To some, sushi is associated with delicate rolls made of cold, packed rice and various fish and vegetables, all wrapped in delicate nori (edible dried seaweed paper). But at some of the very best Asheville sushi restaurants, sushi is truly an art form, combining skill at creating rolls with delicate sauces and toppings.
Some fans of Japanese food prefer sashimi, the high-quality raw fish variety of sushi that is sometimes served without the rice and seaweed, while others favor rolls that contain only cooked items, like shrimp tempura.
No matter which kind of sushi offering you prefer, you’ll find many varieties in Asheville, from classy Asian fusion places to sushi served at hibachi-grill-focused restaurants with communal seating around a cooktop to simple buffets where you can get a great roll alongside many other Japanese dishes.
Sushi makes for a satisfying, protein-filled lunch or dinner, so it’s an excellent option when you want to try the best and most creative Asheville restaurants. If you’re craving a sushi fix, here are some options for where to eat sushi in Asheville!
Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 17 Best Sushi Restaurants in Asheville
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17 Amazing Asheville Sushi Restaurants
1. Find True Fusion at The Madness Sushi, Burger & Bar
A couple miles north of downtown, in a shopping center by a library, you’ll find the unassuming storefront for The Madness, a fun restaurant boasting an unusual pairing – sushi and burgers! When choosing where to eat in Asheville, you are likely balancing the tastes of multiple people, and The Madness really delivers for both those who just want a burger with amazing toppings as well as those who want a high-quality sushi roll.
For instance, try the Sweet Heart Roll, a spicy tuna, avocado, and tempura flake roll, topped with more fresh tuna and served with sriracha aioli and unagi sauce. Or opt for the Out of Control Roll, a spicy crab, shrimp, avocado, and cream cheese roll that has been deep-fried and topped with spicy tuna, masago, scallions, sriracha aioli, and unagi sauce.
There are many more iterations on the Chef’s Special rolls, as well as a list of old standbys like California rolls and tuna rolls. No matter what you try, you’ll see why The Madness ranks as many locals pick for the best restaurants in Asheville.
North Asheville: 1020 Merrimon Ave, Suite 104, Asheville
2. Find Sushi Front-and-Center at Mr. Sushi North and South
Mr. Sushi has been around for about six years and is completely independently owned and family operated. Their two locations are primarily focused on, as the name implies, the best that sushi has to offer, with just a few menu items devoted to non-sushi dishes, a list of stir-fries, and dishes made on a hibachi grill.
For your sushi menu, you can opt for nigiri, a variety of sliced fish over rice, or sashimi, sliced fish without rice, which will be served raw. Then you have a long list of rolled sushi (maki sushi) as well as elaborate specialty sushi. Sample a Fried Scallop Roll where the scallops are paired with avocado soy paper and topped with tobiko and spicy mayo.
Or go for the gusto with a Carolina Roll, pairing spicy shrimp, avocado, and cucumber before topping it all off with more shrimp, eel sauce, and spicy mayo. The combination sushi menu also allows you to mix and match, which is particularly nice if you haven’t had a sushi meal in a while and aren’t sure how many rolls are right for your appetite.
3. Pick From the Smorgasbord at Zen Sushi
If you’re looking for Japanese restaurants in Asheville, Zen Sushi offers you the miracle of choice with literally dozens of options for different sushi rolls and sashimi dishes. There are noodle entrees, stir-fries, and hibachi-grill meals, but the sushi is clearly the star of the show at this North Asheville Japanese restaurant.
Get inventive with the New Horizons Roll, made with yellowtail, asparagus, and avocado and then topped with salmon, tuna, and wasabi tobiko. Or dig into the truly regal King Roll, which must be seen to be believed: a masterpiece of spicy crunchy crab, shrimp tempura, avocado, and mango rolled in soy paper, then topped with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, eel, more avocado, mango sauce, eel sauce, wasabi mayo, and tobiko – what a combination!
Zen Sushi has a particularly long menu of vegetarian rolls, making it a good option if you’ve got vegans and vegetarians in your party, and those who want a simple salmon roll or tuna roll will be well cared for too. The hardest part is not letting your eyes get bigger than your stomach!
Location: 640 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville
4. Try a Little of Everything at Green Tea Sushi Japanese Restaurant
To the west of downtown, you’ll find Green Tea Sushi Japanese Restaurant, a great spot for flavorful dishes from Japan and high-quality, fresh sushi. Guests appreciate the thoughtful and vibrant plating of every dish that shows off the natural hues of the many ingredients in fresh sushi as well as their suite of hibachi, teriyaki, fried rice, and noodle dishes.
You’ll be able to find vegetarian maki rolls like the Sweet Potato Roll and the Avocado And Cucumber Roll, but they also have their own showstopper collection of rolls known as the Special Rolls.
Try the Mini Godzilla Roll, with tuna, salmon, and yellowtail, all deep-fried with a special sauce and caviar on top, or the Fire Island Roll with spicy tuna, spicy salmon, jalapeños, and crunchies, all with lobster salad and a chili sauce – as if it wasn’t spicy enough already, this one features wasabi tobiko as a crowning source of heat.
If you haven’t picked your favorites yet, do mention if you’re looking for spicy or mild when you’re evaluating the menu. The servers can help you find something in your ideal heat range at this and really any of the Japanese restaurants in Asheville.
Location: 2 Regent Park Blvd Asheville
5. Expect the Unexpected at Miyako House
When customers walk into Miyako House, they find a well-appointed but standard Japanese restaurant in Asheville, but they tend to be surprised when they discover that the food is a notch above the expected fare.
While their menu is extensive and features lots of soup, salad, hibachi, teriyaki, and stir-fries, the sushi is where they shine. Start with a sushi appetizer like an Avocado Tower, which pairs avocado with spicy crab salad and tops it with peppered tuna, or try their clever Sushi Pizza.
Their specialty rolls offer a mix of inventive new combinations and excellent classics well-executed for maximum deliciousness. The Tiger Roll, for instance, combines shrimp with natural tiger markings on their back with avocado and a sweet miso sauce, while the Fried Oyster Roll brings the flavors of masago and avocado to the fried oysters, all with a refreshing cucumber crunch and a spicy eel sauce on top.
Delicious options await in this awesome downtown Asheville sushi restaurant.
Location: 122 College Street #B, Asheville
6. Try the Gem of Downtown at Wasabi Japanese Restaurant
Broadway is one of the more bustling streets of Asheville’s main walkable core, and it’s lined with some of the best Asheville restaurants. As you might expect, truly high-caliber food is essential for thriving in a spot like this, and if you step inside comfortable and relaxed Wasabi, you’ll start to see why they are a true gem among downtown restaurants in Asheville.
Customers love that the service is very attentive and pleasant, but they mostly come back again and again because the food is at the very height of freshness and the flavor combinations are always a joy. In addition to a long standard sushi roll menu, they offer some excellent vegetarian rolls – the Wild Mushroom with Cream Cheese Roll and Tempura Asparagus Roll are particularly good.
Also check out the special sushi rolls: the Perfect Match Roll, for instance, pairs spicy crawfish with mango, avocado, tobiko, and sauce, while the Blue Ridge Roll pairs a spicy and crunchy scallop, crabstick, tobiko, and eel sauce. Many different tastes in sushi can all be satisfied here.
Location: 19 Broadway Street, Asheville
7. Enjoy Authentic Flavors at Heiwa Shokudo
On a quiet block of Lexington Avenue that is still convenient to everything, you’ll find the charming and delicious Asheville sushi restaurant Heiwa Shokudo. Whether you start with a tasty sashimi appetizer or opt to go straight to the rolls menu, you won’t be disappointed.
Vegans and vegetarians will rejoice over the Spicy Tempeh Roll that adds jalapeños, scallions, and avocado to tempeh, a fermented soybean protein, as well as the Sweetie Pie Roll that combines sweet potato tempura with almond butter and avocado – so rich and so good while being plant-based!
For the carnivores who are looking for a crunch, check out the Sea Devil Roll, a salmon and cream cheese roll that features deep-fried avocado as well as eel and masago, or the Tarantula Roll that combines soft shell crab with cucumber, masago, and avocado. There are so many tasty flavors that you’ll likely need to come back!
One good note is that they do takeout/online ordering, but it’s wise to get orders in early in any meal service since they may turn off orders to prioritize their bustling dining room.
Location: 87 N Lexington Avenue, Asheville
8. Take in a Show After Biltmore at Ichiban
Now, I know this is primarily a list of the best sushi in Asheville, and Ichiban definitely delivers, but my first great memories of Asheville, while visiting the Biltmore as a child, were of Ichiban’s best-in-class hibachi grill cooking!
If you want to eat sushi but you also want a memorable and fun-to-watch dinner cooking show, you’ll be happy you joined a hibachi grill table and partook in all the excitement. For the sushi itself, you’ll find a wide variety, including vegetarian options like the Soho Roll, which features fried tofu, cream cheese, and avocado.
Try a Sweetheart Roll, which pairs shrimp tempura, spicy lobster, avocado, and tobiko with delicate soy paper and eel sauce, or opt for the delicious Black Pearl Roll, featuring peppered tuna and avocado on the inside of the roll and a spicy tuna and black tobiko topping. Even if you’re sampling your rolls while you watch the chef twirl knives and flip hibachi shrimp into people’s mouths, you’ll get the best of both sides of the menu.
Location: 2 Hendersonville Road, Asheville
9. Eat Fresh and Varied Food at Udon, Sushi & Noodle
If you have a big group to satisfy and a lot of different tastes, they really can all find something at the Asheville Japanese restaurant Udon, Sushi & Noodle. The chef offers a variety of flavorful Chinese and Thai dishes in addition to hibachi and teriyaki dishes, noodle soup bowls, and of course, a long list of sushi rolls.
If you’re on a date, you might opt for the beautifully designed Love Boat for 2, which includes 10 pieces of sushi, 15 pieces of sashimi, one Orange Dragon Roll, and one Shrimp Tempura Roll – so much variety all in a very cool presentation.
Shrimp lovers will love their specialty roll called the Crazy Shrimp, which features shrimp tempura inside and fresh shrimp on top, along with avocado, wasabi, mayo, eel sauce, and tobiko. With so many options, the sushi lovers and the noodle soup lovers and everyone else will all rejoice.
Location: 129 Bleachery Boulevard, Asheville
10. Experience Great Rolls in South Asheville at Asheville Sushi & Hibachi
While there are quite a few sushi restaurants in Asheville, the most important step is to find one that is close to where you will be when you get your craving for great sushi. Asheville Sushi and Hibachi is conveniently located on Hendersonville Road and offers a classy atmosphere and incredible presentation of both their hibachi dishes and the extensive variety of sushi and sashimi.
Start your meal with a refreshing miso soup, then sample a Sushi Pizza, where crispy pancakes are topped with spicy tuna, salmon, yellowtail, seaweed salad, onion, mango, and avocado. Try a Baby Octopus Roll or an Alaska Roll that features smoked salmon, avocado, and masago. The many options mean that even if you prefer yellowtail to salmon, or crab over oyster, you’ll find something that fits your flavor craving.
Location: 1636 Hendersonville Road #175, Asheville
11. Get Fast Japanese Food at Asaka Japanese Cuisine
While Asaka is not necessarily the food spot with the most bells and whistles, this simple counter-service food place delivers great food, generous portions, and has a drive-through. Japanese food lovers of Asheville will rejoice when discovering the items they crave are now available with so much convenience.
You can check out their “fast entrees” menu for the teppanyaki items that are easiest to get quickly. They also serve a variety of recognized sushi rolls as well as their house roll, known as the Geisha Roll. It features two shrimp tempura pieces, cream cheese, and avocado, all covered in a soy wrapper and drizzled with a sweet and spicy sauce. They even add shrimp and crab salad on top.
Once you try the sushi and other dishes at Asaka, this may become your go-to spot for takeout that is comforting and delicious on a night when you really don’t want to cook.
Location: 801 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville
12. Sample Japanese Street Food at Ukiah Japanese Smokehouse
On the other end of the spectrum is Ukiah, a hip and classy smokehouse that brings a different twist to a hibachi grill or sushi bar. I’ll be the first to admit you won’t find the standard miles-long sushi roll list here.
Instead, you’ve got a few curated raw items like Salmon Sashimi, Wagyu Tataki, Oysters, and Sliced Hamachi, alongside a whole range of ramen bowls, grilled meats, and skewers that incorporate veggies and meats together. You’ll also find a tasty salad and a buns and dumplings menu, meaning that even on the curated menu, you’ll find something for basically everyone.
Location: 121 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville
13. Find Your Casual Favorites at Yoshida Express
Whether you want to call in an order or just stop in for fast counter service, Yoshida Express is a great East Asheville option for adding Japanese food into your rotation. Rolls are mostly on the standard maki menu, with offerings like cucumber and avocado, smoked salmon, and a soft shell crab roll, but the quality is on point and the speed cannot be beat.
You’ll also find a variety of teriyaki/hibachi dishes served with sweet carrots and fried rice that will offer you a hearty and quick meal, and when you want some comfort food, try the appetizer menu: the tempura shrimp and gyoza dumplings are both delicious.
Location: 611 Tunnel Road Suite B, Asheville
14. Find Asian Food For Every Taste at Pacific Pagoda Sushi & Grill
Pacific Pagoda expertly combines Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisines in one menu, letting them do extensive takeout service, which makes it easy to get a flavorful and well-chosen meal to go on a busy evening.
One of the best deals for a lot of food on the dine-in menu that also allows you to try a lot of options is the Dinner Bento: it offers either miso soup or a salad, a California roll, shrimp tempura, and shrimp shumai, as well as a choice of teriyaki with a protein like chicken or salmon.
If you want sushi only, they have a few uncommon rolls, including the Bean Curd Roll, a Stripe Bass Roll, and a King Conch Roll. Their special rolls are also intricate, like the Mamamia Roll that starts with an interior of spicy salmon, asparagus, and crab, with a topping of white escolar, avocado, scallion, and black tobiko, all served with a spicy mango sauce.
Delicious options abound both on the dine-in and takeout menus.
Location: 1863 Hendersonville Road #124, Asheville
15. Journey Beyond the Sushi at Itto Ramen & Japanese Tapas
I can’t skip Itto even though they aren’t a sushi restaurant per se; instead, they are an incredible ramen spot that also offers small plates with a Japanese flavor palate.
However, fans of the sushi world will find flavors in the Crawfish Tower, the cucumber and avocado salads, the fried oysters, and the stuffed salmon that mirror some of the best combinations on a sushi menu, just inventively designed and plated.
I recommend Itto for a comforting bowl of rich and flavorful ramen but also for a big group to try a whole slew of these mini-dishes, portioning out each one to the people who want to get a taste of a little bit of everything. Like other tapas bars, this is a great place for sharing and discovering new flavors, not just eating a single meal on your own (though you can absolutely have a wonderful solo meal here, too!).
16. Make it a Buffet Night at Yao Buffet Sushi Grill
With a crew of adults and children, it can sometimes be a bit of a challenge to find all the dishes that every single person will enjoy under the same roof. Yao really aims to please: they offer more than 1,000 Asian dishes, including sushi, as well as a huge buffet that really runs the gamut.
Everyone can aim for the most adventurous items or the most standard and pay the same price, which can be a real benefit to a large group. You’ll find food with Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and other cultural roots, as well as both the standard house rolls featuring various fish and vegetables, as well as special rolls like the Rock’n’Roll, which includes tuna, salmon, and cucumber and is topped with avocado.
Location: 153 Smokey Park Highway, Asheville
17. Experience the Thai Orchid Transformation to Suwana Asian Cuisine
A successful Thai restaurant called Suwana Thai Orchid has reinvented itself to add sushi and Japanese food to the menu, keeping their beloved Thai dishes and adding this variety to serve their customers even better.
On a cold day, start the meal with a delicious Thai soup or wonton soup, and you can get a pad thai or curry dish right alongside whatever sushi strikes your fancy. They offer a variety of elaborate sushi and sashimi platters, as well as a long list of Chef’s Special rolls, including the Gyuniku Roll, which combines spicy tuna and cream cheese with a topping of steak, jalapeño, mayo, eel sauce, and tobiko, served warm.
All the delicious rolls on the menu will make you want to stop by Suwana when you’re fully in a Thai-food mood, but also when all you can think about is getting sushi in Asheville or Waynesville.
There you have it! The 17 best restaurants for sushi in Asheville. What are your favorite Japanese restaurants in Asheville? Let us know so we can add them to the list!
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