Sushi lovers in Portland, OR are lucky to have an incredible selection of really good sushi places. Almost every neighborhood has its own favorite sushi spot, ranging from tiny take-out places like Saburos to posh restaurants with spectacular décor and views such as Departure. The sushi offered range from traditional maki and rolls to interesting, innovative rolls with at times bizarre combinations like SuBe’s eels and bananas. It seems that vegetarian sushi is accepted as a standard and is now offered everywhere, and with conveyer-belt sushi offering a fast and efficient fresh meal, sushi is quickly becoming a healthy version of fast food.
© Bamboo Sushi
Bamboo Sushi is the small chain of certified sustainable sushi restaurants, the first of their kind in the world. While using sustainable sources for their fresh fish, produce, and meats, Bamboo Sushi treats their customers to imaginative and original sushi as well as other Japanese dishes. Their Portland location on 12th Avenue is simple and modern with characteristic Japanese aesthetics, a large mural on the wall, and lot of recycled wood, in keeping with their sustainability philosophy. Try some of their more interesting sushi, such as Highway 35, with red crab, spicy sesame aioli, cucumber, avocado, long bean, sake-poached pears, tempura crunchies, eel sauce, and tobiko. Bamboo Sushi is also known for the extensive selection of high quality sake.
404 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205, Phone: 503-444-7455
2.Departure Restaurant and Lounge
© Departure Restaurant and Lounge
At the top of the upscale Nines Hotel, Chef Gregory Gourdet weaves his magic wand and produces an Asian-fusion menu with mouthwatering dishes focused on seafood that are also a visual delight, such as crispy whole striped bass with green mango, cashews, and chili-lime. The setting is out of this world, with a vast white space overlooking the city through floor-to-ceiling windows and a large deck perfect for enjoying the sunset and one of the Departure’s interesting cocktails. The menu is fairly large, with a lot of interesting seafood combinations and a small assortment of sushi with ingredients such as osetra caviar. This is one of the rare spots for late-night sushi.
525 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97204, Phone: 503-802-5370
3.Samurai Blue Sushi & Sake
© Samurai Blue Sushi & Sake
Samurai Blue is a popular modern Japanese restaurant on North Portland's Mississippi Avenue known for its Korean and Japanese small plates, a large selection of sushi, hibachi, and original sake cocktails. The simple décor is dominated by a large mural of Hokusai’s Great Wave. Sushi choices range from traditional and simple to original house-designed selections, such as Chance of Rain with salmon, avocado, cream cheese, sundried tomato, balsamic teriyaki sauce, and basil, all fried in tempura batter. If it rains, you get it half price. There is a large selection of interesting sake cocktails and draft beer as well as a small but good wine selection from all over the world.
3807 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227, Phone: 503-284-1020
4.Marinepolis Sushi Land
© Marinepolis Sushi Land
Marinepolis Sushi Land is a popular chain of small, unpretentious but comfortable restaurants located all over Portland. Students and busy people love the well-established and efficient conveyor-belt sushi - food is made in front of customers and sent to cruise on the "train." Specials are also available but might take a bit longer to arrive. There are no surprises on the menu, but the fish is fresh and portions are large, so it is not surprising that many of the customers are students. Besides sushi, Marinepolis serves a handful of Japanese dishes such as udon noodles and tsubugai (whelk clam) nigiri style.
1409 NE Weidler St, Portland, OR 97232, Phone: 503-280-0300
© Masu Sushi
Located on the second floor of a brick building close to the edge of Pearl, Masu Sushi is a pleasant upscale place with updated mid-century décor and a well-stocked bar. Masu has been around since 2004, offering superb Japanese fare, including original sushi made with the freshest seafood possible. Portions are large - the sushi comes in eight pieces, perfect for sharing. Try Nemo; it is a whole meal in itself, consisting of shrimp tempura, Dungeness crabs, avocado, whitefish, salmon, ponzu, green onions, toasted sesame seeds, and smoked flakes of bonito. The bar offers a large selection of high quality sake and specialty cocktails.
406 SW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97205, Phone: 503-221-6278
© Mio Sushi
Mio Sushi is a chain of 16 family-owned full-service Japanese restaurants in Oregon and Washington. The cozy ambiance is created by comfortable booths that invite families to come for a traditional fusion Japanese-West Coast meal. They are constantly searching for local suppliers with the freshest seafood for their delicious sushi. The large selection of sushi ranges from good old favorites such as maki rolls to more inventive ones such as the Samurai with spicy salmon, white fish, white onion, and crab rolled in panko. Besides sushi, Mio offers Japanese classics such as chicken teriyaki and tonkatsu. Their lunch special is a very good deal and it comes with miso soup, rice, and veggies.
2271 NW Johnson St, Portland, OR 97210, Phone: 503-221-1469
7.Saburos Sushi House Restaurant
© Saburos Sushi House Restaurant
Saburos Sushi House is a no-frills tiny cornerstone restaurant in the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood where the line of customers starts forming an hour before opening. This has been going on since 1988 - the popularity is fully justified by the huge portions of delicious super-fresh sushi rolls, nigiri, tempura, and marinated tuna. The menu is huge, there is something for everyone, and the best deals are sushi sample platters with a bit of everything. The most popular dishes are deep-fried crunchy rolls - try the Alaskan roll with salmon, crab, smoked salmon, avocado, cucumber, lettuce, smelt roe, mayo, sesame seeds, and special dip sauce. They also have a nice selection of cold and warm sake, beer, and a few wines.
1667 SE Bybee Blvd, Portland, OR 97202, Phone: 503-236-4237
Sensei is new sushi bar in downtown Portland offering classic conveyor belt sushi plates that are made while customers are waiting. Small, clean, and streamlined, Sensei’s décor is dominated by a beautiful mural of Hokusai’s Great Wave. Fish and all other ingredients are super fresh and the choice is large and complete with everyone’s favorites. Don’t expect anything fancy, but the portions are large and the service is fast. Prices are very competitive, especially during happy hour. Besides sushi, there is a kitchen menu with bento boxes, soups, and sweets. Sensei also has a variety of Japanese and Oregon-brewed sake as well as Japanese and local beers.
710 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97204, Phone: 503-222-1208
© Sinju Sushi
Located next to Jamison Park in Portland’s downtown Pearl District, Sinju (Japanese for pearl) has understated Japanese elegance in beautifully crafted woods on the walls and furniture, discrete lighting and a brightly lit, well-stocked bar. Watching the sushi masters at the sushi bar is a unique pleasure, but for more privacy you can reserve one of their traditional tatami rooms. Their large menu offers a good selection of hot plates and appetizers, but you go to Sinju for their sushi. The selection is enormous, from the simple, traditional offerings to the imaginative, innovative concoctions such as the Pearl District with shrimp tempura, crab salad, avocado, fresh salmon, and house special sauce. Try their interesting sake cocktails to go with your sushi. Things to Do in Portland OR
1022 NW Johnson St, Portland, OR 97209, Phone: 503-223-6535
SuBe is an elegant, contemporary sushi and sake bar in downtown Portland that offers authentic, classic sushi with an imaginative twist and interesting combinations. All ingredients are super fresh and are locally sourced or come from the world’s largest seafood markets. While the downstairs dining room revolves around the well-stocked bar, there is also a mezzanine space for more private dining or events. Be brave and try something different, such as sushi with eel and bananas or the Ring of Fire - baked sushi with spicy crabs, shrimps, jalapeño, scallops, onions, and habanero aioli. They make great, innovative cocktails and are open until 2:00am on Friday and Saturday.
40 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204, Phone: 503-567-2266
© Courtesy of ilolab - Fotolia.com
Conveyor-belt Japanese restaurants have reputation of being a bit "cheesy." Sushi Ichiban took this in stride and went one step further - the conveyer belt has a real kiddy train taking the super-fresh, colorful plates of sushi from customer to customer. It is fast and lot of fun, and you will not care that the décor is bare-bones because everything is delicious and well assembled, with a slightly modern twist on the good old favorites. There is also loud rock music, creating a lively contemporary atmosphere. Besides traditional sushi and sashimi and a handful of hot Japanese dishes, Ichiban offers lunch and dinner specials as well as a nice selection of sake and beers.
24 NW Broadway, Portland, OR 97209, Phone: 503-224-3417
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This simple, unassuming downtown Japanese spot is welcoming and cozy, with brightly colored walls and décor and a conveyor-belt that rolls out fresh, colorful, traditional sushi using a surprising diversity of seafood from all over the world. It is more "Japanese" than many such places, celebrating Japanese traditional culinary traditions. The menu divides sushi by the price of ingredients, but there are no flights of imagination, just good old favorites. The more expensive the ingredients or the more ingredients combined, the more expensive the menu item. The restaurant also offers sashimi, bento boxes, a few simple desserts, and a small assortment of drinks.
506 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97204, Phone: 503-206-8663
© Wild Wasabe
Wild Wasabe is a popular upscale Northwest District Japanese restaurant and sushi spot. With nice, comfortable décor, it is a place to bring a family for a meal, especially on Saturday when they have an all-you-can-eat special. The menu is large and has a combination of classic and innovative sushi rolls as well as sashimi, nigiri, and traditional Japanese plates such as teriyaki and tonkatsu. The presentation is so imaginative that it is a pleasure watching the sushi chefs combine bits of seafood, fish, rice, veggies, and spices into works of art in the shape of a dragon or sunburst. To complement meals, Wasabe offers premium sake, a small selection of wine, and Japanese beers.
2330 NW Thurman St, Portland, OR 97210, Phone: 503-242-6404
© Yama Sushi
Yama Sushi is a traditional stylish sushi and izakaya place where Korean-born chef and owner Scott Chae treats his guests with innovative and creative tapas and rolls - some are even flaming - without sacrificing Japanese culinary traditions. The menu includes American-style izakaya, such as Kobe beef skewers with truffle salt or seared razor clam with wasabi-yuzu dressing. The sushi list is huge and ranges from traditional rolls and sashimi to innovative rolls that redefine sushi, such as the Kobe roll with spicy tuna, spicy cucumber, seared avocado, Kobe beef, wasabi mayo, cilantro, unagi sauce, and hot sauce. Fresh fish and seafood come from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Sea of Japan and each piece is lovingly selected. Yama has nice selection of sake and a signature chuhai, which are shochu cocktails with soda water and fruit puree.
926 NW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97209, Phone: 503-841-5463
© Courtesy of Robert Przybysz - Fotolia.com
A quaint Japanese spot in SE Division, Yataimura Maru is designed to look like a traditional narrow Tokyo alleyway, with paper lanterns, paper doors, and cozy separations that provide a bit of privacy. Yataimura Maru serves modern Japanese pub food, a combination of modern and traditional Japanese dishes. The menu offers handmade ramen noodles, hot and cold tapas, a selection of traditional sushi, and yakimono skewers. There is plenty of sake and beer to go with it. Maru has early and late happy hours, the best time to come and sample all that is on offer.
3810 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202, Phone: 503-841-5527
15 Best Sushi Restaurants in Portland, OR
- Bamboo Sushi, Photo: Bamboo Sushi
- Departure Restaurant and Lounge, Photo: Departure Restaurant and Lounge
- Samurai Blue Sushi & Sake, Photo: Samurai Blue Sushi & Sake
- Marinepolis Sushi Land, Photo: Marinepolis Sushi Land
- Masu Sushi, Photo: Masu Sushi
- Mio Sushi, Photo: Mio Sushi
- Saburos Sushi House Restaurant, Photo: Saburos Sushi House Restaurant
- Sensei, Photo: Sensei
- Sinju Sushi, Photo: Sinju Sushi
- SuBe, Photo: SuBe
- Sushi Ichiban, Photo: Courtesy of ilolab - Fotolia.com
- Sushi Sakura, Photo: Courtesy of WavebreakMediaMicro - Fotolia.com
- Wild Wasabe, Photo: Wild Wasabe
- Yama Sushi, Photo: Yama Sushi
- Yataimura Maru, Photo: Courtesy of Robert Przybysz - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Y's harmony - Fotolia.com