Finding fresh seafood in Seattle is definitely not a problem, what may turn out to be a problem is choosing just one venue for your sushi dining pleasure. Allow me to be of assistance. Shiro’s, Musashi’s, O’shan, Nishino and Shiku top my list (which also includes honorable mentions; Kisaku, Umi Sake House, Chiso, Wasabi Bistro and Mashiko.)
Here’s the rundown in no particular order: Unassuming Shiro’s in Belltown is a favorite of locals and once inside, you find a lively, friendly atmosphere driven by knowledgeable and chatty chefs serving up fresh, authentic sushi. Sit at the bar, go for the omakase and let the chefs walk you through it.
For fresh, quality sushi on the cheap without all the bells and whistles, try the chirashi or sukiyaki beef bowl at Musashi’s in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. It’s a tiny place that usually has a long wait but the portions are generous and the prices are unbeatable. FYI, this place is cash or check only.
On the flip-side, if you’re looking to step it up a notch and money is no object, make a reservation at Nishino in Madison Park. This contemporary, upscale restaurant is known for its traditional and innovative menu. Again, like Shiro’s, the sushi chefs here are the real deal and pride themselves on providing an experience- if you can’t decide, order the omakase and let them choose the best of the best for you.
O’shan and Shiku are both in Ballard but seem worlds apart- and let’s be honest, a neighborhood can’t have too many sushi restaurants. The spice of life, etc. etc. Anyway, O’shan is a small, modern, family-owned operation with a limited but wonderful menu and a comfortable and intimate vibe. Their service is always kind and friendly and they really do live up to their tag-line: Your Neighborhood Sushi Restaurant. Eat there once and they’ll remember you and your favorites from the menu.
Shiku is more of a hip, polished yet laid back nightspot, although they also have a weekend afternoon happy hour that’s not to be missed. Their extensive offerings include creative, non-traditional rolls, an interesting izakaya menu and a full bar complete with specialty cocktails.
Regardless of your preference in sushi styles, this list will get you started on a grand tour of Seattle’s seafood offerings. Go forth and conquer.