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.
This Warehouse District favorite features a hodgepodge of dishes inspired by Japan, Mexico, and Central / South America, and it does not disappoint. Executive Chef Gustavo Muñoz's interpretation of modern, elevated Japanese-Latin cuisine will not only appeal to the most developed sushi palate, but will also lead novice sushi diners through a heightened sensory experience. Try the ceviche mixto for a full immersion.
515 E. Grant St., Ste. 100, Phoenix
Not your traditional sushi restaurant, Buck &Rider in the Arcadia neighborhood 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 Road, Phoenix
This regional chain features all-you-can-eat sushi, Asian fusion sushi rolls, nigiri, and a full bar with indoor/outdoor seating in downtown Phoenix's Cityscape area, perfect for a bite after a game or concert at Footprint Center.
2 E. Jefferson St., Ste. 108, Phoenix
Hana Japanese Eatery
Nothing epitomizes family more than James Beard nominee Hana Japanese Eatery, a warm and welcoming spot located in the heart of central Phoenix, just up the street from the Melrose District. 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
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
Across the Pond
The sister concept to central Phoenix's popular ramen spot Clever Koi, Across the Pond features a selection of rolls and house specialties, though it's best known for its sashimi, nigiri and cocktails. Choose from options including salmon, yellowtail and tuna in this intimate and elegant space, perfect for your next date night.
4236 N. Central Ave., Ste. 101, Phoenix
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
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
Squid Ink Sushi Bar
Ultramodern and fresh, 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.
9947 W. Happy Valley Parkway, Peoria