Where To Eat Omakase In Philly
7 of the best omakase spots in Philly, according to us.
There are omakase spots where you can eat exceptional fish while feeling like Philly nobility, and there are casual spots where you can celebrate a birthday wearing a pair of Converse sneakers. Whatever your preference, the equation for a great place is simple: faultless service that goes above and beyond and exceptional seafood that makes a wildly expensive night worth it. While Philly doesn’t have an endless amount of omakase options in the sushi landscape, these seven restaurants make you feel like you're at an exclusive dinner party in Tokyo.
photo credit: GAB BONGHI
Royal Sushi & Izakaya
At $205, Royal Sushi and Izakaya is one of the most expensive omakase options in Philly. But the Queen Village mainstay hits a home run with exquisitely prepared fish, great hospitality, and enough food that you don’t need to grab a slice afterward (there are 17 courses). Inside the dimly-lit Japanese restaurant, you might see Washington Kumamoto oysters topped with chutoro caviar (a mix of fatty Spanish bluefin and osetra caviar), buttery, beautifully cut scallops topped with black truffle, and other impressive pieces of fish that are so good you’ll find yourself writing down their names.
We suggest a few things in Philly: don’t bring hitchBOT here, when in doubt, yell “Go Birds,” and get one of the chef’s counter seats at Hiroki in Fishtown. They have an exceptional 20-piece, $155 omakase that includes legendary combinations like buttery salmon brushed with lime, wagyu beef tongue covered in white bean foam and gold flakes, and perfectly chilled poached quail eggs with caviar. It’s a place where every piece of seafood seems to be topped or sprayed with an additional element that makes it look almost too good to eat.
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Sakana Omakase Sushi
When you walk into Queen Village’s Sakana you’ll be met with calming spa-like music, low lights, and a few couples on a date night at their 12-seat sushi bar. But as soon as you taste the super fatty tuna and watch salmon get torched, you’ll quickly forget about your dreamy surroundings. Like many omakase spots, they're a BYOB, but what sets them apart is that each meal here ends with a colorful uni bowl full of high-quality seafood that will leave you fantasizing about sushi for the rest of the week. We encourage you to order at least one of the add-ons—like a toro hand roll—and sit back in a place that’s both fancy and casual enough that you’ll feel right at home.
photo credit: Kerry McIntyre
DAWA Sushi and Ramen Bar
Fishtown’s Dawa Sushi and Ramen has a lot of a la carte sushi options and some of our favorite ramen in town, but the omakase is why you come here. It’s an experience so laid back that you’ll officially feel like you’re part of the crew. The $125 omakase includes 22 pieces, and while the chef seamlessly places sea bream and delicate otoro in front of you, he talks about the right temperatures and origin of the fish. With a meal this good, you’ll completely forget about the El train nearby that’s constantly whizzing by.
We always recommend Double Knot to anyone looking for creative, upscale omakase in a place where you don’t have to get as dressed up as an English Duke. The candle-lit Midtown Village restaurant has a chef’s tasting menu with 10 pieces of salmon sashimi, a crispy shrimp taco, and tuna in an onion ponzu for $65. You could always order à la carte from their main menu if you’re feeling ravenous, but the chef's tasting feels like one of the best deals in town.
photo credit: GAB BONGHI
Zama is packed every night of the week, so you can sit in the back at the wooden sushi bar and speak at Citizens Bank Park-volume levels and nobody would blink. The Rittenhouse restaurant has two chef’s tasting menu options—one for $65 and one for $100. Both are seven courses and come with must-haves, like the Alaskan king crab oshizushi and toro with a red-yuzu pepper. But the pricier menu includes things like juicy torched wagyu that seems like it was crafted especially for you, even when 10 other people are eating the same exact thing.
Umami Steak and Sushi Bar
An evening at Old City’s Umami Steak and Sushi bar feels more like a speakeasy in Osaka than a restaurant on Walnut Street. First, there’s the setting. To get to the sushi bar, you have to walk downstairs, past the grand piano and rowdy dining room. And then there’s the atmosphere—K-pop coming out of the speakers while strangers dance. But it’s the omakase menus—$150 and $180—that are the real life of the party. You’ll have a night of Japanese mackerel topped with scallion and ginger, a toro tartare bowl with a flower-shaped cucumber, and peppery wagyu beef (if you get the more expensive option). It’s also the only place in town where the chef will sneak you a piece of uni while you hear a mashup between Black Pink and whatever the sake-fueled guy from Happy Hour is playing on the piano.