Wasabi. Soy sauce. Rice and seafood and veggies. Some days, what more do you need? Good thing Charlotte has us covered for our sushi cravings.

Here are the C5 team’s 10 favorite sushi spots in Charlotte (in no particular order).

Bonsai Fusion

225 E. 6th St. (Inside 7th Street Public Market)

Why: Bonsai may have started as strictly sushi, but its latest additions of sushi burritos (order the OG) and poke bowls make this order-at-the-counter spot a must for any raw fish aficionado. Pro tip: Its location inside 7th Street Market means you should order first and then pull up a stool at Tank’s Tap for a craft beer to sip with your sushi.

Must order: The OG aka Hulk Burrito.

Ru San’s

2440 Park Road

Why: Our social media manager has probably spoken about Ru San’s 10,000 times during her one year in Charlotte. She thinks it’s that good. From the unlimited sushi lunch buffet to the servers’ “Why Soy Serious” T-shirts, it’s easy to find this understated place endearing.

Must order: The Caterpillar roll, The Gladiator roll and The Westwood roll are good places to start.

O-Ku

2000 South Blvd., Suite 510

Why: This is a lovely place to take a date or take your friends. If there’s a wait, you don’t worry about it. Peruse the drink list at the bar and survey the open dining room, or walk around Atherton Mill and browse the shops.

Must order: The Lobster Temaki is ideal when paired with the Lychee Martini, no matter who you’re with.

 

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

4310 Sharon Road

Why: Meet the Burgushi, a fusion of burgers and sushi. Think a roll with filet or pulled pork. Feeling less adventurous? The menu splits off with a burger list and sushi list to simplify the situation. If you encounter a long wait, belly up to the bar and gaze at the aquarium over a drink.

Must order: The Spicy Tuna Roll. A classic.

 

Sushi and sunshine. #humpdayhelp

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New Zealand Cafe

1717 N. Sardis Road, Suite 6A

Why: It isn’t trendy and it isn’t in a “hip” part of town, but this hole-in-the-wall sushi spot in a southeast Charlotte strip mall offers one of the best bangs for your buck in town. Get a boat of sushi to share and wash it down with a big Sapporo. The best part — the specialty rolls come in at less than $10 each, so you won’t break the bank.

And the secret’s out on this tiny spot, so expect to wait on the weekend. It’s worth it.

Must order: The H.O.T. Roll (Spicy tuna, cream cheese, jalapeño, lightly battered
tempura.)

#sushi at #newzealandcafe is what #life is about…my goodness

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BAKU

4515 Sharon Road

Why: The patio here is an elegant oasis to lounge in with a few sushi rolls (especially during Queen’s Feast: Charlotte Restaurant Week) curated for the seafood- and veggie-lover alike. You also have permission to stray a little off course with Robata skewers and kimchi.

Must order: Baku Signature Nigiri and the Niwa Roll.

Soul Gastrolounge

1500 Central Ave.

Why: The sashimi eel is a great go-to. Beyond the sashimi, the classic and original rolls are worth ordering. Try a featured vegan roll if you please, and get a side of the seaweed salad for a lighter taste of the sea. You won’t be disappointed.

Must order: Eel Sashimi, the Crunch Roll and Seaweed Salad.

It’s #TapasTuesday y’all! And yes, sushi counts ❤️ : @carla.holladay

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Upstream

6902 Phillips Place

Why: Step inside this higher end space for fresh catch and fresh dayboat seafood, sashimi and specialty rolls. There are ample appetizers, rolls and side dishes for both the fish and non-fish eater. As for ambiance, the restaurant was named one of “15 Must-Try Romantic Restaurants” by Dream Vacation Magazine.

Must order: Veggie Roll. (Sounds lame, we know, but it’s delicious.)

Room 112

112 S Tryon St.

Why: If you’re feeling sushi for lunch, head on over to Room 112. They have super cheap specialty rolls, a modern dining atmosphere and very friendly staff. Pro tip: Wear sweatpants because this place is going to fill you up, quick.

Must order: The Super Crunchy and Cherry Blossom rolls.

Pisces Sushi

1100 E Metropolitan Ave., Suite 120

Why: The inventive but accessible rolls and classic nigiris are always reliable and the sushi and sashimi combo options add some extra pizzazz to your choices. Bonus: There are all-you-can-eat lunch specials. And the cocktails are great, day or night.

Must order: All you can eat lunch, duh.

Honorable mention: Koishi

We ran out of room in our top 10, but intern Maya Elliott wanted to make her case for her favorite spot, Koishi. 

120 North Sharon Amity Road.

Why: This low-key spot is perfect for some mid-day sushi or a casual dinner with friends. Just about everything on the menu is as delicious as it is affordable. And in the case that sushi isn’t your thing, Koishi also offers some killer Chinese food (yeah, Chinese food at a sushi place is kinda weird, but trust us). And you’ll still have some money left over afterwards to splurge on dessert.

Must order: Try the Super Crunch Roll and the Rainbow Roll.

Did we leave of your favorite place to get sushi? Tell us about your go-to spot in the comments.

Photo: Michael C. Hernandez, Theoden Janes, CharlotteFive Staff

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27 COMMENTS

  1. Really, the title should be best sushi places in Charlotte for 20 somethings with not enough money to afford sushi.

  2. Why are South Charlotte (south of Southpark anyway) and Ballantyne always left out of these stories. You REALLY need to get out of your uptown and close in neighborhood focus and realize if you are doing anything represented as the ” Best in Charlotte” you need to include all of the city. We aren’t a suburb you know!!

  3. New Zealand is trendy AF. Namastay Kitchen and Hangout and Sushi Guru should be on here but they are expensive. Koishi is definitely a good deal. Zen Fusion should be on here too. Baku and upstream are nowhere near good enough for the price to be on a top 10 list, maybe upstream is… maybe

  4. FYI: Koishi is in Cotswold, not Metropolitan. Also, Akahana may be worth a mention – for their daily BOGO special in both locations – Plaza Midwood AND Baxter (for all those Ballantyne/South CLT) people complaining they don’t feel any love. Can’t beat a BOGO and the sushi is pretty good, I think! And for the record, I think Ballantyne is INDEED a suburb! 😉

  5. Oh my. . .totally missed Sky Asian Bistro! Moved here from California and Sky is hands down the best Sushi we’ve had since we left the Bay Area. Their Tuesday night buy two get one free is a terrific deal! Corey — I’ll treat you to make the point! 🙂

  6. Yikes, you cannot have a top 10 without Sushi Guru on it. Cy is one of the most creative sushi chefs in town, and the non-sushi food is great too. Delicious vegetarian rolls, 2 locations.

    • AMEN ! someone that knows great sushi. Maybe you can help the CO next time they attempt to write an article about a subject they are not versed in !

  7. Koishi and Room 112 are owned by the same people but Koishi is a lot less professional and the atmosphere isn’t half as nice. I witnessed a domestic dispute between male and female staff here, the female called the male an ***hole. The food was also quite mediocre. Will never return but Room 112 is definitely my go-to for the best moderately priced sushi.

  8. UM , Sushi Guru is by far hands down ten times better than these places. Cowfish is a burger joint please the sushi sucks. Ru San pal its a buffet . Clearly the article is not written by anyone with knowledge of food or Sushi for that matter.

  9. I didn’t know I liked sushi until I went to Mr. Tokyo’s in the McMullen Creek Market on Highway 51 in South Charlotte! The mango rolls and pink lady rolls are favorites as well as crab rangoon. For about $20, it’s all you can eat including beef, chicken or shrimp hibachi, teriyaki, etc. YUM!! After four visits, I’m getting better and better with chopsticks, too.

  10. Ru San’s and New Zealand are probably the best. I’ve never had a good experience at Pisces. Now I have some new places to try, so thanks for that!

    Akahana should definitely be on here. I can see a case for Yama and possibly Eight being a part of this list.

  11. Sorry but Ru San’s should not be anywhere on this list, as well as leaving out Nikko. Do I think Nikko is overpriced, most definitely, but still 10x better than Ru San. I’ve been to a number of these places and many are good, but my favorite place based on food quality, presentation, and service by far is O-Ku. Yes some of their items are a bit pricey, but overall the pricing is fair and the quality is excellent.

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