Special to Postmedia Network
Just as New York has its pizza, Chicago its hot dogs and Montreal its poutine, Vancouver has its sushi. There are a reported 600-plus sushi restaurants in this city, everything from fancy, high-end places that fly their fish in daily to the value-driven all-you-can-eat joints where you can feed your bottomless hunger for tekka maki. These are some of our favourites.
1133 West Broadway | tojos.com
Back in the 1970s, when Japanese food still meant a teppanyaki grill and a chef wielding his knives like a majorette’s baton, Hidekazu Tojo strolled into town and seduced us with his subtle, crab-and-avocado-stuffed California rolls. Vancouver’s original sushi master still serves some of the best fish in town, with a seemingly ageless flair for creative invention and welcoming hospitality. Order the omakase (chef’s choice) and let him feed you whatever he likes.
Miku and Minami
200 Granville St., Granville Square | mikurestaurant.com
1118 Mainland St. | minamirestaurant.com
These sister restaurants are actually named for a pair of sisters: owner Seigo Nakamura’s daughters. They have a young, modern, upscale approach to sushi, with buzzy lounge action that is almost as much a draw as the fine dining experience. Best known for top-quality West Coast ingredients and aburi, the mouthwatering, flame-seared sushi style they introduced to Canada.
Lobby Lounge and RawBar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
1038 Canada Place | fairmont.com/Vancouver/Pacific-Rim
Not only does the Pac Rim boast Vancouver’s most award-winning bartenders and one of its best wine directors, it’s also home to the city’s first all-Ocean Wise sushi bar. At RawBar, chef Taka Omi uses local, sustainable seafood to create signature favourites like Lois Lake steelhead nigiri, daily surprises and bento boxes, all crafted with beautiful presentation.
Blue Water Cafe
1095 Hamilton St. | bluewatercafe.net
A seat at Masa Kudo’s sushi bar is one of the best places to hang out in Vancouver. Not only does it offer people-watching par excellence, but chef Masa, formerly of Tojo’s, is a meticulous sushi master who loves to spoil his guests. Bonus: This restaurant within Vancouver’s top seafood restaurant not only features quality fish and inventive rolls, it also offers one of the most award-winning wine lists in the city.
Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen + Sushi Bar
2054 Commercial Dr. | kishimotorestaurant.com
Chef-owner Akira Kishimoto is originally from Osaka, trained in Kyoto and worked at several top Vancouver sushi bars before opening the beautifully appointed Kishimoto. His restaurant is a bit tucked away, but that doesn’t stop the crowds from seeking it out — expect a lineup, since he doesn’t take reservations. They’re all here for the top-notch fish, which comes directly from Tsukiji Market in Tokyo.
The rare sushi restaurant to edge its way onto the Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list, Masayoshi offers authentic Japanese fare with a thrilling modern twist. Chef-owner Masayoshi Baba was previously a sushi chef at Tojo’s before opening this intimate, 24-seat Mountain View space that offers only omakase at two nightly, reservation-only seatings.
181 East 16th Ave.
Chef Toshi Saito, formerly of Sushi Village in Whistler, was born and raised near Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji fish market. So it’s safe to say he knows his fish. In fact, he offers some of the highest sashimi-grade fish in town at this neighbourhood gem. Expect to find a lineup, but it’s well worth the wait.
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Joanne Sasvari is a Vancouver-based food and drink writer and the author of the Vancouver Eats cookbook.