The 10 Best Japanese In Seattle, Wa, The Best Sushi Restaurants In Seattle

Between the easy access to the Pacific and the cultural history, this is American sushi at its best.

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With the waters of Puget Sound bringing in fresh seafood regularly, Seattle resembles old Tokyo in some ways. Consider​ ​the city's generations of Japanese immigration and influence combined with its access to great​ ​fish, and the city is ripe for some of the best sushi in the world. Chefs from Japan and their disciples have built an empire of excellent sushi restaurants in town, showcasing​ ​regional​ ​specialties like geoduck, sockeye salmon, Alaskan spot prawns, and B.C. herring. We did the tough work of trying them out, and among the city's incredible backdrop of great seafood restaurants​, we selected our favorite spots for getting the best Seattle sushi.

For even more recommendations check out our full Seattle City Guide.

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Legendary chef Shiro Kashiba now slices seafood at nearby Sushi Kashiba in Pike Place Market, but the food here remains flawless in the capable hands of chef Jun Kobayashi, and the lines outside are a testament to that fact. The tender broiled hamachi Kama (yellowtail collar) to lovingly wrought rolls, sashimi, and nigiri, keep Shiro’s near the top of Seattle's competitive sushi space. The sake list includes a few lovely junmai gingos from the snowy Niigata region of Japan, home to some of the best sake in the world.

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You'll recognize Maneki by its collection of beckoning cats. It's been a hub of Seattle's Japanese community since 1904. It may have been the first place in Seattle to serve sushi and the well worn dining and tatami rooms fill up every night. Fun fact: a former dishwasher here went on to become prime minister of Japan (Takeo Miki). 


Shiro Kashiba is the grandfather of Seattle sushi, and most of the city's other great sushi chefs trained under him (so did Nakazawa, the egg guy from Jiro Dreams of Sushi, before opening his eponymous place in New York). He's known for making edomae (Tokyo bay-front) sushi that, like the original Tokyo sushi, showcases ingredients from the surrounding waters. He sold his stake in Shiro's a few years ago, then came out of retirement to open Kashiba. Catch the septegenarian master Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday. At 5 p.m. when they open, there's already a line, and if you're not in it, you may not get a seat at the sushi bar. Tables, some with a view of Puget Sound, can be reserved ahead. This place is big for a high end sushi restaurant.

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