The Best Sushi Spots in Denver
From dollar spots to intimate tasting experiences, here's where you should be ordering sushi in Denver.
Don’t even start with the lack of ocean stuff. This is 2022, baby! Where you can FaceTime the morning selection at international fish markets and have it on the table in Denver within a day. We’re a city that loves us some raw fish, and our sushi scene is stronger than ever. From quick stops into food halls and conveyor belt restaurants, to sitting down for ultra-fresh temaki and rolls, to lingering over an omakase extravaganza at the classic Sushi Den or new classic Foraged, we’ve got options. Here, ten of Denver’s best sushi restaurants, where you’ll get a raw deal in the best possible way.
This is how passionate chef Duy Pham is about getting the perfect cut: The man trained with one of the top bladesmiths in the world to learn the art of knifemaking, and the knives Pham forges are considered some of the best around. If you head upstairs to the raw bar/chef’s counter, you’ll see Pham’s sharp creations on the walls and in action, as he and his team slice and dice some of the best fish you’ll ever eat, like the buttery toro or the brown shrimp with Thai chili-ginger sauce. Try the omakase experience for especially innovative and unforgettable bites.
Park Hill Sushi Co., and its sister restaurants in Cherry Hills and Berkeley Park, do things a little differently. Unlike most sushi spots, where the menu reads like a novella of rolls, the options are more limited here. But what they lack in choice, they more than make up for in quality. The short list of temaki and sashimi are as fresh and well-executed as you’ll find in Denver, and the prices are reasonable.
One of the reasons Denver can still get great sushi in spite of being a thousand or so miles from the closest ocean? Technology. Mizu Izakaya uses video calls to virtually inspect and hand pick its fish each morning from a top Japanese fish market. And while the ultra-fresh fish is certainly a menu highlight, don’t miss the extensive selection of hot dishes and elaborate cocktails, all served in a chic LoHi setting.
Long considered a leader of Denver’s sushi scene, Sushi Den still fills up nightly, delighting its fans with artfully presented sashimi plates and rolls bulging with soft shell crab, albacore tuna, yellowtail, Rocky Mountain trout, and anything else not quick enough to avoid getting caught. The coveted chef’s table experience is closed due to Covid right now, but when open, it’s a Denver foodie bucket list item for sure.
We didn’t think we needed yet another Texas transplant when Austin-based chef Tyson Cole opened Uchi in RiNo in 2018. But alas, the creative spins on traditional Japanese fare are just too good not to love. From the salmon with fried kale, pear, yuzu dashi, and blueberry, to the zesty kampachi crudo with pomelo, Korean chile, and grapefruit zu, the plates flying out of Uchi’s kitchen and raw bar are top-notch and not to be missed. If you want to sample Uchi’s full range, spring for a six or 10 course tasting menu.
Just when you thought going out for sushi couldn’t get any more fun, Jeff Osaka decides to put his nigiri and rolls on colorful plates and send them spinning around the dining room on a giant conveyor belt. Sushi-Rama’s color-coordinated pricing system, pop art decor, and solid food make sushi easy and accessible—not to mention entertaining. Look for the latest Rama outpost to open in Broomfield this spring.
Some of the best sushi on the Front Range is in a food hall. Seriously. Jesus Silva has been helming Denver-area sushi counters for years, but these days his focus is on the Golden Mill food hall and his rooftop perch at Sushi Sora. Stop in for lunch for a build-your-own poke bowl, or wait until dinner to explore the full menu of nigiri, sashimi, and rolls. Don’t miss the Golden Roll, filled with spicy scallops and asparagus and topped with yellowtail and macho sauce.
Whether you like your rolls basic like a California, veggie-centric a la tempura green bean, or over-the-top with salmon skin, truffle ponzu, and salmon, Bamboo has what you need. Even better, you can feel good about your dinner’s impact on the ocean and planet. Portland-based Bamboo uses only sustainable seafood, gives a portion of profits to environmental causes, and was even named the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant in 2008.
This Washington Park mainstay generally flies under the Denver sushi buzz radar, but Fontana has been giving the city’s pescatarians what they love for 22 years. The neighborhood spot is a family-run operation, and they’re dedicated to serving good meals at good prices. Case in point: the 16-piece sashimi deluxe for just $25 and the creamy bowl of tonkatsu ramen for $12.
From the moment it opened in LoHi in 2016, Sushi Ronin turned heads with its modern, creative bites and rolls. Part of the fun is in the constantly-evolving daily specials, but the tried-and-true staples, like the Colorado roll with green chile, striped bass, and tempura avocado, are what keep fans coming back. To appease devotees who drove in from other neighborhoods and cities, Ronin has since opened two more locations, 47 Sushi and Spirits in Highlands Ranch and Ronin Congress Park.