The best sushi in Phoenix, Arizona | Phoenix New Times

The 10 best sushi restaurants in Phoenix

From traditional Japanese preparations to modern twists, the sushi at these Phoenix restaurants stands out.
Shimogamo Japanese Restaurant has long been at the top of the Valley's sushi game.
Shimogamo Japanese Restaurant has long been at the top of the Valley's sushi game. Tirion Boan
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Phoenix's top sushi restaurants fully dispel the misconception about fish in the desert. These spots show that, yes, you can get fresh fish here, and it can be top-notch. When you get a craving for a classic cold bite, or want to impress with a unique and delicious dinner, the Valley's sushi chefs are ready to roll (sorry, not sorry). Here are the 10 best sushi restaurants in Phoenix.

Shimogamo Japanese Restaurant

2051 W. Warner Road, Suite C, Chandler
2320 S. Santan Village Parkway, #104, Gilbert
The original Shimogamo Japanese Restaurant opened in 2003 after Sanae and Yoshio Otomo moved to Arizona from Japan and couldn't find a taste of home in their neighborhood. Their daughter and son-in-law have since taken the reins and continue the restaurant's tradition of serving thick cuts of fresh fish in delicious preparations. For the best sushi experience, sit at the bar and watch the masterful chefs. Order the Truffle Amberjack served with truffle oil and ponzu for a punchy, savory bite. Next, move on to some citrusy options, such as the lemon-tinted Citrus roll or Yuzu Tuna roll. If you're looking for something cooked, the kitchen also serves a full menu of Japanese dishes, including multiple variations of udon noodles. Following the Chandler restaurant's success, the family behind Shimogamo recently has opened a second location in Gilbert.

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The shrimp tempura roll at Hana Japanese Eatery showcases the signature crunch of the tempura batter used throughout the menu.
Tirion Boan

Hana Japanese Eatery

5524 N. Seventh Ave.
Hana Japanese Eatery is an uptown Phoenix classic with a staunch following. Run by James Beard Award-nominated chef Lori Hashimoto, the restaurant serves much more than sushi. Hot dishes from the kitchen include steak, lobster, salmon, chicken katsu and ramen. At the sushi bar, talented chefs craft classic and signature rolls. Try the Volcano roll, which is baked and served hot; the Hana Pride roll, which trades rice for a cucumber wrap; or the Spider roll, filled with tempura soft-shell crab. Also, make sure to check the specials board for seasonal options. Visit this spot once, and you're sure to become a regular. And the friendly staff, who seem to know everyone's names, will make you feel right at home.

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Most of the options at Sushi Nakano are classic rolls. For something a little different, try the hot Raijin roll with deep-fried rice.
Tirion Boan

Sushi Nakano

4025 E. Chandler Blvd.
If you're looking for a casual, tranquil restaurant where you can enjoy simple, fresh sushi, look no further than Sushi Nakano. This small spot offers tables along one wall and, along the other, a sushi bar behind which a line of chefs carefully craft rolls and small bites. The restaurant's slogan is "a traditional Japanese experience" — and it's one that is perfected by chef and owner Leo Nakano. The clean flavors of fresh fish are celebrated in the nigiri and sashimi options, which combined with accents that make them sing in the restaurant's rolls. An unusual bite among the classics is the Raijin roll: squares of hot, deep-fried rice topped with tuna, avocado, seaweed shavings, jalapeno and eel sauce.

click to enlarge Two sushi rolls at Haru Sushi.
At Haru Sushi, the gently sweet rice makes the rolls stand out. Try the Kiss of Fire (top) for a spicy bite that leaves you coming back for more.
Tirion Boan

Haru Sushi

20165 N. 67th Ave. #125, Glendale
It wouldn't be fair to the delicious, fresh fish to say that the best part of Haru Sushi's rolls is the rice. But the grains are exceptional and seasoned with a touch more sweetness than your average sushi rice, perfectly enhancing the rolls that make this West Valley strip mall joint a standout spot. The modern black-and-white interior contrasts with the fun menu items such as the Bluefin Maniac and the Superman Burrito. And this spot is perfect for trying something new. The menu features sections of classic, signature, baked and "BBQ Fusion" rolls, along with nigiri, sashimi, tempura, noodles and cooked entrees. For a bite that will leave you coming back for more, try the Kiss of Fire roll, which is packed with spicy tuna and topped with a slice of serrano chile and a dot of Sriracha on each slice.

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Kuka Sushi is the perfect spot to impress in Tempe.
Tirion Boan

Kuka Sushi & Izakaya

1221 E. Apache Blvd. #103, Tempe
Looking for a date night destination in Tempe? What about a birthday dinner spot? Kuka Sushi & Izakaya has you covered. A little more upscale than many of the surrounding eateries, this restaurant is modern and classy yet manages to maintain a little of the college town fun. Beer tower, anyone? We recommend starting with a bowl of edamame — choose plain, garlic and parmesan or "flaming" hot. Then get your pencils ready to mark up your sushi sheet. The menu is split into the "You already know list," which is filled with the classics, and "Crazy" rolls, which come dressed to impress. The fish is fresh, and the rolls are loaded with toppings ranging from crispy onions to a mountain of Cajun popcorn shrimp.

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Share a couple of the Trio Samplers at Harumi to try a selection of different rolls.
Tirion Boan

Harumi Sushi & Sake

101 N. First Ave.
24681 N. Lake Pleasant Pkwy. #101, Peoria
Downtown sushi staple Harumi Sushi & Sake recently got a major upgrade. The restaurant and bar moved into a gorgeous, massive new home steps away from its former location. But the things that made this a go-to spot — its great value lunch specials and signature purple rice — have stayed the same. If you work downtown, don't miss the lunch combos, which come with two half rolls, a side and miso soup. For those looking to try a variety of flavors, go with the Trio Sampler. This dish includes three half rolls, chosen from a list of six. So mix and match your way to a delicious meal. The rainbow roll is a classic, clean and simple choice, or get a little spicy with the Dynamite roll, topped with spicy tuna, serrano chile, spicy aioli and Sriracha. Those in the West Valley can enjoy the same delicious bites at Harumi's location in Peoria.

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The Baby Langoustine roll at Sandfish Sushi is topped with crispy nuggets of sweet seafood goodness.
Tirion Boan

Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey

4232 N. Seventh Ave.
Situated along Seventh Avenue in the Melrose District, Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey serves fresh fish and tasty cocktails in a gorgeous space. The modern, Scandinavian-meets-California coastal-style spot features concrete and warm-toned wood with a shining, backlit bar. Settle into a leather booth, or snag a stool at the bar and peruse the menu. The concept is a transplant from Palm Springs and the brainchild of chef Engin Onural. His menu infuses Japanese tradition with global flavors, exemplified in dishes such as the Experiment roll, made with snow crab and tuna plus mango, avocado, cucumber and jalapeno. And don't miss out on the Baby Langoustine roll — a treat topped with crisp tempura bites of the small crustatean.
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The Salmon Crunch roll at Yutaka is a favorite.
Sara Crocker

Yutaka Japanese Restaurant

751 E. Bell Road, #9
Tucked into a north Phoenix shopping center, Yutaka is turning out satisfying, playful sushi options along with ramen, teriyaki and stir-fried noodle dishes. Service in this intimate restaurant is efficient and friendly, with staff ready to make a recommendation. Among sushi selections, you’ll find a taut selection of sashimi and nigiri, but Yutaka’s primary offerings are massive sushi rolls. They range from expected offerings such as caterpillar and rainbow rolls to fusion-driven options, including a crisp asparagus and cucumber roll that is topped with pieces of salmon and garlic. And, don’t miss shareable starters such as Yutaka’s Crispy Rice and Spicy Tuna — a delightful riff on the TikTok-famous dish that mixes up temperatures and textures with delicious results.

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Pair fresh fish with a tasty cocktail at Across the Pond.
Chris Malloy

Across the Pond

4236 N. Central Ave., #101
Across the Pond is a chic, intimate sushi spot from the team behind Clever Koi, which sits across the walk from its sibling restaurant in central Phoenix. Across The Pond’s team lets the eatery's exceptional seafood shine as sashimi and nigiri. Selections include tuna, uni and tender salmon belly, along with lightly treated options, such as seared scallops and coffee-cured salmon. The menu also features an ever-rotating list of specials, rolls and raw dishes, including yuzu-marinated ceviche with wonton chips. Pair your sashimi with an excellent craft cocktail, such as the Suntory Sling, which combines its eponymous Japanese whisky, a French herbal liqueur, lemon, lime and “sling syrup,” served over pineapple ice cubes.

click to enlarge Hama Chili dish at Uchi.
Uchi opened in Old Town Scottsdale in February. The signature dish, Hama Chili, features yellowtail, ponzu, Thai chile and orange slices.


3821 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Uchi opened in Old Town Scottsdale in February, quickly coming out of the gates with a well-curated experience and food to match. The restaurant is the brainchild of owner and James Beard Award-winner Tyson Cole, who launched the original outpost of the Japanese restaurant in Austin, Texas, with the aim to create a sushi bar-like experience at every seat. Uchi boasts such splurgy options as fish flown in fresh from Japan’s Toyosu Market or a 10-course omakase. If going a la carte, don’t miss the restaurant’s signature dish, Hama Chili. Yellowtail and orange pieces sit in a pool of ponzu and are topped with slices of Thai chile, microgreens and roe for a bright, well-balanced bite. In addition to sushi, Uchi’s menu also includes hot plates that range from tempura to a tender lamb sirloin crafted exclusively for Scottsdale diners.
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