Greater Vancouver’s Best Sushi Restaurants

Sushi never fails to satisfy the tummy and the spirit, whether you're feasting on sashimi or packing away rolls. Here are our picks for fabulous sushi joints in the Lower Mainland

From izakaya (drinking establishments) to family-friendly fare, good sushi restaurants are always crowded with famished fish-lovers. You’ll be greeted with the familiar “irasshaimase” at these superior sushi spots in the Lower Mainland

Blessed with the finest, freshest seafood, Vancouver is home to hundreds of sushi restaurants, varying from hidden gems to upscale establishments.

You’d think Vancouverites would grow tired of the unlimited access to sushi. But we don’t just want sushi sporadically; we crave it all the time. Yet, with countless options, how do you separate the best restaurants from the overly hyped?

It’s about the freshness of the fish, the rice-to-fish ratio, and the chef’s creativity. It’s about efficient service, suitable prices, decent wait times, and a comfortable environment. Combine these elements and you’ve got the perfect sushi place.

Explore your love for sushi and sample the fare each and every one of these top-notch restaurants!

Suika (Fairview)

When patrons walk into Suika, they’re often struck by the beauty and ingenuity of its modern and trendy décor. From its colourful sake-bottle chandelier to the alluring central bar, Suika stands out among the slew of Japanese izakaya joints across Vancouver.

Although its service is relatively fast, make a reservation just in case, as this place is constantly packed.

Try the bento-style Deluxe Suika Appetizer Box ($10). This appetizer sampler contains nine items ranging from smoked tuna tataki to beef tongue. As the menu says, the appetizer is “like a jewelry box.”

Easy on the wallet, this appie gives you a taste of the restaurant’s distinct dishes.

Red Tuna Sushi & Noodle Cafe (Marpole)

With its intimate and cozy atmosphere, Red Tuna is the perfect place to unwind and catch up with close friends. Its furnishings are clean and simple, and the staff is unfailingly friendly and accommodating. Most of the seats are by the bar, so you’ll have a front row view of the chefs at work.

Although its menu features a large variety of rolls and bento boxes, Red Tuna is always receptive to custom orders. Don’t be shy: try something out of your comfort zone.

If you’ve never tried ikura (salmon roe), Red Tuna is definitely the place to make it happen. Remarkably fresh, the ikura bursts in your mouth like juicy bubble wrap.

Guu Richmond (Richmond Central)

Compared to the other Guus in downtown Vancouver, Guu Richmond specializes in traditional sushi (with less terrifying wait times!) But like all Guus, this one’s just as invigorating and noisy as the rest.

You’re guaranteed to be greeted by enthusiastic shouts from the Guu staff.

One of the most innovative dishes is the Sushi Creations ($6.80), which is made a little differently every time. It comes with three types of nigiri – Jack Tail (seared yellowtail with Italian dressing, onion and yuzu pepper), Crazy Salmon (seared salmon and spice salt), and Red Crash (tuna with avocado, cucumber and spicy sauce).

Pair that with one of Guu’s original cocktails ($6), like the Oh!! Michael (cassis, plum wine, aloe vera juice and apple juice) and you’re good to go!

Maguro Sushi (Ladner)

Before heading to the ferry docks, drop by Maguro Sushi. Loved for its chirashi dons, chicken teriyaki (made with chicken breast, as opposed to dark meat) and extra large portions, Maguro Sushi lives up to the hype.

Definitely try the Bacon Age Roll ($9.95). The chefs merge deep-fried bacon with traditional prawn, scallop and salmon. Delicious! Maguro also notably serves Wild Pacific salmon rather Atlantic.

Ajisai Sushi Bar (Kerrisdale)

Why is Ajisai Sushi Bar receiving so much attention? Simple. Its ingredients are incredibly fresh. Although pricier than most establishments, Ajisai has a huge fan base and is crowded seven days a week.

From tamago sushi to uni dishes, Ajisai supplies fresh, melt-in-your-mouth raw fish. Its uni (sea urchin) is particularly creamy and rich.

Next time you’re in Kerrisdale, stop by Ajisai Sushi Bar and experience what true freshness tastes like.

Sushi Nanaimo (Hastings-Sunrise)

With large portions, exceptional service, and reasonable prices, Sushi Nanaimo truly is a hidden gem. While its décor is relatively modest, the establishment is clean and cozy.

Besides its affordable proces, the restaurant also offers a 10% discount card once you’ve been there more than 10 times.

The must-try here is the Nanaimo roll, which unites spicy tuna with deep-fried potato slices, covered with Japanese mayo sauce. The Awesome roll also comes highly recommended. It’s basically a baked California roll covered with salmon and bonito flakes or deep-fried potato slices. Sounds awesome, right?

Miku Restaurant (Downtown Vancouver)

Although countless bloggers have already gushed about it, Miku Restaurant cannot be omitted from this list.

Famous for its aburi-style nigiri (sear-flamed sushi), Miku delivers. Its open kitchen layout and contemporary colour scheme visually display Miku’s western interpretation of authentic Japanese cuisine.

Arguably Miku’s most popular dish, the Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi ($14), is salmon pressed with rice and topped with jalapenos and a special sauce. Enhanced by a spicy kick from the jalapenos, these remarkable cubes of awesomeness are jam-packed with delicious flavour.

But don’t stop there: Miku also has a fine selection of desserts! You’re guaranteed to leave this restaurant feeling two sizes larger, but 10 times happier.