While the Japanese cuisine has been around for centuries, the U.S. didn’t see sushi in it’s restaurants until 1970, when advances in refrigeration technology made it possible to ship fresh fish overseas.
The first American sushi bar was opened in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles and began spreading to other major American cities, such as New York City and Chicago. Because of this expansion and the ever-changing preparation and serving techniques, Pittsburgh now hosts its own variety of sushi restaurants.
In this article, we're breaking down the best of the best sushi in Pittsburgh, no matter what you're looking for. We've done the legwork so that you don't have to. Keep reading to get our picks for:
Are you ready to (sushi) roll? Treat a friend or loved one to a GiftYa of any amount, giving them up to $100 to any merchant you choose. Send it with a personalized message right to the recipient’s phone — the message will come with instructions on how to link it to the recipient debit card! Choose any of these sushi restaurants for a gift and have your fellow Pittsburgher bring you with them.
Meet sushi chef Andy!
1711 Penn Ave | Strip District | wholeyscurbside.com/andys-sushi
Ask any Pittsburgher where to go for fish, and they'll tell you Wholey's in the Strip. So it just makes sense that the top-ranked sushi in the 'Burgh is located within Wholey's Market as well. Andy's Sushi Bar is operated by Andy himself, a fun and exciting sushi chef who's ready to whip up amazing sushi creations.
Ranking amidst other local legends like PennMac and Primanti's as a Pittsburgh classic, Wholey's Fish Market has been Pittsburgh's go-to source for fresh seafood since it opened in 1959 (although the original Robert Wholey Company started in 1912 in McKees Rocks and has been serving fresh meat and fish ever since).
After picking up some of Andy’s sushi, be sure to explore the rest of the market. Wholey’s offers a selection of soups, fudge, and peanut butter, among the rest of their seafood selection, which includes fish fillets, seafood steaks, and squid. Since it is a stand, there isn’t seating right next to Andy, but Wholey's does have a seating area upstairs.
“I never knew this existed but boy am I glad I learned! The sushi was amazing and Andy is hilarious. I went with a couple of friends and he had us laughing the entire time we were there.” -Yelp review
128 Oakland Ave #3525 | Oakland | mteverestsushi.com
Looking for an excellent sushi roll that won't break the bank? Head over to the college neighborhood Oakland for delicious, creative, budget-friendly sushi located in the heart of Pitt's campus. Just a few minutes walk from the Cathedral of Learning, Mount Everest offers a la carte options, specialty rolls, and hand rolls (such as a California or eel avocado roll).
If you’re feeling adventurous, opt for one of the chef’s specials, such as the sushi donut or the sushi crispy taco for a different way to consume the largely traditional dish — in this case with your hands. Mount Everest also offers poke bowls, which are chopped raw fish over rice with veggies.
Order online, over the phone, or in person for takeout, or sit down upstairs to be served something off the versatile menu. You can also have it delivered via Grubhub or Postmates!
“So delicious, the best sushi and freshest sashimi I've had in the Pittsburgh area. I've been back since these photos and they did not disappoint. They have fun innovative menu items and beautiful presentations.” -Yelp review
Even though Umami’s sushi bar closes at 10pm, grab a drink until 2am.
202 38th St. | Lawrenceville | umamipgh.com
Steeped in character and history, Lawrenceville is home to some of Pittsburgh's trendiest venues -- from theaters that showcase internet-famous felines in their annual Cat Video Festival to late-night bakeries decked out in Victorian decor to cider houses to classic French patisseries. So of course, our quest for the trendiest sushi spot in Pittsburgh takes us to Lawrenceville as well.
Named after the fifth category of food taste — and the Japanese word for "deliciousness" — Umami is located on the third floor of a Lawrenceville building on 28th Street. Umami is an izakaya, or Japanese Pub, dedicated to umami flavors, which are the rich and salty tastes of foods like cheese and cooked meat.
Umami’s menu offers nigiri (raw fish over pressed rice), sashimi (thin pieces of raw fish/meat) and sushi hand rolls. Top off your late lunch/dinner with some fried ice cream or shredded chocolate cake for dessert.
While the sushi bar closes at 10 p.m. during the week, Umami serves drinks until as late as 2 a.m. In addition to their house and cold sake, this place offers fun cocktails, beer, and wine to go with your meal. Make a reservation for this trendy sushi joint today!
“I've been wanting to go here ever since I saw it on yelp and I have to say it didn't disappoint! The restaurant was super cute and the food was great! I would definitely recommend saving a little bit of room for dessert, you won't regret it!” -Yelp review
Try one of their exciting martinis when you go! Image courtesy of Nakama
1611 East Carson St. | South Side | (412) 381-6000
Visit either of the two Nakama locations (in South Side or Wexford), or order it to your door via Uber Eats or Postmates. Nakama is a classic Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar in Pittsburgh. Their lengthy sushi menu can satisfy any craving, and get in the Yinzer spirit with a signature roll, such as the South Side, Pittsburgh Penguins, or Steelers rolls.
Nakama has hibachi as well — the perfect fun outing for a birthday or similar celebration. It's even entertaining for kids! Try one of their signature martinis to pair with your meal, or a specialty drink in a souvenir ceramic mug.
The @nakamafoodtruck is perfect for parties or corporate functions, bringing with it Nakama’s seasonal sushi rolls, egg rolls, and hibachi options.
“My favorite hibachi place in Pittsburgh! Nakama combines a great experience and atmosphere with delicious food and drinks. I have never had a bad experience here.” -Yelp review
5849 Ellsworth Ave | Shadyside | umi.rest
Another climb up the stairs, Umi is also on the third floor (but they do offer dining areas on the first floor by request). Stop in Umi for sushi, sashimi or maki (hand rolls available upon request). For an interesting date night, try omakase. It is Japanese for “to entrust” and gives the diner a unique seven or eleven course meal, plus dessert. Sushi chef Mr. Shu makes it a meal to remember.
“What a great experience!! I did the 11 course meal and was super pleased with everything! The courses were perfectly spaced out and just the right serving size. The staff was very friendly, as well.” - Yelp Review
4374 Liberty Ave. | Bloomfield | ginzapa.com
Ginza Japanese prides itself on serving simple and fresh high-quality sushi with a “refreshingly unassuming” atmosphere, price, and location. Their menu is classic, offering rolls and bento boxes, which include a six-piece California roll, two pieces of Fried shumai dumplings, and rice. Pair it with a beverage of your choice at this BYOB for a quick tasty meal.
“Service was polite. The food is affordable. There's no fuss here. It's quality food, accessible from various bus lines and parts of the city, and an experience I look forward to having in the future.” -Yelp review
What a better way to start the weekend than order a plate filled with fresh sushi.
5432 Walnut St | Shadyside | thesushitoo.com
Sushi Too has been offering some of the ‘Burgh’s best sushi rolls since 1991. Since then, they have only gained a loyal following of those who love to enjoy their fresh, high quality rolls. The staff will make sure you have an enjoyable experience at this restaurant!
On the menu, you will find a variety of Japanese cuisine from noodles and fried rice to sushi and sashimi and milk tea. They also offer poke bowls and Japanese bendon along with sushi platters and even mochi ice cream for dessert!
“Have ordered here multiple times and gotten several different rolls as well as the chicken teriyaki which me and my family love. The sushi is always good too! One of my favorite local places.” - Yelp Review
Handmade rolls filled with the best combination of fish and veggies.
415 S Craig St | Oakland | toasttab.com/sushifuku-craig/
Sushi Fuku is located in Pittsburgh’s Oakland area, close to Carnegie Mellon University. While being a popular location among college students, they also draw a local crowd -- especially due to their presence of multiple food delivery apps.
Their menu features appetizers like spring rolls, shrimp and chicken tempura, and edamame. They also offer a specialty roll of the month along with classic rolls and even a build your own option to ensure you get the perfect bite! The most unique option is the sushi burrito -- an uncut sushi roll filled with your favorite ingredients. What’s not to like?
“My niece turned me on to this place. The sushi is amazing!! Enough to wish it was a buffet because you just can't get enough. We've ordered here twice so far. We place our orders beforehand then just go in and pick up and leave.” - Yelp Review
The best spot for those who are looking for a variety -- Chinese cuisine meets sushi at this location.
2018 E Carson St | South Side | linsasianfusion.com
Lins Asian Fusion brings together multiple asian cuisines and offers guests some of the best in sushi, Chinese, and Japanese specialties. With rice and noodles like classic fried rice with your meat or seafood of choice and lo mein, customers rave about the Chinese food.
They also offer combination bento boxes and of course -- sushi! The sushi is simple but does not disappoint when it comes to flavor.
“AMAZING!! This was our first experience. Food was amazing to put it lightly. I highly recommend the dragon and Phoenix and the pot stickers. We also got sweet and sour chicken, chicken fried rice and chicken lo mein.” - Yelp Review
Some of the best selections in sushi and nigiri.
225 W Station Square Dr | Station Square | kikupittsburgh.net
Kiku Japanese Restaurant has been around since 1983. Kiku, the Japanese word for chrysanthemum, is a huge part of Japanese culture and has its own month -- November. The owners chose this name to showcase beauty, culture, and tradition and share it with Pittsburgh locals.
As for the sushi, they offer specialty rolls, maki, temaki, nigiri and sashimi. The list of specialty rolls is extensive and includes favorites like shrimp tempura paired alongside Pittsburgh inspired rolls like the ‘Steeler’s roll’ and ‘Allegheny roll.’ If you’re looking for Japanese sushi with Pittsburgh flair -- look no further!
“Excellent sushi and real quality fish! We had an amazing meal and loved every dish that came out as part of the omakase. Great location to walk the riverfront after a filling meal.” - Yelp Review
With two locations and a variety of options, Little Tokyo offers some of the best in Japanese cuisine and sushi.
2122 E Carson St | South Side | littletokyopittsburgh.com
Little Tokyo Bistro specializes in everything Japanese -- sushi, hibachi, teriyaki, tempura, udon noodles and appetizers. They also carry selections of Japanese beer and sake! Owner, Frank Lin is proud to offer a wide selection of Japanese items at this location and one other.
As for the sushi, they offer maki and nigiri along with chef specialties. Specialties can be a combination of sushi boats and rolls. However, with the extensive list of sushi offerings, you’ll be spoiled for choice, and it’ll take you a few visits to really get a taste of their sushi list!
“Spent most of my life in this town and still can't find a better sushi spot. I really don't know what I'd do without this place. Service is always friendly. Sushi rolls are always man-sized and fresh.” - Yelp Review
With all of these great sushi options in the 'Burgh, it can be hard to choose where to go. Be sure to treat a friend to a GiftYa to any of these restaurants and hope he or she insists on taking you with them!
Where else do you like to get sushi in Pittsburgh? Let us know in the comments!