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Where to Get Fresh Sushi in Charlotte

My favorite places to eat sushi in the city.

When you think of Charlotte, North Carolina, great sushi might not be the first thing that comes to mind. I’m here to tell you that it should be! Why? Because I just got back from touring and tasting some of the most spectacular restaurants that serve sushi in Charlotte. 

During my time in Charlotte, North Carolina, I learned that it’s not all about BBQ. This town can serve up some truly extraordinary sushi! 

fresh sushi rolls served with wasabi at a restaurant in Charlotte

It’s safe to say that I’ll be going back to Charlotte as soon as I can to hit my new favorite sushi joints. Lucky for you, I’m willing to share my list of the 12 best sushi restaurants in the city. 

Check out my list of the Best Sushi in Charlotte below!

Best Sushi in Charlotte NC

  1. New Zealand Cafe
  2. O-Ku
  3. Cowfish
  4. YUME Ramen & Sushi Bar
  5. Yamarazu
  6. Nikko
  7. Soul Gastrolounge
  8. Ru San’s
  9. Baku
  10. Koishi
  11. Yama
  12. Pisces

New Zealand Cafe

1717 Sardis Road North #6-A, Charlotte, NC 28270
Phone: 704-708-9888
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The first restaurant on my list is the New Zealand Cafe, located on the first floor of the Sardis Crossing Shopping Mall. Trust me when I say you won’t be able to find another restaurant like this in Charlotte or the world, for that matter. It’s just that good folks. 

The first time I stopped in during my visit, I tried the $1.75 piece of nigiri sushi with spicy shrimp and could not have been more pleased. The hot spices of the shrimp, coupled with the nigiri sushi, was an unforgettable experience. If you’re feeling more adventurous than I was, you could try their spicy octopus. I hear good things about it!


O-Ku

2000 South Blvd Suite 510, Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 704-594-1922
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The next place on my list is O-Ku, which sits just across from the Ashton South End Apartments. Now, this is a serious sushi joint. The sushi nigiri with snow crab is to die for, no joke! The snow crab was perfectly done, and the sushi was delicious! 

Not in the mood for sushi in one of the best sushi joints in the city? No problem! I also enjoyed their spicy tuna crunch roll and chicken teriyaki. If comfort food is what you’re after, you’ve got to try the miso soup. It’s out of this world!  


The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

4310 Sharon Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211
Phone: 704-365-1922
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The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar is arguably one of the best and most unique restaurants in Charlotte, serving sushi dishes and burgers under one roof! Sushi and burgers are total opposites, and yet, it works! You can easily find them in the Village at SouthPark Shopping Mall. 

I opted to go for the best of both worlds by ordering their Fusion Specialty Bento Box, which comes with sushi and the mini-burger of the week! The best thing about this place is that in addition to perfectly cooked burgers and delicious sushi, they also have an equally delightful shake! Be sure to try their Gimmie More S’more Shake after dinner. You’ll be glad you did!


YUME Ramen Sushi & Bar

1508 S Mint St Suite A, Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 980-858-5678
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Number 4 on my list of the best sushi in Charlotte is YUME Ramen Sushi & Bar, located just up from the Ephesus Church. I highly recommend their salted edamame as an appetizer. The seaweed salad and Tako Wasabi were especially satisfying. A note to the uninitiated, Tako Wasabi is a dish consisting of raw octopus chunks with wasabi sauce. 

The sushi itself was spectacular. I tried it with their Japanese A5 Wagyu, which is essentially premium Japanese wagyu beef. Now that’s surf and turf! Food aside, the atmosphere here was also very enjoyable. This place is one of a kind. 


Yamarazu Sushi & Sake

2173 Hawkins St A, Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 980-201-9134
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When it comes to Charlotte sushi, Yamarazu Sushi & Sake comes highly recommended. Of course, I had to try it for myself, and when I did, I discovered why the people of Charlotte hold it in such high regard. Find it across the street from the Spectrum South End Apartments. 

In addition to incredible sushi, they also make a mean dish of Tiger Shrimp and Jalapeno Tofu. This place also sports one of the finest sake selections I’ve come across in my travels. The best thing to pair with tasty sushi is high-quality sake. They also feature a generous selection of Japanese beer! My advice? Try it all!


Nikko Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar

325 Arlington Ave #108, Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 704-370-0100
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Next up, we have Nikko Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, which is just across the road from the Pritchard at South End Church. Let me tell you, this place has great dinner options, fantastic sushi, and an inspired cocktail menu if you want a few drinks

Out of the sushi platters offered, I strongly recommend the sushi/sashimi omakase platter. The platter comes with a generous amount of food. The king crab legs and seared Kobe steak were also fantastic! 

As for the cocktails, I thoroughly enjoyed the Japanese Manhattan. It was unique, flavorful, and honestly much stronger than I had expected! After a few of those, I’d strongly suggest topping off with the Beef Tataki from the appetizer menu. 


Soul Gastrolounge

1500 B Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205
Phone: 704-348-1848
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Soul Gastrolounge is a foodie’s paradise and is just a few blocks north of the Andrew Jackson Highway. This place creates dishes inspired by cultures from around the world. The first time I went, I tried the shrimp ceviche, which comes in coconut milk and lime with plantains. As delicious as that was, the sushi turned out to be even better!

The nigiri and sashimi with avocado changed my life. I’ve made a commitment to make a culinary pilgrimage back to Soul Gastrolounge at least once a year because the sushi was that good. The restaurant itself has a pleasant interior with friendly staff. It was worth the trip!


Ru San’s

2440 Park Rd, Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 704-374-0008
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Ru San’s is another restaurant that serves up some of the best sushi and is just down from Sedgefield Park. The nigiri with Kanikama, or crab stick, bested my expectations. Another dish that surpassed my expectations was the nigiri with white fish. I’m proud to recommend them both as the only thing that the chefs of Ru San’s failed to do was to disappoint. 

Another dish that I enjoyed was the calamari tempura. The flavor was intense, and just thinking about it makes me want to hop in the car and drive right back for more! If you’re still hungry after all of that, go for Ru San’s Tiger Beef; it’s fantastic!


Baku

4515 Sharon Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211
Phone: 704-817-7173
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Baku is yet another place where you can find exceptional sushi well within walking distance of the Lindamood-Bell Charlotte Learning Center. The sushi here was on point, and I was blown away by the rest of the menu. Their Tiger Prawn Tempura and Soft Shell Crab were impeccable. 

If you love excellent seafood as much as I do, you will also want to try the Spicy Baked Mussels. The Bok Choi and Trumpet Mushrooms were also quite good. For dessert, I recommend the Key Lime and Yuzu Pie. Finding food like this can be challenging, which is why Charlotte, North Carolina, is so lucky to have a place like Baku. 


Koishi

120 N Sharon Amity Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211
Phone: 704-442-9886
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At Koishi, you can find fresh and inspired sushi with a flavor that really pops. Find it just down the street from the Open Door School. Eating the nigiri with crab was a fabulous and flavorful experience that remains one of my fondest memories from my time here. 

Feasting upon the Scallop Pad Thai was also an extraordinary culinary experience, as was the Teriyaki Steak. For the adventurous foodies, I’d suggest giving the Una Don a try, a sliced grilled eel on sushi rice.

If you’ve never tried sushi before, this is the place to do it! You won’t be disappointed, I promise.


Yama

11641 Waverly Center Dr k2, Charlotte, NC 28277
Phone: 980-265-1528
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Yama takes sushi to a whole new level. Sitting only blocks away from the Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte Waverly, sushi isn’t just an item on the menu; it’s an art form that one that their talented chefs have mastered. I began my culinary journey at Yama with the Tempura Appetizer, which came with a generous portion of battered shrimp and mixed vegetables with sweet dashi. 

Next, I ordered the sushi sashimi combo. I had a hard time not ordering a second helping right on the spot! Believe me, if my stomach wasn’t bursting at the seams, I would have ordered the combo again. 


Pisces Sushi

1100E Metropolitan Ave UNIT 120, Charlotte, NC 28204
Phone: 704-334-0009
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Pisces Sushi might be the last place on my list, but don’t let that fool you! This place is amazing and the sushi is exceptional. Find it just across the street from the Metropolitan Shopping Mall. I decided to be particularly adventurous by ordering the nigiri and sashimi with Ika, or squid. The combination of squid and sushi isn’t for everyone, but I found it incredibly tasty!

Not feeling that adventurous? Then try the nigiri and sashimi with Sake No Kunsei, which is smoked salmon. 

The Bacon Scallop Yakitori blew my mind! These massive deep-sea scallops were wrapped in bacon and packed with flavor! All in all, this place earned its place on my list of the best sushi in Charlotte. 


Final Thoughts

There you have it, that was my list of the best sushi in Charlotte. Now that you have read about these fantastic restaurants, it’s time for you to plan a trip out to Charlotte, North Carolina, and try them all for yourself! 

Good sushi can be hard to find, especially when you’re in an unfamiliar town. You can count on my list to guide you to the best sushi you’ll ever find in Charlotte, so go for it! 

Looking for more fantastic food in Charlotte? Check out this list of my favorite restaurants in the city overall!

Did I miss a sushi spot? Leave me a comment and I’ll take a look right away!

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Written by Erin B.

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.