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Best sushi in Orlando?

I'll be in Orlando for business tomorrow through Thursday and I'm looking for a great sushi place. I did a search and it's hard to wade through all the different responses for different areas in Florida, but Zen seemed to come up a couple times.

Can anyone suggest the best sushi in Orlando? Thanks.

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  1. I just found another thread asking this exact same question.

    Some responses in that thread were Bonzai, Shari, Wazzabi and Amura. Can anybody recommend any of those?

    13 Replies
    1. re: whoopdido

      I wouldn't recommend Zen. I never had its sushi, but its Chinese food is bland but fresh, if you're talking about that place in the hotel. Shin Sushi on N. Orange Ave. is wonderful, owned by four sushi chefs. Amura downtown is excellent. Hanamizuki, on International Drive, is ultra authentic, but I haven't tried its sushi. Bonzai is only ok; it's a typical neighborhood place. Shari Sushi is fun partly because of its chic white decor. Wazzabi has a wild decor, loud music--the sushi is fun, but you go for the scene. Another keeper is the sushi bar located inside the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. It's owned and run by one guy; if he's not around, the place is closed.

      1. re: rudykins

        Rudykins, I always appreciate your input on local chow, but I must say if you haven't had the sushi, then it's not fair to say you wouldn't recommend the place for someone asking for sushi recs. I've had sushi at Zen, and I always recommend Zen for sushi because it's the best sushi I've had in any city. Just because it's not "know for it" doesn't mean it's not good, it only means no one has tried it. I find it far and away better than Amura. Wazzabi and Seito are fine, but nothing special either. The Zen Experience Roll is to die for. Try it. You'll like it.

        My second place re for sushi is Ichiban downtown. Fuji Sushi is good too.

        1. re: starbucksbrew

          I see your point, but since the restaurant's other food is a big and overpriced nothing, and whoopdido can only have one sushi meal in town, I recommended restaurants that I know are good. I figured others would chime in about Zen, and they did.

          1. re: starbucksbrew

            Went to Amura last night and was disappointed in most of the sushi, although one of the rolls was quite good. I like the Sushi offered in the lounges of the JW Marriot and Renaissance (seaworld) Marriot. Also I think the Sushi at the california grill is outstanding (but a very limited menu).

            1. re: herbert1

              You would rather eat sushi at a Hotel? instead of s Sushi Restaurant, you don't know anything about True Sushi then, you might as well go to Publix to get your sushi fix

              1. re: mikeReach

                the JW Marriott is a nice hotel, coupled with the grande lakes, and the Ritz Carlton, which has Normans, by Norman Van Aken.

                You'd be surprised how good the food is there. To say they would have publix sushi is an insult to all of the chefs that work at that areas establishment.

                1. re: herbert1

                  In my opinion quality sushi is all about the care and ability of the sushi chef that prepares it along with the freshness and quality of the ingredients used in the process. Where it is served is of little import to me. I will say that I recently had a california roll at the JW Marriott that I was disapointed in, and I haven't been to the Renaissance in quite some while, so I don't know if the sushi is still as good. I do know that the head sushi chef there got a promotion within the hotel and a new one is making the sushi.

              2. re: rudykins

                Amura's was very dissapointing to me. Friends raved about it but I felt the sashimi could have been fresher. The rolls did not excite me much in taste or in plating. It was very average.

              3. re: whoopdido

                Loved Wazzabi, but since finding Sieto in Winter Park-beats them all hands down. Our new fave. good luck

                1. re: vrsecond

                  I dined at Seito a couple of weeks ago and they tried to pawn off dyed white fish to me and call it Salmon. I almost called the police and the Department of Consumer Protection but figured it's wasn't worth the hassle.

                  Salmon isn't suppose to leave a puddle of pink liquid underneath it when you pick it up off the plate.

                2. re: whoopdido

                  Ok. I have been to 3 out of the four you listed above.

                  Amura to me, was over priced and pretencious. Wazzabi was solid, but none of their rolls really blew me away. Shari is the best choice. Their fish is super fresh and they have creative rolls. They have some dishes for non sushi eaters and this beef appetizer that is out of this world.

                  I forgot the name of the roll I liked, but saw some great pictures of it here http://www.thesushicritic.com/shari-o... def worth checking out

                  1408 Gay Rd, Winter Park, FL 32789

                  1. re: Maggie Larkin

                    I guess I differ from the norm, but when I eat a bite of that damn rolls royce roll at the amura on sand lake (not the other two), I close my eyes and the world blips right by. the servers could be the biggest pricks in the world, I'd never remember. I only go there for the fish & rice. :)

                3. Zen is really known for Chinese, not sushi. I just ate at Oishi Sushi right near SeaWorld at International Drive and Central Florida Parkway and it was very good. A nice list of cold and hot sakes and some very creative rolls, too. I find Amura to be good but a bit overpriced.

                  1. Seito Sushi in Baldwin Park is my current favorite... very fresh with a stellar wine and sake list. Far beyond most sushi joints.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jadea3

                      I have to second Seito-it's my current favorite. They have a great variety...and honestly sometimes I find myself daydreaming about the Torchamaki! (Crawfish Roll with a torched white fish on the outside-very smokey and rich!)

                    2. I've enjoyed Ichiban (downtown Orlando near the corner of Orange Avenue and Central Boulevard), Fuji Sushi (Lee Road and 17-92 in Winter Park), and Wazzabi (the previously-mentioned trendy Japanese restaurant in Winter Park, on Gay Road and 17-92). Fuji is probably the least trendy/classy/high-end among them, and probably a little bit cheaper as a result, but their sushi was just as fresh and good as Wazzabi and Ichiban.

                      Also, if you like Vietnamese food as well, Lac Viet has a relatively new and outstanding sushi bar in addition to the best Vietnamese food in town. It's on Colonial Drive, a few blocks east of the main concentration of Vietnamese shops and restaurants around Mills Avenue.

                      1. Bikkuri sushi on east 50 near Vi-mi is very good and inexpensive. Looks like Bikkuri might be expanding it's small operation into a full service restaurant. Limited seating right now but the upstairs is being converted into a noodle house.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: rwmega

                          Shin was another one that came up in my search. Thanks for the suggestions. Hopefully I pick the right one.

                          1. re: whoopdido

                            I have been to all of the above, and i would say Fuji is the best of that bunch. BUT if you want real sushi, not americanized sushi than you need to go to Sushi Tomi out by John young and Sand Lake Rd. I have several friends that work for MItsubishi, adn a Japanes gentleman who works in my office and they all swear that Sushi Tomi is as close as you can get to the real thing they would eat in Japan. I have taken my co worker to the places above he says none of them even come close to Sushi Tomi. He said the second best was Shin followed by Sakura on Park Ave in Winter Park. If you go To sushi Tomi, get the tuna jaw, it is fantastic

                            1. re: fsupilam33

                              Well I decided to go to Shin and unfortunately I was disappointed. First of all the service was extremely slow. The waitress did say that it was busier than normal although the entire place is pretty small to begin with and it wasn't even full. She did take 2 drinks of our tab which was very nice. I'm not usually one to complain about slow service because I know that bad things happen from time to time, but it was very slow. When we got there there were 2 chefs working and by the time we left a 3rd came in so at least they figured out that they needed another chef.

                              Anyway, like I said in another thread on another board, I'm not the best at describing dining experiences, but the sushi just wasn't that great in my opinion. I mean it wasn't bad, but I was hoping for something better.

                              On the plus side it was pretty cheap. We had 4 beers (2 taken off the bill), miso soup, a dessert, shrimp tempura appetizer, 2 rolls and some toro nigiri and the total bill was only about $60.

                              Anyway, like I said, it wasn't terrible, but definitely not overly good.

                              1. re: whoopdido

                                Wow, I'm sorry to hear that--and really glad you let us know.

                              2. re: fsupilam33

                                I was just looking to see if Sushi Tomi had a website because I am doing a restaurant review for one of my classes and I came across this board. I am doing my review on Sushi Tomi as I love sushi and only discovered this place because it is right across the street from my school and I was on a long break from school and in the mood for sushi. Let me tell you, this is the BEST Sushi I have ever had. I am usually a little skeptical about eating in most places that are located in shopping plazas such as this one but this place proved me wrong. They are sooo nice there and so welcoming. The chef there is super fast too and it usually takes him about 10-15 minutes to make up your order. I must admit I haven't had very many different types of sushi or a whole lot of sushi in my life but a friend of mine who goes to school with me eats sushi all the time and she thought it was amazing. Their prices are very reasonable too. The two of us had, I believe, four different types of sushi, 6-8 pieces per type and it cost us about $18.00. I love it. Ive gone there several times since and Its only been 2 weeks since the first time I have went. haha. Sorry for such a long reply but Sushi Tomi deserves it.Now when we are on break, and not broke, we run over there and grab some Sushi to take back to class. I highly recommend it and I am quite picky. It is located on John Young, right behind 7 eleven at the other end of the Walmart. The st right there is called Commodity Circle. If you are familiar with where the Orlando Culinary Academy is, it is RIGHT across the street. From Sand Lake, going towards 528, take a left on John Young and it is your first light. Take a Left at the light, then the first left into the plaza. You won't be disappointed. Okay Im done, back to my paper. haha.

                          2. My favorite is Sushi Hatsu downtown.. the lunch specials are amazing.. 2 rolls, soup, salad, and some other thing (that i never eat) for $5-8 depending on the rolls you pick.. their dressing for the salad is AMAZING

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: FloridaE46

                              Sushi Hatsu is ok for cheap sushi, and i have eaten there because it is very coinvienent. Quality wise though they fail to come close to Sushi Tomi, or the others mentioned above.

                              1. re: fsupilam33

                                Another vote for Sushi Tomi we were staying at JW Marriott & tried it tonight. Loved the spicy conch roll & grilled hamachi cheeks.

                                1. re: beteez

                                  Did you try the Sushi at the JW Marriott? (it's quite good as well, the Sushi place at the Renassance Marriott is also good).

                                  1. re: herbert1

                                    Looked at the menu at the JW and was going to go back & try it after Tomi, but we were too stuffed to try the JW, will try it next time.

                            2. My current favorite is Izziban on the corner of Sand Lake Road and S. Orange Blossom Trail. Fresh, creative, fun. Sushi purists may be put off by some of the wilder rolls, but they do traditional presentations as well.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Scott Joseph

                                I took my Japanes co worker there and he wasn't impressed. I, however enjoyed the creative rolls

                              2. I know its kinda late...but if you ever go back to Orlando...you have to go to Ichiban...they have the best sushi in town if not, the country!

                                Ichiban Sushi Orlando
                                19 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801

                                1. If you ever get a chance and want to sample some fresh sashmi, exciting flavors and great plating check out Mikado's, The Hunters Creek Location. The sashmi melts in your mouth like butter. Try the white tuna, fatty tuna, baby yellowtail, and the salmon. They are delicious. The rolls are also wonderful and beautifly crafted.

                                  For a good time sit up at the bar and ask one of the chefs what's fresh or whats good today. They do not disappoint.

                                  1. Wow. Funky Monkey is fine at best. Ichiban and Shari get my votes, they always have the freshest fish. While the rolls aren't THAT creative, they have enough that you won't really care. Quality if what matters to me...

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Corporate_40

                                      I've got to add Bento Cafe! I go to the one in downtown Orlando, in The Plaza (the building with the movie theater). They've got a second location on Sand Lake Road (Dellagio). It's a little more laid back than your typical sushi spot -- you order at a counter, they give you a number and you choose your own seats and get your own drinks. But I believe there's some kind of addictive ingredient in the food because I CRAVE those rolls! They've got great combos and bowls for those not too into sushi, too.
                                      I'm surprised at the unimpressed reviews of Shin Sushi. That's probably No. 2 on my list. I've been there for lunch and with your order you get miso soup, small salad served in a little glass and sunomono (a Japanese vinegar salad that includes shrimp, crab and cucumber). I've always been extremely happy with my meals there.

                                      1. re: afluker

                                        i like the chirashi at bento's because its actually worth it, but most of their sushi are just OK...i like their bento and rice bowls and noodle dishes more ...soups too!

                                        1. re: afluker

                                          I know this goes back a while, but I want to second your recommendation for Bento Cafe. I first ate at its original Gainesville location back in 2003, the first place I ever had boba tea as well. I'm so glad they opened in downtown Orlando, because the food is even better than I remember. It's a funky room full of shiny chrome and cool blue lighting, and the sushi rolls are creative and delicious. Of course they have all those great boba flavors as well, and gigantic bento boxes if you ever aren't in the mood for sushi. They'll even validate your parking, which is nice. Bento Cafe is a perfect dinner destination before a movie at the new Plaza Cinema downtown, or a night at any of downtown Orlando's bars and clubs.

                                          (I also ate lunch there on my wedding day with all of my friends, so I'm more than a little biased toward thinking about it fondly.)

                                          1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                            Nice! Wedding with sushi :)

                                            For those who don't like Bento rolls, try these three & tell me if you changed your mind:

                                            - Special Mexican
                                            - Spicy Hotate
                                            - Mt. Fuji

                                            I could eat them every day three times a day!!!

                                            1. re: afluker

                                              It was just lunch before the wedding itself, but still a great experience. I first discovered Bento in Gainesville years ago, and I was thrilled when they opened in downtown Orlando. That day just happened to be the first time I went there, too

                                              Oh, and the Envy roll is my favorite there!

                                        1. re: honduranterror

                                          Shari is awful IMO - head to SHIN on North Orange, near Citrus. Shin is amazing! If you're looking for fabulous and cheap, head to Sushi Hatsu on Washington - always great!

                                        2. Best Sushi IMO is both Amura resturants and FUJI on Alafaya across from the waterford lakes plaza. If you go to Fuji, u must try the dessert roll!!! One of a kind!

                                          1. http://www.rangetsu.com/

                                            This is a true japanese restaurant.
                                            Not cheap, but authentic.
                                            My daughter is flying in on Thursday from NY and this
                                            is the first place she asked to go eat at.
                                            Great sushi but love that they have true japanese food.
                                            Their sukiyaki is the best we've had and we travel the country
                                            for business all year.
                                            The menu and prices are on their website.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: afluker

                                              Just what we need - a venerable independent restaurant closes and is replaced by two chains in one - don't get me wrong I visit good chains myself, but it would be great to see more independents in the tourist areas to show off our city. Guess the economic climate is too rough.

                                              Of course, Times Square is almost all chains now as well, so maybe New York is becoming more like Orlando :)

                                              Times Square Cafe
                                              326 W Central Ave, Winter Haven, FL 33880

                                            2. For what it is worth, Ming Court, the massive Chinese food tourist trap on International Drive actually has decent Sushi. Since it is a MASSIVE themed I-Drive attraction restaurant, it's kind of fun. Especially when they have live music.

                                              15 Replies
                                              1. re: Rusyoak

                                                I am trying to locate a sushi restaurant that we went to 3-4 years ago on recommendation of a local restaurant manager. He said not to be put off by the location, which was in a strip mall. Upon entering, we found that most of the clientele were Japanese, including many dining with their families. It was literally mom-and-pop and was most enjoyable. We are returning to Orlando later this year and would like to find it again. I believe it was located near the Orlando Culinary Academy off of John Young Parkway. Anyone have any idea of the name of the place and if it's still there? Thanks.

                                                1. re: markabauman

                                                  I was reading some older posts and it appears that the place I am trying to remember might be Sushi Tomi from a previous poster's description, if anyone can confirm.

                                                  1. re: markabauman

                                                    yes it is sushi tomi on john young, however i have heard it has closed due to the Great Recession

                                                    1. re: pdpredtide

                                                      That's really a shame. Anyone know where Japanese people who either live in the Orlando area or who are visiting may now be going to eat? One thing that reassured us when we went was the number of Japanese families who were dining with their children, as well as some Japanese people were traveling-then we knew it was the real thing. The food that went with their fluorescent lighting and linoleum tile decor was better than at many glitzy sushi bars we've been to.

                                                      1. re: pdpredtide

                                                        Their phone number is 407-352-8635 I am planning on going tonight (Sushi Tomi) I will let you all know how it is. :)

                                                        1. re: Terrijordan

                                                          ok this place is still in business - 4 of us went about 7:30 there were only 4 other people in the place for a Tuesday night. I am not a pro sushi eater but I do know that this place had fresh sushi and was very good. My niece said that it wasn't on the top of her list, she likes a little more choice in special rolls and I go along with that. They did have a few specials and I tried a couple of them and they were good. I had three rolls and an ice tea it came to $27.00 I would recommend Sushi Tomi but I have also eaten at Tokoyo on International drive in the plaza up near the designer malls and also Oishi Sushi on International Drive (next to Dennys) and both were just as good. Happy Sushi eating!

                                                          Sushi Tomi
                                                          8463 S John Young Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32819

                                                          1. re: Terrijordan

                                                            my apologies, they are open , i think they may have closed for a week and reopend , my bad

                                                            1. re: pdpredtide

                                                              Sushi Tomi is the best for the freshest and best tasting fish. They do not carry a lot of exotic rolls though....that is why you will see so many Japanese people eat there. There are only 2 restaurants in ORlando where the Chef will acutally look a the fish they are buying. That is Sushi Tomi and Shin.

                                                              Mitsubishi, the largest Japanese emplyer in Central FL, has 2 offices. One in Lake Mary and one in S orlando. The people in S orlando go to sushi tomi, the people in lake mary go to shin

                                                              1. re: fsupilam33

                                                                Went to Sushi Tomi last week, thought they were pretty good, no-frills atmosphere. Fish did seem fresh.

                                                            2. re: Terrijordan

                                                              I lived in Tokyo for 11 years: I look for a place that sells fish. The only rolls I want are Temaki, Tekkamaki, and Kappamaki. I care not one iota for the American style rolls with cream cheese, mango, krab, avacado, peanut butter/jelly, barbecue, or M&M's.

                                                              Will be heading out to Sushi Tomi this weekend.

                                                              Sushi Tomi
                                                              8463 S John Young Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32819

                                                              1. re: bkhuna

                                                                check out hanamizuki too ! they have very few rolls with cream cheese!


                                                                1. re: pdpredtide

                                                                  I've eaten there many times, it's the best in the area for traditional dishes like ramen, etc.

                                                                  However, on my last visit, we got some sushi that stank and was unedible. We broke the longstanding rule about never ordering raw fish on Sunday and got burned. That being said, if the Itamae was willing to serve old fish in the first place, it doesn't say much for their standards.

                                                                  We'll continue to eat there, but not the sashimi or sushi.

                                                                2. re: bkhuna

                                                                  I dinned at Sushi Tomi a few months ago. A little gem for sure. Very small place in a strip mall and very few dinners on a Sat night but the fish and service was excellent. One of the few places I would return to. And that says a lot

                                                                  Sushi Tomi
                                                                  8463 S John Young Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32819

                                                        2. re: markabauman

                                                          Perhaps it was Hanamizuki. While there with 3 members of my family (Japanese descent), the other diners were Japanese customers as well. Sashimi and nigiri zushi very fresh, serve seasonal specialties you won't find at Marriot hotels. Decor nothing to write home about but is clean and spacious. Could tell that wait staff has probably been Japanese-trained. Authentic and fresh. What more can you ask for?

                                                          1. re: boggler

                                                            i agree with all your observations about hanamizuki, they are the best in our area. however they are off of international drive, rather than john young pkwy (just a note) but yes i'd go there every day if i could

                                                      2. Amura on Sand Lake. Rolls Royce roll. Heaven. Their sushi is better than some I had in Tokyo. Only better sushi restaurant in FL is Naoe in Miami.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                          1. re: askdrtodd

                                                            Thanks! Will be driving down to FL in October, so will give Amura a try.

                                                            1. re: askdrtodd

                                                              I should amend that list, Kaisen Sushi in Tampa is amongst the best I've had in FL, and is by far the best mom & pop spot with the freshest seasonal ocean-dwelling creatures...

                                                              Kaisen Sushi
                                                              14841 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618

                                                            2. I'm stunned by all the "average" ratings against Amura. I've tried sushi at numerous places all over the Orlando area (Including Bento Cafe... which amazingly some people are wetting themselves over... Bento Cafe is on par with Publix sushi) and Amura has won me over... by far. I don't go anywhere else. Their Tokyo roll (eel, tempura crunch, honey, sriracha sauce) blows my mind. Their rolls-royce roll is stacked like a cake and is a must try. Tango Mango, Ninja Crispy Tuna Dish, Godzilla roll, Bubba roll. My stomach gets butterflies on my way to Amura because of how excited I get about their sushi! :-) Please, take a chance with some high class sushi and order a quality roll at Amura!

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: UFGatorGuy20

                                                                too much rice and sweetness for me , maybe ill try again another time

                                                                1. re: pdpredtide

                                                                  That's true... a lot of their sushi wraps are rather sweet. I think it's an amazing contrast though when you dip into soy sauce. Then you get the heat from the sriracha sauce! :-)

                                                                2. re: UFGatorGuy20

                                                                  Again, try the Spicy Hotate, Special Mexican & Mt. Fuji rolls and tell me if you still think it's sub-par.

                                                                  Bobas at Bento ROCK!

                                                                  1. re: UFGatorGuy20

                                                                    THANK YOU! Geez, I'm constantly blown away by Amura (SLR location only tho). I'm thinking about making the hour drive out there to get a Rolls Royce Roll from Tampa this weekend, it's that good.

                                                                  2. what do you all think of shin sushi? i was there recently for lunch and they have a really amazing selection (i got the shin hotate and shin volcano) the prices are a robbery though but i guess being downtown the rent may be higher ? of note, they did win best japanese in the 2010 orlando sentinel foodie awards


                                                                    1. I like the bento box w/ teriyaki steak. crunch roll is good.. and sapporo lite beer is smooth.

                                                                      Bento Cafe
                                                                      7335 W Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819

                                                                      1. The sushi there is good quality.

                                                                        Sushil Katana
                                                                        4192 Conroy Rd, Orlando, FL 32839

                                                                        1. I'm gonna hit up SHIN very soon.

                                                                          But, I've eaten at dozens of other places in town and in my opinion the best is Fuji Sushi on Lee Road in Winter Park (the have a location in Lake Mary too, but WP is the original).

                                                                          I don't really get all into Rolled Sushi, I like classic Nigiri-syle or straight Sashimi. So, I'm exceptionally picky about the freshness and cut of the fish.

                                                                          Largest selection, best prices and the biggest portions, I've ever seen on Nigiri style-sushi are at Fuji.

                                                                          I'd recommend starting with the KOBACHI DELUXE - A bowl of Cubed Ahi, with Flying Fish Roe and Avocado and get it SPICY...with extra Togarashi spice on the side! It will blow your mind.

                                                                          http://fujisushilakemary.com/menu.htm - MENU LINK

                                                                          1. I haven't eaten at enough to really pick a "favorite" but I will say Shari is good IF YOU GO AT HAPPY HOUR. My gf and I go for HH every now and then. One day we decided to go but it was after HH and figured no biggie we will just get a few things. Well one look at the menu and you realize just how good their HH prices are. Needless to say we had 2 apps and left.

                                                                            1. Nagoya in Winter Springs or Dr Phillips area hands down. The food is amazing. I recommend the Orgasm Roll and the Mexican Bubble Roll.

                                                                              Nagoya Sushi
                                                                              5661 Red Bug Lake Rd, Winter Springs, FL 32708

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: badwarhol

                                                                                I one hundred percent agree with the this guy! Nagoya is the best, those two rolls are amazing but so is the fire mountain and the lover! You must try this place!