Sushi fanatics know there’s nothing like the perfect roll — fresh fish, perfectly sticky rice, garnishes, and sauces that achieve the right balance of sweet, salty, and spicy. But not all sushi is created equal, and fantastic sushi can be hard to find if you don’t know where to look. Luckily, the Northern Virginia area is ripe with amazing options to choose from and we’ve rounded up a few top picks for great sushi in the area. At each of these establishments, you’ll be sure to find the perfect sushi roll and more, like great service, fresh ingredients, and other delectable Japanese dishes for those who seek to mix it up every once in a while.
At Yume Sushi, award-winning chef Saran Kannasute is serving sushi with a twist. Yume practices Omakase, which means “I shall leave it up to you.” This means that each dining experience is tailored to the chef’s recommendations, with the chef exerting creative freedom over diners’ meals. No two meals at Yume will ever be exactly alike; each will be curated on the spot by the chef, prepared right in front of customers’ eyes. Try Yume Sushi for a completely unique and unforgettable sushi experience. 2121 N Westmoreland St., Arlington
The first Gyu Shige sprung up in 1988 in Tokyo and the Fairfax location is the first in the United States. Gyu Shige’s specialty is yakiniku, which means barbecue or grilled meat. The technique focuses on drawing out the natural flavor of the meat. But just because its focus is delectable meats doesn’t mean the sushi isn’t just as spectacular. Take a gamble on the Mosaic Roll, an unusual offering of lobster tempura with jalapeno and mango, or play it safe with a classic King Dragon Roll. 2980 District Ave., Fairfax
Noku is a sushi, hibachi, and ramen restaurant, offering a little something for everyone. Customers praise the restaurant for having great service as well as delicious meals, calling it a little-known neighborhood treasure. With a menu featuring poke bowls, udon noodles, ramen, and a full sushi bar, the options are endless. Each meal also comes with miso soup and a salad, so if you’re going to Noku, you’d better be hungry. 1607 Village Market Blvd. SE, Ste. 108, Leesburg
If you’re looking for pure sushi goodness, check out Takumi, where the focus is on using the freshest fish possible and keeping dishes simple yet exciting. By choosing the highest quality ingredients, Takumi creates memorable and delightful dishes that are sure to please even the most critical sushi connoisseur. The menu of sushi rolls is expansive, with options including salmon and tuna as well as octopus, squid, and roe. Sashimi, a traditional dish of raw fish, may be another great choice to try at this restaurant that prioritizes the freshest foods. 310 S. Washington St., Falls Church
Blue Ocean Izakaya
Established in 1996, Blue Ocean Izakaya has been a community staple in Fairfax for more than 20 years. It was opened by two renowned sushi chefs who have been creating authentic Japanese cuisine for 30 years. Blue Ocean Izakaya doesn’t stop at just sushi — it also offers a variety of dishes such as Udon Noodles, Chicken Teriyaki, and Wasabi Octopus. There are endless options to satisfy and delight, and years of expertise ensure each option is a fine pick. 9440 Main St., Fairfax
Hand rolls are the speciality at The Handover in Alexandria, which aims to be a fun and dynamic dining experience for sushi lovers. Temaki, hand rolls characterized by their conelike shape, are prepared by the chef and immediately handed across the bamboo bar so customers can enjoy each roll at the moment of creation. The Handover describes its sushi as featuring the freshest catch and the finest rice pillow — the perfect combination for a fantastic roll. 728 King St., Alexandria
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