Best Sushi in Boston
BEST SUSHI IN BOSTON
The Best Sushi in Boston can be found in two types of sushi places. One is the high end expensive sushi restaurant that you frequent to appreciate the quality of the fish, the techniques of the sushi master and the beauty of the presentation. The other is affordable and probably conveniently located. Because a sushi restaurant is affordable doesn’t mean they are serving subpar sushi, but the meal is probably not all that memorable.
So let’s start with the high end Sushi restaurants. These include O Ya, Uni, Fuji at Ink Block, Oishii and Pabu. You cannot go wrong with any of these restaurants. Each one will offer the freshest ingredients made into innovative and unique dishes. The dishes will be presented beautifully with as much care being taken for the aesthetics of the dish as for the taste of the dish.
These restaurants all offer an Omakase that will be a once in a lifetime experience for most people. And the non-sushi menu can offer real Wagyu beef, robatayaki (skewers), full raw bars and more. These restaurants will probably have a sophisticated sake and beverage program as well. The Grand Omakase (21 courses) at O YA is $285 pp with $150 per person with beverage pairing plus tax and 20% gratuity. That’s $555 pp.
CAFE SUSHI, CAMBRIDGE
Café Sushi has been open since 1984 and is a favorite amongst industry folks. It is now owned by two of the Imura sons who are also sushi chefs there. Reasonably priced, the epic Omakase from Chef Seizi Imura is priced as low as $75 and will tantalize your taste buds with the unique flavors. It is a seemingly endless parade of dishes that alternate between traditional and unusual. For even less money, try a chef’s sampler for $15 or $20 for a petite sampler plate. Quality and creativity for ala carte items maintain a high standard even though reasonably priced.
We sat at the sushi bar and I recommend that you do the same. The bar is always the best place to sit; you have a front row seat for the display of such mastery with fish and it often means that you get a gift from the sushi chef. We started with Scottish salmon nigiri and Branzino sashimi. Both were incredibly fresh and delicate in flavor. Cafe Sushi uses house made sauces and smoking techniques to create new experiences with the fish. These flavors are so well crafted that soy sauce is not needed.
We then took the advice of the sushi chef and ordered Summer Vegetable Roll (Avocado, oshinko & marinated eggplant, topped with wasabi oil, grape tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and truffle salt); the Crispy Toban Jan Roll (Tempura shrimp and avocado, topped with a spicy mix of chopped tuna with cilantro and lime) and Salmon-Avo Aburi Maki (Spicy snow crab, oshinko and marinated eggplant, topped with seared avocado, seared salmon and aburi ponzu). 1105 Mass Ave, Cambridge www.cafesushicambridge.com
EBI SUSHI, SOMERVILLE
Ebi Sushi is now in its sixth year in Union Square and is a favorite among sushi lovers. The always-cheerful spot features ample seating, kind servers, and most importantly, great sushi. Sit at the sushi bar and order any of the day’s specials or the Omakase Nigiri, a 10 piece sampler plate. The fish is very fresh and good quality, and most pieces have some sort of seasoning (black garlic, scallions, roe, pepper, etc.) on top. The rest of the menu is pretty solid so you’re all set if everyone in your party is not a fan of raw fish. If you love the sweets try the “Honey Hotate Pecorino,” which Chef/Owner Jose Garcia loves for its fried shallots topping, and the “Sweet Egg Tamago,” served with a sugary sauce made with Japanese wine. 290 Somerville Ave, Somerville MA www.ebisushi.com
AVANA SUSHI, BOSTON
The first thing you will notice about Avana Sushi is its prices. The special maki rolls are 30 to 40 percent cheaper than most other places. However, the decor is extremely casual inside and the sushi is served on disposable dinnerware. They have two Boston Locations, a new one at Downtown Crossing and the other in a weird little food court in Chinatown. The Chinatown location offers an adventure along with the sushi. Despite being inexpensive, Avana is known for its modern interpretation of classic dishes and its insistence on only using high quality fresh ingredients. The menu is mainly sushi with a few appetizers and teriyaki dishes. They also sell several party platters of sushi, sashimi and maki rolls for takeout/catering. www.avanasushi.com
FISH MARKET SUSHI BAR, ALLSTON
Fish Market Sushi is a small sushi bar owned by a couple of Oishii alums and open since 2009. They feature delicious dishes that push the bounds of tradition. You will find the owners in the kitchen or greeting and waiting on guests. We tried the Avocado ball, a dish they invented. Filled with assorted fresh sashimi and tobiko, wrapped in a generous amount of avocado slices and topped with a lemon mayonnaise.
We took the recommendation of owner/Chef Jack Poon and tried the following items: the Chef Tony Salmon Maki $15(Crab stick, avocado, tempura flakes, spicy mayo, topped with seared salmon, mayo, flying fish roe, scallions), the Yellowtail Truffle Maki $15(Shrimp tempura, cucumber, spicy mayo, topped with yellowtail, truffle salt, truffle peelings, truffle oil, chives), the Scallop Tempura with Foie Gras $15, and the Seared Jala Tuna Maki (crabstick, avocado, tempura flakes, spicy mayo, topped with seared tuna, jalapeno and bonito shavings). Torched salmon is not my favorite but his was velvety and delicious. The Scallop Tempura with Foie Gras was truly a memorable bite. 170 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA www.fishmarketsushibar.com
This Back Bay destination has been charming sushi lovers for over a decade, serving up a variety of sushi, sashimi, and special rolls like the Back Bay (asparagus, cucumber, and avocado with seared tuna and wasabi mayo). Super-fresh fish and reasonable prices is a hallmark of Douzo. The daily catch varies from a spicy tuna maki to something torched with yuzo and tobiko. The stylish décor is rich earth tones, dark wood and high ceilings. The lively bar offers a selection of cocktails, sake, wine and beer. Guests look on as the team of chefs creates cutting-edge sushi dishes. The wait staff is knowledgeable and attentive and the owner Jack Huang is there to greet his customers. 131 Dartmouth Street www.douza.com
As far as local places, it’s not that local places don’t offer good sushi, they can and do, but it is not of the same quality as it is in the city. The quality of the fish, the temperature and texture of the rice and fish, the species of fish offered, and the techniques used are utterly different. And honestly it’s not their fault. Most Asian Restaurants try to be something for everyone. So they serve Chinese, Japanese, Sushi, and Thai. There is no way they can afford to hire high quality sushi chefs and they are not selling enough sushi to be buying the same quantity of fish.
We do have a few local places that will do if we don’t want to travel.
Wang’s Table in Haverhill has a wonderful Tuna-Tini that we order every time that we go. Their food is above average, you can get some off menu items (authentic Chinese) and they have a kick-ass bar program with over 100K of liquor inventory. Wang’s offers many high-end scotches and tequilas. 46 Washington Street, Haverhill www.wangstable.com
Fusion House in Methuen does a decent job with its rolls. Sharon loves the Snow Mountain and my favorite is Kiss the Fire. They are also above average at the regular Chinese and Japanese menu. Despite being in a little strip mall, once inside the décor is comfortable and soothing. 301 Merrimack St., Methuen www.fusionhouserestaurant.com
All Season’s Table in Malden has several sushi items that we order every time we go there. The Spicy Tuna on Crispy Sushi Rice and the Thin Crusted Sushi Pizza Topped with Tuna & Salmon are both unique and totally delicious. Their seafood scallion pancake crispy and chewy and wonderful. 64 Pleasant Street, Malden www.astrestaurant.com
CRUSH WINE FESTIVAL 2017, Sunday, July 16, 2017 from 11AM – 4:30 PM
CRUSH WINE FESTIVAL is sponsored by the Massachusetts Farm Wineries and Growers Association. Sample award-winning Massachusetts wines from across the state while snacking on artisan cheeses, breads, and chocolates. Meet the winemakers, enjoy The Gardens at Elm Bank, and take home your new favorite wines. The Gardens at Elm Bank feature over 30 acres of fields, forests, and formal gardens. After done sipping and shopping, you are welcome to wander the unique gardens on the property. Ticket price is $35. The Gardens at Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA www.masswinery.com/crush-wine-festival-2017
TAILS & ALES – A SAMPLING OF CRAFT BEERS, NEVINS FARM, METHUEN, SATURDAY, JULY 22ND FROM 5PM-8PM
Enjoy an evening on the side lawn of Nevins Farm sampling nearly three dozen craft beers while meeting some of the feathered and furred Nevins Farm residents. There will be several food trucks present including Stone Oven Catering, featuring wood fired pizzas made on site in their mobile oven and Taco Party, offering amazing vegetarian and vegan tacos. Guests can meet the group of mostly local brewers who will be sampling and discussing the nuances of their beers.
Tickets are $60 each in advance and $75 at the door (though they expect to sell out in advance) and include admission, all your snacks, the food trucks and a special Tails & Ales tasting glass to take home as a memory. It also includes music, raffles, root beer floats (virgin and spiked) and loads of fresh fruit. As always, 100% of the ticket sales will benefit the animals and programs of Nevins Farm. MSPCA at Nevins Farm, 400 Broadway, Methuen www.mspca.org/events/tailsandales
BOSTON LOBSTER PARTY AT THE SOWA OPEN MARKET, July 8th and 9th from 11am to 4pm
Back for the first time since 2010, the Boston Lobster Party is hitting SoWa Open Market. Located at the SoWa Food Truck Bazaar & Beer Garden your favorite food trucks will be creating special lobster-themed dishes and plenty of delicious craft beers, cider, and wine to keep you refreshed. While you’re there, don’t forget to explore the rest of the SoWa Open Market, which is packed with over 100 artists, farmers, and specialty food vendors, SoWa Vintage Market, and over 200 artists’ studios, galleries, and boutiques along Thayer Street. As always, the SoWa Open Market is family-friendly, dog friendly, and FREE! SoWa Open Market, 540 Harrison St, Boston www.sowaboston.com