Ultimate Sushi Guide: 11 Must-Try Spots Around DC

By Olga Boikess  |  July 29, 2013

Fresh tasting, raw fish and rice creations make for a refreshing meal during the summer. What’s more, sushi’s not just about pricey toro anymore. Knife-wielding talents have broadened the genre to accommodate a range of tastes, ingredients and budgets. Need help finding out where to go? Read on to find out some of our must-try picks.

  • Spendy: Sushi Taro

    Top-quality fish and knowledgeable chefs make an omakase meal at the sushi bar of this DuPont East Japanese restaurant worth the price. But budget-minders can still find sushi nirvana with lower-cost lunchtime bento box deals.

    1503 17th St. N.W.; 202-462-8999

  • Credit: Scott Suchman

    Exotic: Zentan

    This sleek Logan Circle Asian destination’s new sushi menu features market selections like the rare, buttery kinki fish (only available for several weeks a year), as well as choices like seared foie gras with maguro, mango miso and basil seeds, or an octopus roll with sake, blistered shishito peppers, gobō, seasonal mushroom, furikake, kiwi, crispy shallot and lemon miso.

    1155 14th St. N.W.; 202-379-4366

  • Credit: Jody Brady

    Bargain: Kotobuki

    Quality fish, savvy preparation and homey surroundings add up to an affordable sushi fix at this Palisades second-story enclave. Don't have time to sit down for a full meal? No worries, takeout is a popular option.

    4822 MacArthur Blvd. N.W.; 202-625-9080

  • Hot Scene: Sei

    The sushi is creative and so are the cocktails at this glamorous Penn Quarter date-night fave. But don’t overlook it for lunch, when there’s a sushi bento special, or for happy-hour deals.

    444 Seventh Ave.; 202-783-7007

  • Classic: Sushiko

    Although the venerable DC location is temporarily shuttered, the suave Chevy Chase sushi bar remains a go-to for knowledgeable raw-fish fans. Its sushi bar is the popular perch for the cognoscenti who order its prime tuna six ways.

    5455 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase, MD; 301-961-1644

  • Fun for Kids: Yo Sushi

    The conveyor belt system at this Union Station outlet of a popular Japanese chain is bound to intrigue youngsters, who can pick a plate from the revolving, inexpensive choices that include popular sushi preparations.

    50 Massachusetts Ave. N.E.; 202-408-1716

  • Hipster: Kushi

    In happening Mount Vernon square, this lofty Japanese restaurant's sushi bar is quite a scene. Adventuresome chefs go beyond the classics in a Tokyo-meets-DC atmosphere.

    465 K St. N.W.; 202-682-3123

  • Locavore: Farmers, Fishers, Bakers

    Featuring farm-grown ingredients, as well as local fish, California rice and American soy sauce, this Georgetown Harbour New American takes sushi to new places. Examples of its concoctions include red-curry scallop with fennel fronds, cucumber and asparagus, and citrus salmon with blood organs, pomegranate, crème fraîche, orange oil and ponzu sauce.

    3000 K St. N.W.; 301-298-8783

  • Lunch: Kaz’s Sushi Bistro

    At midday, Kaz Okochi’s World Bank Japanese restaurant is a haven for sushi lovers. Bento box deals, classic and creative preparations, and daily specials attract the area’s discerning clientele. Leave a little room for his inventive East-West small plates.

    1915 I St. N.W.; 202-530-5500

  • Supermarket: Whole Foods, Foggy Bottom

    The sushi bar at the Foggy Bottom outlet of the eco-friendly grocery chain gives a good name to quick-serve preparations. Utilizing robomaki equipment, it helps servers prepare design-your-own maki selections.

    2201 I St. N.W.; 202-296-1660

  • Late Night: The Hamilton

    Night-owls and clubgoers can get their fix until 1 AM at this stately Downtown megabistro that serves sushi as well as a vast menu of American classics. But it's not just a late-night spot - lunchtime is also a busy time at the sushi bar.

    600 14th St. N.W.; 202-787-1000