Yes, sushi is a luxurious thing. So while we’ll always prefer sitting at the bar and getting perfectly cut nigiri handed to us right from the chef, the next-best option is ordering some to go. And rest assured, there are some truly special London spots doing just that. From Japanese grocery shops selling lunchtime nigiri, to one of London’s best sushi restaurants setting up shop in a St. John’s Wood deli, these are the top spots for takeaway sushi. The best part? You’ll never have to darken the doorway of itsu again.
Someone wise once said ‘everybody makes mistakes’. While that’s true, some mistakes can be avoided. Like the mistake of assuming that this Japanese speciality supermarket/fish wholesaler with locations across London is nothing more than that. Because the sushi made fresh at this part-supermarket, part-sushi bar is top-quality. You can get a nigiri, sashimi, or maki set that would cost you way more at one of the city’s more expensive restaurants. While the interior’s nothing special, it’s an excellent call for takeout or a quick sushi fix.
This small Japanese grocery store at the bottom of Muswell Hill has all the frozen dumplings, sauces, sake, and Hello Panda packets you need, but they’ve also got a bustling team of sushi chefs who are low-key preparing some of the best takeaway raw fish in north London. They’ve got the futomaki, uramaki, and hosomaki options you know and love, but it’s really the nigiri and sashimi you should lead with. The yellowtail, sea bream, sea bass, and fatty tuna are always faultless and beautifully presented.
Sushi Heads is a teeny, tiny Japanese shop and takeaway counter hidden on Phillip Lane in South Tottenham. When you first walk in you’ll see a couple of freezers packed full of frozen dumplings, an array of bottled sauces, a cute cartoon sushi mural, and a couple of Furbys whose existence we choose not to question. You’ll probably spend a small fortune on Japanese cards, custard dorayaki, and chilli garlic kombu oil alongside your sushi order here, but that’s just the risk you have to take. Despite the shop's size, they’ve got everything from donburi to nigiri to choose from, but it’s the katsu ebu futomaki that we’re really into. That being said, you can’t go wrong with a classic spicy tuna roll or a little salmon sashimi either.
Sushi Atelier @ Panzer's
Sushi Atelier has got what we like to call the holy grail of sushi: high-quality, affordable, and exciting. The sushi and sashimi are solid, although the toppings can get a little theatrical. While we like their OG sit-down restaurant in Fitzrovia, the takeaway counter at Panzer’s Deli in St. John’s Wood is where you can get some excellent value sushi to go, including a six-piece omakase for £21.
A blink-and-you'll-miss-it restaurant, Sushi Show serves excellent sushi in a tiny spot down Camden Passage. Pop in to grab a takeaway and wait for your order at the bar opposite the window, watching the fools who don’t realise what they’re walking past. The sashimi is reasonably priced and cut fresh in front of you. There’s also a small selection of donburi bowls as well, in case you’re into that.