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Cheap Sushi in Philly

m
mazza3 Sep 6, 2007 08:04 AM

Hello all. Where can I get cheap sushi in Philly? I never realized how expensive most of the places I go to are until I went to a place in Manhattan's Lower East Side with a girlfriend and shared 3 sushi rolls, 8 pieces of sashimi, 2 bowls of miso and 2 green teas for $44. Da-umn. I have never paid so little and been full on sushi in my hometown EVER (except for Whole Foods sushi, but that doesn't count). Is there anywhere I can turn to in Philly for good quality, cheap sushi without having to admit that New York has something good that we don't? Help!

  1. juice Apr 21, 2008 01:33 PM

    Kujaku (17th and BF parkway) is doing made to order all-you-can-eat sushi for lunch for $17. You choose off a selected menu but it's the same folks that own Uzu so it can't be that bad. I'd love to try it but I do not work anywhere close.

    1. s
      squashchick Apr 21, 2008 01:01 PM

      Have a car? Then drive out 20 minutes to the Main Line (seriously) and visit my new favorite restaurant, Sushi Land, on Lancaster Ave. (Rte 30) in Bryn Mawr. For $21 I get an order of Shumai and two kinds of rolls of varying complexity. OK, so it's not "all you can eat", but it's about all I can eat and I think the quality is quite good.

      http://www.sushiland.us/

      1. s
        snowy11480 Apr 21, 2008 12:57 PM

        I'm really surprised no one has mentioned Bluefin in Plymouth Meeting. Its excellent sushi and fair prices IMO. Here is their website:
        http://www.sushibluefin.com/

        FYI - the place is in a shopping center and doesn't look great but don't let this hold you back from this great little sushi place!!

        1. t
          thewalrus Apr 19, 2008 09:56 PM

          I'll throw my vote in for Vic's on Sansom. Just a teeny tiny bar for eating in-house (which I've never done), but the prices are low and the quality is very high. This is our household's go-to takeout/delivery sushi place...we're partial to the dragon roll topped with fresh mango. yummm. Highly recommended!

          1. s
            SpdRcr069 Apr 16, 2008 07:53 AM

            Looks like most of the same places have been mentioned...Just please...steer clear from any "cheap" sushi...NYC can afford small less expensive but excellent quality sushi as the turn over is much greater there. Now, Philly has really good sushi / jJapanese restaurants with good quality sushi at reasonable prices. if you need a fix just go to Whole Foods, otherwise... Hikari in Northern Liberties (Liberty's Walk) is good and reasonably priced. Koi, also in Northern Liberties. Uzu is great but the portion size when we last went was very small, but I must say very very fresh.
            Tampopo - http://www.tampoporestaurant.com/. decent, never disappointed reasonably priced food and sushi/sashimi - Washington Sq one, never been to the Center City place.

            I do recommend Sagami in Collingswood, NJ. Just over the Ben Franklin. Best quality, portion size, etc..Eat at the sushi bar, the chefs there are true Japanese traditional sushi chefs, I was just there last night for dinner got the Chirashi (10+ hearty slices of sashimi on a bed of sushi rice, little red fish eggs, if youget the dinner it comes with soup, salad and desert = $29.00 not including tip and tax so it comes to about $37.00- $40.00 ), plus Sagami is BYO which mskes it nice - lot's of discount wine/liquor stores on the way to Sagami. We always bring a couple bottles of beer or mini liquor bottles for the sushi chefs.
            Dining at the tables just as nice. It's a small cozy, very friendly traditional Japanese Restaurant, definately a "Philly/ NJ tradition."

            1. g
              gigi1168 Sep 22, 2007 06:52 PM

              Makiman in the Northeast is awsome. 7324 Oxford Avenue.

              6 Replies
              1. re: gigi1168
                m
                Major504 Sep 24, 2007 07:25 PM

                "cheap" + "Sushi" = "scary"

                1. re: Major504
                  b
                  baekster Sep 25, 2007 03:21 AM

                  Major, I am with you. :) It's not the kind of food you want to be stingy about. However, I do believe some sushi restaurants are horribly over-priced (Morimoto, for example). :)

                  1. re: baekster
                    m
                    mazza3 Sep 27, 2007 08:51 AM

                    i disagree, i worked in a fish market for four years and am pretty well versed on what you can and can't eat fishy-wise, and cheap seafood does not always = scary. you're just paying more for piece of mind. any place with a high turnover can definitely afford to be on the cheaper side.

                    1. re: mazza3
                      b
                      baekster Sep 28, 2007 02:31 PM

                      If you are "in" on the fishmarket, is there a place where I can find sashimi grade fillet or whole fish? I was thinking of entertaining some guests with my knife skills. :) My uncle is an amatuer sushi chef (he's an elementary school principal by day and sushi chef by night), and he taught me how to cut sashimi and sushi.

                      1. re: mazza3
                        b
                        baekster Sep 28, 2007 02:38 PM

                        I used to live near fish market in Busan, Korea, and our family used to get a lot of good seafood for relatively cheap in the early morning markets there. There are a lot of sushi places with chefs who trained in Japan, due to the city's proximity to Japan (30 min plane ride). But highly trained sushi chef's restaurants are still expensive cause you're paying for his knifework, the art of cleanly presenting the perfect dab of sashimi or nigiri (what I would call sushi), discerning freshness of the ingredients and how that contributes to the taste of sashimi, nigiri, etc. All you can eat places butcher that "art". This is just my opinion. :)

                        1. re: baekster
                          s
                          SpdRcr069 Apr 16, 2008 07:59 AM

                          My father is from Busan, went to visit the fam few years back. It was great going to the coast where there fishermen and families set up tents along the beach where you could pick the fresh fish and they'd prepare it for you right there, fresh octopus, clams etc... can't beat that. Also, when we'd vacation on Cheju-do same deal. Nothing better than octopus sashimi (still squirming), gochuchang sauce and shots of soju...

                2. d
                  ddeblasi Sep 7, 2007 12:38 PM

                  Try Sagami. It is not in Philly - but over the bridge in NJ, off of Rt. 130 in Collingswood. The best sushi around, and has been around since the 70s. Its longevity is a testament to its quality.

                  1. SouthPhillyFoodie Sep 7, 2007 10:45 AM

                    All U Eat Sushi - at AIJI - located in West Philly in the West Bank building (near world cafe live) - $22 per person and they include white tuna on the on-u-can menu. Also, it is BYOB - we go there at least once a month!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: SouthPhillyFoodie
                      juice Sep 26, 2007 01:05 PM

                      Anyone know the address of this place (Aiji)? I cannot find anything on it and I have a buddy who wants to try it out tonight since he is going to New World cafe for a show.

                      1. re: juice
                        a
                        Ali Sep 26, 2007 01:08 PM

                        The poster mis-typed. The place is called Ajia, and the sushi all-you-can-eat is definitely more than decent. It is located in the West Bank building, just left of the bicycle shop. If your friend walks west past the gates of the parking lot, he'll find the place.

                    2. joluvscards Sep 6, 2007 01:17 PM

                      Are you willing to drive to Cherry hill? Mikado is always fresh, inexpensive and byo. They have a huge sushi sashimi platter for $24.
                      http://www.mikado-us.com/sushi_hibach...

                      1. juice Sep 6, 2007 10:43 AM

                        While this issue is so tired (do a search on sushi in Philly), here are the choices:

                        Cheap: AOI (12th and Walnut), $20 all you can eat every night off a special menu (but you have to eat everything you order.)

                        I'll second Mizu. I ate there the other day. Simple, affordable and good.

                        My favorite is still Uzu. You can choose from $4 rolls on up and the food is very good (byo.) If you go Thurs-Sat night, you are going to wait a while for your food. Rather get upset, bring a bottle or two and enjoy a few drinks.

                        I've wanted to try Makiman. I've heard great things.

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: juice
                          m
                          mitchh Sep 6, 2007 11:38 AM

                          The best sushi value is in East Norriton at Minado. It's all you can eat for under $30 per person.

                          1. re: mitchh
                            j
                            jujuthomas Sep 6, 2007 11:56 AM

                            I heard Minado was awful tho - haven't been there myself. the person I spoke to said the food was all dried out and not tasty.

                            1. re: jujuthomas
                              d
                              ddeblasi Sep 7, 2007 12:38 PM

                              Try Sagami. It is not in Philly - but over the bridge in NJ, off of Rt. 130 in Collingswood. The best sushi around, and has been around since the 70s. Its longevity is a testament to its quality.

                              1. re: ddeblasi
                                b
                                baekster Sep 18, 2007 08:17 PM

                                I second Sagami. Being a sushi/sashimi lover myself, I'm always in for good, no-frill sushi place. You can get to know their master sushi chef who's a very nice old man. The ceiling is really low, so if you're over 6'3, you might have problem standing tall. :) I tend to order more premium stuff when I go (otoro, hamachi, sea urchin, etc), so the bill comes out to be much more than $44 for 2 people, but if you get a regular fair, I'm sure you can fit the bill.
                                I tried Aso sushi in between 7th and 8th on Walnut. It isn't booming with customers, but the food there is good. Their roles were good as well as their premium sashimi's.

                            2. re: mitchh
                              juice Sep 7, 2007 08:01 AM

                              Yeah, but is it made to order or is it just sitting out on a buffet line?

                              1. re: juice
                                j
                                jujuthomas Sep 7, 2007 09:34 AM

                                it's a HUGE, chain buffet. as far as I've heard nothing made to order. Here's their website.

                                -----
                                Minado
                                2917 Swede Rd, Norristown, PA 19401

                                1. re: jujuthomas
                                  jerseytomato Sep 7, 2007 01:54 PM

                                  Before I began getting picky about sushi I loved Minado (there is one up in MA where I went to college). A few years later, I went to the one here and was disappointed. I imagine if you go on a busy night, things should be reasonably fresh...but I was let down by that one visit so I never went back.

                                  For cheap sushi I like Vic Sushi, on Sansom between 20th and 21st. He has 2 simple rolls for $7 (3 for $10). The more expensive specialty rolls are a nice treat and the tuna dumplings are worth experiencing at least once.

                                  1. re: jerseytomato
                                    juice Sep 13, 2007 01:57 PM

                                    Thanks JT, I'll have to give Vic a try.
                                    Juju, the reason I asked about the made to order is because AOI is made to order, all-you -can-eat. The menu has 10-12 different fish/shellfish to order from and you choose how it is prepared (nigiri, maki or temaki.) I haven't found anywhere else that does that (although I haven't been in a while because I go way too much to Uzu now.)

                              2. re: mitchh
                                i
                                IamStarving Apr 16, 2008 08:06 AM

                                Minado is just "ok". The sushi rolls are terrible. I did like the sushi i.e. Tuna, Salmon etc. on rice but they make you eat the rice. If not, they can charge you extra for taking the fish off the rice and leaving it on your plate. I cry foul... Also, the desserts are horrible and the meat and chicken selections are fair, nothing to write home to Mama. I think the lunch is now $17.00/person, Dinner was $25.00/person which includes the Hibachi. Never tried that.

                                1. re: mitchh
                                  s
                                  snowy11480 Apr 21, 2008 12:53 PM

                                  Personally, I really liked Minado. I'm not saying its the best but for the price and variety - its worth it. We've been twice and both times felt all the food was very fresh and tasty! Plus the fact its buffet, you have so many options from the salads, to the sushi, hibachi grill, desserts, etc. One key thing that helps though - at any buffet - go when they're busy!! Both times we've gone, they have been slammed with people, therefore the food is turning over really quickly and its all super fresh:) I can imagine, as with any buffet, going when its slow is _not_ a good idea, especially one w/ sushi!

                                2. re: juice
                                  m
                                  mazza3 Sep 6, 2007 11:40 AM

                                  Hadn't heard anything about Uzu and Makiman. I did do a search on sushi but none seemed to answer my price question.

                                3. Dib Sep 6, 2007 10:04 AM

                                  First of all, I am NOT a sushi expert, since I don't eat fish.
                                  But when a friend from out of town wanted good cheap sushi, I took him to Mizu on 20th and he said he really liked it. Their vegetable rolls were fine. It's a pretty small place.

                                  1. pathgeek Sep 6, 2007 09:06 AM

                                    While not exactly cheap, Kisso is excellent quality and not expensive.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: pathgeek
                                      m
                                      mazza3 Sep 6, 2007 09:16 AM

                                      kisso is fine by me, i was looking for a slightly cheaper option...i can live with mediocre rice and accompaniments as long as the fish is fresh, but for a quality meal kisso always = a definite yes.

                                    2. j
                                      jessicheese Sep 6, 2007 09:04 AM

                                      I really miss Serendipity, which would have been the perfect place to refer you to.
                                      Mixx Asian Bistro on 10th and Arch just got a new sushi chef, which increased their quality greatly. The prices are decent and they have a nice sushi lunch special.
                                      Shogun 3 is out in Havertown/ Upper Darby area and had the best price vs quality that I've found in the area.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jessicheese
                                        m
                                        mazza3 Sep 6, 2007 09:15 AM

                                        mixx is exaclty what i am looking for!!! thank you, i can't wait to check it out....extensive menu, cheap sashimi, le sigh....

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