The best of the best in Honolulu. Don’t miss the exclusive dining at these 3 sushi restaurants!
I have always been a fan of sushi. The delicate flavors, the perfect balance of textures, the way the rice can soak up all the deliciousness of the fish…it’s all so perfect. So when my boyfriend told me he had a business trip to Honolulu, I knew I would make the most of it.
I would drag him to some great sushi restaurants. I did diligent research. I called my travel friends.
As I scanned the list of sushi restaurants in Honolulu, my mouth began to water. I knew my boyfriend was in for a treat – I had planned the best of the best for us.
And after much deliberation, I came up with a list of the best sushi places in Honolulu.
Here’s my small but powerful list of the best sushi places in Honolulu.
Visit them all without hesitating. You won’t regret it!
#1. Sushi Sasabune Hawaii – Best Full-Course Meal
This is not a restaurant where you spend time analyzing the menu. It is a restaurant where you sit down, ask for the Omakase course, and spend the night enjoying the chef’s choice!
The Omakase course dinner is about 13 courses of food, brought out one by one (including dessert). In other words, the chef serves you the ingredients he considers most suitable that day. I enjoyed that with each serving, you get information about the fish, preparation, and how to taste it properly. In a way, it was a learning experience.
The meal was more than filling, and there were usually two pieces of each type of sushi. I enjoyed the octopus and Hamachi. It was very tender. Each nigiri comes with a unique topping, which was also fun to taste. The wasabi was also very fresh and enhanced the flavors beautifully.
It doesn’t hurt that they also have a huge premium sake menu.
Note: This is a great place to enjoy as a couple or a group of adult friends. Since you don’t know what the next course is – it is not kids friendly. Make reservations ahead of time!
Here’s why this is my no. 1 sushi place in Honolulu:
- This is a one-of-a-kind culinary experience.
- The food is fresh, authentic, and extremely tasty.
- The atmosphere in the restaurant is pleasant, and the service is good.
- The chef is knowledgeable and extremely informative.
#2. Yanagi Sushi – Best Tokyo-Style Restaurant
This extremely high-quality restaurant is a close second for me! The presentation is clean, the chefs are top-notch, and the servers are well educated and disciplined. If you close your eyes and taste the food, you could be in Tokyo. Also, the booth-style seating is great for family and sharing.
We had a dinner reservation but were pleasantly surprised that the restaurant worked till 2 a.m. with a fun late-night menu (must visit on our next trip!).
We started our meal with clam miso soup and tofu ginger salad. As the main course, we split Hirame (Halibut) and Toro (fatty tuna) sashimi. We also tried the Ankimo (Monk Fish Liver) – which was a first for me. All the flavors were clean, and you could taste the chef’s experience.
All the food was fresh and of high quality. The menu was varied and had something for everyone. For less adventurous family members, there is a delicious beef and chicken teriyaki or shrimp and vegetable tempura.
Don’t miss this memorable dining experience because:
- The sushi is made using fresh and high-quality products.
- The menu is very diverse with something for each taste.
- There is a late-night menu for those looking for a tasty bite after 10 p.m.
- This is a family-friendly restaurant with seating and food suitable for children.
#3. Furusato Japanese Restaurant – The Hidden Sushi Gem
This wonderful small restaurant is on a corner. It is traditionally decorated with limited seating that provides privacy. It is easy to miss, so look carefully (right across from Waikiki beach).
We did not make a reservation, and just showed up for lunch! Our wait to be seated was about 20 minutes. Our waiter was very friendly and accommodating.
We started with delicious Udon soup. For our main meal, we ordered the Waikiki Bridge, which they are famous for, and some tuna and Salmon sashimi. The Waikiki Bridge was a generous size and more than enough for us to share. The fish was perfectly cut and fresh. There are several specials offered, and the staff is very knowledgeable about the meat and local produce used.
I would recommend this restaurant to sushi lovers. There are not many other options on the menu. So if the kids are looking for some teriyaki and spring rolls, I would skip this one.
Here’s why you should visit this hidden gem:
- The sushi is simple and fresh.
- The restaurant is relaxed and has a nice local vibe.
- The prices are very reasonable for the quality.
#4. Doraku Sushi Waikiki – High Dining Sushi, Something for Everyone
I came to check out the sushi, but I also wanted everything else on the menu!
The restaurant is modern, decorated, and spacious, with a terrace. We made dinner reservations and made sure to sit on the terrace. I particularly loved the urban view and city lights. This restaurant is known for its craft cocktails and innovative sushi.
We started with the tofu poke salad and lobster miso soup for dinner. Both were exquisite (I ate most of my boyfriend’s salad!)
For the main meal, we had the Sushi and Sashimi Deluxe (which included: nigiri – tuna, salmon, yellowtail, shrimp, uni, ono, unagi, and sashimi – tuna, salmon, and yellowtail). My boyfriend also had the Stuffed Jalapeno (fried jalapeno stuffed with crab, spicy tuna, and avocado). All the food was extremely well done and of high quality.
For dessert, we devoured the brownie tempura and green tea ice cream.
This restaurant is a great place for the picky eater looking for high-quality food! There are also great vegetarian and chicken options like grilled oyster mushrooms and ginger chicken teriyaki.
Note: Make sure to check out their happy hour. If you are a cocktail lover (like me), I recommend the Lychee martini and Blood Orange Sparkler.
Here is why it’s a must-visit restaurant:
- They have a truly diverse menu with something for everyone.
- The sushi is extremely high quality with fresh and clean-tasting local products.
- This modern restaurant is great for romantic dates or fun nights.
Visiting Honolulu without eating at these three restaurants would be a shame. Don’t let your trip be incomplete. Each restaurant offers a unique experience, from family-friendly Tokyo style to a high-quality sushi tasting menu.
Don’t forget Doraku Sushi Waikiki for your dream date night.
My boyfriend and I will truly treasure our experience at these places.
I hope you make your memories just as special.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
What is the most popular sushi in America?
The most popular (and delicious) sushi in America is spicy tuna. This sushi has a familiar taste and is made of sashimi-grade tuna, rice, and vinegar, wrapped with nori (seaweed). The California roll and Rainbow roll are also popular sushi rolls in America.
How healthy is sushi?
Yes. Sushi is very healthy. High-quality sushi is low in fat and rich in protein. The quality fish in sushi is full of omega-3 fatty acids and crucial minerals. Make sure to avoid high-salt options.
What is sushi without rice called?
Thinly sliced raw meat, typically tuna or salmon, prepared without rice is called sashimi. Nigiri is sushi with thin slices of raw fish served over pressed vinegar rice. Sushi rolls, as we know them, are made of rice, vinegar, nori (seaweed), and fresh fish, crab, octopus, or eel.
Last Updated on January 10, 2023 by Brigitte