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Ocean trout nigiri
Ocean trout nigiri from Bamboo Sushi.
Courtesy of Bamboo Sushi

15 Sushi Spots to Crawl in Denver

Get your sashimi, nigiri, maki, and temaki right here

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Ocean trout nigiri from Bamboo Sushi.
| Courtesy of Bamboo Sushi

Out-of-towners who balk at the idea of ordering raw seafood in a land-locked state seem to forget what era they live in — a time when many of the nation’s top sushi destinations take pride in sourcing from Japanese fish markets. Essentially, modern shipping puts the Mile High City as close to the ocean as anywhere else. And locals love their sushi as much as anyone else from New York to San Francisco, whether they’re going for omakase at Uchi and Matsuhisa or getting a quick fix at Sushi-Rama and Misaki at the Stanley.

All four of those spots warrant their slot in the following map, along with 11 other must-try sushi bars in and around Denver. (For those a bit further out, consider boisterous Boulder institution Sushi Zanmai, Sakana in Westminster, or Sushi Sora at the brand-new Golden Mill, where the well-respected Jesus Silva is running the show.)

Note: Restaurants are ordered geographically. Have another favorite? Send us a tip.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Temaki Den

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At the center of the action in RiNo marketplace The Source, this collaboration between the Kizaki brothers of Sushi Den fame and executive chef Kenta Kamo specializes in the eponymous hand roll. Yet the menu’s highlights range widely for its size, proving that Kamo is a talent to watch: They include not only the red shrimp and blue crab temaki but also the lobster, eggplant, and Wagyu nigiri and — to cap it all off — yuzu–black pepper sorbet.

Lobster nigiri topped with roe
Lobster nigiri at Temaki Den.
Ruth Tobias

Bamboo Sushi Denver - LoHi

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After developing a following at Avanti F&B, the Portland-born Bamboo Sushi opened a brick-and-mortar sanctuary of serenity in the same neighborhood, whose alley entrance leads to a sleek L-shaped dining room flanked by a breezy deck overlooking LoHi’s rooftops. The certified-sustainable kitchen wears its transparency on its sleeve, or rather its website, with detailed sourcing information, some of which also appears on the menu. Though somewhat scaled down for reduced capacity, its greatest hits remain, including yuzu-drizzled scallop nigiri; the Green Machine roll with long-bean and scallion tempura, avocado, and cilantro–sweet chile aioli; and, admittedly off-theme, the sumptuous Wagyu cheeseburger with grilled shishitos.

Avocado-topped sushi roll
A signature roll at Bamboo Sushi.
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

Sushi Ronin

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Despite management changes in recent years, much of what made this LoHi go-to a hit when it opened in 2016 remains intact, including a knack for knockout presentation. While the Colorado roll, featuring striped bass and green chile, and the Nice n Easy roll with hamachi tartare and pickled wasabi are on regulars’ speed dial, the list of daily specials rings bells too — perhaps bluefin akami in ponzu with chive oil, pickled seaweed, and rice puffs one day; kanpachi with wasabi yuzu, mango purée, and chile oil the next.

Sashimi platter
A sashimi platter from Sushi Ronin.
Ruth Tobias

Mizu Izakaya

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From the chic, artsy decor to the elaborately garnished cocktails flavored with dragon fruit, oolong tea, or umami bitters, this LoHi slice of nightlife has got flashy style to spare. So do its sushi chefs, who might on any given night be serving up two types of uni, wild yellowtail belly, and whole live scallop alongside California rolls topped with baked lobster and Kewpie mayo.

Uni nigiri topped with caviar
Uni nigiri at Mizu.
Adam Larkey

Sushi-Rama

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With three satellite locations to prove its popularity, Jeff Osaka’s Pop Art–splashed merry-go-round in RiNo isn’t trying to reinvent the sushi wheel — it’s just putting that maki and nigiri on a conveyor belt for easy picking and pairing with Japanese beers, sakes, and easygoing cocktails. (That’s not to say the chefs don’t take a little creative license: Think pumpkin-tempura rolls with kelp, avocado, and honey glaze.) Of course, there’s edamame, tempura, and the like for noshing on too.

Pop Art–inspired sushi bar with conveyor belt
The high-energy vibe at the original Sushi-Rama in RiNo.
Courtesy of Sushi Rama

Miki Hashimoto’s urbane Prospect fixture in the shadow of Coors Field is the complete package. In addition to the myriad types of nigiri and rolls that the long-respected chef has been offering for decades, it also serves up memorable ramen and worthy small plates such as shishito peppers in ginger sauce or kaki fry (panko-breaded oysters).

Bowl of ramen and sushi roll
Bowls and rolls at Tokio.
Courtesy of Tokio

Uchi Denver

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Denverites lucked out when James Beard awardee Tyson Cole picked RiNo to house the first Uchi outpost beyond his home state of Texas. In a gorgeous, glittering space beneath a rooftop greenhouse, his team turns out immaculate, stunningly intricate Japanese-inspired creations of all kinds — don’t miss the exquisite foie gras nigiri or the luscious kinoko nabe. But raw fish remains the centerpiece of the menu, from the signature yellowtail in chile- and orange-scented ponzu to seasonal and daily specials such as threadfin bream, goldeneye snapper, and bluefin otoro.  

Three pieces of sushi
Nigiri at Uchi.
Ruth Tobias

Sushi Sasa

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A mainstay for omakase (at least in normal times), Wayne Conwell’s minimalist-chic haunt at the edge of LoHi continues to earn its long reputation for excellence not only with expert nigiri and maki — including daily specials such as cuttlefish or Hokkaido scallops — but also kitchen signatures like the French onion-inspired black cod soup. Monkfish liver or oysters with foie gras are always a special treat.

Salmon-roe, scallop, crab, and mackerel nigiri
Salmon-roe, scallop, crab, and mackerel nigiri at Sushi Sasa.
Ruth Tobias

Misaki Sushi

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Like its temporarily closed sibling at Broadway Market, this Stanley Marketplace stall from Charlene and Robert Thai (who also own Misaki in Superior) is a happy reminder that sushi was originally a street snack — no fancy surroundings necessary. Which isn’t to say the food here isn’t polished: In addition to elegantly presented nigiri, rolls come complete with such unexpected garnishes as mustard-yuzu sauce, toasted coconut, and capers.

Maki and nigiri platter
Maki, nigiri, and more from Misaki.
Ruth Tobias

For[a]ged Restaurant

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Duy Pham is a name longtime locals trust. Having put his stamp on many a hot spot over the years, the veteran chef is now synthesizing his many years of experience at this Dairy Block attraction: The menu isn’t strictly Japanese (or even strictly Asian), but it’s no less intriguing for that. Think bluefin nigiri with blue cheese and scallions, scallop sashimi with truffled pea puree and Meyer lemon, or maki filled with preserved peach and shiso.

Assorted nigiri
A selection of nigiri at For[a]ged.
Ruth Tobias

Kobe An Japanese Restaurant

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Open in one location or another since 1979, this Cherry Creek spot owes its longevity to its cozy old-school vibe — the tatami-style rooms are a major draw — and a menu with something for just about everyone. The sushi selection alone runs two pages, including the likes of California rolls with real crab and umeshiso maki, inexplicably hard to find in these parts.

Poke over cucumber salad
Poke at Kobe An.
Ruth Tobias

Matsuhisa Denver

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When none other than world-renowned chef Nobu Matushisa brought his brand of luxe Japanese cuisine to Cherry Creek, the hype was huge and the reviews were rave. Both continue to be earned: Against a hip, loungelike backdrop, the splurges keep coming — among them uni shooters, crab-claw or rock-shrimp tempura, and Nobu’s famous new-style sashimi as well as a sushi selection ranging from abalone nigiri to yellowtail-okra rolls.

monkfish liver in mustard miso with caviar
Matsuhisa’s caviar-topped ankimo (monkfish liver) in mustard miso is a must when available.
Ruth Tobias

Sushi Kai and Mongolian Cuisine

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For an easygoing, entertaining change of pace, this sleeper in the CitySet complex specializes in Mongolian as well as Japanese cuisine. As elaborate as concoctions like the Diablo roll with both spicy and garlic butter–seared tuna or the #1 with yellowtail, asparagus tempura, and yuzu-soy drizzle are, they’re even more fun paired with bansh (steamed beef dumplings) instead of gyoza.

Platter of sushi rolls
An assortment of rolls at Sushi Kai.
Ruth Tobias

Izakaya Den

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While Sushi Den, Denver’s foremost pioneer of Japanese food, remains closed to all but takeout customers for the time being, its adjacent sibling Izakaya Den offers a similar menu in its more spacious, serenely appointed dining rooms upstairs and down. The list of specials is always the best place to start a meal here, featuring seafood from as far as Scotland, Croatia, and Greece as well as Japan; the banana cream pie, believe it or not, is always the best place to end.

Modern Japanese dining room with skylights
Upstairs at Izakaya Den.
Adam Larkey Photography

Cherry Hills Sushi Co.

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In keeping with its snug, sleek design, the menu at Bradford Kim and Olivia Maeng’s Cherry Hills flagship (which now has Park Hill and Berkeley satellites) is a study in minimalism. It centers on about 10 types of temaki — spicy tuna, eel, and lobster, for instance — plus a small but handsomely presented selection of sashimi for pairing with Japanese beer, whisky, or sake. That’s pretty much it — but it’s more than enough for anyone who appreciates the elegant simplicity that is the essence of Japanese cuisine.  

Yellowtail sashimi
Yellowtail sashimi at Cherry Hills Sushi Co.
Adam Larkey Photography

Temaki Den

Lobster nigiri topped with roe
Lobster nigiri at Temaki Den.
Ruth Tobias

At the center of the action in RiNo marketplace The Source, this collaboration between the Kizaki brothers of Sushi Den fame and executive chef Kenta Kamo specializes in the eponymous hand roll. Yet the menu’s highlights range widely for its size, proving that Kamo is a talent to watch: They include not only the red shrimp and blue crab temaki but also the lobster, eggplant, and Wagyu nigiri and — to cap it all off — yuzu–black pepper sorbet.

Lobster nigiri topped with roe
Lobster nigiri at Temaki Den.
Ruth Tobias

Bamboo Sushi Denver - LoHi

Avocado-topped sushi roll
A signature roll at Bamboo Sushi.
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

After developing a following at Avanti F&B, the Portland-born Bamboo Sushi opened a brick-and-mortar sanctuary of serenity in the same neighborhood, whose alley entrance leads to a sleek L-shaped dining room flanked by a breezy deck overlooking LoHi’s rooftops. The certified-sustainable kitchen wears its transparency on its sleeve, or rather its website, with detailed sourcing information, some of which also appears on the menu. Though somewhat scaled down for reduced capacity, its greatest hits remain, including yuzu-drizzled scallop nigiri; the Green Machine roll with long-bean and scallion tempura, avocado, and cilantro–sweet chile aioli; and, admittedly off-theme, the sumptuous Wagyu cheeseburger with grilled shishitos.

Avocado-topped sushi roll
A signature roll at Bamboo Sushi.
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

Sushi Ronin

Sashimi platter
A sashimi platter from Sushi Ronin.
Ruth Tobias

Despite management changes in recent years, much of what made this LoHi go-to a hit when it opened in 2016 remains intact, including a knack for knockout presentation. While the Colorado roll, featuring striped bass and green chile, and the Nice n Easy roll with hamachi tartare and pickled wasabi are on regulars’ speed dial, the list of daily specials rings bells too — perhaps bluefin akami in ponzu with chive oil, pickled seaweed, and rice puffs one day; kanpachi with wasabi yuzu, mango purée, and chile oil the next.

Sashimi platter
A sashimi platter from Sushi Ronin.
Ruth Tobias

Mizu Izakaya

Uni nigiri topped with caviar
Uni nigiri at Mizu.
Adam Larkey

From the chic, artsy decor to the elaborately garnished cocktails flavored with dragon fruit, oolong tea, or umami bitters, this LoHi slice of nightlife has got flashy style to spare. So do its sushi chefs, who might on any given night be serving up two types of uni, wild yellowtail belly, and whole live scallop alongside California rolls topped with baked lobster and Kewpie mayo.

Uni nigiri topped with caviar
Uni nigiri at Mizu.
Adam Larkey

Sushi-Rama

Pop Art–inspired sushi bar with conveyor belt
The high-energy vibe at the original Sushi-Rama in RiNo.
Courtesy of Sushi Rama

With three satellite locations to prove its popularity, Jeff Osaka’s Pop Art–splashed merry-go-round in RiNo isn’t trying to reinvent the sushi wheel — it’s just putting that maki and nigiri on a conveyor belt for easy picking and pairing with Japanese beers, sakes, and easygoing cocktails. (That’s not to say the chefs don’t take a little creative license: Think pumpkin-tempura rolls with kelp, avocado, and honey glaze.) Of course, there’s edamame, tempura, and the like for noshing on too.

Pop Art–inspired sushi bar with conveyor belt
The high-energy vibe at the original Sushi-Rama in RiNo.
Courtesy of Sushi Rama

Tokio

Bowl of ramen and sushi roll
Bowls and rolls at Tokio.
Courtesy of Tokio

Miki Hashimoto’s urbane Prospect fixture in the shadow of Coors Field is the complete package. In addition to the myriad types of nigiri and rolls that the long-respected chef has been offering for decades, it also serves up memorable ramen and worthy small plates such as shishito peppers in ginger sauce or kaki fry (panko-breaded oysters).

Bowl of ramen and sushi roll
Bowls and rolls at Tokio.
Courtesy of Tokio

Uchi Denver

Three pieces of sushi
Nigiri at Uchi.
Ruth Tobias

Denverites lucked out when James Beard awardee Tyson Cole picked RiNo to house the first Uchi outpost beyond his home state of Texas. In a gorgeous, glittering space beneath a rooftop greenhouse, his team turns out immaculate, stunningly intricate Japanese-inspired creations of all kinds — don’t miss the exquisite foie gras nigiri or the luscious kinoko nabe. But raw fish remains the centerpiece of the menu, from the signature yellowtail in chile- and orange-scented ponzu to seasonal and daily specials such as threadfin bream, goldeneye snapper, and bluefin otoro.  

Three pieces of sushi
Nigiri at Uchi.
Ruth Tobias

Sushi Sasa

Salmon-roe, scallop, crab, and mackerel nigiri
Salmon-roe, scallop, crab, and mackerel nigiri at Sushi Sasa.
Ruth Tobias

A mainstay for omakase (at least in normal times), Wayne Conwell’s minimalist-chic haunt at the edge of LoHi continues to earn its long reputation for excellence not only with expert nigiri and maki — including daily specials such as cuttlefish or Hokkaido scallops — but also kitchen signatures like the French onion-inspired black cod soup. Monkfish liver or oysters with foie gras are always a special treat.

Salmon-roe, scallop, crab, and mackerel nigiri
Salmon-roe, scallop, crab, and mackerel nigiri at Sushi Sasa.
Ruth Tobias

Misaki Sushi

Maki and nigiri platter
Maki, nigiri, and more from Misaki.
Ruth Tobias

Like its temporarily closed sibling at Broadway Market, this Stanley Marketplace stall from Charlene and Robert Thai (who also own Misaki in Superior) is a happy reminder that sushi was originally a street snack — no fancy surroundings necessary. Which isn’t to say the food here isn’t polished: In addition to elegantly presented nigiri, rolls come complete with such unexpected garnishes as mustard-yuzu sauce, toasted coconut, and capers.

Maki and nigiri platter
Maki, nigiri, and more from Misaki.
Ruth Tobias

For[a]ged Restaurant

Assorted nigiri
A selection of nigiri at For[a]ged.
Ruth Tobias

Duy Pham is a name longtime locals trust. Having put his stamp on many a hot spot over the years, the veteran chef is now synthesizing his many years of experience at this Dairy Block attraction: The menu isn’t strictly Japanese (or even strictly Asian), but it’s no less intriguing for that. Think bluefin nigiri with blue cheese and scallions, scallop sashimi with truffled pea puree and Meyer lemon, or maki filled with preserved peach and shiso.

Assorted nigiri
A selection of nigiri at For[a]ged.
Ruth Tobias

Kobe An Japanese Restaurant

Poke over cucumber salad
Poke at Kobe An.
Ruth Tobias

Open in one location or another since 1979, this Cherry Creek spot owes its longevity to its cozy old-school vibe — the tatami-style rooms are a major draw — and a menu with something for just about everyone. The sushi selection alone runs two pages, including the likes of California rolls with real crab and umeshiso maki, inexplicably hard to find in these parts.

Poke over cucumber salad
Poke at Kobe An.
Ruth Tobias

Matsuhisa Denver

monkfish liver in mustard miso with caviar
Matsuhisa’s caviar-topped ankimo (monkfish liver) in mustard miso is a must when available.
Ruth Tobias

When none other than world-renowned chef Nobu Matushisa brought his brand of luxe Japanese cuisine to Cherry Creek, the hype was huge and the reviews were rave. Both continue to be earned: Against a hip, loungelike backdrop, the splurges keep coming — among them uni shooters, crab-claw or rock-shrimp tempura, and Nobu’s famous new-style sashimi as well as a sushi selection ranging from abalone nigiri to yellowtail-okra rolls.

monkfish liver in mustard miso with caviar
Matsuhisa’s caviar-topped ankimo (monkfish liver) in mustard miso is a must when available.
Ruth Tobias

Sushi Kai and Mongolian Cuisine

Platter of sushi rolls
An assortment of rolls at Sushi Kai.
Ruth Tobias

For an easygoing, entertaining change of pace, this sleeper in the CitySet complex specializes in Mongolian as well as Japanese cuisine. As elaborate as concoctions like the Diablo roll with both spicy and garlic butter–seared tuna or the #1 with yellowtail, asparagus tempura, and yuzu-soy drizzle are, they’re even more fun paired with bansh (steamed beef dumplings) instead of gyoza.

Platter of sushi rolls
An assortment of rolls at Sushi Kai.
Ruth Tobias

Izakaya Den

Modern Japanese dining room with skylights
Upstairs at Izakaya Den.
Adam Larkey Photography

While Sushi Den, Denver’s foremost pioneer of Japanese food, remains closed to all but takeout customers for the time being, its adjacent sibling Izakaya Den offers a similar menu in its more spacious, serenely appointed dining rooms upstairs and down. The list of specials is always the best place to start a meal here, featuring seafood from as far as Scotland, Croatia, and Greece as well as Japan; the banana cream pie, believe it or not, is always the best place to end.

Modern Japanese dining room with skylights
Upstairs at Izakaya Den.
Adam Larkey Photography

Cherry Hills Sushi Co.

Yellowtail sashimi
Yellowtail sashimi at Cherry Hills Sushi Co.
Adam Larkey Photography

In keeping with its snug, sleek design, the menu at Bradford Kim and Olivia Maeng’s Cherry Hills flagship (which now has Park Hill and Berkeley satellites) is a study in minimalism. It centers on about 10 types of temaki — spicy tuna, eel, and lobster, for instance — plus a small but handsomely presented selection of sashimi for pairing with Japanese beer, whisky, or sake. That’s pretty much it — but it’s more than enough for anyone who appreciates the elegant simplicity that is the essence of Japanese cuisine.