Best Sushi in Raleigh NC: Reviewed By A Native

This Article Was Updated On January 27, 2024

Sushi is a popular restaurant choices in the Raleigh area and we have seen multiple new restaurants enter the area over the past few years. No matter what type of sushi you are craving, you will be able to find the perfect place for you in the Triangle. Raleigh is known for its beautiful array of diverse restaurants and has many award winning sushi restaurants. Sushi is so popular in Raleigh that it got featured on our Best Restaurants in Raleigh article! But in this article the We Raleigh Magazine team have compiled our top 10 favorite sushi restaurants in the Triangle after testing over 50 restaurants and a combined 100+ years of Raleigh living experience!

10 Best Sushi Restaurants in Raleigh

Although there are dozens of incredible sushi restaurants in the Triangle, the team here at We Raleigh Magazine have attempted to compile a list of our top 10 favorite sushi restaurants in Raleigh. This will be a live list that we continue to add and adjust as we attempt to review every single asian restaurant in the area!

But let’s jump straight into our list of our top 10 favorite sushi restaurants in Oak City:

1. City Market Sushi

315 Blake St, Raleigh, NC 27601

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City Market Sushi Overview

City Market Sushi, nestled in Raleigh’s historic City Market area, provides a delightful blend of traditional and innovative sushi. This sushi bar, known for its intimate setting, offers a modern and stylish ambiance. The restaurant has received high praise for its fresh and delicious sushi, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

What Makes Them Special?

City Market Sushi is renowned for its exquisite sushi rolls and a selection of Japanese dishes. Their menu includes favorites like green tea crème brûlée, edamame, gyoza, and a variety of creatively crafted sushi rolls. The restaurant’s focus on quality ingredients and artistic presentation sets it apart, offering a unique dining experience.

My Favorite Part About City Market Sushi

The charm of City Market Sushi lies in its fusion of cozy atmosphere with high-quality sushi. The restaurant provides a perfect setting for a relaxed dining experience. Their diverse menu, especially the creatively presented bento boxes, showcases their commitment to both taste and aesthetics. The garlic edamame and the spicy tuna rolls are particularly noteworthy for their flavors.

2. Sono Sushi & Japanese Restaurant

319 Fayetteville St #101, Raleigh, NC 27601

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Sono Sushi is one of the most well known and well loved sushi restaurants in the Raleigh area. It is located right in the middle of Downtown Raleigh on Fayetteville street and is conveniently located near Red Hat and Red Hat amphitheater which makes it a great place to dine before a concert. Sono is known for its wide variety of different sushi offerings but also offers other traditional Japanese menu items such as Hibachi chicken or shrimp fried rice. We highly recommend their speciality sushi rolls!

Sono Sushi Overview

Sono Sushi, a gem nestled in downtown Raleigh’s Hudson condo building on Fayetteville Street, stands out with its contemporary and colorful ambiance. Established in 2008, it has since crafted a spotless and organized environment, offering a rich and soulful atmosphere through its diverse team of leaders. This spot is perfect for those who enjoy a vibrant interior coupled with impeccable service.

What Makes Them Special?

The specialty of Sono Sushi lies in its extensive menu that includes a variety of Japanese delights. Notable mentions are their Miso Soup, Edamame, Gyoza, Firecracker Shrimp, Grilled-Octopus, and an impressive array of sushi and sashimi options, including the Spicy Tuna & Avocado Roll. The restaurant is known for its fresh and exotic fusion dishes, making it a must-visit for sushi aficionados.

My Favorite Part About Sono Sushi

What truly captivates me about Sono Sushi is the combination of its vibrant atmosphere and the quality of its sushi. The specialty rolls are a standout, providing a unique twist on traditional sushi. Each dish is presented beautifully, reflecting the care and precision that goes into their preparation. Additionally, the attentive service adds to the overall dining experience, making each visit memorable.

3. Sushi Blues

301 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27603

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Sushi Blues is located on Glenwood South in Downtown Raleigh and has quickly become one of the most popular sushi spots in all of North Carolina. They offer a buy a roll, get one free deal that is amazing! Their speciality rolls are each unique and named after different unique pieces of Raleigh history. Sushi Blues provides a wide range of different types of sushi and their outdoor sitting area is incredibly popular during nice weather or to watch sporting events. If you are looking for a sushi spot for a large group of people then we highly recommend Sushi Blues as you can share a huge platter of different sushi rolls.

Sushi Blues Overview

Located in the heart of Raleigh, Sushi Blues has been a local favorite since 1999. Known for its lively atmosphere, the restaurant offers a unique dining experience combining great music and exceptional cuisine. Their spacious and comfortable interior, along with an outdoor dining option, makes it a versatile spot for various occasions. They also welcome dogs on their patio, adding to the laid-back and inclusive vibe of the place.

What Makes Them Special?

Sushi Blues stands out for its diverse and creative sushi offerings. The menu features a wide range of dishes including Teriyaki, Tempura, Stir-Fry, Katsu, Noodles, Sashimi, and an array of inventive sushi rolls like the Crazy Sammy and the Tanzana. They also cater to vegetarians with options like the Big Count Basie and the Billie Holiday rolls. Complementing the food, they have an impressive selection of wines and a variety of imported and domestic beers.

My Favorite Part About Sushi Blues

What I particularly enjoy about Sushi Blues is their ability to combine a great culinary experience with a fun and relaxing atmosphere. The patio is a perfect spot for enjoying sushi on a nice day, and the inventive names of their sushi rolls add a playful touch to the dining experience. Their BOGO sushi roll specials and drink offers are also a highlight, making it a great spot for a casual yet flavorful meal.

4. The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

4208 Six Forks Rd Ste 100, Raleigh, NC 27609

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The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar is located in North Hills shopping center and is a crowd favorite for their unique combination of sushi and burgers. The entire atmosphere of the restaurant is fun and unique and is located in the beautiful North Hills area of Raleigh. Cowfish is a great option for those who are looking for high quality sushi but are dining with family or friends who don’t necessarily like sushi. This means you can order sushi and they can order a burger or other type of food. It is a perfect combination for everyone!

Cowfish Overview

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, established in 2013, is a unique and delightful gastronomic adventure in Raleigh. This restaurant is known for its innovative fusion of sushi and burgers, aptly named “Burgushi”. The Cowfish offers a great variety of gourmet burgers, sushi, and fusion combinations, making it an ideal spot for those who enjoy a bit of creativity in their dining experience. Alongside their food, they offer a fine selection of beers, spirits, and hand-spun milkshakes.

What Makes Them Special?

The Cowfish stands out with its unique concept of combining sushi and burgers. Their menu is filled with exciting options like the Texas Crunch Burger and various sushi creations. They also cater to different dietary needs, providing vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. This makes the Cowfish not only innovative in its culinary offerings but also inclusive and accommodating to all guests.

My Favorite Part About Cowfish

My favorite aspect of The Cowfish is the sheer creativity and quality of their food. Their fusion dishes, like the Burgushi, offer a unique taste experience that blends different culinary traditions in an exciting way. The atmosphere is lively and the staff is known for their friendliness and professionalism, enhancing the overall dining experience. The Cowfish is more than just a restaurant; it’s a place where culinary boundaries are pushed, making it a must-visit destination in Raleigh.

5. Ajisai Japanese Fusion

427 Woodburn Rd, Raleigh, NC 27605

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ajisai sushi

Ajisai Japanese Fusion Overview

Ajisai Japanese Fusion, located in Cameron Village in Raleigh, NC, is a standout for its modern decor and intimate full bar. The restaurant is known for serving a wide selection of the finest and freshest fish in the Triangle Area. This place offers a unique dining experience with a focus on innovative sushi and Japanese dishes.

What Makes Them Special?

What makes Ajisai Japanese Fusion special is its commitment to freshness and innovation in its sushi and Japanese cuisine. The restaurant offers an array of creative sushi rolls and dishes that cater to both traditional and modern tastes. Its location in Cameron Village adds to its charm, providing a chic and contemporary atmosphere.

My Favorite Part About Them

My favorite aspect of Ajisai Japanese Fusion is the combination of its upscale, modern setting with the high-quality, fresh sushi it serves. The restaurant’s atmosphere is perfect for special occasions or a romantic dinner. The innovative approach to sushi and Japanese fusion cuisine makes every dining experience here memorable.

6. Waraji Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar

5910-147 Duraleigh Rd, Raleigh, NC 27612

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Waraji Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar Overview

Waraji Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, located in northwest Raleigh, is celebrated for having some of the freshest and best sushi in the Triangle area. Established in 1997 by Chef Masatoshi Tsujimura, Waraji boasts an extensive selection of sushi, sashimi, and authentic Japanese cuisine. The restaurant also takes pride in having the largest Sake selection in the Carolinas, offering a comprehensive dining experience.

What Makes Them Special?

Waraji Japanese Restaurant stands out due to its authenticity and commitment to quality. Chef Masa’s passion for delivering the highest quality of authentic Japanese cuisine is evident in the restaurant’s menu and presentation. Their extensive menu, featuring a wide array of sushi and sashimi options, caters to both traditional and adventurous palates. The restaurant also provides a unique selection of Japanese microbrewery rice-based beers.

My Favorite Part About Waraji Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar

One of the most commendable aspects of Waraji is its dedication to maintaining authenticity in Japanese cuisine. The restaurant’s atmosphere, combined with its high-quality sushi and Japanese dishes, creates a memorable dining experience. Reviews also highlight the restaurant’s consistency in quality and service, making it a go-to spot for sushi lovers.

7. Sushi Mon

3800 Glenwood Ave #100, Raleigh, NC 27612

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Sushi Mon Overview

Sushi Mon, situated in the Glenwood Place development near Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, offers a cozy and modern Japanese dining experience. Chef Chris, the mastermind behind Sushi Mon, presents a tightly curated menu that balances traditional sushi with creative fusion dishes.

What Makes Them Special?

Sushi Mon distinguishes itself with its premium selection of sushi and sashimi, focusing on the freshness and quality of fish. The restaurant’s specialties include unique dishes like rock salt seared salmon, mother’s miso soup, and an eel bun featuring seared unagi with a marinade and pickles in a soft steamed bao bun. Their Mon Bento and Nigiri Omakase are particularly noteworthy for their variety and presentation.

My Favorite Part About Sushi Mon

The intimate and trendy atmosphere of Sushi Mon, combined with its meticulously prepared sushi, makes it a delightful spot for sushi enthusiasts. The restaurant’s commitment to freshness and the culinary skill evident in dishes like the Mother’s miso soup and the Nigiri Omakase sampler set it apart as a top destination for sushi in Raleigh.

8. Hako Sushi

2603 Glenwood Ave #155, Raleigh, NC 27608

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hako sushi

Hako Sushi Overview

Hako Sushi, nestled in a cozy corner of a shopping center off Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh, offers a welcoming dining experience with its Japanese cuisine and sushi offerings. This neighborhood gem, while somewhat hidden, is known for its inviting atmosphere and diverse menu that includes both sushi and cooked dishes.

What Makes Them Special?

Hako Sushi’s appeal lies in its wide variety of sushi rolls, including vegetarian options, and cooked Japanese dishes like the seafood clay pot. Customers appreciate the quality of the food, with favorites including the spicy tuna roll, bagel roll, and eel avocado roll. The restaurant’s intimate setting and friendly service contribute to its charm.

My Favorite Part About Hako Sushi

Hako Sushi’s cozy and intimate atmosphere makes it an ideal spot for a relaxed dining experience. The restaurant’s commitment to serving fresh and tasty sushi, along with a variety of cooked Japanese dishes, caters to a wide range of tastes. The seaweed salad, in particular, is noted for its unique texture and is a must-try for health-conscious diners​.

9. O-Ku Sushi

411 W Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27603

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O-Ku Overview

O-Ku, located in Raleigh’s Depot Historic District, offers a high-end dining experience focusing on authentic Asian cuisine with unique ingredients and sophisticated presentations. Known for its elegant atmosphere and attentive service, O-Ku has become a popular destination for those seeking an upscale sushi dining experience.

What Makes Them Special?

O-Ku stands out for its fresh and innovative take on traditional Japanese sushi and cuisine. The restaurant’s menu features a wide range of sushi specialties, including signature rolls like the O-Ku Rock Shrimp, Tsunami Roll, and their signature Rainbow Roll. The menu items are prepared with the freshest fish sourced from markets around the world, as well as local sustainable ingredients, ensuring a unique and high-quality dining experience.

My Favorite Part About O-Ku

The atmosphere at O-Ku is a blend of classy and intimate, making it an excellent choice for special occasions or a sophisticated night out. The quality of their dishes, particularly the sushi rolls and dumplings, receives high praise from patrons. The service is noted for being quick, polite, and informative, adding to the overall quality of the dining experience. Their cocktails, especially the Shogun, complement the meal perfectly, enhancing the overall culinary journey at O-Ku.

10. Sushi-Thai Raleigh

2434 Wycliff Rd, Raleigh, NC 27607

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raleigh sushi thai

Sushi-Thai Overview

Sushi-Thai Raleigh, located on Wycliff Road, offers a unique blend of Japanese and Thai cuisines. This restaurant is known for its variety, offering both sushi and Thai dishes. The ambiance is casual and welcoming, making it a good choice for both families and individuals looking for a relaxed dining experience.

What Makes Them Special?

The special appeal of Sushi-Thai Raleigh lies in its diverse menu that caters to various tastes. Customers have a range of options from crab wontons and Thai curry to hibachi and sushi. The restaurant is particularly noted for its BOGO sushi rolls, which are a hit among patrons. Their ability to offer a mix of Japanese and Thai cuisines under one roof sets them apart in Raleigh’s culinary scene.

My Favorite Part About Sushi-Thai

What stands out about Sushi-Thai Raleigh is its ability to consistently deliver quality dishes across two diverse cuisines. The restaurant’s casual atmosphere combined with its broad menu selection makes it a versatile dining spot. The positive reviews about their sushi and Thai dishes, particularly their fresh and well-prepared entrees, highlight their commitment to quality. The restaurant’s environment is also praised for being well-decorated and comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sushi Restaurants In Raleigh

Below are a few of the most frequently asked questions about picking a sushi restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina. If you have any additional questions then please reach out to our team and we will answer your question as soon as possible!

1. What makes Raleigh a great destination for sushi lovers?

Raleigh has established itself as a haven for sushi enthusiasts due to its diverse culinary scene that embraces both traditional and innovative sushi preparations. The city’s proximity to fresh seafood sources and its growing community of skilled sushi chefs contribute to a vibrant sushi dining experience. This blend of traditional methods with creative culinary approaches ensures that sushi lovers can enjoy a variety of high-quality options.

2. Are there any unique sushi experiences in Raleigh?

Yes, Raleigh offers several unique sushi dining experiences. For instance, some restaurants, like Sono Sushi, combine traditional Japanese techniques with local ingredients, while places like The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar offer a novel fusion of sushi and burgers. Additionally, many sushi spots in Raleigh offer special dining experiences like chef’s table or omakase, where the chef selects and prepares sushi right in front of you.

3. Can I find authentic Japanese sushi in Raleigh?

Absolutely. Raleigh is home to several restaurants that offer authentic Japanese sushi, emphasizing traditional sushi-making techniques and fresh, high-quality ingredients. Waraji Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, for example, is well-known for its authentic approach and has been a staple for traditional sushi in Raleigh for many years.

4. What are some popular sushi rolls to try in Raleigh?

In Raleigh, popular sushi rolls include the Spicy Tuna Roll from Sushi Mon, the Tsunami Roll from O-Ku, and the Tiger Roll from Hako Sushi. These rolls are not only favorites among locals but also showcase the creativity and diversity of Raleigh’s sushi offerings.

5. Are there good options for vegetarian or vegan sushi in Raleigh?

Yes, Raleigh’s sushi scene is inclusive of dietary preferences, including vegetarian and vegan options. Many sushi restaurants offer a range of vegetarian rolls, nigiri made with vegetables or tofu, and other plant-based options. Restaurants like Sushi Blues are known for their inventive vegetarian sushi rolls, making it a suitable choice for those following a plant-based diet.

Andrew Ehlert

Andrew Ehlert

Andrew has lived in Raleigh, North Carolina for over 20 years and loves to explore everything that the city has to offer. From reviewing local businesses and restaurants, exploring the Raleigh art scene, or staying up to date with local news, Andrew is always connected with the community. Andrew strives to provide We Raleigh Magazine with the best reviews and news directly from the mind of a local!