Top 10 sushi restaurants in the Twin Cities

Categories: Top 10

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Raw fish lovers have many options in the Twin Cities
The Twin Cities may not be renowned for its fresh seafood, but we do have some respectable options when it comes to sushi. With the Japanese culinary staple becoming more and more ubiquitous, it helps to have an idea of which places consistently offer the freshest, tastiest sushi. A hot dog is often just a hot dog, but there's nothing quite so disappointing as bad sushi. With this in mind, the Hot Dish offers this guide to the top ten sushi restaurants in the metro area.

1) Origami

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Origami in downtown Minneapolis has been the leader in sushi excellence for two decades with its consistently fresh and extensive fish selections, expertly prepared rice, and high quality nori. Owner-chef "Ichi" (Kiminobu Ichikawa) has been keeping a watchful eye over the quality of ingredients since he opened the restaurant in 1991. He uses Tamaki Gold rice, with a sweet aroma and the perfect stickiness for sushi, seasoned with a top-secret vinegar mixture. The quality of nori at Origami is apparent when you bite into a roll: the seaweed wrapping easily dissolves with the rice and the fish in your mouth. Bargain weekday noodle lunches and late-night celebrity sightings round out the package. Who knew Elvis Costello, Tony Hawk, and Al Roker had anything in common? The Ridgedale Mall location is not as star-studded, but just as good.
30 North First Street, Minneapolis. 612.333.8430
12305 Wayzata Blvd, Minnetonka. 952.746.3398
Origami website

2) Masu

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Yet another feather in local restaurant maven and James Beard award-winner Tim Mckee's cap, Northeast Minneapolis' new Masu Sushi offers sashimi and nigiri, plus five types of makizushi, or rolled sushi (thin rolls, fat rolls, rice-on-the-outside rolls, as well as "rolls" made with rice shaped into balls or stuffed into tofu pockets). Masu is the first local Japanese restaurant to source fish with mindfulness toward sustainability. The kitchen doesn't offer the typical sushi restaurant's bluefin tuna or yellowtail--both labeled "avoid" by the Monterey Seafood Watch--and instead replaces them with several fish rarely, if ever, seen on other local sushi menus, such as sardines, striped bass and Arctic char. Masu's sushi prices are fairly reasonable, with the omakase sushi assortment offering the best value (it's available for parties of two or more, for $18 per person).
330 East Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis. 612.332.6278
Masu website

3) Fuji-Ya

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With sushi so fresh you'd think you were in Japan (or at least Hawaii), Fuji-Ya helps us forget just how land-locked we are here in Minnesota. It opened in 1959 and is credited as the Twin Cities' first Japanese restaurant. Hipsters flock to the Uptown location and willingly shed their Chuck Taylors and Frye boots as they enter one of its three private zashiki rooms to dine on sumashi (clear fish broth), kaiso (seaweed), and bulgogi (thinly sliced rib eye). Meanwhile, the downtown St. Paul venue proves that sashimi is the great equalizer--the pre-show choice of Ordway patrons and Wild fans alike. The happy hour is legitimately happy, running "late" until 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday in Minneapolis and Monday through Thursday in St. Paul, with discounts on beer, wine, and sushi, as well as daily sake and martini features.
600 W. Lake St., Minneapolis. 612.871.4055
465 Wabasha St., St. Paul. 651.310.0111

Fuji-Ya website

4) Kikugawa
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Kikugawa remains unchallenged as the Cities' only fine-dining Japanese restaurant where the service and ambiance count as much as the food. With an extensive sake menu, atmospheric location featuring views of the Minneapolis skyline across the river, and authentic Japanese seating with inviting cushions and low tables, dining at Kikugawa is a unique, up-scale experience. Warm hand towels are delivered to the table, and the sushi chefs are always happy to take customized requests. The menu features several sushi platter options, fashioned out of the freshest available slices of fish, vegetables, and roe, arrayed on seasoned rice and served with miso soup. They also occasionally offer an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet for $34.95 that will make you think you've died and gone to sushi heaven.
43 Main St. SE, Minneapolis. 612.378.3006
Kikugawa website

5) Sakura

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Sakura is a sweet restaurant in downtown St. Paul for people with Minnesota lifestyles but Tokyo tendencies. Sushi appears on a simple wooden platter, accompanied by tiny eruptions of wasabi and ginger. The yellowtail and the albacore tuna dissolve on the tongue, and long creamy strips of tamago (egg custard) are heaped on rice that's just sticky enough. The vegetarian selections are the widest in the state. Some of our oldest and most reliable favorites on this newly spiffed-up restaurant include the saba shioyaki (grilled mackerel) and vegetable sushi combo, as well as the vegetable tempura that's at once crisp and grease-free, and whose mushrooms and sweet potatoes, so muted-looking beneath their battery shells, surge with juicy flavor.
350 St. Peter St., St. Paul. 651.224.0185
Sakura website


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10 comments
kiersa
kiersa

Are you kidding?? Chino Latino and Wasabi made this list, but Sushi Fix (BEST in the Twin Cities) and Yumi's didn't? Clearly this writer hasn't a clue. At all.

XIAOYUGUO116
XIAOYUGUO116

I would like to recommend everyone to eat at Fuji-Ya which ranks No.3 because I have enjoyed it. How delicious their sushi is! They are japanese tastes. It is located in Lake Street & Lyndale.

omnipitous
omnipitous

I see a diss for Tiger Sushi down the comments... grr.  Not sure how they rubbed you the wrong way but I'd take a #10 roll from them any day!

 

As far as the original article: Chino Latino?!  That restaurant has NO place in this list.  Having a couple sushi items on the menu does NOT a sushi restaurant make (no matter how good those items may be).  There are a bunch of other sushi places in town that deserve attention before succumbing to this.

 

I've been fairly disappointed with the fish at Fuji-Ya the last few times I've been there but it still deserves a place here (maybe not so high in the list).  Wakame over by Calhoun treated me quite well for my first time there... worth a look.  I was pleasantly surprised by Osaka.  Maybe I just lucked out on being there for Fresh Fish day or something but the Nigiri I had was fantastic (and at half-off everything for lunch a *very small bill).  I could see them being hit or miss day-to-day or location-to-location but I had a great experience there (Bloomington location)

mmmm...sushi
mmmm...sushi

Midori's Floating World Cafe in south Mpls!

sushi restaurant in la
sushi restaurant in la

"Scattered sushi", comes in huge servings with a part of grain at the end with a wide range of different substances such as squid, trout, seafood and spanish mackerel placed decoratively on top. There is also a fermented edition known as, "Narezushi", which goes through a long procedure of being full of sodium, placed in casks and being sapped of all drinking water.

Tamarakabrud
Tamarakabrud

Kyoto in Eagan and Ichiban in downtown Minneapolis have GREAT SUSHI (ichiban is better by a slight bit, but kyoto offers sashimi) and both offer all you can eat. If you want sashimi from kyoto, be sure to remember it is on their dinner menu only.

Niolson
Niolson

Poor Dave G, you haven't a clue when it comes to sushi!

Boom Boom
Boom Boom

Disappointed not to see Yumi's in Excelsior on this list. Definitely the best sushi next to Origami downtown.

Dave
Dave

The top three was good but the list afterward could definitely be subject of heated debate. At least there were no complete WTF choices like Tiger Sushi, Crave or a grocery store.

Dave Gangler
Dave Gangler

I thought this list was quite good.  I'll just add that the Mexican Roll at Crave is my favorite roll in town.

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