The Hot List

The Buzziest Sushi Spots in Washington, D.C.

We’ve got the fish.

6/28/2022
nobu - seared salmon karashi sumiso

If a taste of the sea is what you’re craving, D.C. has what you need. There is truly no shortage of excellent sushi delivery in the D.C. area, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the most buzzworthy. These are the restaurants with the reservations that are hardest to score, the ones that those in the know are talking about the most. But you don’t have to wait in line or eat at an unreasonable hour to check out these hippest of spots. Caviar can bring dinner straight to your door. Here are 25 of the most talked-about sushi spots in and around D.C. 

sushi hachi - chirashi

Sushi Hachi 

Located in the Eastern Market neighborhood, owner Steve Yoon’s sushi haven opened in 2017 and continues to draw a sushi-loving crowd. Nigiri is creative and fresh. Opt for the sweet shrimp nigiri (spot prawn, rice, and wasabi tobiko), or the scallop (served over rice with charcoal salt). A cucumber and avocado roll served with an onion jam makes an ordinary vegetarian roll feel revelatory. 

Zeppelin 

Shaw brings the party with this late-night go-to that offers delicious food and a scene-y vibe (feel free to recreate it at home with your own theatrics). But don’t be fooled by the scene; this is a serious sushi restaurant with serious food, helmed by chef Minoru Ogawa. The delectable sushi shumai, with whitefish, scallion, soy sauce, and vinegar, are an absolute must, as is the delicate negitoro roll, a maki roll filled with fatty tuna belly and scallion. 

sushiko - chuutoro

Sushiko 

In Chevy Chase, Maryland’s Sushiko, which opened in 2007, continues to rank high with locals. Fish is consistently fresh, and the food is delicious. Sushi and sashimi bento boxes are one of the draws when it comes to delivery. They come with miso soup, a seaweed salad, pickled radishes, three pieces of tuna, salmon and yellowtail sashimi, four pieces of chef’s choice nigiri, and a choice of a crunchy spicy tuna roll, salmon avocado roll, blue crab California roll, or crunchy avocado cucumber roll. 

Wok and Roll 

The 21-year-old Wok and Roll in D.C.’s Chinatown is legendary both for its food and its karaoke scene. Combining both Chinese and Japanese offerings, guests can find classics from both cultures, including a compelling Chinese-style barbecue roast pork appetizer and a Japanese-style squid tempura. In the sushi department, specifically, the magnificent Spicy Crunchy Shrimp Roll truly delivers, so don’t skip it. 

poke papa - lomi homi

Poke Papa 

With locations in both Chinatown and Foggy Bottom, this Hawaiian-inflected restaurant offers a window into the soul of poke, the raw fish delicacy attributed to the fish markets of the Hawaiian islands. Although poke is not technically sushi, it deserves a spot on this list (the influence of Japanese culture on the islands has resulted in such culinary bright spots as Spam musubi). At Poke Papa, you’ll find that Spam musubi, as well as a menu dedicated to bowls of fresh fish. Spice addicts should try the Volcano: spicy tuna, jalapeño, cilantro, scallions, cucumber, sesame seeds, and a “molten lava sauce.” Those looking for a walk on the tamer side can opt for the Lomi Homey, salmon marinated with red onion, tomatoes, scallions, sea salt, and fresh lime.

Sushi Keiko 

This Glover Park gem has gone through a number of iterations, most recently when chef Wei Zhang and his wife, Min, sold the space to Ferry Huang in June of 2018. The Butterfly Roll is a standout here: a roll teeming with shrimp tempura, crab stick, and eel topped with avocado, more crab stick, and spicy mayo. The zuke — soy- and sake-marinated tuna — is a luscious way to enjoy this sushi staple. 

Kusshi Sushi 

North Bethesda’s Kusshi Sushi opened in 2018, offering everything from traditional rolls and nigiri to ramen and udon dishes. Feed a crowd of any size at home with an assortment of nigiri and maki rolls you choose yourself, or leave it up to the chefs; Kusshi offers samplers ranging from a 12-piece sashimi sampler to a vegetarian roll sampler to a 108-piece sashimi platter for delivery.

maki bar - sushi combo

Maki Bar 

Maki Bar opened in Bethesda in 2015, and the passion for this sushi restaurant remains. In addition to rolls, noodle entrees, and á la carte options, the restaurant offers a selection of curated sushi entrees, like the Sashimi Deluxe, which includes 20 pieces of sushi: yellowtail, tuna, salmon, white tuna, and red snapper. They also offer an unusual take on a Hawaiian staple, tuna poke, marinated with diced onion and served with avocado and seaweed salad over sushi rice. 

Nobu 

D.C. finally welcomed its own arm of Nobu, chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s acclaimed sushi restaurant, in Georgetown in 2017. The high-end concept continues to draw crowds — and delivery orders. Among the restaurant’s most famous dishes: the yellowtail jalapeño appetizer, six pieces of razor-thin fish topped with yuzu and soy and garnished with jalapeño and cilantro; the black cod miso, a filet of Alaskan fish marinated in a sweet miso; and seared salmon karashi, six pieces of seared Scottish salmon set atop Japanese sweet mustard. 

Umi Japanese Cuisine 

In Woodley Park, this top-rated Japanese restaurant offers guests reliable and delicious sushi and bento boxes for both lunch and dinner. Standouts include the hulking rolls, including the Godzilla roll (shrimp tempura, crab stick, and cream cheese deep-fried and topped with tobiko) and the equally crisp tempura sweet potato roll. Twelve different bento boxes, served at lunch, include a choice of California roll or spring roll, a choice of soup or salad, and an option to add on steamed, brown, or fried rice. 

tono sushi - spicy tuna tempura

Tono Sushi 

Opened in 2020, this Woodley Park spot is known for its no-frills approach to fresh seafood. Rolls are straight to the point, and that’s hardly a bad thing. Expect bracingly delicious food at an approachable price point. The Double Salmon Roll (spicy, crunchy salmon inside and salmon and avocado outside, plus a topping of scallions, sesame seeds, and special sauce) is an example of a concept executed with perfection. Also worth trying: the Osaka’s Fried Oyster, served with a clear broth. 

Nooshi 

With several D.C. outposts, this noodles and sushi restaurant offers up the best of all worlds when it comes to delivery. The menu is nearly overflowing with options, even if sushi doesn’t happen to be your bag. Some great picks: the Singapore stir-fried noodles, the luscious crab meat–filled wontons, the spice-inflected Sichuan Dragon Dumplings, and the Seven Spices Tofu “Fries.” There are tons of rolls to choose from, too, including a roll featuring spicy kimchi tuna — and all rolls can be customized. You can specify whether you prefer the seaweed outside or inside, whether you prefer low-sodium soy or regular, and whether you’d like your roll gluten-free.

Sushi Ogawa 

Chef Minoru Ogawa’s Dupont Circle ode to the practice of sushi, Sushi Ogawa, opened in 2016 and remains among the city’s most serious sushi restaurants with omakase-style service. At home, Sushi Ogawa delivers high-quality selections of its superlative fish, including an outrageous 30-piece assortment (chef’s choice), and fish not often seen at other sushi spots, including Arctic char, oo toro (very fatty tuna), anago (sea eel), and Kona Kampachi amberjack from Hawaii.

sushi oishii - chirashi

Sushi Oishii 

Peter Huang began his long career in the sushi scene in Columbia, Maryland, decades ago, but he opened Sushi Oishii in 2008 and it remains a crown jewel. Known for its sushi, ramen, and udon, the menu is full of delicious surprises: Try the Goo Goo Goo: grilled, seasoned goose liver served with fried tofu and seaweed sprinkles, or the baked mussels, which are served in a creamy tobiko sauce. For sushi lovers, the Fantasy Roll is a dream to look at and to eat. It’s a spicy roll filled with salmon, tuna, shrimp, white tuna, avocado, and crab stick, all wrapped in rice paper; it is served with Sriracha, spicy mayo, wasabi mayo sauce, nuta sauce, tobiko, and scallion. 

Sushi AOI 

This Penn Quarter spot is much beloved, and it’s not hard to see why. With a comprehensive menu that won’t break the bank, AOI delivers exactly what sushi lovers need. The soft-shell crab tempura roll is a crowd fave with avocado, mayo, and masago adding texture and flavor. The Hawaiian roll, with spicy crunchy yellowtail, is another necessary order from this popular spot. 

Sticky Rice - snap crackle pop

Sticky Rice 

Vegetarian, vegan, and traditional sushi meet in harmony at this H Street Corridor restaurant with a young, fresh vibe. The restaurant actually offers at-home sushi-making kits (for fish eaters: spicy tuna, California roll, spicy salmon roll; for vegetarians and vegans: avocado roll, cucumber roll, G.I. Jane roll). There are a host of other exceptional options, too, from lettuce wraps to tofu bites to an entire category dedicated to noodles and rice. 

Perry’s Restaurant 

Open since 1984, this Adams Morgan stalwart is a favorite among locals, both for the food and the vibe. The Japanese menu includes both sushi and yakitori specialities, including tasty bites like chicken thigh yakitori with housemade tare and green tea salt, and shishito pepper kushiyaki with yuzu salt and lemon. The sushi and sashimi platter for two, which includes a veritable seafood feast, is both affordable and delicious — it includes sushi, nigiri, and maki rolls. 

Kaz Sushi Bistro 

Considered a downtown classic, Kaz Sushi Bistro opened its doors in 1999 and remains an unparalleled favorite when it comes to D.C.-area sushi. Chef Kaz Okochi offers a broad selection of options for guests, including omakase menus, ever-changing specials, and more. You can’t go wrong with the restaurant’s signature pieces of nigiri (lobster with wasabi, salmon with mango; tuna with olive). For an understated gift of a dish, try the clam miso soup. 

Yosaku Japanese Restaurant

Tenleytown’s Yosaku opened in 2003, and, nearly two decades later, it continues to draw a crowd. Takahiro Sato’s restaurant offers ocean-fresh seafood and traditional Japanese fare. In addition to sushi, nigiri, and maki, diners can enjoy delicacies like grilled yellowtail jaw, shime saba (marinated mackerel), and grilled fish teriyaki. The California roll, exceptionally, is made with fresh crab meat rather than crab stick, a testament to the restaurant’s reliance on high-quality products. 

Shibuya Eatery 

In the summer of 2020, Adams Morgan welcomed Shibuya Eatery, a casual Japanese restaurant serving skewers, soba, and, yes, sushi. Restaurateur Darren Norris’ most recent venture offers small plates and specialties grilled over binchotan charcoal that reaches 975 degrees. The cold-water lobster tail maki roll comes with cucumber and kimchi. And signature cocktails, like the Teenage Wildlife (vodka, local yellow watermelon juice, elderflower liqueur, and Scarborough bitters), can also be delivered straight to your door. 

Nama Sushi Bar - hamachi tiradito

Nama Sushi Bar 

On K Street, in the City Vista complex, chef Michael Schlow’s casual sushi restaurant — which opened in 2018 — remains a go-to for neighborhood fish lovers. While it’s not sushi per se, the heritage pork gyoza (Japanese-style dumplings filled with pork and served in a pork and truffle broth) should definitely be on your must-try list. So, too, should the vegetarian shiitake mushroom, jalapeño-ponzu, lime, and truffle sushi. For those looking for a more fish-centric experience, dive right into the Florida roll, featuring tuna, avocado, and a regional specialty: Maryland crab. 

PLANTA Queen

This arm of the popular PLANTA brand — a plant-based restaurant serving sushi and much more — opened in 2021 to much acclaim. Fan favorites include the “ahi” watermelon nigiri served with ginger and citrus soya. Mushrooms are cleverly converted into “bacon” in the mushroom bacon inari served with yuzu kosho. And the Dragon roll, made with tempura broccoli, spinach, and spicy unagi sauce, will make you forget that you ever required fish in your maki rolls at all. 

Buredo 

Buredo introduced burrito-size sushi to Franklin Square in 2016 and continues to delight denizens with its hefty rolls. The beautiful Beatrix is a can’t-miss here. It comes stuffed with yellowfin tuna and salmon sashimi, as well as cucumber, pickled cabbage, green onion, tempura sauce, and unagi sauce. For those in need of a little spice and crunch, the Gogo also delivers. Spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber, jicama, cilantro, coconut flakes, tempura crunch, and coconut crema are a perfect marriage. 

Sushi Capitol - sushi special

Sushi Capitol 

You’ll find this intimate sushi spot near Capitol Hill, but don’t discount it due to its tourist-adjacent location. Fish is bracingly fresh, and a slim menu betrays expertly crafted rolls and truly outstanding sushi and sashimi. The Silver Sushi delivery special features seven pieces of sushi — the chef’s choice — plus a choice of one of eight simple but elegant maki rolls. The restaurant’s inventive take on a spicy scallop roll combines a California roll with spicy scallops, with the former on the interior and the latter on the exterior, the ultimate combination of texture and heat. 

Sushi Gakyu 

You’ll find this impressive sushi spot a stone’s throw from the White House, where it has drawn crowds since 2017. The menu here offers something for everyone: traditional maki rolls like the impossibly fresh tuna jalapeño, a long roster of two-piece nigiri sets, and deluxe sashimi platters that will inspire drooling in the true fish lover. There are also jewel-toned chirashi bowls, aburi-style dishes (nigiri that has been seared with a blowtorch), and a handful of salads for those in the mood for something green. 

Author

Hannah Selinger

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