Top Sushi Restaurants in Charlotte
Good sushi can be hard to find no matter what city you’re in, but Charlotte has a wealth of options for you to get your fill. Here are a few of our favorites located around the Queen City, guaranteed to satisfy your sushi craving.
by Molly Ruggere
Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood
Akahana has been a Charlotte go-to for sushi since it opened in 2009. The restaurant offers one of the best sushi deals in the Queen City with its BOGO sushi roll deal, and a comfortable ambiance with dim lighting and a variety of booths and tables. In addition to sushi, the menu offers a variety of Asian cuisine including Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese dishes.
Sushi or burgers? At The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, you don’t have to choose. Located near SouthPark Mall, this popular restaurant (where many celebrities and athletes frequent) offers sushi, burgers or a combination of the two in a relaxed setting with original pop-art and an expansive outdoor patio. Check out the “burgushi” section of the menu featuring bento boxes including a mini burger, Thai cucumbers, edamame and a four piece sushi roll of your choice. Or if you’re feeling particularly daring, check out The All-American Bacon Double Cheeseburgooshi. This roll features all-natural beef, two kinds of cheeses, onion and bacon, wrapped in soy paper and potato strings, then flash fried and topped with ketchup, mustard, pickle tomato and Cowfish sauce.
Not only does Deejai Thai have some of the best Thai food in Charlotte, an adorable patio and a casual vibe, it also features traditional and specialty sushi rolls on the menu. Keep it simple with a Rainbow Roll, or if you’re looking for a more filling option, try the Lobster Roll featuring lobster tempura and avocado. Maybe even add an order of Drunken Noodles or Duck Curry because you can.
Koishi offers affordable specialty rolls as well as incredible lunch specials, such as the “Sushi A” which includes an egg roll, salad or soup and two maki rolls for just $9.95. In addition to sushi, this Cotswold staple offers signature Chinese and Japanese entrees all for less than $20, such as steamed seabass, volcano ribeye steak or crab fu-rong.
Looking for fresh and fast sushi? KO Sushi, located in the heart of Uptown, offers takeout and delivery only – perfect for a lunch break or a picnic in Romare Bearden Park right down the street. From vegetarian rolls to sashimi, visitors and locals alike will have plenty of options to choose from.
If you often leave a sushi restaurant feeling like you’re still hungry, Mr. Tokyo is the best place in Charlotte to guarantee you’ll leave full, with its unlimited sushi and hibachi for $13.99 at lunch and $21.99 at dinner (dine-in only). The atmosphere is casual and laid back, the sushi is extra fresh and the service is fast.
There’s usually a wait at New Zealand Cafe, which you can find tucked away between a nail salon and Chinese Food restaurant on Sardis Road, but it’s worth it. The menu is a fusion of eclectic New Zealand fare and Asian cuisine offering everything from New Zealand crispy scallops and shrimp, hibachi meals, bento boxes and sushi. Whether you want to go the traditional route with a maki roll or splurge on a seasonal specialty roll like the H.O.T. roll featuring spicy tuna, cream cheese, crab, and jalapeno, lightly battered tempura with smelt roe, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
Next time you're looking for a lunch spot in Uptown, look no further than Ohana Poké. Nestled into Latta Arcade, this small and unassuming spot packs big flavor. Choose a signature bowl from the menu, or create your own. Pick your size, your base and your poke (choice of marinated sushi or cooked shrimp). Lastly, finish off with toppings and sauce. Although there's no dine-in seating, Romare Bearden Park is directly across the street, making Ohana the perfect picnic date.
Neighborhood: South End
If you’re in the market for an upscale vibe with your sushi, O-Ku, located in South End’s Atherton Mill is a great choice. The menu celebrates authentic Asian cuisine with a Southern twist. If you really want to go all out, try the Omakase, an artistic and creative multi-course tasting with wine or sake pairing (reservation only). If you’d prefer a more budget-friendly option, O-Ku offers half-priced sushi Happy Hour on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m.
If you’re prioritizing fresh sushi at reasonable prices over fancy decor, Ru San’s is a great choice. In addition to starters like soft shell crab tatuta, tonkatu and more, the menu offers noodles, teriyaki meals and an expansive list of specialty rolls with creative names and ingredients like the Selfie Roll, featuring crab salad, shrimp tempura, avocado, tobiko, bluefin tuna, Japanese mayo, crunchy, eel sauce and sprouts. Don’t sleep on the all-you-can-eat sushi and hot buffet at lunch for $12.50.
Build your own bowl or "pokerito" at this hidden gem in LoSo. Choose your base, your proteins, your toppings and your sauce to create your custom poke experience. Not feeling in the mood for fish? Seoul also offers signature bimbimbap bowls that feature bulgogi beef or chicken. Fast service and fresh ingredients? It doesn't get any better than that.
Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood
While Soul Gastrolounge is not considered a dedicated sushi restaurant, the hip spot at the corner of Central and Pecan in Plaza Midwood offers an extensive menu of sushi, nigiri, and sashimi in addition to its variety of small plates and handcrafted cocktails. For newcomers, order the Dynamite Roll featuring spicy tuna or the Red Dragon Roll filled with tempura shrimp.
This spot located in Parktowne Village off of E. Woodlawn Road is best known for their affordable rolls and their lunch specials. Start with fresh basil spring rolls and edamame before diving into a hot bowl of yaki style somen noodles and your favorite specialty roll. Stop by for lunch to check out their two-for-one menu.
Location: South Charlotte
Located in the Arboretum shopping center, Sushiya Japan specializes in hand-cut sushi and classic Japanese dishes. With almost 60 rolls on the extensive menu, you can find plenty of the classics alongside inventive options like the Bojangle’s Roll, which includes deep fried chicken, topped with avocado, masago, scallions, spicy mayo and a sweet glaze.
Neighborhood: South End
Owned by the same team behind Ru San’s, Yamazaru is located in South End just steps away from Sycamore Brewing and other nightlife options in Charlotte. Yamazaru is a stylish, intimate locale for a date night or catch-up with friends. The menu offers specialty rolls ranging from $9-$14, as well as ramen, distinct cocktails, flavored sakes and more.
Neighborhood: The Gold District
Good luck choosing your favorite dish at this ramen and sushi bar in the Gold District of South End. Each dish on the menu is unique and delicious, no matter what your personal tastes are. Warm up with a bowl of steaming hot ramen, share a fresh platter of sushi and sashimi or keep things classic with yakitori. Good for a group or date night, everyone can enjoy the fresh and creative flavors.
Neighborhood: Optimist Park
At Zukku, you can let your creativity blossom by customizing your own sushi roll, burrito or bowl. Only the freshest and highest quality ingredients are available to make your own edible art. Not feeling creative? Choose from their selection of curated specialty dishes.