There comes a moment in every college student’s life when all you can think about is sushi, you have an entire thirty minutes to spare and a total of eight dollars left to your name. Enter, Sushi Ichiban.
Sushi Ichiban is conveniently located on Wright and Green, the heart of campus. The neon “open” sign is a beacon for lost sushi lovers, searching for the cheapest sushi on campus. The high ceilings, bright fluorescent lights and nude-orange tiles décor create an aura of, well, cheap. If you can get over this, (and you should: what other time than college will it be possible to be proudly poor?) you will quickly realize the environment reflects the restaurant’s prices. Let it be known, however, that this little Japanese dive is still popular for a reason. Nothing on the menu at Sushi Ichiban is over twenty dollars and the most expensive option is a twelve-piece order of sashimi: thinly sliced raw fish on rice.
A bell goes off, greeting customers with the smells of shrimp and miso soup. Advertisements for deals are posted all over, almost bombarding you with lunch specials – $7.99 for any two rolls. These lunch specials even include its most excessively packed sushi, like the eight piece sapporo roll: crab, avocado, cucumber with spicy tuna on top. Compared to the other sushi restaurants in town, these ingredients might seem basic, but Sushi Ichiban prizes itself on embracing the simplicity of the fish and rice roll. The flavors mesh together perfectly, whether it is the cream cheese and salmon or shrimp and avocado. For those with an adventurous palettes, fear not, because the octopus sashimi looms on the menu for you to try.
Lastly, as all sushi fanatics agree, aesthetics are of top priority – what is sushi if it is not a work of art, a compilation of dainty swirls and colorful sauces? Sushi Ichiban’s chef’s ability to get the classic eight piece rolls out to hungry customers in under five minutes is almost to a fault, all while maintaining an ideal sushi aesthetic.
Note that Sushi Ichiban also offers a convenient, easily accessible online pick-up ordering system. To order online, simply go to their home page and fill out your order from a diverse menu of not only sushi but also soups, teriyaki entrees and noodles.
Address: 619 S. Wright St., Champaign, IL
Hours of operation: Sun-Sat 11am-9:30pm