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Best sushi in Philadelphia?

Not counting Morimoto because of pricing, what is the best sushi restaurant in Philadelphia (center city, university city, etc.)? Hoping to have some decent cocktails too...

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  1. Morimoto isn't the best sushi in the city anyway. Unfortunately for you most of the best places are BYO. My favorite is Zento, after that I'd say Zama and Izumi are pretty much the same level, then Uzu and Morimoto would be behind them. Zama and Morimoto are the only ones that serve alcohol.

    1. my fave is zama in rittenhouse square...i know they get mixed reviews but i have been 3 times and have yet to be even slightly dissapointed.
      great rolls, fresh fish and they have a nice drink menu and an extensive saki list and the other food is really good too.
      get the spicy salmon roll - i'm not normally one for rolls especially at a place with such great raw and fresh fish but they add fried shallots and it is amazing. they also do a tempura'd spicy tuna roll thats a neat twist - the whole roll is fried but it still stays fresh and cool in the inside.

      1. Fat Salmon (7th & Walnut) does some great rolls.
        I also like Aki (12th & Walnut).

        2 Replies
        1. re: jl0328

          The best sushi in Philadelphia is not in Philadelphia: it's in Haddonfield: Matt Ito's Fuji.

          1. re: jl0328

            Last time at AKI, whether it was ACYE or not, the fish was real real teeny, and the rice lump was HUGE. And really bad rice, hopefully this attitude was cleared up, as used to like the place a lot.

          2. Zento is probably the best in Philly. I also recommend Fuji in Haddonfield NJ. The problem with Izumi is that they destroy the rice (it really ruins the pretty good fish they serve). Zama or Raw would be my second choice in Philly, but, Zama, only for sushi. Don't order anything else from the Zama menu.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Tasty Duck

              I highly recommend Zento for sushi but also Kisso. I've been going to Kisso for years and they serve high quality sushi. These places are both byob.

              I went to Morimoto recently for an extremely expensive dinner and wasn't so impressed. The food was good but no better than Zento or Kisso.

              1. re: phillyjules

                Good to hear Kisso is still making good sushi. It was my go-to when I lived in Old City a decade ago but I only get there occassionally now.

            2. went to zama and found the sushi pricing to be about the same as morimoto, maybe 50c cheaper and in some cases $1 cheaper per piece... that being said it was still about $6/pc for the ones i wanted.

              the pro of zama was that the rice wasn't salty... the con was that it lacked flavour besides the natural delicious rice they're using but i like my sushi rice to have some vinegar-sweet zing. the slices of fish were cut unevenly, one piece i had was actually triangular in thickness. it was fresh, but some of it really lacked oomph... if that kindai chu-toro was real chu-toro, then kinki university is going to have a hell of a tough time converting people over to their farmed tuna. it was still quite far and away from the fattiness of great chu-toro. i did like that they had a reasonable list of in-today sushi. oh and their traditional maki list is a steal in my books, really enjoyed the hirame-ume but kinda wish they tucked in just a bit of shiso to really complete the flavour.

              cooked items were mostly duds in lacking completeness of concept. love the japanese microbrews, do not love how pricey they are :(

              will be making an effort to check out more sushi around town... can anyone comment on the availability of fish on the impressively long list for umai umai? does doma have a in-today list of fish? do many other restos? i have izumi, uzu, zento, and kisso on the list as well. i`ll never get out to haddonfield, but does anyone have any thoughts on fuji mountain? their list of fish seems interesting as well.

              1. agree with Bashful3 that Matt Ito's Fuji is consistently the highest quality fish you'll get in the region. Then when you want to really explore the possibilities, let Master Ito cook for you.

                2 Replies
                1. re: fderoos

                  If you're going to South Jersey, then head to Oh Yoko. A husband and wife own the restaurant and they are great. There's always such an interesting list of fish on the specials board. I feel like this restaurant gets overlooked sometimes since most people will only mention Fuji Mountain. Don't get me wrong, I've had wonderful meals at Fuji Mountain. Oh Yoko is definitely my favorite and the chef makes his own soy sauce. Eating sushi and Japanese food can be duanting and they have educated me over the years. I had the best raw scallop there. It's also affordable compared to the Center city restaurants.

                  Oh Yoko
                  1428 State Highway 70 NE, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

                  1. re: phillyjules

                    Matt Ito's place is just Fuji, it is not related to Fuji Mountain

                2. I had a good sushi lunch at Shiroi Hana today, on south 15th street near Locust. The best in the burbs is Vic Sushi in Spring House near Ambler. Get the I-roll.

                  1. Makiman on 1300 block of Spruce has excellent quality fish. On Monday's AYCE for $ 28.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      I am looking for fresh, tasty sushi in Center City and came across this old thread and thought I would put it back out there for some more ideas and opinions.

                      A few months ago I had Vic Sushi on Sansom - HORRIBLE! It was awful, so I am apprehensive with picking a random place.

                      I am interested in trying Zama from all of the posts. I am, however, a little taken back by the price, but I guess you get what you pay for when it comes to sushi in CC...

                      Anyone have anymore ideas/comments for fresh sushi in CC, Market West area/Rittenhouse?

                      1. re: Luc2308

                        Anyone been to Umai Umai lately? I remember liking it several years ago.

                        Also there is the grande dame of sushi in Collingswood where Sagami still serves very simple well prepared fish, (and its BYO to boot... ).

                        1. re: Luc2308

                          For the area you're looking for, Zama is pretty much your best bet. I don't think the price it that outrageous, you can get a good sushi combo for like $30. Not cheap, but not out of this world either. It's like anything else, order smartly and you'll be fine.

                          1. re: Cheesesteak

                            didn't find the cooked app items to be worth it, lots of muddled flavours or cooking techniques that i didn't think worked for the dishes. the sushi was nice though, but didn't make me regret any visits to morimoto though. loved the ume fluke roll... so refreshing.

                          2. re: Luc2308

                            That experience at Vic's is unfortunate. The owner sold it last year so the real Vic is now in Spring House. But his old place kept the name. The new one in Spring House is among the best sushi in the area.