A world of sushi in Halifax

For a city with a culinary heritage of boiled fish and potatoes, Halifax is crazy about sushi! Whether you are a newbie, purist or straight up glutton, there is something for everyone. There are budget sushi cafés, all-you-can-eat restaurants, boutique and traditional sushi shops. Whether you prefer authentic nigiri or deep fried cream cheese tempura crunch rolls – there is a world of sushi out there! These are your best bets.

Alex Oh Sushi & Rolls

1589 Dresden Row, Halifax, NS B3J 2K4

Alex Oh studied the art of making sushi in Japan, and has worked in Korea, Thailand and at Yuzu No Hana in Toronto (where he served Beyoncé!) Alex decided after visiting the east coast in 2013 that Halifax was where he was going to open his own restaurant. The dining room is small, but bright and clean. Alex keeps a close eye on all the plates going out, with quality and aesthetics being top priorities. Sauces are house-made. Hard-to-find fish make appearances. Plates are beautiful works of art.

Sushi Nami Royale

1458 Queen St, Halifax, NS B3J 2H7

Sushi Nami is one of the bigger sushi restaurants in town, and has locations in Dartmouth Crossing and Clayton Park, in addition to its downtown digs. The menu features lots of dinner combinations, elaborate fusion rolls and appetizers. Tsunami Hour is from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and starts again at 8:30 p.m. (Monday to Thursday) or 9 p.m. (Friday and Saturday) during which time you can order from the “Tsunami Menu” (20 per cent off food and drinks). The fish is always generous, fresh and cut with precision. The deep-fried Mini Kamikaze roll is a favourite!

Fujiyama Restaurant

5244 Blowers St, Halifax, NS B3J 1J7

When it opened in 2010, Fujiyama was named one of the top 10 best new restaurants in Canada by Where.ca. Dining here is a unique, almost subterranean experience with its old stone walls and cavernous nooks and crannies. There are even “Love Boats” if you’re looking for a romantic dinner. Prices are quite reasonable, particularly for the generous servings of sashimi and nigiri. And, hey, avocado tempura is hard to find – Fujiyama has it.

Suzuki Restaurant

1579 Dresden Row, Halifax, NS B3J 2K4

Originally opened by Shuji Manabe as Doraku, Yoshimitsu Suzuki now holds the reigns to this restaurant, which carries his name. This is some of the best, most authentic sushi in the city. There are only a handful of new sushi rolls and there is a particular emphasis on nigiri. If you like surprises, you can also leave your dinner up to the chef and ask for omakase. There are private booths, as well as a traditional room where you sit on the floor.

Hamachi House Fine Japanese Cuisine

5190 Morris St, Halifax, NS B3J 1B3

The Hamachi Group own four Japanese restaurants in Halifax, but the original Hamachi House is a sushi institution. This spot has a nice dining room if you’re looking for ambiance. There’s a full menu with tons of dinner combination options, house specialty rolls and inspired fusion creations. Brown rice is available for an extra charge. There’s also a solid selection of sashimi and cooked entrees such as AAA striploins and seared Albacore tuna. Hamachi does catering, delivery and take-out. Happy Maki is from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. daily, and features discounted sushi and 20oz pints of Sapporo for $4.99.

Tako Sushi Ramen

480 Parkland Dr, Halifax, NS B3S 1P9

Tako Sushi is tucked away in a little strip mall in Clayton Park but has secured a loyal customer base and a citywide reputation for its sushi and ramen. The dining room is clean and casual. The sushi is fresh and well executed. The menu features hard-to-find items such as tako yaki and Japanese curry, and the specials board often has some interesting things to try.

Doraku Foods Limited

This is probably the best sushi you will ever eat on a styrofoam plate! Ko-Doraku has two locations: Purdy’s Landing and the food court in Spring Garden Place, the latter of which has become a stand-alone restaurant with direct entry from Brenton Street. Chef Shuji Manabe knows Japanese cuisine inside and out. He has been working the Halifax sushi circuit longer than anyone, and is responsible for opening a string of sushi restaurants back in the ‘90s. The menu at Ko-Doraku is limited, but you are guaranteed to eat some top-quality sushi here on the cheap.

Wasabi House

6403 Quinpool Rd, Halifax, NS B3L 1A7

Wasabi House has become one of the most popular sushi restaurants in Halifax (it probably helps that they throw you a lot of free rolls!) They have some great lunch specials (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and a Happy Hour (9 p.m. to 11 p.m.), which can get quite busy. The menu is large, with an extensive list of combination dinners and Chef’s Special Rolls. There is a vegetarian menu with the delicious Bananayama Roll, and they make some stellar sushi pizza and agedashi tofu. Check out the Sackville location for the best all-you-can-eat sushi in the HRM!

Sushi Shige Japanese Restaurant

5688 Almon St, Halifax, NS B3K 1T6

You will not find a bunch of over-the-top fusion rolls at this authentic sushi restaurant. What you will find here is a sushi chef with close to four decades of experience – 18 years of those in Japan. You should probably just get a full omakase dinner. Omakase, which translates to “I’ll leave it to you,” is a full course Japanese dinner that gives the chef full reign to showcase his creativity and expertise. Omakase starts at $60 (must be booked in advance) but there are also $30 omakase options on the menu.

Dharma Sushi Restaurant

1576 Argyle St, Halifax, NS B3J 2B3

Open since 1995, Dharma Sushi is one of the oldest sushi restaurants in Halifax. Current owner, Ami Goto, was hired by Hideki Yamamoto back in 1998. After 16 years of working in a Japanese kitchen, Goto bought the restaurant from Yamamoto. This is not the cheapest option in town, but the sushi is authentic and delicious. The dining room is small, but charming, and it sits quietly amongst the bars of Argyle Street. Goto satisfies her fondness for a more boisterous style of Japanese dining by collaborating with Mother’s Pizza on a monthly pop-up izakaya night called Full Moon Izakaya.

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