There’s just something about the precision of Japanese food and the attention to the balance of sweet, salty, and umami that sets this cuisine apart. At its best, sushi is made with the highest quality of fish and never feels overindulgent: I wish I didn’t have that last piece of sashimi, thought no one ever. Not to mention the zen feeling you get while dining within the Japanese minimalist design.
If you have a penchant for raw seafood, chili-garlic edamame, and popcorn shrimp and happen to find yourself in our nation’s capital, keep scrolling. Here, we’ve compiled the best sushi restaurants in and around Washington, D.C., serving everything from nigiri and sashimi to Asian-influenced favorites like pork belly steamed buns. Whether you’re in the city for the weekend or live and work in the area, save these spots for whenever you need a sushi fix.
Try one of four types of kaiseki meals (chef’s choice based on market and seasonal ingredients) at Sushi Taro. The Sushi Taro menu also includes à la carte sushi and sashimi, as well as bento boxes during lunchtime.
1503 17th St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Aptly situated in Capitol Hill is this 20-seat sushi spot. If you visit Sushi Capitol, order an assortment of sushi rolls and sashimi from seven to 21 pieces, or partake in a $50 omakase meal (minimum two people).
325 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, D.C.
The menu at this Asian-Pacific restaurant features sushi, sashimi, dim sum, bibimbap, and main dishes like roasted duck and green Thai curry, cumin lamb chops, and Chinese style smoked lobster. The bar and lounge offers happy hour from 4 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, including $5 steamed bao buns and $5 cocktails. Also, try the sushi and seafood offerings at TenPenh Tysons’s sister restaurant, PassionFish, in Bethesda, Maryland.
7900 Westpark Drive, McLean, Virginia
If you haven’t had a Buredo before, picture a sushi hand roll that’s a cross between a burrito and sushi. The menu includes vegan and gluten-free offerings, as well as the option to turn any roll into a salad. The D.C. establishment has locations in Dupont and Franklin Square, and four more District locations slated to open soon.
825 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. and 1213 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
A refined five-course tasting menu at a casual price point ($48) awaits you at Nasime. The 20-seat Japanese restaurant has featured dishes including sashimi, broiled duck breast with foie gras soy sauce, and cold sesame ramen noodles. Chef Yuh Shimomura, who has worked at Kaz Sushi Bistro and Sei, can also accommodate dietary restrictions with at least 24-hour notice.
1209 King St., Alexandria, VA
SEI Modern Asian
Noted for its décor by Zagat, SEI features one-of-a-kind rolls like S.O.S. prepared with salmon, strawberries, avocado, and orange miso sauce; sundried tomato roll with black rice, avocado, and truffle garlic ponzu; and a separate gluten-free menu. The Asian-fusion restaurant is located at the intersection of Penn Quarter and Chinatown and also offers happy hour from Monday through Friday from 5 to 8 p.m.
444 Seventh St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Imagine ginger-infused tortillas and rolls to the likes of Mar y Tierra prepared with tempura lobster tail, scorched Miyazaki wagyu beef, caviar, shaved black truffle, and fresh root wasabi at this Latin-Asian fusion restaurant. Sakerum is vibrantly adorned, serves brunch, plus it offers a $5 sake hour.
2204 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C.
The menu at this 24-seat Japanese/Asian restaurant is updated daily and includes nigiri, sashimi, hot, and cold plates, and an extensive beverage program. Make note that Himitsu is open Tuesday through Saturday, and it doesn’t accept parties larger than four because of the intimate space.
828 Upshur St. NW, Washington D.C.