The Sit Down Café & Sushi Bar, located next to Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant and the CVS Pharmacy on 53rd street, is perfect for large groups. To celebrate my roommate’s birthday, I recently had dinner with a group of thirteen people at The Sit Down. To be frank, we ended up at The Sit Down because it was one of the only restaurants in Hyde Park willing to take a reservation for such a large group on a Friday night. In fact, I was slightly apprehensive about the quality of the food because it is unusual and ambitious of a restaurant to take on two completely different cuisines such as Japanese and Italian. Despite my concern, I went ahead with the reservation because of positive peer recommendations and Yelp reviews.

Photo by Anna Woolrey

As its name suggests, the Sit Down Café & Sushi Bar features a surprising menu. Among the menu’s subtitles are Pizzas, Sandwiches, Soups & Salads, and Sushi — just to name a few. I shared an order of California, Crunchy crab, Philly, Spicy shrimp and Spider rolls with my friends. All of the portions were reasonable and the sushi was solid. The rice was well-prepared, not too dry or too sticky, and the seaweed was tangy and fresh. The diversity of the menu turns out to be a strength for The Sit Down.

Photo by Anna Woolrey


Despite having a few less-adventurous diners, everyone was pleased with their dinners. The non-Sushi fans enjoyed the Blue Apple Salad, the Chicken Pesto sandwich and the Pizza Vero with fresh mozzarella and basil.

Our server handled our large group in a prompt and polite fashion. When it came to pay, she was only able to divide our check four ways. However, she split the bill in logical and helpful way so that there was minimal waiting.

Overall, The Sit Down’s flexibility regarding reservations, varied food selection, timely service and reasonable prices makes it a prime place for birthday dinners or house outings in Hyde Park.