ATXReview

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Nori image
8.0

Nori

JapaneseVegetarian

Central AustinNorth University

$$$$Perfect For:VegetariansVegans
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Finding vegan sushi options in Austin isn’t unheard of—Uchi, Uchiko, and Lucky Robot all offer accommodating menus—but Nori is Austin’s first and only sushi restaurant with an entirely vegan menu. Ingredients like smoked carrots, marinated mushrooms, avocados, and cured tomatoes take the place of fish in most of the rolls, and while none of them will have you second-guessing what you just ate, they won’t leave you disappointed either. Start with an order of shiitake gyoza topped with apricot gastrique, grab a couple of rolls to split, then order the nigiri sampler for a six-bite intro to what vegan sushi is all about. And if you want something a little heartier, there’s also ramen, yakisoba, and eggplant katsu curry. 

Nori image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Nori image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Nori image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Nori image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

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Nori image
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It tends to get busy inside, mostly with couples on dates and small groups of friends out to enjoy one of Austin’s few moderately upscale vegan restaurants with a full bar (and a solid Happy Hour). But despite that, it never feels too loud or chaotic. It’s dark and intimate, with a Tame Impala-inspired radio station setting a laid-back tone, and lots of plants that add in a small sense of vibrancy. Head to Nori for date nights near Campus, or if you just want a Japanese meal with all-vegan options. 

Food Rundown

Nori image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Nigiri Sampler

Consider this a little crash course on vegan sushi, with six bites topped with ingredients like cured tomato, cucumbers, Just Egg tamagoyaki, and marinated shiitake mushrooms. The rice is a little bit cold and densely packed, but the toppings never made us feel like we were missing out by not having any fish.

Nori image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Manhattan Roll

We loved the smoked carrots in this roll so much that we briefly forgot it was entirely plant-based. They add a savory depth and texture that rounds out an otherwise soft roll. Grab one of these to share with the table, or just get one for yourself.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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