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New to town and hungry

I need help. Where's the best sushi and other great seafood? I'm not interested in the tourist joints... I'd like to eat where the locals do. I'm not rich and will most likely will be staying near downtown (any accomodation suggestions are welcome) so don't blast me with $$$$$ eateries.

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    1. The "best" sushi will cost you. Shiro, Saito, Nishino, etc.

      I eat the sushi special at Bush Garden on Maynard Ave once or twice a week. Lunch only, $6.10 gets you 5 or 6 decent pieces of nigiri and a pair of hand rolls (usually one's california, the other spicy tuna) along with tea, a servicable miso soup, and a pro forma salad. Definitely the best sushi bang-for-buck around.

      1. you can get all-you-can-eat sushi at Benihana (5th and University) lunchtime. They do have a rule about charging if you don't finish what you take. Not top quality, but as Terrier says, the best sushi will cost you. Another Japanese hot/cold buffet option is Todai in Pacific place mall (6th and Pine/Stewart), not great but if you're looking for the most quantity for your buck...

        1. I would never go to Benihana or Todai (having tried the former many years ago and being hip to the nature of the latter).

          Bush Garden, though, is something else - reliably good. The quality of the fish and rice are really remarkable for the price of that lunch special - it's a good enough deal that I can afford to go there weekly and tasty enough that I want to.

          4 Replies
          1. re: terrier

            i agree. I don't go for sushi at Benihana and don't go for anything at Todai (personally i would rather spend $12 on 2 great pieces of o-toro or Santa Barbara uni, than waste $2.00 on a stale piece of hamachi) But the poster seems to be looking for cheap, or bargain...

            1. re: barleywino

              Another option in the bargain category is Nijo sushi (Post alley and Spring, or thereabouts). Happy hour sushi (and drink) bargains.

              1. re: barleywino

                When I need an inexpensive sushi fix I rely on happy hour at Nijo and -- more recently -- Umi (in Belltown). I am consistently impressed by the exceptional quality of the fish served at Umi's happy hour.

                1. re: ssusu

                  Ssusu, good tip on Umi. Went back there for the 1st time since they opened and they have come a long way. I was a bit dubious looking at some of the fish in the display case but everything I ordered was excellent. The Mu daiginjo was suitably chilled too.

          2. Save bucks an visit Mashiko in West Seattle. Nice sushi and good prices. Go on a week night and the wait will be short. You also might enjoy the small town feel in this neighborhood.

            4 Replies
            1. re: DrWine

              Another cheap place (though also out of downtown) is Shun, by U Village. Cheap, delicious, easy, quick. love it.

              1. re: dagoose

                maneki in the i.d. (6th ave s. and jackson) is incredibly good and reasonably priced. it's not an all you can eat mall dive it's just not sleek belltown. mashiko's ok but a little overrated and a long way from downtown. i can't recommend maneki highly enough.

                1. re: ericlutzker

                  Maneki is good, but absurdly popular. Reservations are a must & I rarely have that kind of forethought.

                  1. re: ericlutzker

                    Maneki is fantastic. --But yes, the wait is often more than an hour or sometimes they'll just turn you away. Great atmosphere, small and narrow in a very pleasant way.

              2. Saito's is my sushi spot of the moment. Is it cheap? I don't know. Its usually about 50 bucks for two. I consider that sort of mid-range, certainly less than Nishino or Shiro's.

                I have not tried Musahsi's in Wallingford, which is often touted as a great value, but it seems to have several detractors amongst the 'hounds also. I used to enjoy this place near the north end of Broadway's commercial strip with a short name that I think starts with "A". It was cheap.

                3 Replies
                1. re: equinoise

                  I think you're thinking of Aoki on Broadway, right by the Deluxe.

                  1. re: equinoise

                    Yeah, that's Aoki. I've been there only once, but I really enjoyed it. I know the sushi chef there, Hitoshi. But when I do sushi it's generally Maneki or Toyoda's. Out of habit.

                    1. re: equinoise

                      Aoki is good stuff. Good fish, great prices, and love the robata. I can't afford to eat at Shiro's every time and rarely have the forethought to make reservations at Maneki, so this is my usual dinner sushi joint.