Until recently, sushi was a slow-growth industry here in the of Tex-Mex and barbecue. With the influx of new people and new money, however, the quality and quantity of sushi in Austin is accelerating at a rapid pace. These are our top For anyone concerned about eating sushi so far from the ocean, fear not. The focus on freshness is a fundamental part of the DNA at Austin’s top sushi restaurants.
Located on trendy South Congress Avenue, Lucky Robot is a bright, cheerful space, ideal for an afternoon lunch with friends. The maki rolls have a surprisingly long lists of ingredients, but it all comes together in an incredible mix of flavors. A prime example is the Kona Kona, with Hawaiian amberjack, avocado, green onion, crispy shallot, yuzu miso, lemongrass soy, and sesame. For a simpler but still delicious combo, try the Japanese sea urchin with English cucumber. Happy hour is a great time to sample several items at reduced prices. For drinks, try the Peach Blossom, made with peach-infused sake, cranberry, and prosecco.
The Ora Toro (King salmon belly) and Kampachi (Hawaiian amberjack) are the two most popular sushi dishes at this sleek restaurant in East Austin. The Sashimi Teaser is a beautifully presented plate featuring the chef’s picks for the day. The fish is so fresh and flavorful that the soy sauce and wasabi often go untouched. You can order a bottle of sake from their extensive selection to enjoy with your meal. For non-sushi eaters, the restaurant also has other Asian-inspired dishes, ranging from red curry chicken to miso soup.
Centrally located just northwest of the University of Texas campus, Musashino Sushi Dokoro is an excellent choice for a special date night. The small plates are beautifully arranged, with a mix of colors, shapes, and textures. The chef’s tasting menu is a good place to start if you’re not sure what to order. There are always several variations on fatty tuna, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. Regulars routinely praise the generous fish-to-rice ratio. Of the traditional rolls, the Beni Toro is a standout, featuring salmon with ooba leaf and scallions.
Though it looks like a dive bar from the outside, DK Sushi serves delicious and gorgeously executed sushi creations. The hearty Rainbow Roll is a California roll topped with yellowtail, escolar, tuna, and salmon. For a spicy kick, try the Jalapeño Roll, with octopus, avocado, jalapeño, and Japanese mayo. Even more adventurous? Go for the 69’er Roll, which is a California roll topped with salmon, green onion, masago, and spicy mayonnaise. After a good meal and some sake, you might be ready to step up on the restaurant’s karaoke stage and belt out a tune.
Uchi, Austin’s most well-known sushi restaurant, is led by chef Tyson Cole, who has won a slew of national and international awards. Located in a remodeled old bungalow in South Austin, the restaurant manages to be fancy and relaxing at the same time. The salmon roll and salmon belly are guaranteed crowd pleasers. For an unforgettable sweet and savory blend of tastes and textures, try the machi cure, with yellowtail, yuca crisps, Marcona almonds and Asian pears. Leave room for the unusual and delicious coconut tapioca, with lychee sorbet, pickled blueberries and hazelnuts.
A fun place to go with friends or on a casual date, Kura serves up sushi on a conveyor belt. Once you get used to the ordering system and picking up your food before it gets away, you can start enjoying the incredible variety of tasty small dishes. The restaurant makes an excellent blue crab California roll, and the salmon skin and eel hand rolls come wrapped in soy paper studded with sesame seeds. Another favorite is the spicy garlic tempura Philadelphia roll. After you order 15 small plates, you get a free prize from a dispenser at the table. It’s a little gimmicky but a great way to get little ones to try something new.
A casual sushi restaurant with lively decor, Komé Sushi Kitchen is known for creative rolls such as Love for Sale, with salmon, mango, avocado, and spinach. The Crunchy Dynamite is packed with spicy tuna, avocado, sesame seeds, and crunchy tempura. The Fat Samurai is about three times the size of a typical roll, with salmon, yellowtail, tuna, shrimp, avocado, and cucumber. For a crisp sake accompaniment, order a bottle of Drunken Whale.