The Best Sushi Restaurants In Austin guide image


The Best Sushi Restaurants In Austin

The greatest sushi spots in Austin, from excellent a la carte restaurants to bucket list omakase experiences.

Sushi in Austin can vary wildly, depending on whether you’re looking for a casual spot where you can wear flip-flops, a $200-plus omakase, or just some affordable rolls and nigiri to eat on your couch. For a land-locked city of our size, we’re batting above our weight. All of the above are represented in this guide, and whether you want to drop $30 or $300 on one of Austin's best sushi omakase-only restaurants—you’ll have options. And our list can help narrow down whichever kind of sushi adventure you’d like to go on. Here are the best sushi restaurants in Austin.


photo credit: Mackenzie Smith Kelley

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801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin
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You can’t talk about sushi in Austin without Uchi’s name coming into the conversation. The team behind this sushi and Japanese fusion restaurant have built a mini-empire spanning multiple states and concepts, but it all started right here in a cozy renovated house on South Lamar. Uchi has a core sushi menu with classic pieces like salmon or yellowtail, but the really good stuff is on their toyosu section—named after the famous fish market in Tokyo where the fish gets flown in daily. The sushi here tends to be on the smaller side, like well-proportioned nigiri that hasn’t fully grown yet. Fortunately, there’s a solid Happy Hour that includes a few marked down pieces of sushi, plus a pretty extensive menu of vaguely Japanese-inspired hot and cold plates to round out your meal a bit. They also have another spot in town, Uchiko, with a very similar menu and a larger dining room.

The menu at Uchiko is almost indistinguishable from Uchi’s—with a nearly identical selection of sushi and the Japanese-inspired hot and cold plates. Where Uchi and Uchiko differ most is the vibe and space—while Uchi is in an old house, Uchiko is in a much larger space in a strip mall in Rosedale, making it an excellent alternative for groups or more spontaneous dinners (it’s also about 10% easier to get into). There’s also a pretty good Happy Hour, where you can get a daily selection of rolls and nigiri for about half price. 

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From the team behind Perla’s, Clark’s, Sammie’s, Jeffrey’s, and roughly 85% of the remaining restaurants in Austin, Neighborhood Sushi offers nigiri, rolls, and Japanese-inspired bites out of a semi-hidden dining room on South Congress (the entrance is through the parking lot in the back). Despite the name, it’s not really priced like a casual neighborhood spot, and the interior is far too polished and dressed up to indicate otherwise. But you’re here for the melt-in-your-mouth fish and well-seasoned rice, not convenience (unless you happen to live on South Congress). The generously sized nigiri leans pretty classic when it comes to garnishes—the rolls, on the other hand, veer a little farther from tradition, with fillings like grilled cubanelle mayo, fermented chili, and jalapeños, for what feels like a vaguely Texan twist on familiar flavors. 

photo credit: Holly Dirks

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Despite Fukumoto being about 6,548 miles away from Tokyo, this yakitori grill and sushi restaurant in East Austin will make you feel like you’re at a tiny izakaya on a busy street in Japan, complete with sake barrels lining the dining room and an open kitchen where you can watch skewers sizzle and sushi get assembled. The nigiri here is excellent, with well-seasoned rice and large slices of fish, most of which were hanging out in a Japanese seafood market just a few days ago. Fukumoto is where we go for the perfect balance of atmosphere and great food, at prices that feel semi-appropriate for a random Wednesday night. 

Perhaps best known for the action-packed sushi rolls (that are often topped with their go-go sauce, a spicy mayo), Komé is a low-key and homestyle Japanese restaurant in Ridgetop. The menu is super-broad, spanning from gyoza to ramen to bento boxes to yakitori. Also on the menu are a tight selection of nigiri and sashimi—none of it will blow your mind, but it’s all carefully-prepared, consistent, and dependable. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so be prepared to wait during peak hours, but we really like to eat at the long sushi bar, our go-to solo sushi spot. 

Tomodachi Sushi on Parmer Lane has been around for over 16 years, and it’s always busy, full of locals who are in on the secret that some of Austin’s best sushi can be found here. There are a bunch of crowd-pleasing rolls that are actually pretty good, despite having ludicrous names like “Who's ur Daddy?,” “Say My Name!!,” “xXx,” and “Sex on the Beach.” But the best thing to do here is order anything and everything off of the specials board of fish, flown in from all over, including Hawaii and Japan.

Musashino’s edomae-style nigiri is about as classic as it gets—with most pieces dressed in just soy sauce, wasabi, and the occasional bit of grated ginger or lemon zest. The rice might be packed a little denser than we like, but it’s seasoned very well and makes for a welcome accompaniment to the massive slices of high quality fish spilling over both ends. I you’re not much of a fish expert, just order one of the “sushi entrees” that come in varying sizes and let the chefs make the hard choices. Musashino is on the second floor of a small office building a few blocks from UT, but despite being in between a dental office and a law firm, it’s remarkably cozy—complete with dark wooden doors painted in kanji characters, shelves packed full of Japanese paraphernalia, and hanging light fixtures made from ballooned-up puffer fish.

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

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Just a block from Uchi in South Austin, Soto offers a pretty extensive menu of rolls and nigiri, in addition to a full menu of flashy hot and cold plates to round out your meal (if you really want a spectacle, order the salmon over fire, where a few pieces of raw fish with raspberry chili sauce arrive hanging over a live flame to cook for a few seconds). Much like at Uchi, the nigiri here is on the small end. But the nigiri options are extensive, and each comes paired with a unique set of garnishes. That means you can expect everything from more classic chu toro with pickled wasabi to ora king salmon with miso, garlic scallion oil, and lemon zest. 

About half of Lucky Robot’s menu is made up of Nikkei cuisine, but our favorite way to visit is for a sushi stop during a long day out shopping on South Congress. Unlike other spots that like to pride themselves on how recently their fish were still swimming, Lucky Robot instead dry ages most of their fish, which packs it full of intense, savory flavors and excellent texture. While most of the nigiri leans into more traditional flavors, there are a few that incorporate their Japanese-Peruvian influence, like a piece topped with 48 hour short rib, Nikkei chimichurri, and shallots.

Uroko is a casual handroll spot inside of Springdale General in East Austin with a tiny dining room that holds just a few small tables. It’s from the team behind Komé—a place we like very much—and as a result, it feels like an even more chill version of its older sibling. It’s located inside the coworking/food hall area of Springdale General, meaning you can grab items from all the vendors in the area for a frankensteined lunch consisting of an iced latte from Medici, croissants from Julie Myrtle, and as many hand rolls as you can comfortably handle from Uroko. 


Reservations at all of Austin’s omakase-only spots are tough to come across, but none, perhaps, as tough as Tsuke Edomae, a tiny sushi bar in Mueller that gets booked out many months in advance. It’s a bare-bones space, with an entryway that feels a bit like the lobby of a dentist office that spent some time picking up zen gardening tips from an Ikea catalog, and a small, minimalist sushi counter with eight seats. Expect a few small plates, plus 8-10 pieces of classic edomae-style sushi, in which the fish goes through an aging process to further develop umami flavors. This is nigiri in its simplest form—dressed in nothing but soy sauce and wasabi—and sets the gold standard in Austin for sushi purists. 

Note: Tsuke Edomae is temporarily closed until summer 2023.

Otoko is often considered one of the swankiest restaurants in Austin, with a price tag that shows they’re clearly aware. It’s a place to dress up a little and feel like a rock star, as you watch your meal get prepared in a room that’s basically a tunnel of lights to a soundtrack of Bowie, Sun Ra, and Fugazi, with a chef that looks like he could have just hopped off any of their stages. There are three menus here that change based on what day you book. Most days it’s a kaiseki menu—a mix of seasonal veggies and nigiri—but there’s also a weekly mostly-sushi night, and a once-a-month smaller (and cheaper) menu. All of them are a mix of small plates and nigiri in different ratios that generally play with both Japanese and Texas flavors, generally in subtle ways that feel like traditional flavors steeped in Austin. 

There aren’t a ton of experiences in Austin that feel quite as magical as the moment a bookshelf opens up in the back of an East Austin hostel to reveal a tiny, six-person dining room with a live edge sushi bar. But if you’re dropping $135+ on dinner, we’re going to guess you want a little more than a moving bookshelf, or you’d just be hanging out in one of the display units at Ikea. Toshokan does a 14-course experience that will likely end in a 14-way tie for your favorite dish of the night. Even when garnishes get creative, you'll never end up with half a dozen different toppings competing with each other. The fish is ultimately the star of the show here, as it should be. 

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