Sushi is quickly becoming a staple cuisine in Jacksonville. Over the past decade, well more than a dozen sushi restaurants and bars have opened. Some feature a full Japanese menu, with teppanyaki, hibachi, and teriyaki preparations. Others stick to individual bites of sushi and specially-prepared sushi rolls.
Some restaurants prepare their sushi in the open so you can watch the master chefs work. Others prefer to build their concoctions in the privacy of a back kitchen. Either way, you can bet the dish you ordered will be made to perfection.
Below is my list of the best sushi in Jacksonville. Hopefully, the descriptions will provide you with enough information to tempt you to try one or more out.
Sushi Bear Sushi & Grill
4530 St Johns Ave #9, Jacksonville, FL 32210
The funky Sushi Bear is only a few blocks from where the St. John’s River narrows to the Ortega. I’m constantly overwhelmed by the sheer number of appetizers, entrees, and desserts this full-scale Japanese eatery has available. When I’m in Jacksonville, this is one of my all-time favorite places to eat.
In addition to a long list of sushi rolls and individual bites, Sushi Bear will cook up teppanyaki, teriyaki, katsu, tempura, and udon variations of chicken, shrimp, pork, and mixed vegetables.
But I must eat any dish named after the restaurant itself, so the Sushi Bear roll of shrimp tempura, mango, spicy crab, avocado, and two types of mayonnaise makes my mouth water. Try it!
9930 Old Baymeadows Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32256
When I got back from a guided kayak tour recently, I was hungry. Sushi seemed like the most appropriate meal after having been on the water.
So I cruised into Open Sushi and devoured the “Special California Roll.” As a transplanted Californian, I appreciated the Left Coast taste of raw crab, cucumber, avocado on the inside, and tempura crab, eel sauce, fish eggs, and scallion on top. It was a big, delicious bite.
But next time I’m going to try the Tokyo Roll. It’s a fried roll with salmon, eel, and avocado.
4320 Deerwood Lake Pkwy #201, Jacksonville, FL 32216
Just west of I-295 and the University of North Florida lies this small but tasty eatery in a nondescript strip mall that provides some of the best sushi in Jacksonville, Florida. But there’s nothing nondescript about the delicious nigiri here. Crazy Sushi offers a full lunch menu and an extensive number of entrees, including filet mignon over rice.
I like the devilishly good Diablo Roll. It’s a fried roll with tuna, salmon, Crabmeat, scallion, and cream cheese on the inside, and shrimp sauce on the outside. The combination of seafood flavors melds together nicely.
My friend tried the Ocean Blue roll mostly because it didn’t seem to have anything remotely blue about it – tempura-battered sweet potatoes with crunchy tempura and spicy salmon. But he loved it.
Kazu Sushi Burrito
935 Durbin Pavilion Dr Ste 104, St Johns, FL 32259
Honestly, I’m a little late to the sushi burrito fusion of Hawaiian and Japanese flavors and techniques. But this mixture of cultures sure is delicious.
After an appetizer of Lobster Goyaza – a pan-seared dumpling that included zucchini and onions, I opted for the Surf N Turf burrito. It was filled with shrimp tempura, cream cheese, spicy crab, red onion, chicken, crispy onion, cilantro, and lettuce with a sweet yuzu sauce to hold it all together.
I recommend opting for any of the signature dishes as bowls to cut down on the extra carbs.
Otaki Japanese Steakhouse
7860 Gate Pkwy, Jacksonville, FL 32256
If I like to try dishes that are named after their restaurants, you can bet I will also try anything with a pop culture reference. Here, that includes the Bubba Roll, named for the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company from the movie “Forrest Gump.”
As expected, this roll came with six pieces of sushi filled with shrimp tempura, cream cheese, and cucumber. Cooked shrimp and scallions were laid nicely on top, as was some spicy mayonnaise. The whole roll was then finished with a dusting of flying fish eggs.
Other culturally referenced sushi rolls include the Gator, Jaguar, Jax, and PGA. Try them all.
They also have such a great selection of drinks here that Otaki has quickly become one of my favorite places to grab a drink when I’m in Jax!
Sake House is so close to the beach, not only can I smell the ocean breeze, but I also think they go down to the nearby pier and catch the fish themselves each day to provide customers with its omakase-style dishes.
What I really like about this restaurant is the tasting menu of 26 different varieties of nigiri. I can mix and match individual sushi bites and decide which ones I like best. One day I might try octopus, whitefish, and squid. Maybe the next time I will attempt mackerel, conch, and escolar (white tuna). The possibilities are almost endless.
Plus, this spot is only a short stroll to Neptune Beach and Jarboe Park. So, eat up and then walk it off at a leisurely pace.
I like to watch sushi chefs prepare their rolls. I mean, it’s fun to be surprised when the cooks are in the back. But it’s also a treat, when offered, to watch chefs create their concoctions. They take a piece of seaweed and slap some rice on it.
Then, they drop in the required ingredients, delicately roll the mixture, and slice it. Finally, with chopsticks or tweezers in hand, they gingerly lay the tiny finishing touches atop it. Voila, a perfect bite.
At Fuji Sushi, watching the chefs helps me decide what to try. Otherwise, it would be too difficult because the menu is enormous. There are more than 100 items to choose from for lunch and dinner.
4820 W Deer Lake Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32216
One mile south of the Beach and Peach Urban Bike Park on Southside Boulevard is Yashi Sushi. It’s the perfect spot to unwind after a nice trail ride.
I especially like the cucumber rolls here. Another pop-culture reference, the Naruto is a favorite with its combination of tuna, salmon, yellowtail, crab, and avocado. The 7th Hokage himself would be proud.
Another favorite is the Futomaki, sushi that comes in a larger and thicker roll than others. These can be stuffed with up to 10 ingredients, such as codfish flakes, gourd strips, and eel.
Kazu Japanese Restaurant
9965 San Jose Blvd #35, Jacksonville, FL 32257
In less than a decade, Kazu has distinguished itself throughout Jacksonville with numerous accolades as the best sushi in Jacksonville. It is known for bringing in fish from throughout the globe and then preparing and presenting them in striking arrangements.
For personal reasons, I have always been drawn to the Lady Love Roll here. Its pink soy paper roll is filled with spicy tuna, avocado, tempura shrimp, and tobiko (tiny, flying fish roe), and topped with a spicy kimchee drizzle. Yum.
A close second is the Fantastic 4 Roll due to its sriracha, wasabi yuzu, and sesame finish.
Just south of where state routes 202 and 115 meet is the intimate Sushi House of Bay Meadows. The restaurant is quaint, and its offerings are simple. But sometimes the simple pleasures are the best. I enjoy the Triple Lover. It’s three pieces of salmon, three pieces of yellowtail, and three pieces of tuna with a spicy tuna roll.
When I’m in the mood for something a little more refined, I opt for the Chirashi. It’s a dish of various fish served over a bed of rice. Chirashi is the Japanese word for “scattered,” and this colorful ring is meant to be as pleasing to the eye as it is to the mouth.
4372 Southside Blvd # 207-208, Jacksonville, FL 32216
Don’t you love it when you find something different? I know I do. And at Yummy Sushi, I discovered my first taste of yummy Oshinko.
The word Oshinko means “fragrant dish” in Japanese, and it has become the culinary term for pickled vegetables. Oshinko can be any vegetable, but it is usually daikon radishes. They turn bright yellow and become succulent during the pickling process.
If you are prepared to breathe fire, Yummy Sushi has created three different dragon rolls: the Green, the Black, and the Angry Dragon. All of them include eel.
As I hope you can tell by this extensive list, there’s a ton of delicious sushi restaurants throughout Jacksonville to tempt you and satisfy you. Most are family-owned and operated, and they can be found inside many of this city’s premier outdoor shopping malls.
You will also find that most provide curbside pickup and outdoor dining options.
So, if you’re in the mood for some sushi, you are in luck here in Jacksonville.
If sushi doesn’t sound like your thing, maybe try some of these Jacksonville pizza places!
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!