Of course Paris has always been famous for its incredible cooking, but thanks to a resurgent desire for Japanese food, it’s now becoming famous for its not-cooking too. Sushi spots in the city are still finding their feet however, and the chain restos need a vast amount of improvement, but if you know where to look there is some phenomenal rawness to be had…
A bar that seats eight and a resto with room for 38, Kiyomizu is a small, Japanese-owned spot that's well known for its authentic fare -- its recipes come straight from the parent restaurant in Sendai. You have five menus to choose from every day (which change seasonally), and they also do bento, and'll even deliver it to your office at lunch. You know, just in case you end up working in Paris.
While some sushi restaurants cater to a crowd with an unaccustomed palate, Tsukizi is unabashedly all about the raw fish -- the focus is on the basics: sushi, sashimi, and rolls, with no French infusion of any kind. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a spot at the bar and can sit on a stool and watch the chefs do their thing.
Dating all the way back to '58, this is Paris’s oldest Japanese restaurant, which means they’ve had plenty of time to master their dishes. They've also gone native in a couple of respects: Takara offers prix fixe menus in several price ranges, as well as a variety of sashimi and nigiri a-la carte... which includes foie gras nigiri.
Bar à sushi Izumi
With no more than 20 seats, this literally isn’t more than a bar, but in the tiny space Bar à sushi Izumi is known for serving freshly prepared, authentic Japanese eats. Specialty of the house is eel, wagyu beef, and fatty tuna, although the tuna’s availability always depends on what they can get from the market. If it’s not fresh, you won’t be eating it.
Rice and Fish
Rice & Fish is known for its
rice and fish, Sherlock maki and they’re all about good fusion, which means you get a Japanese restaurant that’s a liiiittle different than the rest. In a Nordic mood? Get the Bjork, made w/ teriyaki salmon, avocado, cucumber, and fried leeks. Or go for Le Krunchy: avocado, tempura shrimp, and a secret sauce. Best of all: this place is budget friendly, with maki + soup + salad coming in at a mere 10-15€.
Often referred to as one of the creme de la creme of the Paris sushi spots, Isami is a tiny sushi bar located on Ile Saint-Louis in the middle of the Seine river. The focus is on fresh ingredients (good thing they’re on an island so the fish almost feel at home), and as it’s one of the most popular spots in town, you’ll want to book in advance.
Comme des Poissons
You’ll have to head a bit out of town for this one, but it’s worth it -- it’s a small space and the chef prepares your sushi right in front of you, including anything from raw tuna w/ fermented soy beans to grilled eel. Get the set menu or just have the chef cook whatever he’s feeling like.
Kinugawa is an upscale Japanese restaurant right off the Tuileries gardens throwing out an East-meets-West fusion of no less than eight California rolls, nine makis, three types of tuna, and a kind of sea urchin that's only available in winter. They even have a bento-boxed Sunday brunch!
Right off the Champs-Elysees, Ko has the completely unfair advantage of having French design rockstar Philippe Starck involved, which means that the design is thought out to a capital T, and its very concept. The menu is filled with raw classics like beef tataki, as well as newness like their Sriracha tuna tartare.
Near the Bastille you’ll find Icho, which has stormed the sushi scene thanks to its variety of set menus and plates (chirashi, maki, mixed, etc.) that'll net you the best of whatever the chef is making on the day. There’s a bit of fusion in the desserts too; a green tea tiramisu to round off your meal perhaps?
1. Kiyomizu4 rue Saint-Philippe du Roule, Paris
2. Tsukizi2 bis rue des Ciseaux, Paris
3. Le Bar à Sushi Izumi55, boulevard des Batignolles, Paris
4. Rice & Fish16 Rue Greneta, Paris
5. Comme des Poissons24 rue de la Tour, Paris
6. Kinugawa9 Rue du Mont Thabor, Paris
7. Miss Ko49 Avenue George V, Paris
8. Takara14 rue Molière, Paris
9. Isami4 quai d orleans, Paris
10. Icho3 rue des Tournelles, Paris
This small Japanese resto seats only eight at the bar and 38 in the dining area, but for what it lacks in size, it makes up for in flavor explosions. It's recipes come straight from its parent resto in Sendai so authentic is definitely the name of the game.
Located in the th arrondissement, this place is ALL about sushi and they go back to basics to do so, serving only sushi, sashimi, and rolls with no French influence of any kind.
There's not much to this place, it has only 20 seats. But those are highly coveted seats since they serve freshly prepped authentic sushi. And if you wanna try their house specialties (you do), get teh eel, wagyu beef and fatty tuna.
These guys are known for their maki and fusion dishes. A key example? Their Nordic-fusion dish called "the Bjork", which is made with teriyaki salmon, avocado, cucumber, and fried leeks.
This place isn't quite on the beaten path in the heart of the city, but if you're a true fresh fish lover, you'll make the trip out to discover a small space where their talented chefs make your meal right in front of you.
This classy Japanese resto is a solid sushi option any day of the week, but stop by for their Sunday brunch which features a wide array of contemporary Japanese dishes served in a bento box.
Chic location. Delicious sushi with French twists. Did we mention a chic location? This place has exactly what you want for a classy night out for some tremendous food.
Established in 1958, Takara is easily Paris's oldest sushi spot. In the typical French style, Takara offers prix fixe menus in several price ranges, as well as a variety of sashimi and nigiri a-la carte.
This tiny sushi bar located in the 4th arrondissement is one of the most popular spots in town, almost completely based on the freshness of their ingredients. It's a good idea to book a res in advance to coming here.
Located near the Bastille, Icho has a wide variety of set menus and plates that allow you to get the best of whatever the chef is making, so the options are always changing, ensuring that no two visits will be the same.