Best Sushi in Pittsburgh: Your Ultimate Guide

Posted by Bella Wright
sushi in pittsburgh

Sushi – a Japanese dish of prepared vinegared rice, usually with some sugar and salt, accompanied by a variety of ingredients, such as seafood and vegetables. For sushi lovers, it’s a never-ending quest to find the best sushi in any given city. If you’re in Pittsburgh and craving this delectable Japanese cuisine, we’ve got you covered! Dive into our in-depth guide on the best sushi in Pittsburgh and uncover the city’s hidden culinary gems.

Understanding Sushi Culture

The sushi culture in Pittsburgh is diverse and dynamic, mirroring the city’s multicultural heritage. Despite being far from the ocean, Pittsburghers have developed a refined palate for sushi, thanks to the many top-tier Japanese restaurants scattered across the city. These establishments not only serve excellent sushi but also contribute to the spread of Japanese culture and customs.

Pittsburgh’s sushi scene has something for everyone, from traditional sashimi and nigiri to modern fusion rolls with inventive fillings. The city’s sushi enthusiasts range from college students seeking a quick sushi fix to business professionals looking for a sophisticated dining experience.

What to Look for in a Sushi Restaurant

Choosing the right sushi restaurant can make the difference between a memorable sushi experience and an underwhelming one. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a sushi spot:

  • Freshness: As mentioned, freshness is crucial in sushi. Don’t be afraid to ask where the restaurant gets its fish and how often it’s delivered.
  • Variety: A good sushi restaurant will offer a wide variety of sushi types and fillings. Look for an array of options, from sashimi and nigiri to maki and uramaki rolls.
  • Chef’s Skills: A skilled sushi chef can elevate sushi from good to excellent. Note the chef’s technique and presentation. The rice should be delicately packed, the fish expertly sliced, and the presentation should be pleasing to the eye.
  • Ambience: Part of the enjoyment of sushi is the dining experience. Look for restaurants with clean, inviting environments that reflect Japanese aesthetics.
  • Service: Good service is vital in a sushi restaurant. The staff should be knowledgeable, attentive, and willing to explain the menu items.

Best 5 Sushi Restaurants in Pittsburgh

1. Umi Japanese Restaurant

First on our list is the Umi Japanese Restaurant. This acclaimed spot is located in the bustling neighborhood of Shadyside. Known for their exquisite sushi selection, Umi Japanese Restaurant stands out for its traditional sushi and sashimi. Umi’s atmosphere is as stellar as their food, with a beautifully minimalist interior that emphasizes the authentic Japanese dining experience.

Contact Info:

Address: 5849 Ellsworth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Phone Number: (412) 362-6198

Ratings according to Google:
4.7 stars

5 Stars Review:
“I’ve had sushi all over the country and Umi’s is truly top-notch. The fish is fresh, the rolls are inventive, and the service is exceptional. The ambiance is calm and inviting, the perfect place for a romantic date or a special occasion. Don’t miss out on the chef’s special sashimi—it’s a game changer!”

2. Little Tokyo Bistro

Located in the South Side area of Pittsburgh, Little Tokyo Bistro is another great spot for sushi lovers. This establishment serves up a variety of authentic Japanese cuisine, but the sushi is the true standout. Regular customers praise the freshness of the ingredients, the presentation, and the creativity behind the sushi rolls.

Contact Info:

Address: 2122 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone Number: (412) 488-9986

Ratings according to Google:
4.6 stars

5 Stars Review:
“Little Tokyo Bistro is a hidden gem in Pittsburgh. The sushi is always fresh and beautifully prepared. They offer a variety of rolls that cater to every palate. The staff is attentive and warm. Highly recommended for sushi lovers in Pittsburgh.”

3. Sushi Tomo

Our journey in search of the best sushi in Pittsburgh leads us to Sushi Tomo. Located in the North Hills, this sushi spot offers an extensive menu that will surely satisfy all your sushi cravings. The friendly, inviting atmosphere combined with the fantastic sushi selection makes Sushi Tomo a must-visit.

Contact Info:

Address: 4812 McKnight Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Phone Number: (412) 630-8666

Ratings according to Google:
4.5 stars

5 Stars Review:
“Sushi Tomo never disappoints! From the fresh and flavorful sushi to the friendly service, this place is top-notch. The sushi is always fresh and the variety is incredible. They offer a warm, inviting atmosphere. Sushi Tomo is my go-to sushi spot in Pittsburgh.”

4. Nakama Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

Nakama Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar is a modern Japanese restaurant located in the South Side. Nakama offers a blend of hibachi style cooking and sushi. It has an energetic and vibrant atmosphere, perfect for a fun night out with friends.

Contact Info:

Address: 1611 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone Number: (412) 381-6000

Ratings according to Google:
4.4 stars

5 Stars Review:
“Nakama offers a unique blend of high-quality sushi and entertaining hibachi-style cooking. The sushi menu is vast and creative. The service is outstanding and the atmosphere is lively. I had an exceptional dining experience here.”

5. Andy’s Sushi Bar

Last, but certainly not least, on our list is Andy’s Sushi Bar. This sushi spot is located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District. Andy’s Sushi Bar is a small and cozy place, but it’s known for its fresh and flavorful sushi, made with love by Andy himself.

Contact Info:

Address: 1711 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone Number: (412) 709-5248

Ratings according to Google:
4.9 stars

5 Stars Review:
“Andy’s Sushi Bar is the real deal. Andy’s passion for sushi shines in every piece he crafts. The quality of the fish is top-notch and the flavor combinations are exceptional. This place may be small, but it packs a big punch in terms of taste and quality.”

You can also check: 5 Best Kosher Restaurants in Pittsburgh

Importance of Local Fish Sources

When it comes to sushi, the freshness of the fish is paramount. While Pittsburgh is a landlocked city, many top sushi restaurants source their fish from high-quality, sustainable suppliers. These sushi chefs place a premium on freshness, working with vendors who deliver daily, ensuring that the fish served to their customers is as fresh as it can be.

Some Pittsburgh sushi establishments have taken sustainability a step further by prioritizing local fish sources. For instance, trout from Pennsylvania rivers or freshwater eel from nearby sources have found their way into Pittsburgh sushi rolls. Embracing local fish sources not only contributes to sustainability but also gives a unique local flavor to the sushi scene in Pittsburgh.

Exploring the Types of Sushi

Sushi comes in many forms, each offering a unique taste experience. Below are a few types you might find at Pittsburgh’s best sushi spots:

  1. Nigiri: This type of sushi consists of a thin slice of raw fish (or other topping) over a mound of vinegared rice.
  2. Sashimi: This is not sushi per se, but it often appears on sushi menus. It consists of thin slices of raw fish or seafood, served without rice.
  3. Maki: This is what most people think of when they hear sushi. Maki is rolled sushi, with rice and fillings wrapped in seaweed.
  4. Uramaki: This is a “reverse” maki roll, where the rice is on the outside of the seaweed.
  5. Temaki: These are hand-rolled sushi cones, with the seaweed on the outside holding the rice and fillings.

Beyond Sushi: Other Japanese Delights

While sushi is a significant component of Japanese cuisine, it’s far from the only dish. Many sushi restaurants in Pittsburgh also serve a variety of other Japanese foods. Look for dishes like ramen (a type of noodle soup), tempura (lightly battered, fried vegetables or seafood), and teriyaki (meat or fish marinated in a sweet soy sauce). These dishes can be a great accompaniment to your sushi, or a delicious alternative for those less inclined to raw fish.

With this guide, you are fully equipped to navigate the sushi scene in Pittsburgh. Happy sushi hunting!

FAQs for Sushi in Pittsburgh

Where can I find the best sushi in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh is home to numerous high-quality sushi restaurants. Umi Japanese Restaurant, Little Tokyo Bistro, Sushi Tomo, Nakama Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, and Andy’s Sushi Bar are among the top-rated establishments serving the best sushi in Pittsburgh.

Are there any sustainable sushi options in Pittsburgh?

Yes, many sushi restaurants in Pittsburgh source their fish from high-quality, sustainable suppliers. Some also prioritize local fish sources, adding a unique local flavor to their sushi offerings.

What types of sushi are popular in Pittsburgh?

A wide variety of sushi types are popular in Pittsburgh, from traditional sashimi and nigiri to modern fusion maki and uramaki rolls. Each restaurant offers its own unique spin on these classic sushi forms.

What should I look for when choosing a sushi restaurant in Pittsburgh?

When choosing a sushi restaurant in Pittsburgh, consider factors like the freshness and variety of the sushi, the chef’s skills, the ambience of the restaurant, and the quality of the service.

Besides sushi, what other Japanese dishes are popular in Pittsburgh?

Besides sushi, many Japanese restaurants in Pittsburgh also serve popular dishes like ramen, tempura, and teriyaki. These can be great accompaniments to your sushi or delicious alternatives for those less inclined to raw fish.

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