Not so long ago, sushi was considered an exotic food in this country, and many Americans wouldn’t even consider eating raw fish. Times have obviously changed, and nowadays sushi has become as common as pizza. You’ll find usable maki (rolls) and nigiri (rice with fish on top) in supermarkets and convenience stores all over the US – and on a higher level, there’s no shortage of great bars. sushi in cities large and small, including many who would call Japan home.
As with any ancient food, the origins of sushi are somewhat opaque. Fermented rice was first used as a fish preservative in Southeast Asia hundreds of years ago, and it gained popularity in Japan, where fermented rice and canned fish have first consumed together. In 1820s Tokyo (then known as Edo), the dish evolved into the lightly vinegared rice dish with fresh raw fish we know and love today; in fact, it was considered one of the first “fast food”.
Today, an expert sushi maker, in America as it is in Japan and elsewhere, will spend years learning how to perfectly season rice and how to slice fish, shape it in his hands, and put the finishing touches – from a soy brush to a kiss of fire – to ensure that every piece of sushi is an edible work of art.
To compile a list of America’s best sushi bars, 24/7 Tempo compared reviews and ratings appearing on a wide range of websites, including Eater, The daily meal, Travel & Leisure, men’s diary, Free time, Oishii-Desu, Clicks on restaurants, Journey of the Big Seven, Mashed, Thrillistand Recipeas well as numerous urban and regional sites.
You’ll notice that many of America’s best sushi bars are located on the West Coast. Not only is it the region where sushi was first introduced to America (Kawafuku in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo is often considered our first sushi bar), but it’s also the entry point for finest Japanese seafood and home to a large Japanese population.
Click here to see the best sushi restaurants in America
A large sushi bar may be just a small counter where customers are treated to a range of nigiri prepared with the highest quality fish available – or the bar may be the centerpiece of a restaurant specializing in sushi as well as other classic Japanese dishes. (Although they are not sushi specialists, sushi is also on the menu of some best seafood restaurants in america.)
But if you’re craving some truly amazing sushi, none of these sushi bars will let you down. Bring your credit card, but since good sushi never comes cheap – and some sushi restaurants are among most expensive restaurants in america.