This town may be landlocked, but there is no shortage of quality sushi in the capital city, because, well, this is Austin. We take our food seriously. Here are the eight best spots in town where you’re guaranteed not to get a raw deal...
Brentwood (North Austin)
What you're getting: Seared escolar (and a sake bomb with DK)
If you’re looking for top-notch sushi in a house party-type atmosphere, DK Sushi is your spot. Go on a Thursday night and enjoy the owner himself (DK) performing crass stand-up, karaoke, and encouraging everyone in the restaurant to enjoy sake bombs with him. This is Austin-does-sushi.
What you're getting: Latino roll
Piranha is by far the best bang for your buck in Austin. Located in the center of Downtown, it has a happy hour from 4-7pm where you can fill up on sushi for the cost of rolls at other places (cough... Uchi). Great cocktail and beer pairings make Piranha your new go-to for Downtown lunch.
What you're getting: Masu-zushi
No matter the category, the best type of food in East Austin comes out of a trailer and is BYOB. Kyōten is no exception. The food truck is surrounded by a zen garden, plenty of picnic tables, and fairy lights to complete the atmosphere.
What you're getting: Mechazilla roll
Whatever your reason for being on South Congress (mom's in town or you’re on a date), Lucky Robot is your next stop. Enjoy one of the many sake cocktails while entertaining yourself in the swinging chair seating arrangements. Add some of the Robot’s famous Brussels sprouts, and everyone will be applauding your great dining choice.
What you're getting: Machi Cure
The unconqured king of Austin sushi spots -- if you’re looking to class it up for a night in an otherwise casual city, Uchi is your spot. The quality matches the price (high), and any sushi snob would agree the restaurant has some of the finest sushi available, anywhere on the planet. Plan ahead, as reservations are typically booked weeks in advance.
What you're getting: Hama toro
While Fukumoto the restaurant is a relative newcomer to the scene, Chef Kazu Fukumoto is no stranger in Austin food circles. The former chef at Musashino recently opened this location as one of the most anticipated openings of 2015, and he did not disappoint. Try to get in as many trips now as you can, before the line is wrapped around the block.
What you're getting: Spooky roll
One of the smallest (in physical size) sushi spots in Austin, Kome fills up fast, but is always worth the wait. Starting with the warm towels given to you on arrival, this place is pure class and somewhere you’d be remiss to miss if you’re ever in North Austin. Tip: ask for extra “go-go sauce” and put it on everything you can.
What you're getting: All you can eat
When your sushi cravings outmatch your bank account, there is always an option. Sushi Junai is that option in Austin and is a place to get down and dirty with a $20 all-you-can-eat sushi feast. It makes its rolls to order however, so make sure you put in 10 or 20 when you first arrive, as downtime is the enemy in your race to fill up on as much sushi as possible.
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1. DK Sushi5610 N Lamar Blvd Ste B, Austin
2. Piranha Killer Sushi207 San Jacinto Blvd Ste 202, Austin
3. Kyōten1211 E 6th St, Austin
4. Lucky Robot1303 S Congress Ave, Austin
5. Uchi801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin
6. Fukumoto514 Medina St, Austin
7. Kome4917 Airport Blvd, Austin
8. Sushi Junai1612 Lavaca S, Austin
This sushi spot is always up to party. On Thursdays the owner, DK, performs stand up and karaoke. Get a sake bomb and Seared Escolar.
Piranha Killer Sushi is one of the cheaper sushi options in Austin. Try their Happy Hour from 4 - 7 for the best deals on rolls and drinks.
This stable food truck has a seating area and garden around it for all your sushi eating needs. Make sure to try the Masu-Zushi.
The SoCo Zen is now a higher-tech Japanese concept in which each table's equipped with an iPad for ordering sushi rolls like the R2D2 (grilled hangar steak, green onions, avocado, crispy shallot, sesame, yuzu miso sauce), upgraded entrees like a 24hr-marinated Karaage Chicken, and drinks from a full bar boasting 10+ rice wines creatively mixed in concoctions like the Japanese Devil's Tail: habanero-infused sake served in a hollowed cucumber, thus making it very difficult for you to keep your cool.
Serving up sushi and Japanese cuisine in South Austin, Uchi does have a larger price tag and you may encounter a wait -- but there's good reason for that in the deliciously fresh ingredients and bold flavors that you'll find inside. Grab a seat and order away, or put your trust in your servers and chefs and let them pick for you.
This place serves traditional sushi from renowned Chef Kasu Fukumoto. You are going to want to try the Hama Toro.
Designed by Japanese craftsmen, Kome has a modern atmosphere that compliments its homestyle Japanese comfort food. An extensive menu of Izakaya style meals and sushi rolls have influences from the owners' travels to other parts of Asia, with an added Austin flare.