The Best Japanese And Sushi Restaurants In Philadelphia

Philadelphia City Hall is the largest municipal building in the USA
Philadelphia City Hall is the largest municipal building in the USA | © Roman Babakin / Alamy Stock Photo
James Sawyer

Philadelphia’s dining scene is one of the city’s best-loved attributes, and its scope of restaurants serving Japanese cuisine is no exception. From the chic Morimoto to the laid back Yakitori Boy and Japas Lounge, there is a Japanese restaurant for every occasion. These are 10 of the best in Philadelphia.

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Yakitori Boy and Japas Lounge

Styled as Philadelphia’s first izakaya Yakitori Boy and Japas Lounge is a Japanese-style pub and upscale karaoke lounge geared towards courting after-work drinkers and happy-hour goers and takes evening relaxation one step further with its entire upper floor dedicated to karaoke and featuring eight private karaoke rooms.

Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge

Located in a former Stetson Hat Company store on Sansom Street, a fashionable back alley in central Philadelphia, Raw is a sleek venue for sampling its signature sushi and sake. More than 40 sakes, with most available by the glass, offer a fitting complement to its wide variety of creative and adventurous sushi concoctions.

Gyu-Kaku

Debuting in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Callowhill, Gyu-Kaku brings a pioneering approach to hands-on Japanese cuisine after having experienced success across a number of other American cities. Serving yakinuku cuisine, Gyu-Kaku’s speciality involves ordering raw seafood, veggies and meats marinated according to the customer’s wishes. Diners then take the matter into their own hands, grilling the choice cuts to taste on miniature grills inserted into each of the tables.

Morimoto

Indisputably Philadelphia’s most fashionable Japanese dining establishment, few restaurants besides Morimoto can boast Ralph Lauren-designed cookware. Beyond stylish cookware, visitors to Morimoto can appreciate the impeccably styled, sleek and undulating interior of the restaurant while dining on chef Morimoto’s Japanese-centric fusion food.

Osaka

With two locations in northwest Philadelphia, one in the picturesque and affluent Chestnut Hill neighborhood and the other in historic Lansdale, Osaka is worth the trek for diners looking to experience one of the city’s best hibachi grills. With a menu that combines both Eastern and Western influences, authentic Japanese dishes including an extensive selection of sushi, sashimi and nigiri are available alongside options such as filet mignon, lobster and shrimp.

Zama

Zama Interior | Courtesy Zama
Zama is central Philadelphia’s go-to location for sushi and features more than 30 a la carte sashimi options, an extensive selection of maki rolls and vegetarian options. Options include the bibou roll and the Philadelphia, served with premier Japanese beef and provolone; a Japanese take on the Philly cheesesteak.

Doma Japanese Restaurant

Adding to Philadelphia’s already formidable roster of sushi bars is Doma Japanese Restaurant, a Japanese and Korean-inspired ‘bring your own booze’ venue located off Logan Square in Callowhill. Doma’s Korean sensibility in the use of spices brings an exciting new twist to classic Japanese sushi rolls. Likewise, Doma’s innovative fusion of sashimi and egg yolk make for a decadent option to compliment the typically lean sushi platter.

Vic Sushi Bar

Vic Sushi Bar may have a lot of neighborhood competition due to its location near Rittenhouse Square, but this seafood joint remains unbeatable in terms of price and fortunately, its affordable food does not compromise the quality of its sushi. Popular choices are the rock-bottom priced three roll special, featuring a variety of rolls which can be mixed and matched, as well as dumplings with a sushi-grade tuna exterior and creamy avocado filling.

Shiroi Hana

Located in the theatre district of Philadelphia’s Centre City, Shiroi Hana offers a down-to-earth, uncomplicated approach to traditional Japanese cuisine which is sure to please purists. Steering clear of all-too-common fusion approaches, Shiroi Hana believes that Japanese food should remain simple in order to bring out the natural flavours and textures of fine ingredients. Shiroi Hana naturally excels in sushi, bringing the quality of fish to the forefront of any dining experience. Fortunately, Shiroi Hana has forgone purist Japanese fare when it comes to dessert as demonstrated by its popular fried ice cream which is not to be missed.

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