Ah, Denver! Known for its stunning Rocky Mountain backdrop, a booming tech industry, and yes, a food scene that’s as diverse as its population. But let’s zero in on a culinary gem that you might not immediately associate with the Mile-High City: sushi.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be! Denver’s food scene is like a treasure trove, and nestled among the artisanal coffee shops and craft breweries are some of the most mouth-watering sushi spots you could ever dream of.
So, you’re a sushi lover, huh? Or maybe you’re a newbie looking to dip your toes—err, chopsticks—into the world of maki rolls and sashimi.
Either way, you’re in for a treat. Think about it; what’s better than a perfectly crafted sushi roll that just melts in your mouth? It’s like a symphony of flavors and textures, each note perfectly in tune.
And let’s not forget the wasabi! That little green dollop packs a punch, waking up your taste buds like a splash of cold water in the morning.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Sushi in Denver? Really?” Absolutely! Denver’s sushi scene is like that underrated movie you stumble upon and can’t help but rave about to all your friends.
It’s a well-kept secret but one that’s slowly getting the spotlight it deserves. From hole-in-the-wall joints to upscale eateries, Denver offers a range of options that cater to every palate and pocket.
So, buckle up, sushi lovers! We’re about to embark on a culinary journey through Denver’s best sushi restaurants.
Whether you’re a local or just passing through, this guide is your golden ticket to sushi nirvana. Ready to roll?
My Top Three Picks of the Best Restaurants for Sushi in Denver
|Restaurant||Top Pick||Our Rating|
|Sushi Ronin Denver – Sushi and Sake Bar||The Ronin||5/5|
|Hapa Sushi Grill and Sake Bar||“Aspen” roll||5/5|
|Sushi Den||Red Dragon Roll||4.5/5|
The Six Best Restaurants for Sushi in Denver
1487A S. Pearl St., Denver, CO 80210, United States // +13037770691
Let’s dive right into one of Denver’s sushi marvels: Izakaya Den. The moment you step through the front door, you’re enveloped in an atmosphere that’s as unexpected as it is enchanting.
Forget any preconceptions you might have had about the building’s exterior; this place is a sanctuary of style and comfort.
You have two incredible options: settle into the warm, low-lit lounge area that feels like an intimate hideaway, or ascend to the upper level, where you’re greeted by a forest of bamboo, creating a bright and uplifting dining space.
It’s your dining adventure; honestly, you can’t go wrong.
Now, onto the sushi—the real star of the show. Izakaya Den serves up traditional Japanese-style sushi that’s nothing short of a culinary masterpiece.
I’ve had the pleasure of tasting their Red Dragon Roll and salmon roll, and believe me, they’re the kind of dishes that could easily become the stuff of legends. But why limit yourself? If you’re with a group, seize the opportunity to sample a bit of everything. It’s all divine.
During my visit, the menu had me in a delightful dilemma. I finally opted for the crispy spicy tuna, a selection of nigiri, and a couple of rolls.
And let me tell you, it was a feast fit for a king. Oh, and don’t even think about skipping dessert; you’ll want to make room for that final act of deliciousness.
A quick tip for those planning a weekend visit; arrive a bit early. Izakaya Den doesn’t take reservations, and the queue can stretch out the door. But don’t let that discourage you.
The wait is merely the universe’s way of building anticipation for the extraordinary meal that awaits.
So, are you up for sushi in Denver that’ll set a new standard for all your future endeavors? Izakaya Den is the place to be.
2930 Umatilla St., Denver, CO 80211, United States // +13039558741
Nestled in the vibrant Highlands neighborhood, Sushi Ronin Denver – Sushi and Sake Bar is the epitome of chic, intimate dining. You’ll first notice the menu: concise, straightforward, and absolutely no-nonsense.
They’re only open for dinner, making it the perfect backdrop for a romantic date night or when you’re craving top-tier sushi in Denver.
Let’s talk about their signature roll, the Ronin. This roll is a culinary masterpiece featuring tempura albacore and avocado, all crowned with spicy tuna and a dollop of creme fraiche. It’s like each ingredient was handpicked to create a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.
But if you’re in the mood for something simpler, you can’t go wrong with a piece of fresh nigiri. Keep an eye out for their bluefin akami, which is only available when they can get it fresh. I had the chance to try it once, and it was a game-changer. Even their regular akami nigiri is a standout.
What’s particularly impressive about Sushi Ronin is its resilience. Despite management changes since its opening in 2016, the restaurant has maintained its reputation for knockout presentation and quality.
Regulars have their favorites, like the Colorado roll that boasts striped bass and green chile, or the Nice n Easy roll, a delightful mix of hamachi tartare and pickled wasabi. But don’t overlook their daily specials.
One day you might find bluefin akami dressed in ponzu and chive oil, adorned with pickled seaweed and rice puffs. Another day could be kanpachi jazzed up with wasabi yuzu, mango purée, and chile oil.
So, if you’re looking for a Denver sushi experience that’s as memorable as it is delicious, Sushi Ronin should be at the top of your list.
Whether it’s a special occasion or just a regular Tuesday night craving, this place never disappoints. Definitely one of the best sushi in Denver.
1514 Blake St., Denver, CO 80202, United States // +17203545058
If you’re cruising through one of Denver’s hip neighborhoods and suddenly get hit with a sushi craving, chances are there’s a Hapa Sushi Grill and Sake Bar nearby to save the day.
Think of Hapa as the Chipotle of the sushi world: convenient, affordable, and always there when you need it. But don’t let the fast-casual vibe fool you; this place has some serious culinary chops.
What sets Hapa apart is its unique approach to sushi. It’s the perfect spot for those who are new to the sushi game or prefer a more non-traditional experience.
The restaurant brilliantly fuses Japanese and Hawaiian cooking methods and flavors, creating a menu that’s as diverse as it is delicious.
The name “Hapa” itself is a nod to this blend, borrowing from a Hawaiian term that celebrates the harmony of Asian and American cultures.
Now, let’s talk menu. You’ve got your beginner-friendly options like the classic California Roll and your go-to edamame, but then Hapa takes it up a notch with their original creations.
During one of my visits, I decided to venture beyond my usual picks and try the Aspen roll. It’s essentially a spicy California roll, but here’s the twist: it’s wrapped in shrimp and generously drizzled with garlic sake butter.
One bite, and I was sold. It’s like Hapa found a way to pack an entire culinary adventure into a single roll.
So whether you’re a sushi novice or a seasoned pro, Hapa Sushi Grill and Sake Bar has something for everyone.
It’s the kind of local joint where you can bring all the sushi lovers in your life, no matter their expertise level, and know you’re in for a good time.
2401 15th St. #80, Denver, CO 80202, United States // +13034337272
If you’re a sushi aficionado like me, finding that perfect spot that ticks all the boxes—ambiance, variety, and mouth-watering sushi—is like striking gold.
And folks, I’ve struck gold with Sushi Sasa in Denver. Nestled conveniently near downtown, this gem is not just another sushi joint; it’s an experience you won’t want to miss.
Let’s start with the location and setting. Situated close to the heart of the city, Sushi Sasa is incredibly accessible. Whether you’re wrapping up a day of downtown shopping or looking for a pre-theater dinner spot, it’s right there.
And the seating? Oh, they’ve got you covered. Whether you prefer the cozy indoors or want to enjoy the Denver air in their outdoor seating area, Sushi Sasa accommodates all your dining whims.
It’s versatile enough for a romantic date night, a casual catch-up with friends, or even an elevated lunch break that’ll make you the envy of your coworkers.
But let’s get down to the real star of the show—the sushi. The menu is a culinary tapestry, weaving traditional Japanese techniques with global influences from Italy, France, and other culinary hotspots. It’s not just fusion; it’s like a well-orchestrated symphony of flavors.
During one of my visits, I took a chance on the Diablo Roll. The seared tuna topping was so tender and flavorful it felt like a mini-vacation for my taste buds.
Each bite was a moment to be savored, a small pause in a busy life to appreciate something truly exquisite.
The seven-piece nigiri plate is your go-to for those who prefer a more varied experience. It’s a gastronomic adventure, each piece offering a different blend of flavors and textures.
It’s perfect for those who love a little bit of everything or simply can’t make up their minds. And let’s be honest, with a menu as tantalizing as Sushi Sasa’s, indecision is completely understandable.
And don’t even get me started on the service. The staff are not just attentive; they’re genuinely passionate about making your dining experience memorable.
They’re more than happy to offer recommendations or explain the intricate details of each dish, adding an educational layer to your meal.
So, if you’re looking to elevate your sushi experience from mere dining to something more akin to a culinary event, Sushi Sasa is where you need to be. One visit, and you’ll understand why it’s a foodie favorite sushi in Denver.
1487 S. Pearl St., Denver, CO 80210, United States // +13037770826
If you’re in Denver and you haven’t yet visited Sushi Den, let me tell you—you’re missing out on a legendary experience.
This place has been serving up some of the finest sushi for 34 years, and it’s not just the locals raving about it. Sushi Den has earned its reputation as one of the best sushi spots in Colorado, and here’s why.
First off, the quality of the fish is unparalleled. We’re talking fresh, hard-to-find selections shipped directly from the Sea of Japan.
When you dine here, you’re not just eating sushi; you’re indulging in a culinary experience that’s as authentic as it gets.
Now, let’s talk ambiance. The upstairs area is a mood-setter with its cool lighting, and the bamboo decor adds a touch of elegance.
It’s not overly flashy, making it the perfect setting for a relaxed date night or a casual outing with friends. But don’t let the laid-back atmosphere fool you; the food is anything but casual.
I went all out and ordered the deluxe sushi platter and the sashimi dinner. Each piece was a revelation, bursting with flavors that only deep knowledge and respect for the craft can achieve.
And the portions? Generous doesn’t even begin to describe it. You won’t be leaving Sushi Den hungry, that’s for sure.
But wait, there’s more. On our server’s recommendation, we also tried a variety of rolls: the Crispy Bincho Roll, Spider Roll, New Style Salmon, Rock-n-Roll, Rainbow, and their latest creation, the Red Dragon Roll.
Each roll was a masterpiece, packed with the freshest fish I’ve ever tasted. And the timing was impeccable. Just as we’d finish one plate, another would appear, as if by magic.
What sets Sushi Den apart is not just the quality of the food but the entire dining experience. From the ambiance to the service, everything is designed to make your meal memorable.
So, if you’re looking for the best sushi in Denver that’s a cut above the rest, Sushi Den should be at the top of your list.
2500 Lawrence St. #200, Denver, CO 80205, United States // +13034441922
If you’re in Denver and serious about sushi, Uchi is your next culinary destination. But let me give you a heads-up; don’t just waltz in expecting to get a table. This place is a hotspot in the RiNo district, and reservations are pretty much mandatory. And for good reason; Chef Tyson Cole, a James Beard-nominated American sushi master, is at the helm, and his expertise shines through in every dish.
First off, the ambiance is nothing short of spectacular. Imagine dining in a glittering space beneath a rooftop greenhouse.
It’s like stepping into a culinary wonderland where each dish is a work of art. Speaking of dishes, let’s dive into the menu, shall we?
Uchi offers a range of unique and exotic options that you won’t find at your average sushi joint. I was particularly blown away by the Hirame Usuzukuri, a delicate arrangement of thinly sliced flounder, candied quinoa, and olive oil.
Another standout for me was the hama chili, a vibrant blend of yellowtail, ponzu, Thai chili, and orange. Each bite was like a mini explosion of flavors, making it a memorable part of my dining experience.
But wait, there’s more! Uchi offers not one, but three omakase menus: Chef’s choice, signature, and vegetarian. And if you’re a nigiri fan like me, you’ll be thrilled to know they have two separate menus for that—cold and hot.
On the cold side, the orange chili yellowtail and salmon with Asian pear and berries were sublime. And on the hot side? The king crab with miso butter and kimchi bok choy was a revelation, as was the wagyu beef with grilled mushroom and radish.
And let’s not forget the pièce de résistance—the exquisite foie gras nigiri and the luscious kinoko nabe.
These dishes are a testament to Uchi’s commitment to delivering a culinary experience that’s both innovative and deeply rooted in traditional Japanese techniques.
So, if you’re looking to elevate your sushi game and treat yourself to an unforgettable dining experience, Uchi is the place to be. It has some of the best Sushi in Denver.
Questions Foodies Ask About The Best Sushi In Denver
What makes Denver’s sushi scene unique?
Denver might be landlocked, but don’t let that fool you. The city has a thriving sushi scene that rivals coastal cities.
With fresh fish flown in daily from places like the Sea of Japan, you’re guaranteed a top-notch sushi experience.
Denver’s sushi spots also often incorporate local ingredients and flavors, making for a unique culinary blend.
I’m new to sushi. Are there any beginner-friendly sushi restaurants in Denver?
If you’re a sushi newbie, Hapa Sushi Grill and Sake Bar is a great place to start. They offer a range of rolls that are perfect for those new to the sushi game, and their menu even fuses Japanese and Hawaiian cooking styles for a unique twist.
Is it possible to have a high-quality sushi experience without breaking the bank in Denver?
While some of the top sushi spots can be pricey, there are definitely more budget-friendly options.
Hapa Sushi Grill and Sake Bar offers good, affordable sushi, and many places have happy hour specials where you can enjoy discounted rolls and sashimi.
Wrapping Up: The Six Best Restaurants for Sushi in Denver
In the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Denver has managed to carve out a sushi scene that’s as vibrant and diverse as the city itself.
Denver’s sushi landscape caters to all, from the purists seeking traditional Japanese flavors to the adventurous souls yearning for a fusion twist.
It’s a culinary playground that invites you to explore beyond your comfort zone, challenging preconceived notions about what landlocked sushi can be.
With fresh fish flown in from distant seas and local ingredients that capture the essence of Colorado, the city’s sushi chefs are artists in their own right, painting flavors on a canvas of rice and seaweed.
But it’s not just about the food; it’s about the experience. Whether you’re looking for a romantic date night spot, a casual hangout with friends, or a gastronomic adventure led by a master chef, Denver’s sushi restaurants offer a range of atmospheres to match the diversity of their menus.
From budget-friendly to high-end, there’s a sushi experience waiting for you that perfectly aligns with your palate and your wallet.
So, as you venture out to explore the Mile-High City’s sushi offerings, remember that in Denver, sushi is more than just a meal; it’s a journey.
A journey that tantalizes the taste buds, nourishes the soul, and turns any night out into an occasion to remember.
Ready to take your taste buds on a sushi adventure through Denver? Trust me, they’ll thank you for it.
Visiting Denver, CO? Check out our other delicious guides:
- 13 Most Iconic Denver Restaurants
- 6 Best Italian Restaurants In Denver
- 5 Best Michelin Star Restaurants In Denver
- The Best Vegan Restaurants In Denver
- Best Mexican Food In Denver
Visiting other destinations in Colorado? Check out our other guides:
- 7 Must-Try Breckenridge Restaurants
- 12 Best Things To Do In Breckenridge, CO
- 10 Best Restaurants In Colorado Springs
Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever