Ramen shops and teppan-style restaurants may get all the attention when it comes to eating Japanese, but we’ll always fall for a great sushi spot. There’s something so wonderful and pleasing about a simple, fresh piece of fish prepared by the skillful hands of a seasoned sushi chef.
If you’ve got dreams of sushi, here are 10 Phoenix spots to make them come true.
If you find yourself downtown and the late-night cravings begin to set in, swing by Moira. Open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, the izakaya-style (gastropub) restaurant serves an assortment of small bites meant to share, as well as an assortment of nigiri sushi and sashimi. Choose from the Hamachi (yellowtail), tobiko (flying fish roe), kunsei sake (smoked salmon), unagi (fresh water eel) and more. Moira is also open weekdays for lunch and dinner, making it destined to be one of your favorite downtown spots.
215 E McKinley St, Phoenix 85004
You don’t really know @nobuo_teeterhouse until you sit down and talk to chef Nobuo himself. If you can’t do that, try to find a way to see @andrewgooi’s film, Kakehashi and learn his story. Then promptly book a reservation for yourself. If you want the full experience do Omakase. Either way, do it. If you haven’t tried this fantastic food yet you’re selling yourself short on what Arizona has to offer.
Inside the historic Teeter House at Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix is a true dining treasure, where culinary norms are thrown to the wind. Here, chef-owner Nobuo Fukuda elevates Japanese cuisine to an exciting new level with his creativity and precision. While the menu is ever changing, offerings have included house-cured salmon served with soy-glazed almond, basil oil and pecorino romano; and grapefruit and hamachi with avocado and white truffle ponzu oil. For an unforgettable dining experience, make reservations for the multi-course omakase prepared right before your eyes by Chef Nobuo himself.
622 E Adams St, Phoenix 85004
Nothing epitomizes family more than Hana Japanese Eatery, a warm and welcoming spot located in the heart of central Phoenix. Patriarch Kazuto Kishino, and siblings Lori Hashimoto and Koji Hashimoto, own and run the restaurant, which serves Japanese cuisine prepared using the most authentic and revered techniques.
Featuring fresh fish flown in from all over the world, the sushi menu offers everything from the luscious Bluefin tuna belly, to the light and refreshing seabass. If you’re lucky, you may get a chance to indulge in mirugai, or geoduck sashimi. Prepared by Lori, the delicacy is available only once in a while. So if you see it on the menu, order it as fast as you can.
5524 N 7th Ave, Phoenix 85013
There’s something to be said about a restaurant with staying power—one that has cultivated such a loyal and dedicated following, that fans will travel from all ends of the Valley just for a taste. Such is the case with Hiro Sushi. Located in Scottsdale, the nearly 20-year-old sushi spot serves a selection of specialties that change with the season. Fresh catch have included bluefin tuna, bonito, yellowtail and mackerel. With artistic precision, chef-owner Hirofumi Nakano creates plates of sushi that are just as beautiful as they are delightful.
9393 N 90th St, Scottsdale 85258
Less is more at Yasu Sushi Bistro, a casual and comfortable neighborhood spot in north Phoenix. While some sushi restaurants have menus the size of a phone book, Yasu keeps things simple with an uncomplicated menu of sashimi, rolls and nigiri served fresh to order. Chef-owner Yasu Hashino pushes the culinary envelope with such special offerings such as bigeye tuna marinated in soy, sweet sake and a paste of chile peppers and citrus peel; torch-seared salmon topped with green onion and bonito flakes; and Norwegian mackerel flaked with grated ginger.
4316 E Cactus Rd, Phoenix 85032
The downtown set will have no problem satisfying their sushi cravings thanks to Harumi Sushi, located on the corner of Adams and First Avenue. For the busy commuter, grab-and-go sushi—made fresh in the morning—are available. For those who prefer to dine in, the cozy restaurant serves a variety of options, including the eponymous Harumi roll made with tempura shrimp, crab salad and avocado, and topped with fresh tuna, tobiko (flying fish roe), spicy mayo, olive oil and garnished with daikon. What truly sets Harumi apart is its use of black rice, rather than traditional white rice, giving dishes a unique visual appeal.
114 W Adams St, Phoenix 85003
PSA Uptown peeps. Happy hour at @puresushicolony is where it's at. . Super laid back vibe, plus the sushi & service is the tops. 🍣🍶 . #feedme #love #nom #phxeats #foodie #yum #localAZ #phx #treatyoself #healthyeating #shineon #supportlocal #smallbiz #localaz #localphx #tastyaz #azfoodie #eatlocal #forkyeah #myphx #sushi #sake #ahi #getdownwithuptown
With its prime location on Seventh Street’s bustling dining corridor in midtown, Pure Sushi Colony is the art-inspired respite you’re looking for. Located at The Colony, an adaptive re-use project, the restaurant offers a wide variety of fresh sushi prepared at the expansive sushi bar. Specialty rolls include the Loch Ness Roll made with spicy crab, avocado and asparagus wrapped in house-cured Scottish salmon; and the peppered beef roll made with tempura snow crab, spicy crab mix, avocado and asparagus, served with seared beef and sautéed mushrooms and onion.
5538 N 7th St, Phoenix 85014
Ultramodern and fresh, this downtown spot at CityScape (there's also a second location in Peoria) is the perfect place to get your sushi on before a Suns or Diamondbacks game, a show at the Herberger or Orpheum, or an evening out enjoying First Friday. Chef-owner Schuyler Estes offers a menu of “new-style sashimi,” which features such offerings as Maine lobster with garlic chips, cherry tomato, grapeseed oil and microgreens; citrus yellowtail with avocado, grapefruit, cilantro and ponzu; and seared tuna or albacore tataki. House rolls are just as enticing, including the square-shaped Zushi “Box Roll” made with yellowtail, spicy crab, tobiko, shisho leaf, kizami wasabi and garlic chip.
2 E Jefferson St, Phoenix 85004
9947 W Happy Valley Pkwy, Peoria 85383
Not your traditional sushi restaurant, Buck &Rider in Arcadia is rather an upscale-casual seafood restaurant that offers a selection of rolled sushi. Made with fresh fish shipped in from around the world, offerings include deluxe spicy tuna roll made with sushi-grade tuna, avocado and spicy mayo; and the lobster tobanjan, a roll made with fresh lobster, jicama, mango and Fresno chiles wrapped in soy paper. Stopping by for happy hour? Enjoy a house wine or highball, featured beer or specialty cocktail with a crab macadamia roll made with blue crab asparagus, Fresno chiles and shiso remoulade.
4225 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix 85018
One of the newest sushi spots to open in Phoenix, Sushi Nakano comes to you from Leo Nakano, son of Hirofumi Nakano, owner of Hiro Sushi in Scottsdale. Having grown up in the restaurant business with frequent visits to Japan to hone his sushi-making skills, Leo certainly knows his way around a sushi knife.
Located in Ahwatukee, the 20-seat restaurant is small, yet inviting, and focuses more on the artistic presentation of sushi and sashimi. Fresh ingredients include live shrimp, tobio (flying fish), iwashi (sardine) and shi (Spanish mackerel).
4025 E Chandler Blvd, Phoenix 85044