7.5/10
Consistency: 6/10

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4. Sushigawa in the Westlake Shopping Center

Sushigawa is the most traditional sushi place in town, hands down. Their rolls are always delicious, but they don’t have a lot of “specialty” rolls for those not hardcore sushi lovers. They have added about 20 specialty rolls, so I think it’s a little less intimidating now. I’ve loved their teriyaki dishes for years, way before I got into sushi. It’s a very small, stylish restaurant and fills up quick. Overall, I’d say they have the freshest fish and the most “honest” sushi rolls in the area. It’s definitely worth checking out, but come early so you can get a spot! They do close down 2-5pm and I’ve been bummed out pretty regularly when I’ve got the itch to go there at about 1:45pm.
Price: $$$
Taste: 9/10
Consistency: 9/10

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5. Happy Fish in Campustown by Bradley University

I frequented Happy Fish pretty regularly when I was a student at Bradley. It’s been really hit or miss for me. Sometimes I’ve gone and had an amazing roll and sometimes it’s been just okay. My biggest complaint is the service. It’s usually poor. One time we went and they ran out of rice (rice! at a sushi place!) and I sat and watched my boyfriend eat his meal for 45 minutes before we finally had to ask where my rolls were. The waitress was very apologetic and they did discount my bill 50%, but I was full from the crab rangoons I had at the beginning, so I just ended up taking it home and ate the next day. I do really like that they deliver, though. I haven’t been disappointed by the two times I’ve tried that yet. Plan on it taking an hour or so to get there, though, no matter what they estimate. I went in with this mentality, so that was okay for me. I do really like their udon noodles and they do have some non sushi things for people.

Price: $
Taste: 6/10
Consistency: 6/10

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6. NOVU Sushi in the Junction City Shopping Center

I sampled this at the Wine and Whiskey walk in July of 2014 and it was great. They even had mushroom sushi! Then they kept postponing when it was supposed to open. At the Wine and Whiskey Walk ’15, they said they’d open in September. That came and passed, as well. We noticed that a new Facebook page called NOVU Sushi popped up and had the same address. They finally opened at the very end of March! My mom and I tried it out and I also got take out a couple days later. The decor is GORGEOUS. It’s easily the best decorated sushi place. They had a variety of rolls and I quite enjoyed the Junction Roll (escolar, avocado, snapper, tempura asparagus, cream cheese) and Roasted Veggie Roll that I got. Yes, they have some vegetarian options that aren’t just a vegetable with some rice, which is always appreciated! They have a few other entrees, as well, for the non-sushi eaters – mostly meat dishes like filet. The cocktail menu was fantastic – I got a mango-mito and it was very tasty! This is pretty close to my house, too, so I’m excited to try it some more! I’ve gone back a few more times now and the service is hit or miss. Sometimes it’s quick, the waiter is attentive and other times we have to wave them down because we’ve been sitting so long. I usually get the roasted veggie roll and on one occasion they forgot the sauce that basically makes the roll. So, I’m hoping they’re still working out the kinks of being new, but I hope they maintained the great service I got the first couple of times I went.

Price: $$$
Taste: 7.5/10
Consistency:Β 8/10

 

And, as far as I know, those are all the sushi places in Peoria, Illinois. Did I miss any? Please let me know! And which is your favorite place to indulge in sushi?

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Date Ideas in Peoria

Do you ever feel in a rut with nothing to do when you’re trying to think of something fun? I know I do! I sat down and really thought about some of the fun things you can do around Peoria during certain seasons and all-year-round. Besides dinner and a movie, ya know? I’m sure I missed some, so please comment with your suggestions!

SPRING

Peoria Zoo – The zoo is often overlooked, but a fun way to spend a mild spring day! The animals are much more active when it’s not hot, so this would be a good fall activity, too. The Africa exhibit is the heart and joy of the zoo. It was completely redone some years back and looks amazing. I can spend hours here, mainly taking photographs of the animals.

Wildlife Prairie Park – Another activity for animal and nature lovers! Wildlife Prairie Park focuses on the native species to the Peoria-area. Again, the animals are more active when it’s not too hot or too cold so go in the Spring or Fall. You can walk a ton and see bison, bears, bobcats, farm animals, and more.

Dog Park – Do you have a pup? Head to one of the dog parks in the area and relax and let your dog have some fun. I love the Pekin dog park. There always seems to be an abundance of wiener dogs whenever I go, so of course I love it.

SUMMER

Riverfront – The Riverfront is great Spring through Fall and has many activities going on! Check their website for music, art shows, festivals, and more!

Taste of Peoria – Typically in August, the Taste of Peoria is a great way to get outdoors and try lots of food from local restaurants!

HOI Fair – Catch some rides, eat some carnival food, and see some bands! It’s a fun way to spend an evening in Peoria when it comes around in the summer.

4th of July Fireworks – Go Downtown 4th of July and see the fireworks. There are usually some activities going on during the day, as well, but the big show starts after dark.

Peoria Chiefs – Go see a minor league baseball game! They have Thirsty Thursday specials and promotions that go on throughout the season.

Luthy Botanical Gardens – Gorgeous greenery! There is both a greenhouse and an outdoor area with beautiful flowers and plants.

Wineries – The Peoria-area has several wineries to choose from. You can do tastings all the time and they frequently host events throughout the year.

FALL

Fine Art Festival – The Fine Art Festival is held downtown on the Riverfront. I love seeing all the different artworks from both local, regional, and national artists. You can buy items there, so bring money!

Grandview Drive – Drive along the “World’s Most Beautiful Drive” and admire the view and the houses as the leaves change color. There are public areas with benches and tables, so why not bring some snacks and have a little picnic!

Tanners Apple Orchard – I love this place! This is a great, all ages activity to spend a few hours outside in the amazing Autumn weather. I like to hit up their market and buy some food and apple cider. Oh, and obviously the apple cider donuts are where it’s at. Seriously, get a half dozen and pig out. You can also pick apples and pumpkins. My boyfriend and I have started a tradition of coming here to pick out our pumpkins to carve. They also have some barn animals that you can pet and feed, like goats, bunnies, ponies, and more!

Haunted Houses – There are many haunted houses that happen every year around Halloween time. I love haunted houses. Try to go before it gets too cold or dress in lots of layers if you can’t avoid it. Most haunted houses in the area are outdoors.

WINTER

WinterFest – Head down to WinterFest and skate on the outdoor ice rink! Last year there was an ice slide and a little shop with coffee and hot chocolate. I will warn you that the ice was pretty choppy, so just be aware of that. Otherwise, it’s a fun thing to do that puts you in the winter spirits!

Festival of Lights – Hit up the parade (but please dress very warmly) or go through the driving-through attraction (my preference). It’s something unique to the Peoria-area and screams Holidays.

Fired Up – Again, Fired Up is great all year, but I particularly love doing it when it’s too cold to be outside. It’s great for marking special occasions or for creating a one-of-a-kind gift for a loved one! And you can bring your own booze to drink while you paint! Can’t beat that!

Peoria Rivermen – The Rivermen are Peoria’s minor league hockey team! They play at the Civic Center and frequently have promotions going on for discount tickets or ticket/meal deals.

ALL YEAR

See a show – Check out the local music venues and see if you recognize any names. There’s the CivicCenter, The Limelight Eventplex, The Rail II, Crusens on Farm, Pizza Works, and many others!

Jukebox Comedy Club – Get your laugh on with your honey.

UFS Wine and Beer Tastings – They frequently have tastings at UFS! Some have an entry fee, but they always go towards a purchase.

Peoria Riverfront Museum – With permanent and traveling exhibits, the Riverfront Museum is a nice way to have fun and learn in the process.

I’ll add to this if I think of anymore, but I’d still love to hear your suggestions! Comment below!