The Best Sushi Spots In Denver

12 of our favorite spots for temaki, slabs of toro, and omakase menus.
The Best Sushi Spots In Denver image

photo credit: Dana Valletti

Thanks to the magic of airplanes and insulated ice packs, you can get just about the same quality seafood you’d find in a place like Seattle or LA in a landlocked city like Denver. 

Besides the run-of-the-mill strip mall spots you’ll find in every neighborhood, the city has gotten an influx of places over the years, including izakayas, popular transplant chains that are actually good, and remarkable seafood temples. You’ll find creative omakase menus, sushi spinning around the dining room on conveyor belts, and even some worthwhile vegan rolls. Here are the best spots in Denver to fulfill all your raw fish fantasies.

If you're looking for more than just great nigiri, check out our guide to the best restaurants in town.





$$$$Perfect For:Happy HourEating At The BarPeople Watching


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Sure, Sushi Den and Izakaya Den are great, but you should really book a table at their sister restaurant Temaki Den. It’s a whole lot easier to get into, and the menu is pared down to some of the freshest nigiri and temaki in town. For the best deal, come before 6pm on a weeknight for a five-roll temaki set for just $24, and definitely add on the wagyu sukiyaki handroll. The location is literally smack dab in the middle of The Source food hall in RiNo, so expect some chaotic energy of people wielding baguettes and pounding IPA flights from the nearby bakery and brewery. That won’t bother you, though—the sushi menu at Temaki Den is simple, excellent, and will have you tuning everything else out.

photo credit: Dana Valletti

$$$$Perfect For:Outdoor/Patio SituationSmall PlatesHappy HourPeople Watching


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Yes, you’re going to see tables of wannabe influencers with ring lights taking pictures of seductively plated sashimi and a cocktail named after an Ariana Grande song at Mizu Izakaya. But guess what? The sushi, noodles, poke bowls, skewers, ramen, and hot stones (they have a very lengthy menu) are so good, even people who have never thought to edit a photo will leave satisfied. Happy hour is an especially good time to go, when the sake bombs and california rolls cost $5.

Uchi may not be a Denver original (it started in Austin around twenty years ago and there are now spots in Miami and Dallas), but the sleek restaurant with its sustainable rooftop greenhouse fits perfectly into its almost-but-not-quite-RiNo neighborhood. There are many ways to experience the aquatic glory that is Uchi: a 10-course omakase in a private room, Happy Hour nigiri in the lounge, or splitting some miso lobster in the dining room. But don’t overlook the simplicity of grabbing a stool at the bar, closing your eyes, and pointing at something off the always excellent list of daily specials.

Sometimes, you just want to snag some spicy tuna rolls off a 50-foot-long conveyor belt. And that’s what Sushi-Rama is all about. It’s great for families with picky kids, first-time sushi eaters, and raw fish lovers alike. This spot is always a good time, and their brand of fun comes in the form of floor-to-ceiling pop art murals, green tea mules, and bags of Ruffles potato chips (which are a surprisingly perfect sushi sidekick). Just pluck whatever looks good to you off the belt and your server will add up your stack of rainbow-colored plates at the end (prices range from $2.29 to $4.29).

Cherry Hills Sushi Co. is not the place to come for mango-topped rolls and sake bombs. This small spot does just two things, temaki and sashimi, and it does them very well. Order a handroll combo of three to six rolls, and make sure one of them is the mildly sweet and spicy scallop roll. The whole experience is a lesson in simplicity, with a minimalist space to match. Seats surrounding the open sushi bar go fast, so get there early to snag one. 

Nozomi is your average neighborhood sushi spot, complete with a paper-and-pencil menu, only kicked up a notch or two. The fish is fresher, the vibe is sexier (hello, red mood lighting), and the rolls are a little more inventive. We love the Snow Beauty with shrimp tempura and spicy tuna topped with seared scallops, and the kobe beef that’s rolled up with fried asparagus in soy paper. It’s not too pricey, either—shimmering, high-quality bluefin toro goes for $9 a piece and the absolutely loaded rolls start at $16. The sake and Japanese whisky lists are also decently long and full of quality picks.

There aren’t many sushi restaurants whose wine lists include a table of contents, but that’s the level of fancy you can expect at Matsuhisa in Cherry Creek. The crowd is what you’d also expect at a place with $38-an-ounce wagyu and a $45 toro and caviar roll, but there’s more to this Japanese spot than country clubbers throwing down black cards on wines that cost more than your rent. Plates like the new-style sashimi are super bright thanks to rice vinegar and yuzu pools, and you can never go wrong with the sweet and briny unagi tempura. Just definitely save room for the Nobu-style shaved ice—a cold, puffy cloud filled with sweet condensed milk and drizzled with miso caramel tableside.

The Sake Bombers Lounge at this LoDo spot is a high-energy bar that’s great for anyone looking to down more than one saketini with their truffle ponzu sauced salmon. It gets especially busy during Happy Hour, when those saketinis are four bucks off and people buzzing on a combo of mercury and alcohol stick around for under $10 spicy tuna rolls. If you want to escape the scene, the dining room is quieter, with Japanese advertisements lining the walls, and has the same menu of rolls, pieces, and vegan maki.

Sushi Ronin turns out beautiful plates of scallops topped with caviar and sashimi that's paired with fried shrimp heads. The service is just as thoughtful as the plating—you can always count on the staff to offer up expert recommendations, but they know when to get out of the way if you know exactly what you want. You could also just stop at the bar for an excellent Japanese whisky-based cocktail or something off their long list of sakes. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of LoHi parking, there are locations in Lowry and Congress Park, too.

A lot has changed since 2005—Netflix doesn't send DVDs by mail anymore, Skechers are cool again, and the Platte Street neighborhood around Sushi Sasa has gotten a whole lot busier. What has stayed the same is that Sushi Sasa is still one of the best Japanese restaurants in town, and a go-to for ultra-fresh sashimi and rolls you won’t find anywhere else (like the delicious Dragon Roll topped with strawberries and unagi). It’s a bit fancier than other spots around Denver, so go for something like an anniversary rather than a first date.

If you genuinely enjoy hearing about which farm the spinach in your salad is from and how humanely your octopus was caught, you’ll love this sustainable sushi restaurant. Bamboo obsessively sources Marine Stewardship Council-certified fish in an effort to minimize their environmental impact and, you know, keep the earth spinning a little while longer. The Portland-based mini-chain opened on a popular LoHi stretch in 2017, and the creative sashimi and rolls (plus a killer wagyu burger) have been a hit ever since. Go for the Green Machine roll with tempura green beans and avocado, and always add salmon.

What we’re about to say might piss you off, but stick with us. Some of the best sushi in town is actually vegan. Yes, Wellness Sushi is a 100% plant-based restaurant, with fish-less sushi that’s really excellent. Rolls like the Ohnagi with eggplant “eel” and the Kakiage Supreme with tempura vegetables, a house krab salad, and spicy sauces are so complex that even the biggest fish lovers will be vegan sushi converts. It’s a fast-casual spot with just a couple of tables, plus shelves of grain-free cookies and similar snacks. 

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