The Sit Down Cafe & Sushi BarHyde Park | Website
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Salvatore Pappalito, the owner of this cheery Hyde Park restaurant, knows a thing or two about where to find the freshest ingredients in the neighborhood. His family is behind the nearby Hyde Park Produce Market, and that’s where he sources ingredients for the restaurant’s array of salads, soups, sandwiches and thin-crust Roman-style pizzas. In addition to the cafe menu, which features an eclectic mix of Mediterranean, American and Asian flavors, The Sit Down serves a full sushi menu. Specialty maki include the popular Super Crunchy Roll (shrimp tempura, cream cheese and crab topped with smoked salmon and wasabi and sweet eel sauces) and the 53rd (smoked salmon, spicy shrimp, fresh mango and radish sprout wrapped in soy paper). You can do as the name says and sit down at the spacious sushi bar, or settle in at a table in the bright, airy dining room. The Sit Down also plays to the University of Chicago crowd with takeout and delivery.