Do you love sushi? I do! It’s one of my favorite types of food. Vancouver is a great place to feast on sushi due to its coastal location and access to fresh fish. Besides the fresh fish, the prices can’t be beaten. I always find myself spending a pretty penny everywhere else but in Vancouver, I can feast and still spend under $40 on a great quality sushi meal. Below are some of my favorite Vancouver sushi restaurants!
Sushi Itoga (previously called Sushi Mart) is located near the bottom of Robson Street, near Denman Street in downtown Vancouver. It is close to Stanley Park and English Bay in the West End. It’s a small cafe with one long table and stools. Get cozy with your neighbors! You go up to the counter, order your food, and wait or you grab a premade container with set meals. There is green tea in the thermoses on the tables which you can drink while you wait and during your meal.
The fish here is great quality and they are a partner of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Program, which is a conservation program which educates consumers about local sustainable seafood. I always order the same thing, the chirashi rice bowl (seen below) which is an assortment of sashimi (raw fish) on sushi rice. For my healthy friends, you can also special order brown rice. You can’t really beat the quality and the price. I can’t seem to have a sushi meal in California of this quality without spending, at least, triple the price.
Chirashi bowl from Itoga
My friends, Matt and Michelle, brought me to Hamaei, a small Japanese restaurant in a strip mall in North Vancouver. I don’t always eat on the North Shore of Vancouver but if you happen to be in the area and are hankering for some good Japanese food, Hamaei is a great option. I loved that they had different items on the menu like tempura fiddleheads and maitake mushrooms as well as duck karaage (deep fried). The fish quality was awesome.
I have written about Sushi Hachi before, which is located in Richmond. It’s a very tiny mom and pop owned place so getting a table can be tough. Fish quality is great and the couple is sooooo cute. If you find yourself in Richmond and need a sushi fix, Sushi Hachi is highly recommended.
To see more of this meal, click here.
Okay. Ajisai is probably my favorite Vancouver sushi restaurant in the city. My late parents’ doctor is located next door and they told me about this place when it opened. Being the snob I am, I didn’t really take note till they brought me home some food one day. It’s located in the Kerrisdale neighborhood and I don’t always get out that way unless I have a car. Of course after some time, it became popular and lineups are the norm. My best advice is to go first thing when they open for dinner or late after the dinner rush. I recommend ordering from their specials menu and sitting at the bar.
Cucumber and mayo appetizer
Miso black cod
Sushi plate| Photo credit: K. Goto
Raw Bar at Fairmont Pacific Rim
Raw Bar is a bit spendy but if you are staying at or near the Fairmont Pacific Rim and want some sushi, it’s quality. I stopped in for some sashimi one day and I have to say it was damn good.
Minami which is part of the Aburi Restaurant Group is located in the Yaletown neighborhood. It’s more of an upscale Vancouver sushi restaurant but definitely worth a visit when you want to have a fine Japanese dining experience. If you like drinking sake, they have an extensive list which is curated by a “sommelier” or sake expert. One of their specialties is aburi or flame seared sushi. It is soooo good. Watch the video below to see how their sushi chef prepares it.
*If you are in Toronto, they recently opened a location on Bay Street near the waterfront.*
Salmon oshi sushi
Seafood pasta dish (was on seasonal menu)
I know that some people will wonder why I have left Tojo’s off the list. I have eaten there a handful of times and spent a pretty penny on my meals but I am factoring quality, enjoyment, and price and I find that there are so many places in the city that are better.
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**Many thanks to Minami and Rawbar at Fairmont for their kind invitations. As always opinions stated are my own and I have since eaten and dined at these restaurants.**