Where We’re Eating Right Now: Takeout and Delivery Sushi in Philly

Looking for a place to get takeout or delivery sushi during the pandemic? We've got a few suggestions.


Hiroki | Photo by Michael Persico

Things are weird right now. We get that. But since no one can be expected to cook every meal at home during this emergency, we’ve got a list here that might help you out. If you’re looking for a restaurant that does delivery or takeout sushi, that offers a product that travels well and is, of course, delicious, we’ve got some suggestions. Because this is the takeout and delivery sushi that we’re living on right now, so maybe you can, too. (Keep scrolling for our full list of Philly’s best sushi spots. We’ve marked the ones that are currently operating with a star.)

 

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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. And now, in the age of COVID-19, a dependable spot for scoring a some high-end delivery sushi on a Friday night. You can get toro sashimi, softshell crab hand rolls, king crab California maki and wagyu dumplings brought right to your door and that’s pretty awesome. Bonus: The ramen and miso soups are available, too. Available for delivery via Caviar

 

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Hiroki, Fishtown
It is crazy to me that a place like Hiroki — one of the best restaurants in the city, a place that lives and dies by its beautiful space, its perfect, comforting service and the one-on-one interactions with its chefs — can find a way to operate during the pandemic. But they have, and if you live close enough to pick up one of chef Hiroki Fujiyama’s sushi sets, chirashi bowls, bento boxes or plates of Japanese curry, you should absolutely take advantage of that. Is it the same kind of experience as dining in the restaurant? Of course not. But Hiroki’s kitchen is insanely talented, and any chance to have their sushi, sashimi, gyudon or unagi is one you shouldn’t let slip by. Available for takeout and delivery via Caviar

 

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Bubblefish, Chinatown
Back in the day, I used to pick up onigiri for breakfast from a little sushi place that is no longer open. I’d buy three, eat one while I walked to the office, save two for lunch, and be perfectly content all day long. I could live on onigiri for weeks with no complaint. Well guess what? Bubblefish has onigiri on their delivery menu. The world is a beautiful place. Available for delivery via Caviar

 

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Nunu, Fishtown
Normally, I don’t really think of Nunu as a sushi place. That’s because, when I’m there, I’m too busy stuffing myself with milkbread cheese toast, spicy tuna on rice crackers and furikake cheese fries. But still, Nunu has a solid spread of maki, hand rolls and sashimi, all available for pick-up or delivery. Plus, you know, those cheese fries… Available for take-out or delivery via Caviar

 

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DaWa, Fishtown
DaWa and chef Joe Kim were just starting to get their legs under them when the pandemic hit and the entire city shut down. They had a space, were making a name with their omakase menus and top-quality fish, were looking at expanding. Now, a lot of things are on hold. But Kim is still sourcing some incredible fish and still serving the neighbors, doing take-out only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday’s. Check out the restaurant’s Instagram for menu details. Available for take-out only

 

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Kisso, Old City
One of the longest-running sushi spots in Philly won’t let a little ol’ pandemic ruin its track record. Now in its 23rd year, Kisso is doing takeout Tuesday to Saturday, from 4-8 p.m.

 

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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 throw-away 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 fast food, too — 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 four different lunch combos for delivery, and the prices are low enough that you can add one of the kitchen’s hikaru appetizers (spicy crab wrapped in salmon) without breaking the bank. Available for delivery via Caviar


Where to Eat Sushi in Philadelphia: The Ultimate Guide

No, you’re right. Sushi isn’t really a thing we’re known for here in Philadelphia.

Crudo? Totally. I’m pretty sure they hand out plates of crudo to tourists at the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Like, “Here’s a plate of crudo, a confusing map to the Liberty Bell, and half a cheesesteak we dropped in a puddle on South Street.”

But no one comes here looking for sushi.

Which isn’t to say we don’t have any here. Philly has always had a sushi underground — mostly small, neighborhood joints slinging fish and sake and doing it quietly, under the radar, without much fanfare. There are a few exceptions (Royal Izakaya, Double Knot, and Zama come to mind), but mostly Philadelphians who want sushi have a restaurant or two they trust and don’t really go anywhere else.

But a whole collection of little neighborhood spots, doing really good, really interesting sushi kinda makes a scene, doesn’t it? Just one that’s a little tougher to see from the outside. So we’re here to help with this list of the best places to eat sushi in (and outside of) Philly. But let’s start with…

best sushi philadelphia fuji haddonfield

Fuji Restaurant | Facebook

Sushi Restaurants You Must Try First

*Hiroki, Fishtown
I have given four-star reviews to exactly two restaurants in this city since I started as restaurant critic at Philly Mag. Hiroki was one of them. This beautiful, spare, omakase-only spot from Hiroki Fujiyama (ex of Morimoto) is serving the best, most surprising sushi in the city. And you should go right now. 1355 North Front Street

Royal Sushi and Izakaya, Queen Village
The front room is a riot: loud, crowded, full of people and Japanese bar food and anime showing on the brick walls. But in the back, Jesse Ito and his father Masaharu run a quiet, serene (and expensive) sushi bar that focuses on nightly omakase menus. It is probably the best sushi being done in Philly right now, but reservations can be tough to get so, you know, plan ahead. 780 South 2nd Street

*Double Knot, Center City
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

*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

*Fuji, Haddonfield
Oh, man. Fuji is kinda like Mecca for fans of Japanese food around here. It’s the place you gotta 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

*Bluefin, East Norriton, Exton, and Bala Cynwyd
Chef Yong Kim has three locations now: Bluefin in East Norriton, Bluefin in Exton, and B2 in Bala Cynwyd. This guy has been running some of the best Japanese restaurants and sushi bars in the area for almost 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; 401 City Avenue, Bala Cynwyd; 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.

best sushi philadelphia bleu

Bleu Sushi | Facebook

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 sushi pizza and 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

*Tokio
For you history buffs, Madame Saito (who runs this combination sushi spot, craft beer bar, French-Asian fusion restaurant and karaoke destination) claims to have invented the Philadelphia Roll. She has also been doing sushi in Philadelphia since 1981, has a better resume than almost any chef in the city, and represents Japanese cuisine here like a full-time ambassador. 124 Lombard 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 wacky names (Lipstick Trace, Seabreeze, Lost Rainbow) and 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, has a weird name, 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

*Kinme
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 WashWest 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 Hawaiian poke, hibachi meals, bento boxes, yakitori, AND some of the best sushi in the neighborhood. The neighbors love this place because of the service, and because the prices run a little bit on the cheap side for fish of this quality. 719 Sansom Street

best sushi philadelphia morimoto

Morimoto | Facebook

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 and sashimi menu for $28.95. 1210 Walnut Street

*Zama
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 does collaborations with some of the best chefs in town and makes maki inspired by local ingredients and local celebrities. But at its core, Zama has always remained a serious Japanese restaurant with a solid menu of classics to ground the weirder flights of fancy coming from behind the sushi bar. 128 South 19th 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

*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 are a bonus, too. 2030 Chestnut Street

*Crazy Sushi
I like the donburi and the chirashi, but the place is really known for its wacky specialty rolls — like the Sandwich Roll with tomato, mayo, cucumber and lettuce — or the fried banana roll. 1837 Chestnut Street

*Morimoto
Yeah, this place was at the heart of Philly’s restaurant boom like three booms ago. And it still draws people to town even though it doesn’t get talked about or written about nearly as much as it used to. But that’s nuts. While the room might feel a bit dated, the sushi bar here is still incredible, offering some of the best, freshest fish in the city, cut by some of the most talented sushi chefs around. Plus, at lunch you can have virtually the entire place to yourself. 723 Chestnut Street

*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 cheap, fast, friendly, uncomplicated by gimmicks, and has always been one of my favorite sushi bars in town. 209 South 20th Street

*Tsuki Sushi
Simple, small, straightforward and fast: that’s what Tsuki is all about. There’s nothing weird here, nothing shocking or groundbreaking. It’s just sushi treated like the fast-casual food that it is, done with competence and care. 2135 Walnut Street

best sushi philadelphia tuna bar

Tuna Bar | Facebook

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

*Tuna Bar
Tuna Bar is a new-ish destination sushi restaurant and raw bar for Old City. Chef Kenneth Sze does omakase here, plus a full raw bar menu of sushi, sashimi, ceviches, crudo and tartares. It’s a sleek, modern spot, and has a full bar, sake and wine. 205 Race Street

*Bubblefish
It’s got milk tea, boba, fruit tea, sea salt froth tea, a bonkers selection of milkshakes, plus a full menu of traditional and specialty sushi rolls, including the Tuna Princess — spicy tuna and avocado topped with torched tuna au poivre, then topped again with honey wasabi and spicy mayo. So yeah, not exactly your quiet temple of Japanese gastronomy, but a lot of fun and a little bit overlooked besides. 909 Arch 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 gang of regulars and neighbors who just know about the place because they know about it, you know? 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

*Tomo Sushi and Ramen
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. It’s a fairly new place, but some of the opening crew came from Kisso, so that’s a good start. 228 Arch Street

Sakana Omakase Sushi
A 12-seat counter and two options: 12 courses for $58 or and epic 21-course dinner for $108. It’s weird to say that a $108 dinner is cheap, but for a huge, chef-driven prix fixe from a chef with 10 years of experience in Manhattan, it really kinda is. 616 South 2nd Street

*Doma
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 fusion even further with hits of Mexican, Latin and Szechuan flavors. 1822 Callowhill Street

best sushi philadelphia cozara

CoZara | Facebook

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 killer new 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
Pod
Kevin Yanaga is a very talented sushi chef in Philly. He was the opening chef at Double Knot when Double Knot splashed onto the scene. Now, Yanaga runs the show at Pod, which means this 19 year old restaurant is better now than it’s ever been.
best sushi philadelphia hikari

Hikari | Facebook

Best Sushi in NoLibs 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
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 now with one goal: to bring quality sushi to Northern Liberties, which is badly in need of just that kind of thing. 1040 North American Street

*Dasiwa
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