7 Sushi Spots for Date Night in Raleigh, North Carolina

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From unique specialty rolls to your classic salmon sashimi, these sushi restaurants have it all. The combination of the light, refreshing dishes of Japanese fare and the intimate settings of sushi restaurants in downtown Raleigh make these spots ideal for date night. So check out these seven sushi spots for date night in Raleigh, North Carolina, and go wine and dine your person.

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1. City Market Sushi

Specialty sushi rolls in Raleigh you just can’t turn down.

315 Blake St | Fayetteville Street | citymarketsushi.net

Sometimes you don’t want to upgrade to specialty rolls to keep your tab down, but City Market Sushi in Fayetteville Street has some specialty rolls you just can’t turn down. 

Specialty rolls like the Kamikaze roll and the Green Machine roll go for only $12. The Kamikaze specialty roll has tuna, salmon, cream cheese, and tempura fried avocado on the inside and sriracha aioli, tobiko, and eel sauce on the outside, while the Green Machine roll contains avocado, asparagus, and cucumber and is topped with fried tofu and a sweet soy reduction. 

But don’t worry, they also have classic rolls, nigiri, and sashimi if none of the specialty rolls are calling your name. There are also select options for those who aren’t big on sushi, such as Kobe sliders and Crispy Pork Belly.

Tuesday to Friday from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm, City Market sells a variety of lunch boxes for under $18. So, if you don’t have the chance to stop in on date night, you can at least grab a delicious lunch to make up for it.

“The atmosphere is sleek but laid back, and the tables are far enough apart that you get a good amount of privacy. The quality of the fish is what really stands out, and they're not overly sauced or packed with a bunch of rice. I will definitely be back soon!” - Yelp Review

Click here to purchase a GiftYa for City Market Sushi!

2. Hako Sushi

Signature sake cocktails to spice up date night.

2603-155 Glenwood Ave | Cartier Place | hakosushinc.com

This extensive sushi and hibachi menu is enough to make your mouth water, but the signature sake cocktails really take it over the top. 

The Ginger Cosmopolitan is one drink that catches our eye. It’s made with ginger-infused sake, pickled ginger, cranberry juice, and triple sec. If that’s not to your liking, check out the Asia Sunrise (think Tequila Sunrise, but with sake!). It’s made of sake, fresh orange juice, and grenadine and served on the rocks.

For dinner, try out the Rock & Roll Roll (yes, we meant to say that twice) with shrimp tempura, eel, cream cheese, avocado, and topped with fish eggs and the Green Dragon Roll with eel, cucumber, avocados, tempura bits, and fish eggs on the outside. These specialty rolls are 8 pieces each, which will surely keep you fuller than rolls at other Japanese restaurants.

You can also opt for a Hibachi Entree with select protein choices (Salmon, Tofu, Steak, etc.) served with fried rice and cooked with sauteed broccoli, onions, zucchini, mushrooms, and carrots if you aren’t feeling sushi that night.

There are a bunch of other feature drinks, appetizers, and special desserts. Thanks to Hako, we’re reminded it’s okay to splurge on date night!

“To start I got the spicy miso soup which was so good. Definitely a unique option. I also got the chief roll which is mainly cucumber and good if you're looking for a healthier option. The scary jerry was delicious. Very low key atmosphere. Will be returning.” - Yelp Review

Click here to purchase a GiftYa for Hako Sushi!

3. Sushi Blues Cafe

A lively restaurant in the heart of Raleigh.

301 Glenwood Ave | North Boylan | sushibluescafe.com

With an outdoor patio for beautiful nights, live music, weekly drink specials, and fresh sushi, Sushi Blues Cafe is more than a meal - it’s an experience. If you want a lively atmosphere for your date, 10/10 would recommend this lively restaurant in the heart of Raleigh.

They boast of having something on their menu for everyone, and it’s true. They have Makimono, Specialty, and Vegetarian Rolls (with all rolls buy one get one free!) as well as dinner entrees like Stir Fry and Katsu. 

We recommend the Lennon, a Vegetarian Roll with fried tofu, tempura sweet potato, avocado, cilantro, and sesame seeds. Who said vegetarians can’t have more fun? The Vegetarian Rolls on the menu are literally to die for!

And as is fitting for an atmosphere such as this one, they have an extensive cocktail list. Think Al Green, made with stoli, match nigori sake, cucumber and mint infused green tea, simple syrup, freshly squeezed lime juice, and shaken with fresh mint, for a traditional sushi pairing and the Big Band Margarita, with Jose Cuervo, freshly squeezed lime juice, triple sec, sour mix, topped with Grand Marnier floater, and a salt rim, if you’re just looking for a good time. 

And save room for dessert! Finish the night off with a Peanut Butter Latte made with Screwball peanut butter whiskey, Stoli Vanil, Kahlua, Godiva, and cream with a chocolate drizzle.

“I love Sushi Blues. I just moved here and have been looking for a local affordable sushi spot and they KILLED it. We went for the buy one, get one free deal and it’s a killer deal. It was also $3 draft night so we splurged on that too. This place is DEFINITELY worth a try!” - Yelp Review

You can purchase a GiftYa for Sushi Blue Cafe here!

Oiso Sushi & Korean 

The combo you didn’t know you needed - sushi and Korean - in Raleigh.

1305 NW Maynard Rd | Cary | oisosushi.com

If you’re craving Korean pancakes and a spicy tuna roll, you’ve come to the right place. 

This Raleigh restaurant serves both sushi and Korean food with fresh ingredients and incredible flavor - perfect for the couple who can’t decide on what type of food to eat for date night.

Try Bibimbap (mixed rice with vegetables, fried egg, and choice of meat), Dolsot (Bibimbap mixed rice served in a hot stone bowl), or Korean BBQ from the kitchen, or get the Dancing Eel or Evergreen roll from the sushi bar. The Dancing Eel roll is essentially a california roll topped with baked eel, avocado, and eel sauce, while the Evergreen roll is made of avocado, cucumber, and crab and topped with seaweed salad and a wasabi dressing.

You of course can’t go wrong with a classic California roll, but you might have to try something new here. Opt for the Korean Pancake, either the Vegetable Pancake or Seafood Pancake - it won’t disappoint. 

“Why am I just NOW finding this place?!?! Their food is amazingly prepared and you get your money's worth. I am already dreaming of what I will be ordering next time.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa for Oiso Sushi & Korean here!

Champa Thai & Sushi

Where they believe in sourcing food locally in Raleigh.

8521 Brier Creek Pkwy | Brier Creek | champathaisushi.com

The food at Champa Thai & Sushi reflects the owners’ home province in Northern Thailand that shares its borders with countries Laos and Myanmar. The fare of this region is heavily influenced by each of these bordering nations, adding a uniqueness to their Thai dishes that you won’t find at many other Thai restaurants.

They serve Curries, Stir Fry, Noodle Bowls, Specialty Dishes, and of course, sushi. 

Start your meal with Edamame and Miso Soup, have a few pieces of their vegetarian Mango Madness Roll, and then dive into their Pad Thai made with their house Sab Lai Lai sauce. 

Don’t hesitate to ask for their dessert menu, these too are influenced by their roots in Northern Thailand. We recommend you try their Thai Custard, Mango Sticky Rice, or Mochi Ice Cream.

“The meal overall was good! I couldn't keep myself from ordering the crab angles as an appetizer-yum! I would definitely return again in the future.” - Yelp Review

Grab your loved one a GiftYa for Champa Thai & Sushi here!

Sushi One

The best grade tuna and salmon in Raleigh.

8470 Honeycutt Rd | Lafayette Village | sushionenc.com

With a lovely outdoor dining area and top grade fish, this is the perfect sushi spot for a casual date night where the focus is on the food.

Try some of the Chef’s Specialty Rolls like the Maguro Tartas, which is a spicy seafood mix and tempura flakes, topped with seared tuna and served with creamy eel sauce, hot sauce, and scallions or the Sushi Special Rolls such as the Oyster Roll made with fried oyster, cucumber, and avocado topped with masago, shrimp tempura, wasabi, and eel sauce.

There are also Hibachi, Tempura, Yakisoba (egg noodles with your choice of meat cooked in their house soy ginger based soba sauce), and Thai entrees if you’re not in the mood for sushi.

To spice up your date night, we suggest getting the Flaming Volcano for Two, a larger than life cocktail made with rum, Bacardi 151, brandy, vodka, light grenadine, and orange juice.

“This place is awesome! I was greeted by friendly staff at the sushi bar where I could watch the chefs make the sushi for customers. Our server, Matt, was one of the nicest waiters we ever had and helped to recommend foods and answer questions about the menu. Will be returning again!” - Yelp Review

Click here to purchase a GiftYa for Sushi One!

O-Ku Sushi 

Authentic Asian cuisine with a southern approach.

411 W Hargett St | Raleigh | o-kusushi.com

So, we might have saved the best for last. But that’s only because we don’t want you to forget about this one. 

O-Ku Sushi has been raved about by the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Esquire, and more, the Chicago Tribune calling it the “must-try sushi restaurant in every state” as it has locations in Charlotte, Atlanta, Washington DC, Nashville, 

the original in Charleston, and, of course, Raleigh.

O-Ku creates authentic Asian cuisine with a southern approach. Chefs Eric Hill, Jack Fang, Michael Chanthavong, and Richard Fong use unique ingredients, the freshest fish from the world’s finest fish markets, and sustainable locally sourced produce.

You can try some of the Chef’s Specialties like Lobster Temaki, which is poached lobster with asparagus, chives, and black volcanic rock salt, or Otoro Spoons with o-toro, uni, pickled wasabi, caviar, and ponzu. However, you can’t go wrong with Nigiri or a Signature Maki roll like Salmon & Lemon, which is made of crab, avocado, cucumber, salmon, lemon aioli, and yuzu tobiko.

Don’t forget to start your night off strong with a Lychee Cosmopolitan with Picker's vodka, lychee puree, citrus, and lychee rim, and finish the night with Sata Andagi, Okinawan style donut holes coated in ginger sugar and miso caramel and an after dinner cordial.

“My two rolls were very flavorful. My drinks were the best part of the meal! They were delicious and extremely well made. It made it very easy to continue ordering more. Overall, this was a great experience for me and my friend! We will be back soon.” - Yelp Review

You can purchase a GiftYa for O-Ku Sushi here!

Date night is about many things, but if you’re a foodie, you can’t help but consider the food you’ll be eating on your date of the utmost importance. And that’s perfectly okay! That’s one reason why we’ve composed this list, so that you can worry about the more important things.


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