If you’re not from the area, eating sushi in a landlocked city might seem like a bad idea. But locals and experienced visitors know better: the sushi scene in Salt Lake City is alive and thriving. With a major international airport importing daily deliveries of fresh fish and dozens of Japanese restaurants competing for business, the sushi bars here not only offer safe and delicious meals –but also affordable prices and a spectrum of sushi styles, ranging from traditional to contemporary.
Takashi (18 West Market Street; 801-519-9595) is one of Salt Lake City’s best and most popular restaurants of any genre. Located right in the heart of downtown, this contemporary Japanese restaurant offers a broad selection of rolls, ranging from standard to extravagant. Unlike in many restaurants, the special rolls here not only present a creative combination of ingredients, but they do so in a gastronomically exquisite fashion. You can enjoy a meal that combines a number of staple rolls, a good selection of chef’s specials, a few appetizers, and desert. Plan ahead and take a taxi; you don’t want to miss the excellent saki and Japanese beer. This restaurant does not take reservations; on a busy night, you may have to wait for your table at Kristauf’s Martini Bar, next door.
Ahh Sushi (22 East 100 South; 801-359-6770) is a basement bar-and-restaurant combination that has become a Salt Lake classic over the years. Appealing to the younger crowd, this establishment serves enormous draught beers and an impressive selection of basic rolls. Call ahead, because Ahh Sushi offers numerous specials throughout the week, sometimes selling rolls for as little as 50% of their listed price.
Red Ginger Bistro (3333 South State Street; 801-467-6697) has burst onto the scene in Salt Lake City as one of the cheapest places to get high-quality sushi. Originally offering all rolls at an introductory 50% discount to attract business, this restaurant has enjoyed the flourish of business so much that they have indefinitely extended this special offer. For as little ast $2.50 a roll, you can dine on fresh, well-made rolls with generous portions of fish and lightly packed rice. You can also expand your meal by ordering a full entree and sampling their special rolls. Avoid crowds here by dining at slightly off-hours.