Akai Sushi, located off Harbord near Spadina, is a hidden gem with a relaxed vibe serving up sushi, apps, udon and a long list of classic, veggie and ‘dragon’ rolls (their version of specialty rolls). Two-piece sushi ranges from $2.99-$5.99, with uni being the most expensive at $7.99, sashimi (three pieces) ranges from $3.99-$8.99 and most rolls are under $9.99 – aside from a handful of specialty rolls that go for between $11.99 and $12.99. Head here for the lunch special, when you can get eight pieces of salmon sushi and four pieces of tuna sushi plus miso soup and salad for $12.99 (other fab options available).
Akai Sushi, 168 Major St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 647 340 3558
Sushi and Bento, located off Dundas St W near University, is a go-to spot for locals – either for the lunch special, which ranges from $10.95-$13.95 depending on which option you order, and served with soup and miso salad (sushi options available) or the well-priced à la carte rolls. Two-piece sushi ranges from $3.95-$5.95; three-piece sashimi goes for between $4.96 and $6.95, and most rolls are under eight bucks except for a few specialty rolls that run between $8.95 and $11.95 alongside a couple of pricey ones at $13.95 and $14.95. The quality of the sushi is great, and the price is always right. Favourites include the red dragon – available on the lunch menu – and the diablo.
Sushi and Bento, 579 King St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 506 0996
Sushi California is one of the best spots for overindulging on sushi – all rolls are under $10.95 with the majority of them being around the $5 range for eight to nine+ pieces; there are even rolls for under $2 here. One-piece sushi and sashimi range from 99 cents to $2.50, and other items like miso soup and gyoza are ridiculously priced (think 99 cents for soup and $2.95 for six dumplings). While the prices are low, the quality of the fish is still spot on, and you’re bound to leave satisfied. Favourites include the black dragon roll, Chicago roll and crunch roll.
Sushi California, 1238 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 658 1238
Kokoro Sushi makes harbourfront eating that much more affordable – with all rolls and maki under $12.95, sushi-goers in the downtown core can order knowing that this place won’t burn a hole in their wallet. There are veggie rolls, spicy rolls, classic rolls and specialty rolls to choose from, all served in generous portions, and other additions like miso soup are well under $5. The only catch is that it’s take-out only, except for minimal patio seating during the warmer months. Note: be sure to keep in mind that it’s cash and debit only.
Kokoro Sushi, 16 Yonge St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 363 9379
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Serving up extremely fresh fish in the way of innovative rolls, Wow Sushi is no doubt worth every penny – and it doesn’t require many. Most rolls are $3-$8, with the most expensive at $10-$12, and sushi is $4-$7 for two pieces (unless you’re splurging for the tuna belly at $12); sashimi ranges a bit on the more expensive side – $6-$10 for four pieces – but the quality makes it well worth the extra dollar or two. Favourites include the dynamite roll, spicy salmon roll, japango roll, torched sea bream sushi and butterfish sushi.
Wow Sushi, 11 Charles St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 923 1888
Sushi Supreme, located near Mount Pleasant and Davisville, is the area’s answer to affordable sushi. The fish is incredibly fresh, so take comfort in knowing you’re not sacrificing quality in search of a sweet price – all of the rolls average $5-$6, with the most expensive (the lobster roll) topping out at $12.95. If you’re dining for two, go for the ‘dinner for two’ for $31, which comes with spring rolls, sashimi and sushi. If you’re ordering solo, the sushi bento box is a great bang for your buck, served with a teriyaki of your choice, two kinds of tempura, soup, salad, rice and five pieces of sushi for $13.75. Other favourites include the rainbow roll, the white dragon roll and the sashimi bronze combination: soup, salad, rice and 18 pieces of sashimi for $13. Now, that is a whole new kind of crazy.
Sushi Supreme, 1995 Yonge St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 544 0777
Another Davisville hot spot, Lola Sushi is a casual joint serving up Japanese and Korean fare under the same roof. Appetizers including soups, salads, sushi pizzas and gyoza are all around the $5 range; two pieces of nigiri are less than $5, and sashimi averages between $5-$6 for three pieces. The specialty maki are even better priced, all between $8-$10 except for the few outlanders like the lobster tempura roll for $10.95, but that’s the most expensive you’ll find on the menu. All diners will get miso soup when they order a roll (an added bonus), and there’s plenty of other options for non-sushi eaters like noodles, bento boxes, Korean dishes and Japanese entrées, which average around $10 or less. Favourite rolls include the rainbow roll, red dragon roll, green snow roll and sunset crab roll.
Lola Sushi, 2070 Yonge St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 932 0290
Gallery Sushi is a casual spot in the heart of downtown for reasonably priced sushi. Specialty rolls are $7.95-$12.95 and include things like the crunch roll, black dragon roll and rainbow roll, but other options like the salmon lover’s roll and twist roll are great additions to the simple menu. Donburi, teriyaki and noodles are available at a great price as well as AYCE for $20.99, a cash-only, take-out special that offers two sushi rolls for $6.25 and a celebrated lunch special that ranges from $7.95-$11.95 (think 11 pieces of sushi or a chirashi bowl for $11.95). Apps go for under $8, sushi $3.50-$4.95, and sashimi for less than $6 for three pieces – beer is quite cheap here as well, staying under $8. What more could one want?
Gallery Sushi, 275 Dundas Street W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 597 2580
Echo Sushi is another midtown spot for satisfying that sushi craving without spending a pretty penny. Sushi goes for around $5, sashimi around $6 for three pieces and the rolls average between $5-$10 – all of which are fresh and delicious. Go for the salmon sashimi, a fan favourite, or the salmon on fire roll – a unique spin on Japanese maki. There’s also AYCE for $23.99 per person for those with a large appetite, as well as sashimi and sushi combos for less than $16.95. Brown rice and veggie options are available as well as udon, bento boxes, teriyaki and a lunch special that can’t be beat – soup, salad, rice and 12 pieces of sashimi for $10.50.
Echo Sushi, 2036 Yonge St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 322 8861
Tokyo Sushi is a hidden gem near University of Toronto, making it a popular spot for students on a budget. Sushi is around $5, sashimi around $6 (three pieces) and rolls go for about $5 for maki and $8-$10 for specialty rolls. This place is casual, but the food is spot on, and the fish is fresh. Head here during lunch to get the most for your money: favourites include the sashimi don for $8.95, the spicy tuna don and chirashi don for $10.95, or the jumbo dragon roll and salmon don for $11.95, all served with miso soup and salad.
Tokyo Sushi, 33 St Joseph St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 513 0002
To-Ne Sushi is Chinatown’s popular spot for cheap, but delicious, sushi. Rolls average around $8, with a few topping out at around $12.95-$14.95 (these are meant for splurging), but maki and veggie rolls are more around the $4-$6 range. Sushi nigiri goes for about $4-$6 and sashimi for $5-$6, except for the expensive toro, or tuna belly. While the prices here range a dollar or two more than others, the quality of the fish is unbeatable at this price. Go for the red dragon roll, tuna volcano roll, rainbow roll or sunshine roll – seared salmon, tobiko and green onion on top of a California roll and drizzled with a special sauce. If you’re going with friends, opt for a sushi combination which ranges from $15.95 to $41.50 depending on the number of pieces.
To-Ne Sushi, 414 Queen St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 866 8200
By Culture Trip Toronto