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 recipien't debit card! Choose any of these sushi restaurants for a gift and have your fellow Pittsburgher bring you with them.
1711 Penn Ave | Strip District | (412) 281-8272
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.
“Hands down my favorite sushi spot in Pittsburgh. It's been over a year since I started going to Andy to fulfill my undying need for sushi and sashimi and each visit is just as pleasant as the next.” -Yelp review
128 Oakland Ave #3525 | Oakland | (412) 952-5469
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 of off the versatile menu. You can also have it delivered via Grubhub or Postmates!
“This place is my go-to sushi place in all of Pittsburgh. I have tried other places but nothing comes close to Mount Everest. Everything is always fresh and the staff is so friendly.” -Yelp review
202 38th St. | Lawrenceville | (412) 224-2354
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!
“Umami makes Japanese food right-- they have an amazing variety of food, each spiced with a careful hand and presented beautifully. This is one of my absolute favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh, and my go-to when I'm craving Japanese food.” -Yelp review
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
3450 William Penn Hwy | Monroeville | (412) 829-3900
Another hibachi and sushi bar in Pittsburgh with a great, versatile menu. Their sushi bar offers a la carte options, traditional rolls, and a make-your-own roll. The hibachi menu has a single item dinner option, as well as a combination dinner of your design and a list of tempura desserts to end the meal. Up to 50% off select sushi when you dine in on Wednesdays!
If you’re not dining in, you can get Yamato for takeout or have them cater a local party. They also have a banquet room you can rent out for special events.
“I love Yamato!!! Everything I have ever gotten here has been fantastic. I usually get hibachi & my friend gets various sushi’s, and we’ve never had any complaints about our food. The service is also always pleasant and on-par. Definitely my favorite Japanese restaurant - no doubt.” -TripAdvisor review
5849 Ellsworth Ave | Shadyside | (412) 362-6198
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.
“Several of us were unsure of these exotic foods when we sat down for our evening out. We were quickly convinced! The black cod melted our hearts as it melted in our mouths. Rock shrimp Tempura: WOW, taste & texture impressed! And the ebi stuffed shiitake were so delicious. Sorbet for dessert stunned tastebuds. A memorable birthday celebration!” -Tripadvisor review
2032 Murray Ave. | Squirrel Hill | (412) 422-2082
This Squirrel Hill sushi restaurant is a BYOB, perfect for date night. Chaya offers nigiri and a long list of sushi rolls. They also have omakase dinner, as well as Nabemono — a sampling of hot pot dishes — available October through March, and matsutake mushroom seven-course dinners from October through December.
“Chaya is my favourite restaurant in Pittsburgh. It has the most authentic and delicious Japanese food in the area. The owners are great people and they provide the best service.” -Facebook review
4374 Liberty Ave. | Bloomfield | (412) 688-7272
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 role, two pieces of Friced 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
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!