With literally hundreds of choices in Seattle
and probably thousands in the greater Metro area, sushi is usually only a few blocks away. However, getting authentic, top quality sushi may be another matter. With sushi being offered everywhere from the gas station to the grocery store to some of Seattle’s finer eateries, finding a sushi place with food that tastes like it came straight from Japan, and that has an authentic Japanese atmosphere requires a little more than running down to 7-11.
Koji Osakaya is a fantastic find in the heart of downtown. Located on the retail level of the Harbor Steps, this gem is only steps away from Pike Place Market and Seattle’s trendy West End furniture district. The sushi is delicious, and the salt air of the harbor makes it taste that much better. A mid-priced restaurant that welcomes the whole family, Koji Osakaya offers a wide array of nigiri, makizushi rolls, and hand rolls as well as numerous other traditional Japanese delights ranging from simple ramen to green tea ice cream to elaborate shabu shabu and sukiyaki that you cook yourself right at your table. The Japanese experience wouldn’t be complete without NHK on the televisions and a full display of plastic versions of menu items in the front window. Reservations not usually required. Additional locations in Portland and Gresham, OR. Check out their website for menu and hours. $$
89 University St.
Blue C Sushi offers a much more modern and economical taste of in the “Center of the Universe,” Fremont neighborhood. Expect to see anime or other Japanese movies and television projected onto the walls while dining at this rotating sushi bar, the only one of its kind in Seattle, except for its second location in University Village. As diners pick up sushi and other Japanese dishes ranging from $1.50-$4.00 per plate off the conveyor belt, the chefs will also take custom orders while preparing fresh dishes to refill the line. The rotating sushi bar isn’t the only Japanese wonder to be found in this restaurant. Be sure to check out the futuristic hand dryers in the restroom. Reservations are not generally taken, and the line for a table often stretches out the door. However, the food and the spectacle of the rotating sushi bar are well worth the wait. Be sure to check out their website for menu, hours and fun sushi facts. $
Blue C Sushi
3411 Fremont Ave. N
4601 26th Ave NE, Seattle, WA98105
Nishino, the mother of all sushi restaurants in Seattle, regularly rates at the top of the local sushi food chain, and has the prices to match. While some might call it overpriced, Nishino has the most authentic sushi in the city, a beautifully decorated locale near the Washington Park Arboretum, and is well worth the price for an occasional splurge or special occasion. Expect your sushi to be fresh, maybe almost alive, and with many of its “delictible parts” still attached or served on the side. For example, when ordering ebi nigiri, it will probably be followed by a “special” second helping topped off with the shrimp’s head, a delicacy in , courtesy of the chef. Whether at a table or getting up close and personal with the sushi chef’s at the bar, Nishino is sure to please even the most discriminating palettes for authentic Japanese sushi. Reservations strongly encouraged. $$$
3130 E Madison St.