Here’s a list of Charlotte’s top 10 sushi restaurants and what to order at each spot.
As our city grows, so does our sushi scene — from new hotspots like O-Ku to neighborhood hidden gems like New Zealand Cafe. Here’s a look inside Charlotte’s top sushi restaurants.
[Honorable mentions: Upstream, Sushi 101, Jade, Yamazaru, Room 112 and Soul]
Vibe: Upscale and stylish Japanese restaurant across from SouthPark mall. Excellent sake selection as well.
What to order: Baku Signature Ice Bowl ($55) – Chef’s selection of seasonal sashimi and nigiri.
#9 Sushi Guru
Vibe: Simple space next to Rooster’s in SouthPark (does a big takeout business as well).
What to order: Guru Roll ($15) — Tuna, lump crab and avocado drizzled with their signature spicy aioli, flash baked and topped with fried garlic and shallots.
Vibe: Upscale restaurant in the heart of South End known for its dancing owner.
What to order: Red Dragon Roll ($13) — Shrimp tempura rolled in rice; avocado, eel on top. Eel, shrimp tempura, cucumber, tuna avocado, spicy eel sauce.
Vibe: Lounge feel with black leather seats in the Metropolitan.
What to order: Screaming “O” Roll — Spicy tuna, shrimp tempura roll, topped with seared tuna, jalapeño and spicy screaming “O” sauce ($14).
Vibe: Low-key neighborhood restaurant in an old Pizza Hut located in the heart of Cotswold.
What roll to order: Cherry Blossom ($10.95) — Tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, avocado in soy paper, with special sauce.
Vibe: Simple space inside of Uptown’s 7th Street Public Market.
What to order: Tuna Poke Bowl ($8 small/$14 large) – diced tuna and avocado, edamame, tossed in a ginger soy sauce with masago, shallots, green peppers and scallion served over rice and topped with finely cut scallions.
#4 Ru San’s
Vibe: No-frills restaurant in Dilworth.
What to order: Firecracker Roll ($9.95) — Fresh tuna and salmon rolled with sushi rice. It’s flash-fried until crispy brown. The salmon is slightly cooked and the tuna remains rare. Served with a kimchi mayo sauce on the side.
Vibe: Modern, clean design located near SouthPark mall. Excellent patio and lovely fish tank.
What to order: Mark’s Roll ($15) — Fresh tuna, jalapeño, cream cheese, kani, scallions inside, coated with panko and flash fried. Topped with Japanese mayo and sriracha. Served with ponzu dipping sauce.
Vibe: Small, neighborhood restaurant in an unsexy shopping center off Sardis Road.
What to order: Rainbow Roll ($8.95)— California roll draped with tuna, salmon, white fish, shrimp and smelt roe.
Vibe: Modern, elegant interior space in South End’s Atherton Mill. It’s definitely the most upscale and beautiful of all our sushi restaurants.
What to order: Rainbow Roll ($14). Seafood wrapped, filled with snow crab, cucumber, avocado, masago, and shiso dust. Lime zest rainbow tobiko, spicy aioli, eel sauce, togarashi.