Japan put raw fish on the culinary map. However, you can now find sushi across the world, from South America to Northern Europe, and even deep in the heart of Texas. From casual dives to high-class dining, Austinites are no strangers to sushi and even have some award-winning chefs slicing up slivers of unadulterated fish for their dining pleasure. With places offering your classic sashimi or a full-on omakase menu, you will have no trouble finding a great sushi joint in Austin.
Once a food truck, this sushi restaurant has grown up to be one of the top sushi destinations in the city. Although the spot is itty-bitty, chef Otto Phan’s food is so delicious and well-paired, you’ll feel as if you’re eating art. In fact, Kyōten Sushiko approaches sushi as a discipline that includes three core values: purity, harmony, and balance. At the end of the day, that is the essence of sushi: a harmonious balance between fish and rice.
If you want sushi and a party, head over to DK Sushi. Part Japanese market, part sushi restaurant, this place is all about fun. Head over on a Thursday to enjoy some top-quality sushi while you watch stand-up comedy and karaoke.
For years, Mushashino was located off a limited-access highway in North Austin. Recently, however, it moved to a more convenient downtown location, where it still serves up its delicately crafted Tokyo-style sushi. Although it’s in a new spot, Mushashino rarely disappoints.
You don’t need a reason to eat at the Lucky Robot, other than because you want to have a good time. Besides great sushi, the Lucky Robot has an extensive sake menu that taste even better while you sit on one of the swinging chairs that dangles from the ceiling.
This Japanese izakaya-style (pub) restaurant, where drinking and dining go hand-in-hand and relaxing is the point, was created by longtime Austin sushi chef Kazu Fukumoto. You can expect cuts of yellowtail, buttery salmon belly, and delicate fatty bluefin tuna that are expertly produced. In addition, they have excellent yakitori (with offal cuts, like chicken hearts) and fried tempuras. Celebrate your good fortune with about 20 different sake options and a nice selection of Japanese beer.
Now in a new location, Komé is bigger, but just as good. Its fish-themed interior décor foreshadows the delicious options that await you on the menu. This casual and comfortable restaurant and its Japanese-style interior add to the overall dining experience. As for the food, Komé’s Hakata ramen received an endorsement from Top Chef contestant Paul Qui in a 2011 article by Condé Nast Traveler. Try another Komé favorite off the lunch menu: chirashi-sushi, complete with tuna, salmon, and striped bass, and complemented by wasabi. This delicious option is rolled to perfection at the hands of Komé’s experienced chefs. Try everything, from traditional nigiri to unconventional Austin-esque rolls.
At first, this spot may appear to be just another hole-in-the wall in East Austin, but Mongers perfectly blends Southern-style, the East Coast, and Japanese food. Although it’s not exactly a sushi restaurant, this fish kitchen is staffed by sushi-trained chefs from around the city. Therefore, you’ll find plenty of Gulf seafood offerings and the best sashimi raw bars in the city. You don’t want to miss out on Mongers.
From chef Tyson Cole comes Uchi, a sophisticated sushi restaurant located on South Lamar near Zilker Park. Uchi has a menu featuring daily specials, an everyday sushi and sashimi menu, and a hot and cold tasting menu, comprised of creative and innovative Japanese dishes. Prices are relatively high, but don’t let that deter you; Uchi’s food is fantastic and worth every cent. Uchiko, an offshoot of Uchi on North Lamar, offers similar fare. Uchiko has everything you love about Uchi, in addition to a stellar happy hour and cheaper prices.
When you want sushi, but you’re on a grocery-store budget, Sushi Junai is where you should go. This spot offers a $20 all-you-can-eat sushi feast. The only downside is the time it takes the chefs to make all the rolls. So make sure that you order at least a dozen to start with. When this place gets packed, it can take a while to get served and you don’t want to waste any time that could be spent eating sushi.