Best sushi in Boston
Boston’s most expensive Japanese restaurant offers a thrilling dining experience comprised of exceptional sushi. Expertly assembled nigiri and sashimi wow with exotic flavors and ingredients like bluefin chutoro with charred Korean longpepper and grapefruit ponzu, Maine lobster legs with white sturgeon caviar and tomalley aïoli, or smoked carrot with ito togarashi, togarashi mayo, and dill. Sommelier Nancy Cushman elevates the cuisine further with an excellent saké list to pair with each dish.
Oishii’s South End location and swank interior suits the luxe sushi served within. High-concept and high-priced, each piece is like a work of art. Toro, hamachi, wagyu — all fish and other ingredients are exceptionally fresh. Creative rolls feature truffle and caviar, microgreens, and delicate sauces. Seared, torched, or tempura fried, you can’t go wrong when your sushi is the hands of Oishii’s highly-skilled chefs.
Uni built its reputation on incredible sashimi offerings, and the sushi menu still shines. Creative sushi rolls like the lobster BLT roll and whitefish taco roll are worth a try. More traditional sashimi and nigiri also feature innovative twists, like sea bream with watermelon aguachile soda, pickled rind, and coconut furikake or striped jack with yellow chive and crispy kale. The saké list is impressive as well, with unfiltered and unpasteurized options.
Cafe Sushi has produced high-quality, reasonably-priced sushi since the 80s. Maki and nigiri are fresh and beautifully assembled, and signature rolls offer something different. Try ceviche maki (tako and shrimp topped with tomato and lime juice), hamachi ssam jang temaki (a handroll of yellowtail, oshinko, iced onion, shiso, korean miso), summer vegetable (marinated eggplant, oshinko, avocado, wasabi oil, grape tomato, balsamic, truffle salt), or oshi-zushi (pressed sushi). After checking out the innovative specials and reasonable prices, you may become one of the loyal regulars too.
This Brookline standby is always packed for good reason. Sit in a booth, a table, the tatami room, or the sushi bar and choose from an extensive menu of standard and creative sushi offerings. Go traditional with rich salmon sashimi, daring with foie gras nigiri (foie gras with spicy daikon radish, scallion, sesame, ponzu sauce), or cute with ladybug maki (spicy seafood salad and sweet potato tempura inside, cherry tomato and black tobiko outside). A menu of cooked appetizers and entrees is available too, for sushi-averse dining companions.
This Downtown Crossing spot — courtesy of the celeb chef Michael Mina — is an elegant spot for impressive, izakaya-style Japanese cuisine, but the high-end sushi menu alone is worth a date-night visit. The sashimi and nigiri list includes more exotic options like horse mackerel, cuttlefish, bigeye tuna, and wagyu beef. Rolls feature the same fresh fish delicately assembled with burdock, kanpyo, ikura, and other quality ingredients.
Basho serves up super fresh sushi in a sleek and modern setting. Make friends at a communal table, eat privately in the “cocoon,” or watch the sushi artists at work at the sushi bar. The sushi offerings are fairly straightforward — traditional sashimi and rolls alongside creative rolls like the Fenway, honoring the neighborhood — but with high-quality ingredients and slick decor, Basho stands out.
Sleek but accessible, the sushi menu at Fuji is refined and innovative. The “Finer Nigiri” section of the menu features composed bites like tuna with mustard ponzu, black truffle, fresh wasabi, and scallions. “Finer Maki” selections include luxurious options like the the Queen’s roll (spicy tuna and popcorn shoots inside, Wagyu beef, caviar, and jalapeno outside) or the Shogun maki (seared calamari, cucumber, scallion inside, uni, ikura, and gold flakes outside, topped with a sweet pepper sauce). For groups, Fuji offers elaborate boats with up to 64 pieces of sashimi, nigiri, and maki.
Combining sushi bar fare with a cocktail lounge vibe, Duozo is a popular date spot. Elegant nooks and sleek lighting set the stage for standout sushi. The sashimi, sushi, and maki menu is straightforward; classic special rolls like the rainbow and the spider don’t disappoint, while unique specials like the Back Bay (asparagus, cucumber, and avocado wrapped with seared tuna) and the Douzo Special (shrimp tempura, seafood salad, tobiko, eel sauce, sriracha, and avocado, wrapped with tuna and soy paper) offer a tasty change of pace.
An affordable, high-quality sushi selection brings people to this Watertown spot. You’ll find both raw and cooked options on the menu of specialty rolls, plus fun creations such as the Patriots roll (egg, avocado, and scallions topped with torched miso salmon and black flying fish roe), the Samba maki (shrimp tempura, papaya, spicy tuna, coconut flake), and the Amazing Black Forest Maki (unagi, sweet potato, black tobiko). The friendly staff make dining in a treat, but takeout and delivery are also available.
For a fun new spin on sushi in a buzzy environment, head to Time Out Market Boston, for gogo ya's crispy nori sushi tacos (filled with everything from grilled Maine lobster and mushroom tempura to torched salmon teriyaki). James Beard Award-winning chef Tim Cushman and his wife, advanced sake Professional Nancy Cushman, are the talents behind one of Boston’s most decorated, and expensive, restaurants: o ya. With gogo ya, the Cushmans have democratized their approach to world-class, Japanese-inspired fare by offering affordable luxury bites full of technique and flavor.
This Seaport stalwart offers specialty nigiri and signature maki with interesting ingredients including marinated chinese celery, Wild Sockeye salmon, and yellow pepper sauce. A highlight for sushi-lovers is the unlimited sushi menu available on Wednesdays starting at 5pm. Get more than your fill of some of the most popular rolls plus some smaller bites from the regular menu. For those who can’t get enough sushi, this is the spot.