Top 5 Sushi Restaurants

Categories: Top Five

Soma.
With sushi being one of my favorite go-to meals, naming favorites is not an easy task. There are so many things to take into consideration. Are you looking mainly at the freshness of the fish? What about the selection of makizushi? And what about the rice? I tried to take all of these things, along with atmosphere and overall dining experience, into consideration when picking my top 5 favorite sushi places.

5. Crave Sushi
I will admit that Crave can sometimes be hit-or-miss. The deep-fried Philly Roll is an unnecessary variation on a classic. However, when they hit, they really hit. A New York sushi joint that puts a Flamin' Hot Cheeto Roll on an otherwise upscale menu has to make the list. I will happily go to Crave just for this roll, though I also enjoy some of their other more creative endeavors, such as the 4 am Roll with unagi, kiwi, strawberry, and a pomegranate glaze. And you have to love that they offer sushi until 4 a.m. on Saturdays.

raku_pepper_tuna.jpeg
Raku.
4. Osaka
Osaka is always a good choice when you're looking for a quality product at a decent price. It's one of my friends' favorites, and I love the freshness of everything they do. The Crunch Roll is amazing simply for the fact that the sushi roll remains cold despite all the crispy fried bits they pour on top. Osaka is laidback, pleasant and affordable. Plus you get a freebie at the beginning and delicious green tea ice cream for dessert.

3. Soma Sushi
Soma was one of the first places in Houston that really did the trendy sushi thing well. The place is hip and glamorous with a good location, and on top of that the food is actually good. The rolls are top-notch, such as the famed Crazy Irishman, with shrimp tempura wrapped in crabstick with green onion, sesame oil and "soma sauce." The sashimi is also excellent, such as the decidedly decadent beni toro - fresh salmon belly. The selection is plentiful, and I have yet to be disappointed with any of my sushi choices.

2. Sushi Raku
As stunningly chic as this place is, you might expect the food to suffer from over-attention to atmosphere. But that is so not the case. Pepper tuna is one of my favorite "test" dishes - something simple that I like to order to see how well a restaurant can prepare it. I have never been disappointed with the freshness and delicacy of Raku's version. I particularly enjoy it in a salad form with baby greens, sliced grapes, pumpkin seeds and crumbly goat cheese. Their daily special rolls are always exciting and help me avoid the pitfall of ordering the same thing every time. Plus the authentic fresh wasabi and tan pickled ginger are excellent accompaniments.

1. Kata Robata
Executive Chef Manabu "Hori" Horiuchi has been making sushi since he was 18 years old, and you can taste this experience in every bite. Try the scallop with foie gras and you'll see what I mean. Soft, tender scallop mixes beautifully with rich, earthy foie gras for a uniquely decadent taste experience. Even fish-adverse diners can find sushi to love, such as the Pork Belly roll with avocado, egg, and jalapeno teriyaki sauce. The restaurant is modern and elegant, yet simultaneously casual and relaxed, service has yet to fail, and the prices are reasonable, especially considering the quality of the ingredients, which is evident in every bite.



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56 comments
Fff
Fff

Im sorry but the best sushi I've ever had was made by a chef that's Irish. Raku owns.

Rix
Rix

My two cents are AKA Sushi on West Alabama, Nikkos Sushi on Eldridge, Tokyo One (beltway 8), and Kubos at Rice Village are my favorite sushi places so far.

Donovan
Donovan

Did the reviewers travel outside of 610? It seems odd that the only sushi places mentioned are relatively close to each other.

Utgirl0224
Utgirl0224

What about Blue Fish House and Kubo's???? Those are Top 5 in my book for sure

SLC
SLC

Blue Fish House!!

John
John

Ru_for_real - Good sushi does not by definition have to expensive. I agree no one wants cheap low quality fish, but if you want to spend extra money at some over-hyped "hot spot" then go ahead. I've had some very high quality sushi at very reasonable prices. Sounds like you are one of those trendy-sushi eaters. Hope you enjoy paying extra money for a name and not necessarily the ingredients.

Philippe Gaston
Philippe Gaston

Crave?!!!! they dont need to be on any top anything! they mist two great ones, small but very traditional places: Hiro Sushi on i-10 and the hgwy 6, and 2: koto on westheimer and wilcrest! kata #1 for sure though

VG
VG

A friend is a true sushi connoisseur and his favorites are Sushi Jin on Memorial and Kata.

Geri Harris
Geri Harris

I have to tell you guys that one of my favorite things about making these lists is getting your recommendations for new places to try. I appreciate the feedback and keep the suggestions coming!

Hatchetman
Hatchetman

What about the Discount Sushi Emporium?!?!

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

We love Kata and I have to admit, we haven't strayed far to try other places. Especially when Kata has one of the best dry Finger Lakes Rieslings (Dr. Frank) on the wine list! If I'm up at 4 AM on a Saturday, though, sushi is almost never a good idea. :)

tabularazza
tabularazza

oft overlooked: Ginza on San Felipe. It's Japanese run with Japanese sushi chefs. Amply sized pieces and portions. Good stuff.

and Soma? Really!? Bad call. Small pieces, rarely have anything out-of-the-ordinary in stock. And it violates my first rule of a sushi / Japanese restaurant – if it looks like a nightclub or has a DJ spinning at happy hour or on the weekends, go elsewhere

J. Britt Alexander
J. Britt Alexander

... what, no Choo-Choo Sushi? (haha... TOTALLY kidding!) Well done, great Top 5 - and Nippon is a great Hon Mention. - Also, if you ever find yourself down on Eldridge Pkwy just off I-10, Mastu Sushi is a great lil "sushi place that could" spot to try out. Not much bigger than a closet, and terrific sushi!

Nord
Nord

Now, if only we could find out what Keeper Lin is up to in his post-Sushi King days...

eatTX
eatTX

I just love Osaka from the freebies to the service and the value, ie size of sushi for the price, always the best in town!

angrybaker
angrybaker

While I don't necessarily "disagree" with any top 5 list since it's a matter of opinion, I think the author should also differentiate between top 5 sushi roll restaurants and top 5 actual sushi restaurants. The most authentic places I've found in Houston are Miyagi, Teppay, Sasaki and Tokyo Bowl. They all have sushi chefs with decades of experience, classically trained from Tokyo. While none of them match the level of freshness as the sushi and sashimi you'd find in Tsukiji fish market, their attention to detail and presentation are top-notch. They all have excellent authentic Japanese appetizers too.

I love Kata Robata, and I also see the allure of more casual places like Oishii, but they're not exactly reminiscent of the sushi you can find in Japan. That doesn't make them bad at all, I just think "top 5 sushi" is too vague of a description.

Dolordrums
Dolordrums

Weak, to say the least.Reading this makes clear: you're a roll eater, not a sushi or sashimi aficionado.

Mr. Truth
Mr. Truth

AKA sushi, West Alabama just east of Kirby. Great sushi, reasonable prices, and the best sushi happy hour in town.

Fulmer
Fulmer

Not even a mention of Teppay. Get thee to their sushi bar with just haste.

JB
JB

Coco's!

I know it's not for everybody, but I've been going for years, know Mami and Ken, and you can't get a J Roll or a New York Roll anywhere else.

Chuck
Chuck

Seconded on Oishii. Best place for inexpensive sushi that's actually good.

Scarwars
Scarwars

Agree on Kata and Osaka, however, you're missing one of the BEST: Oishii. It may be no frills, but it's damn good.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

No Nippon? No Miyagi? I haz a serious sushi sad. Nippon and Sushi Miyagi are two of the best sushi restaurants in town - and two of the only ones that have Japanese sushi chefs.

Kata definitely deserves that top spot, though.

vext
vext

Yeah, no shit, Kubo's has wasabi between the fish and rice, and Japanese patrons, the 2 things you look for in a #1 sushi joint.

Allison
Allison

Kubo's is pretty damn good!

Tony Valentine
Tony Valentine

That's 1-800-676-5200. Alief DSE is up and running. Maki is killing it.

Chop chop.

houstonfoodie
houstonfoodie

Dude you have no idea what you are talking about with Soma. Check their facebook. Nothing out out of ordinary? They have one of largest selctions of daily exotic fish in Houston besides Kata Robata (sister restaurant btw). Me thinks your so 2008. They were not that good when first opened. The DJ, the clubby atmosphere and the first chef are long gone. The kitchen food is some ofthe best in town. Just check what they are up to these days, your just not right about them now. When they opened you were right on, not so at all now.

Shawshankd
Shawshankd

It's not Japanese run. The owner is Marvin, and he's Chinese. I doubt the chefs are Japanese either.

But the place is good. Bagwell eats there and lives nearby (not sure if that's good or bad).

J. Britt Alexander
J. Britt Alexander

... disagree, she did call it what it was "trendy-sushi" and it is just that. - having been to a ton of these in Miami, NYC and Chicago.. this place is on par with any of those... and good fresh sushi, even with a DeeLite song pumpin' in a LCD colored backdrop.. is still good fresh sushi.

Oh, and Ginza KICKS MUCH ASS !

Thaq
Thaq

I've loved Kaneyama ever since i first went there 4 years ago! Easily MY favorite spot

Allison
Allison

Kaneyama has been a weekly family dinner spot for us for years!

Geri Harris
Geri Harris

Thankyou. I will check out that place out. I think I've seen it, but never been.

Geri Harris
Geri Harris

You make a valid point. I'm just not a fan of long titles ;)

Glendafrk
Glendafrk

yes, but about to close on westheimer.

CrystalChandelier
CrystalChandelier

Reading this makes it clear that you haven't been to Raku :) Best Shashimi in Houston!

Geri Harris
Geri Harris

I do love sushi rolls, but sashimi and I have become recent friends. I did focus more on the rolls for this piece, though.

Geri Harris
Geri Harris

Yes AKA was also on the short list. That is a good one.

Geri Harris
Geri Harris

I do love Oishii. It was a top contender!

H_e_x
H_e_x

Miyakos has them beat.

melissa
melissa

I go to Oishii at least once a week--it's cheap and right next to my office--but I would not say it deserves a spot in the top 5. Top 5 should be reserved for really special sushi -- Oishii is pretty good and the price is right, but really special it's not.

Sushisara
Sushisara

I've heard a lot of people say they've gotten food poisening at Nippon. It was okay. Not the best sushi for the price.

Geri Harris
Geri Harris

You know I have never made it to Nippon, although it's been on my list for some time. I will definitely check it out now!

stacy
stacy

For all the true sushi aficionados here, I would like to let you in on a secret - best sushi in Houston is OTL at Masa's in The Woodlands. Masasan is a fantastic Japanese sushi chef and the fish is the freshest you can find. Best uni I've ever had. Wonderful aji. And the o-toro is indescribable.

Dolordrums
Dolordrums

I think Teppay and Sasaki are both Japanese run places.

Helen
Helen

I always forget about Nippon (and pass it up three times every time I go), but they are excellent. Especially for something more traditional (same for Osaka).

carriebwc
carriebwc

i ate there on tuesday because i was too lazy to drive to kata robata or raku, and was impressed with the list of fish they had that are not normally available at other places. i used to go quite often for happy hour since it is on the way home from work, but the woman who ran the bar left, and it wasn't as fun anymore. i will definitely go back soon to eat more off of their daily specials list.

tabularazza
tabularazza

ok, fair enough. but glad you agree about Ginza

Geri Harris
Geri Harris

I have been very disappointed with Miyako's. They do a good happy hour, but that's about it.

Ru_for_real
Ru_for_real

Sushi for the price? Good sushi is expensive. You get what you pay for. To even mention Crave on the list questions the validity of the article.

Sushisara
Sushisara

Good sushi isn't always expensive. In fact some of the better sushi I've had was rather cheap. Nippon on the other hand is a little more on the pricier end and not very good.

Happy Sashimi
Happy Sashimi

Amen to that. I hate Crave. Their rolls and sushi aren't very good at all.

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