Top 10 sushi restaurants in the Twin Cities
Sushi lovers who are also penny-pinchers who also party hard have one clear destination in Minneapolis: Wasabi Fusion Cuisine. One of the few restaurants on Washington Avenue with a parking lot, the dining area is enclosed within a beautiful, temple-like space of soaring ceilings and sturdy 19th-century rafters. Beyond that, all its strengths lie in wicked strong drinks, cold beers, and big, big value: A party platter for four (or more) runs $65, for instance. At lunch, three big sushi rolls and a bowl of miso soup cost what a single roll does at most rival restaurants. Wasabi's unlikely to be the first choice for sushi snobs, but if you're sick of picking up astronomical tabs at those sushi snob birthday parties, welcome to your new favorite restaurant.
903 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis. 612.339.6688
7) Seven Sushi Ultralounge and Skybar
There's a little bit of Las Vegas on Hennepin Avenue at the Seven Sushi Lounge, upstairs from Seven the Steakhouse. The lights are low, the house music incessant, and the stylish crowd is more mature and more moneyed than the rest of the downtown nightlife scene. The sushi and sashimi range from pure ruby blocks of raw toro to smorgasbord-style maki. The sheer scope of the sushi menu earns Seven a spot on the list, with nine chef's-specialty rolls available in addition to the 20+ standard rolls on the menu, not to mention the seven platter options for multiple diners. Prices reflect the downtown hot-spot vibe, and the rooftop deck, or Skybar, is one of the hottest perches in town during warm weather.
700 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis. 612.238.7770
Seven Sushi Ultralounge website
It seems counterintuitive to have a family-run restaurant with all the chic trappings of urban cool, yet here it is. Nami opened in 2002 in an elegantly renovated warehouse in downtown Minneapolis with a Japanese sushi chef lured from Los Angeles, a thumping sound system, and an enormous bar full of beautiful people. And yet it seems like there's always a member of the Choi family somewhere on the scene. The sushi is as good as any in town, but the restaurant really distinguishes itself with budget pricing, an amazing piece of "butterfish" (miso-marinated black cod), and ambiance that's chic and airy enough to support fancy dates, business lunches, and martini-soaked birthday parties.
251 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis. 612.333.1999
9) Chino Latino
If you're a hot enough country, you're cool enough to have your cuisine represented at Uptown's red-hot Chino Latino--Mexico, Thailand, Jamaica, Polynesia, Korea, take a bow, you're in! And if you're hot enough to sip powerful, fruity, yummy drinks in a dazzling sort of red-toned Blade Runner sequel of a restaurant, look no further than this two-level style palace. The extensive menu, which features flavors from wide-ranging cultures and cuisines, makes Chino Latino a great destination for groups that include people who have yet to succumb to the allure of raw fish. Sushi lovers can choose from creative, ambitious options like the Chipotle Salmon Roll or the fiery Wasabi Tuna Drano Balls, while those who like their food fully cooked have no shortage of choices on the rest of the epic, sassy menu.
2916 Hennepin Avenue S., Minneapolis. 612.824.7878
Chino Latino website
10) Sushi Tango
Ever since Teng "Tengo" Thao, a Hmong native with an impish, contagious sense of fun, began making the counter at Origami not just a place for great food, but a place for bar-pounding fun, a devoted cult has followed him and his sideman Sefu as they blazed an award-strewn trail through all the best sushi bars in town. When he opened this little spot on the second floor of Calhoun Square, the little cult breathed a collective sigh of relief, so exhausted were they from having to keep track of Tengo's comings and goings. Why the cult status? Scrupulously fresh fish; extravagant, even overblown, sometimes hilarious rolls; and a joint-is-jumping sushi-bar atmosphere with jokes, drinks, more jokes, more drinks, and fish fish fish. With locations in Uptown and Woodbury, urbanites and suburbanites alike have access to some of the most raucous sushi in the state.
3001 Hennepin Avenue S., Minneapolis. 612.822.7787
8362 Tamarack Village, Woodbury. 651.578.0064
Sushi Tango website
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