Seattle, known for its vibrant food scene, is also home to a thriving sushi culture. With its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and access to fresh seafood, it’s no wonder that Seattle has become a haven for sushi lovers. Whether you’re a seasoned sushi connoisseur or a newbie looking to explore this Japanese delicacy, Seattle offers many options to satisfy your cravings.

Key Takeaways

  • Seattle has a thriving sushi scene with various options for every budget and taste preference.
  • Sushi has been part of Seattle’s culinary landscape since the early 1900s when Japanese immigrants brought their culinary traditions to the city.
  • Some top sushi spots in Seattle’s downtown area include Shiro’s Sushi, Sushi Kashiba, and Japonessa Sushi Cocina.
  • Try Mashiko, Maneki, or Kisaku for those looking for hidden gems.
  • Affordable sushi options in Seattle include Musashi’s, Sushi Land, and Sushi Tama.
  • Seattle also has great sushi happy hour deals at places like Umi Sake House and Wasabi Bistro.
  • Fusion sushi restaurants in Seattle offer unique twists on traditional sushi, such as at Momiji or Wataru.
  • Sustainable sushi options can be found at places like Sushi Kappo Tamura and Nishino.
  • Some of Seattle’s best takeout sushi restaurants include Sushi Kashiba and Sushi Kudasai.
  • When enjoying sushi in Seattle, it’s important to follow proper etiquette, such as not mixing wasabi into soy sauce and using chopsticks instead of your hands.

The History of Sushi in Seattle

Sushi arrived in Seattle in the 1960s when Japanese immigrants settled there. Initially, sushi was only available in a few traditional Japanese restaurants, but as the demand grew, more sushi establishments started popping up. Over the years, Seattle’s sushi scene has evolved, incorporating new flavors and techniques while still honoring the traditional art of sushi-making.

Top Sushi Spots in Seattle’s Downtown Area

If you are looking for exceptional sushi in downtown Seattle, several standout restaurants are worth checking out. One such place is Shiro’s Sushi, which has been serving top-quality sushi for over 30 years. Known for its omakase experience, where the chef creates a personalized tasting menu based on the freshest ingredients of the day, Shiro’s is a must-visit for sushi enthusiasts.

Another popular spot is Umi Sake House, which offers a modern twist on traditional Japanese cuisine. With its sleek and contemporary ambiance, Umi Sake House is known for its creative rolls and extensive sake selection. For those looking for a more intimate dining experience, Sushi Kashiba is an excellent choice. Helmed by renowned chef Shiro Kashiba, this upscale restaurant focuses on traditional Edomae-style sushi and offers an unforgettable culinary journey.

Hidden Gems: Sushi Restaurants Off the Beaten Path

Restaurant NameLocationPrice RangeRatingSpecialty Roll
Sushi KatsueiBrooklyn, NY4.5/5Spicy Tuna Roll
Sushi RanSausalito, CA4.7/5Dragon Roll
Sushi OtaSan Diego, CA4.6/5California Roll
Sushi NakazawaNew York, NY4.8/5Toro Tartare Roll
Sushi GenLos Angeles, CA4.5/5Spider Roll

While downtown Seattle boasts some fantastic sushi restaurants, hidden gems are scattered throughout the city and worth seeking out. One such gem is Maneki, located in the International District. This historic restaurant has been serving sushi since 1904 and is known for its traditional atmosphere and authentic Japanese dishes.

Another hidden gem is Mashiko, a sustainable sushi restaurant in West Seattle. Mashiko prides itself on using locally sourced, sustainable ingredients and offers various sushi options, including vegan and gluten-free. For those looking for a unique experience, Sushi Kappo Tamura in Eastlake offers an omakase-style menu that showcases the chef’s creativity and expertise.

Sushi for Every Budget: Affordable Options in Seattle

Seattle’s sushi scene isn’t just limited to high-end establishments; there are plenty of affordable options for budget-conscious diners. One such place is Musashi’s, a no-frills sushi joint that offers generous portions at reasonable prices. With its casual atmosphere and friendly staff, Musashi’s is a local favorite.

Blue C Sushi is a popular conveyor belt sushi restaurant with multiple locations throughout the city for those looking for a quick and affordable sushi fix. Diners can choose from various sushi rolls and other Japanese dishes as they pass by on the conveyor belt. Another budget-friendly option is Japonessa Sushi Cocina, which combines Japanese flavors with Latin American influences to create unique and affordable sushi rolls.

Seattle’s Best Sushi Happy Hour Deals

If you want to enjoy sushi on a budget, Seattle’s sushi happy hour specials will not be missed. Many restaurants offer discounted prices on select sushi rolls and other menu items during specific day hours. One such place is Wasabi Bistro, which provides an extensive happy hour menu with discounted prices on rolls, sashimi, and appetizers.

Another popular spot for sushi happy hour is Umi Sake House, which was mentioned earlier for its creative rolls. Umi Sake House offers discounted prices on select rolls and drinks during happy hour, making it a great place to unwind after a long day. Momiji offers a daily happy hour with discounted sushi and drinks specials for those in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Sushi and Beyond: Seattle’s Fusion Sushi Restaurants

Seattle’s sushi scene isn’t limited to traditional Japanese sushi; the city also boasts a vibrant fusion sushi scene. Fusion sushi combines conventional Japanese flavors with influences from other cuisines, resulting in unique and innovative creations. One standout fusion sushi restaurant is Japanese Sushi Cocina, which was mentioned earlier for its affordable options. Japanese offers various fusion rolls incorporating Latin American ingredients and flavors.

Another popular fusion sushi spot is Umi Sake House, which combines traditional Japanese techniques with modern twists. With rolls like the “Seattle Crunch” and the “Volcano Roll,” Umi Sake House offers a fusion experience that will delight adventurous eaters. For those looking for a more upscale fusion sushi experience, Wataru in Ravenna provides a tasting menu that showcases the chef’s creativity and skill.

Sustainable Sushi: Seattle’s Eco-Friendly Sushi Options

Seattle is known for its commitment to sustainability, and its sushi restaurants are no exception. Many establishments in the city prioritize using sustainable seafood and locally sourced ingredients. One such restaurant is Nishino, which focuses on traditional Japanese cuisine with sustainable ingredients. Nishino works closely with local fishermen and farmers to ensure the highest quality and sustainability of their dishes.

Another eco-friendly sushi option is Shiro’s Sushi, which was mentioned earlier for its top-quality sushi. Shiro sources its seafood from sustainable fisheries and uses organic ingredients whenever possible. By supporting these eco-friendly sushi restaurants, diners can enjoy their favorite dishes while also contributing to the preservation of our oceans.

Sushi To-Go: Seattle’s Best Takeout Sushi Restaurants

Seattle offers several excellent takeout sushi options for those on the go or looking to enjoy sushi in the comfort of their homes. One such place is Tsukushinbo, a small Japanese restaurant in the International District that provides a variety of sushi rolls and bento boxes for takeout. With its affordable prices and delicious food, Tsukushinbo is a local favorite.

Another popular takeout sushi spot is Maneki, which was mentioned earlier as a hidden gem. In addition to its dine-in options, Maneki offers takeout sushi, allowing customers to enjoy their favorite dishes wherever they please. Momiji offers online ordering for takeout for those in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, making it convenient and easy to satisfy your sushi cravings.

Sushi Tips and Etiquette: How to Enjoy Sushi Like a Pro in Seattle

When dining at Seattle’s sushi restaurants, it’s important to remember a few tips and etiquette guidelines. Firstly, it is customary to eat sushi with your hands rather than chopsticks. This allows you to experience the texture and flavors of the sushi fully.

Secondly, eating each piece of sushi in one bite is considered polite. This shows respect for the chef’s craftsmanship and allows you to fully appreciate the combination of flavors in each bite.

Lastly, when dining at an omakase-style restaurant, it’s important to trust the chef’s choices and not request substitutions or modifications. The chef has carefully curated the menu to provide a balanced and harmonious dining experience, so it’s best to embrace their expertise.
Seattle’s sushi scene offers something for everyone, from traditionalists seeking authentic Japanese cuisine to adventurous eaters looking for fusion creations. With its abundance of fresh seafood and commitment to sustainability, Seattle has become a haven for sushi lovers. Whether exploring downtown or venturing off the beaten path, you will find a sushi restaurant satisfying your cravings. So, grab your chopsticks and prepare to embark on a culinary journey through Seattle’s vibrant sushi scene.