Where to Eat Sushi in Philadelphia: The Ultimate Guide

Sushi in Philly? Yes. Because it's time that we started paying attention to something we've been doing really well for years.

Sushi at Morimoto / Photograph courtesy of Morimoto

Philadelphia may not have a sushi scene as large as New York City or Los Angeles. But what we do have is a high concentration of exceptional sushi restaurants run by expert chefs who roll their nuanced influences and experiences into every maki. From $200-per-person omakase experiences to weeknight takeout maki perfect for eating in front of the latest episode of The Bear, we’ve got sushi for every situation.

sushi sashimi

Sashimi at Royal Sushi & Izakaya / Photograph courtesy of Royal Sushi & Izakaya

Sushi Restaurants You Must Try First

Royal Sushi and Izakaya, Queen Village 
Jesse Ito’s Old City restaurant has gotten numerous nods from the James Beard Foundation over the years for his exceptional sushi, specifically for the omakase, an intimate dining experience and one of the city’s most elusive reservations. He’s had a lifetime to hone in his craft. He started working for Fuji in Haddonfield, New Jersey when he was 14, learning how to make sushi from his father who was an opening chef at Sagami, a legendary institution in Collingswood, New Jersey. Even if you can’t get into the omakase as soon as you’d like, stopping by the Izakaya for over-the-top takeout nigiri trays and chirashi bowls is absolutely worth it. 780 South 2nd Street

Hiroki, Fishtown
It’s not often that Philly Mag’s restaurant critic, Jason Sheehan, gives a four-star review, but he did for Hiroki, named after Hiroki Fujiyama who used to be a sushi chef at Morimoto. Next to Royal Sushi, this is the most high-end omakase offering in the city. The spare, wood-paneled room and procession of precisely prepared food that starts with a cooked appetizer and includes 12 pieces of seasonal nigiri, will transport you out of your life for a few hours. It’s $155 per person, so it’s the kind of place you want to reserve for a special occasion. 1355 North Front Street

Sagami, Collingswood
There is a purity to what Sagami does in Collingswood that is becoming increasingly rare these days. The sushi is as authentic as anything you’re going to find outside of Japan. There’s no flash, no sauces, no sparklers — nothing to distract from the delicate interplay of rice and vegetable and protein. In an age where it sometimes seems like every sushi bar is leaning toward modernity, Sagami stands as an avatar of classical restraint that is refreshing. Plus, if you’re a true fish fanatic, the chirashi bowl might be one of the best deals in two states. 37 West Crescent Boulevard, Collingswood


Sushi at Sagami / Photograph by Kae Lani Palmisano

Fuji, Haddonfield
Fuji is a must for fans of Japanese food. It’s the place you have to go to see it done right, in its best and purest expression. The kitchen does pretty much everything — from a long list of Japanese soups and small plates, to full-size entrees. But the sushi, sashimi and temaki are the big draw. Plus the specialty rolls (go for the Godzilla roll or some futomaki if you’re overwhelmed). If you haven’t been yet, go. If you have, go again. Fuji is proof that Philly really does have a sushi scene — but that it just happens to be in New Jersey. 116 Kings Highway

Tomo Sushi and Ramen, Old City
Calm, cool, unhurried, and with a good selection of maki and hand-rolls, plus a regular menu that’s full of ramen and Japanese snacks and entrees. They also have a whole menu of vegan sushi rolls that you’d never suspect were vegan. The Vegan Red Dragon has eggplant prepared in such a way that it feels and tastes like eel. There’s even vegan ramen, which makes this place a crowd pleaser. 228 Arch Street

Vic Sushi Bar, Rittenhouse
Vic is tiny, just a cramped counter and a few seats. But it’s busy, almost frantic, and fast. Because of the limited space, they do a lot of takeout orders, which is something you should definitely consider. But if you do manage to snag a seat, you’ll be in for a show, because the crew behind the bar never seem to stop moving. 2035 Sansom Street

Vic Sushi / Photograph by Kae Lani Palmisano

Kaiseki, Spring Garden
What began in 2020 as a takeout-only sushi spot is now a hybrid consisting of just four seats the sushi bar in the lobby of 990 Spring Garden, plus a robust takeout and deliver operation. Chef Andy Bernard offers an appealing value proposition, by serving super-fresh, attentively sourced fish in a low-overhead environment that allows him to keep his prices relatively affordable. 990 Spring Garden

Bluefin, East Norriton, Exton, and Glen Mills
Chef Yong Kim has three locations now: Bluefin Restaurant in East Norriton, Bluefin Sushi and Asian Cuisine in Glen Mills, and Bluefin Eagleview in Exton. This guy has been running some of the best Japanese restaurants and sushi bars in the area for roughly 20 years, training the chefs who now run some of the city’s other best spots. The tuna sundaes, miso-lobster mac and cheese, and miso sea bass are beloved modern and fusion dishes, but the traditional rolls here are examples of how sushi and sashimi, with their simplicity and spare presentation, demand the kind of excellence that can take a lifetime to master. 2820 Dekalb Pike, East Norriton; 1102 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills; 555 Wellington Square, Exton

DaWa, Fishtown
When DaWa first opened, Fishtown freaked the eff out. Rightly so, too. It was the first decent sushi restaurant in a neighborhood that badly needed one, and its chef-owner, Joe Kim, sources great product and offers a relatively inexpensive omakase option. This is the rare restaurant that feels as appropriate for a chill Sunday night dinner as it does for a special-occasion meal. 1204 North Front Street

Best Sushi in Queen Village and Washington Square West

Sushi Planet
Sometimes, in my dreams, I imagine a planet made of sushi. Kinda like Willy Wonka’s arboretum where everything was made of candy and Augustus Gloop ended up stuck in the pipe, only my version is made of raw fish and rice with a soy sauce river and mountains of wasabi. Anyway, Sushi Planet is nothing like that. But they’ve got this crazy menu where you can get things like a sushi love boat and an avocado and lobster salad wrapped up like a dumpling in a skin made of tuna. And that’s almost as good. 624 South 3rd Street

Fat Salmon, Center City
New School sushi right smack in the middle of Center City. Fat Salmon does specialty rolls — dozens of them, all with imaginative names like Dancing Vampire, Blossom, and Dragonfly, as well as smart combinations of flavors and textures. They do vegetarian sushi, nigiri, good gyoza and a bunch of different spicy rolls. But even the classic stuff is good, made with super-fresh ingredients and served in a lounge-y space with dim lights and (usually) lots of company. 719 Walnut Street

Sumo Sushi
The space is industrial and the Angry Lobster is mango and avocado inside and lobster salad on top, all striped with hot sauce. And if that alone isn’t reason for you to check the place out, maybe you should just go back to eating your crudo. 341 South Broad Street

Yellowtail, Washington Square West
Any place where you can get chicken pad thai, yellow curry, and a sashimi platter all on the same menu? That’s a winner. The neighbors love it because it’s a BYO and kind of ignored by anyone who’s not local, but Yellowtail is totally worth a visit if you’re looking for a good, small, side-by-side Thai/Japanese experience. 1218 Pine Street

Bleu Sushi
The place looks like a very small nightclub and offers cheese fries on the menu (seriously — kimchi frites with sesame sauce and Whiz). But their sushi selection is also rather remarkable. People love the joint and swear by the kitchen’s specialty rolls. 262 South 10th Street

The onigiri and chirashi are pretty awesome, but it’s the classic sushi and sashimi and the musical-inspired creative custom rolls (like the School Of Rock with its mango, lime zest and creamy rock shrimp paste) that are the real draw at the Wash West BYOB. 1117 Locust Street

Koto Sushi
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a menu bigger than the one offered by Koto. Seriously, they’ve got everything from miso soup to bento boxes, yakitori, and some of the best sushi in the neighborhood. They even have a hibachi catering service where you host a hibachi party in your own backyard! The neighbors love this place because of the service, and because the prices are very reasonable considering fish of this quality. 719 Sansom Street

Morimoto / Photograph courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

Best Sushi in Center City and Rittenhouse

Aki Nom Nom Sushi & Ramen
The name alone, right? You want to go there right now, I know. And yeah, the place does excellent Hakata-style ramen. But you know what else they do? An all-you-can-eat sushi for $32.95 and all-you-can-eat sashimi for $39.95. 1210 Walnut Street

Kichi Omakase
Kichi Omakase is a breed of comparatively affordable omakase that is super popular in New York, but has not yet fully arrived in Philly. For $95, you get 15 courses of sushi over the course of just 60 minutes. It’s not as high-end or luxurious as some of the other omakases on this list, but it’s significantly more affordable if you’re looking for a more entry-level option that’s still delicious and more elevated than a la carte maki and nigiri. 112 South 12th Street

For a long time, Zama was it in Philly when it came to modern, upscale sushi. And chef Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka has never stopped pushing the boundaries. He flies in fish from around the world daily and makes maki inspired by the people and places that make Philadelphia. But at its core, Zama has always remained a serious Japanese restaurant with a solid menu of classics to ground the eccentric flights of fancy coming from behind the sushi bar. 128 South 19th Street

Fuji Mountain
It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but on the other side of the doors is a beautiful, long, bi-level space full of polished wood, red lights, karaoke rooms, and raw fish. There’s enough paneling in here to outfit a 1970’s time machine. And while the menu is primarily focused on traditional Japanese cuisine with a little bit of fusion on the side, the sushi menu is solid and legitimately awesome. Late-night hours on Fridays and Saturdays are a bonus, too. 2030 Chestnut Street

Crazy Sushi
I like the donburi and the chirashi, but the place is really known for its not-your-average specialty rolls — like the Sandwich Roll with tomato, mayo, cucumber and lettuce — or the fried banana roll. They’re fun choices for folks who may not want to eat raw fish. 1837 Chestnut Street

Morimoto, Washington Square West
A classic by any measure. A cornerstone of Philly’s Japanese food scene and signifier of the early days of our restaurant renaissance. You can get exceptional toro sashimi, soft shell crab hand rolls, and wagyu dumplings. Bonus: The ramen and miso soups are available, too.

Machi Sushi
This place is pretty much the definition of a neighborhood sushi bar. A small counter with a half-dozen seats, a couple tables, and a couple guys behind the bar knocking out maki and hand rolls under the glow of neon lights. It’s affordable, fast, friendly, uncomplicated by gimmicks, and has always been one of my favorite sushi bars in town. 209 South 20th Street

Tsuki Sushi, Rittenhouse
Sushi works two ways for me — either as this special, formalized thing full of ritual and observance which absolutely requires all the trappings of space and service, or as a kind of special indulgence, eaten on a Tuesday afternoon just because I can. But in times like this, it’s good to remember that sushi can be Japanese made for grab-and-go, for quick lunches and simple snacks. And Tsuki is perfect for that. An order of futo maki, some spicy tuna rolls and some gyoza? That’s a lunch. Better still, Tsuki is offering five different lunch combos for delivery. Available for delivery via Caviar

Double Knot
Downstairs, in the basement space that made Double Knot famous, the kitchen runs a side-by-side-by-side menu of Asian small plates, robotayaki and sushi and sashimi. All of it (and I mean all of it) is amazing, but the coolest thing about the sushi here is the way it’s assembled — one element at a time, with a bold disregard for traditional rules. This makes for some interesting experiments, and makes things like a foie gras, miso, and rice pearl sushi possible. 120 South 13th Street

Double Knot / Photograph by Laura Swartz

Best Sushi in Old City, Society Hill, Chinatown and Spring Garden

Tuna Bar
Tuna Bar is a destination sushi restaurant and raw bar for Old City. Chef Kenneth Sze has a full raw bar menu of sushi, sashimi, crudo and tartares. It’s a sleek, modern spot, and has a full bar with an extensive sake and wine list. 205 Race Street

Kisso Sushi Bar
This place has been around for more than 20 years. Seriously, just kinda hanging out there in Old City, serving a dedicated group of regulars and neighbors who just know about the place because they know about it. Kisso doesn’t get talked about much, but that’s kept it cool and uncrowded and special — a place for date nights, conversation, and appreciation of the serious Japanese food being put out by chef Alex Park and his crew. Don’t all of you go there at once and ruin the place, but if you happen to be in the neighborhood, this is definitely one that’s worth checking out. 205 North 4th Street

Sakana Omakase Sushi
Sakana has a 12-seat counter with an omakase that’s 20 courses for $148. If you’re looking for an introduction to omakase, this is a great place to start. It’s a great value for a chef-driven prix-fixe menu from a chef with 10 years of experience in Manhattan. 616 South 2nd Street

Japanese-Korean fusion is totally a thing, and it’s fully on display at Doma in Spring Garden. It’s a beautiful, intimate space with these cool glass bubble hanging lights that make the air look carbonated. The sushi bar has some very cool specialty rolls that push the boundaries of fusion with menu items like the bibimbap roll and the bulgogi bento.


DK Sushi / Photograph by Laura Swartz

Best Sushi in University City

DK Sushi
The sushi at Double Knot is extraordinary, of course. But if you’re looking for the same kind of quality in an environment that’s not quite so sexy-candlelit-basement, there’s DK Sushi. Operating out of UPenn’s Franklin’s Table Food Hall, this eat-in/takeaway concept is being marketed as “fine-casual” — quality every bit as high as at Double Knot, but operating like a fast-food joint with orders assembled and boxed up for anyone passing through. 3401 Walnut Street

Best Sushi in Norther Liberties and Fairmount

Umai Umai
Gorgeous food in a gorgeous space with a cool, quirky sense of humor when it comes to those showpiece specialty rolls. I mean seriously, how do you not love a place that’s got a “Designer Roll” named for the TV show Lost? The rest of the menu has wild strains of Spanish, Korean and French influences running through it, but the sushi is either pure Japanese or purely weird. 533 North 22nd Street

Hikari is now under the command of 20-year veteran sushi chef Matthew Sim, who comes from Pod, Morimoto, B2, and elsewhere. He’s behind the bar with one goal: to bring quality sushi to Northern Liberties, which is exactly what he’s achieving. 1040 North American Street

One half sushi bar, one half Korean BBQ. If that sounds like your kind of thing (and why wouldn’t it?), then Dasiwa is your perfect restaurant. 735 North 26th Street