Hokkaido is famous for their incredibly fresh seafood, but Sapporo especially has many sushi restaurants to choose from. Here are 5 recommendations to consider.
1. Sushi Ichiko
One of the names that definitely come up when discussing delicious sushi in Sapporo is Sushi Ichiko. They get the finest ingredients not just from Sapporo but from all over Japan, and they bring out the highest level of deliciousness of the food thanks to the chef's relentless attention to detail. For people who want to be satisfied with sushi of a level that you can't get anywhere else, please stop by. It's a little expensive but it's worth it.
The menu is all "omakase" courses (reservations required), meaning the chef picks the dishes served, such as the 5-piece tsumami (snack) and 12-piece nigiri (hand-rolled sushi) course (20,000 JPY (excl. tax)). When you eat, you'll notice the sushi is presented in various ways that have high attention to detail in them, such as the mackerel having many cuts in it to bring out the flavor or the uni not being wrapped in seaweed in order to focus on its taste. The line-up of sake was completely chosen so they match well with sushi, so this is also something you want to try together! If you visit Sushi Ichiko, it will definitely become a good memory of your trip.
2. Susukino Sushikin
Susukino Sushikin is a restaurant famous among sushi connoisseurs. It's a one minute walk away from Susukino Station on the subway Namboku Line. The store's appearance is unique, making it stand out. The sushi itself is presented only in omakase courses by the research-loving shop owner, and about 10 pieces of tsumami and 12 pieces of nigiri will run you 15,000 JPY. You can eat that season's most delicious seafood in the best way possible.
Everything they offer is delicious, including the soft octopus snack, the braised Sakhalin surf clam sushi, and the hand-rolled uni sushi in which the uni is in harmony with the rice and then wrapped in aromatic seaweed. There are many people who say that this restaurant is a definite stop on their itinerary when they go to Hokkaido. The vinegared rice used in the sushi is made with red vinegar, a sweet, richly-colored vinegar made with fermented sake lees. The rice is made on the hard side so it goes well with the fish. If you want to be satisfied with sushi and sashimi that shines with the chef's honed techniques, this is the restaurant for you.
3. Sushizen Main Branch
Sushizen is a well-established sushi restaurant in Sapporo. The main branch is about a 3 minute walk away from Maruyama Koen Station on the subway Tozai line, so it's very close to Hokkaido Jingu and Maruyama Park. Their distinguishing characteristic is that they use Hokkaido ingredients to make sushi using Edomae sushi techniques like pickling using salt or vinegar, steaming, boiling, or marinating in sauce. This is a recommended restaurant for people that want to eat Edomae sushi in a high-class restaurant. This restaurant is known for using fresh ingredients carefully picked by a strict chef. There are three counter seats, tables, a small raised dining area, and a separate private room that requires reservations. The restaurant has a rather calm atmosphere.
There are a number of courses available, but for those that want to enjoy standard sushi, it would be good to pick the Nigiri Sushi Shun course (8,640 JPY (incl. tax) that comes with 12 nigiri sushi pieces, miso soup, and dessert. They have a complete liquor menu as well, so please enjoy that with your sushi! Usually if you order sushi, ala carte, drinks, etc. it will come out to around 20,000 JPY. You can enjoy this sushi at a more reasonable price if you go at lunch and order the lunch set (starting at 3,564 JPY (incl. tax) which comes with 10 nigiri sushi pieces, miso soup, salad, and dessert!
*A 10% service charge will be added to your bill.
4. Kaitenzushi Nemuro Hanamaru JR Tower Stella Place Branch
Kaitenzushi Nemuro Hanamaru, on the 6th floor of Sapporo Stella Place, is a conveyer belt sushi place so popular there's often a line. It's a chain with about 9 branches in Sapporo, but since this particular branch is directly connected with JR Sapporo Station it's easy to stop by when sightseeing so it's recommended. The fresh seafood directly shipped over from the Nemuro Sea is used to make meals known to be reasonably priced yet delicious.
The full menu is quite varied, including sushi, ala carte dishes, soups, and more. Sushi starts at 130 JPY (excl. tax) for 1 plate. The recommendations are the fatty Nemuro mackerel pike, the fresh raw scallop, and in the winter, raw cod roe. Hokkaido is famous for salmon, so of course that's their top seller. You should also try some items you can only have in Hokkaido, like raw salmon roe pickled in soy sauce. They're open until 11:00 pm, so this is a very convenient shop to stop by after sightseeing.
5. Chogurume Kaitenzushi Nagoyakatei Hassamu Branch
Chogurume Kaitenzushi Nagoyakatei is a Hokkaido conveyer belt sushi chain that has 15 branches in Sapporo and 2 in Kansai. They offer genuine sushi and creative sushi using fresh ingredients directly shipped from the source to fulfill their concept of "big, cheap, and delicious." It's famous for being popular not just among tourists but also with locals. They have a full menu in which one plate of sushi starts at 130 JPY (excl. tax), but people who visit tend to go for the Kobore Ikura (540 JPY (excl. tax)), sushi piled so high with salted salmon roe it spills over, or the Kobore Amaebi (420 JPY (excl. tax)), the same but with sweet shrimp. These gunkanmaki rolls (oval-shaped sushi wrapped in seaweed) overflowing with seafood is an impressive sight. Usually one plate has two pieces on it, but the popular3-ten Mori series has 3 types of sushi on one plate, like the Maguro Zukushi 3-ten Mori (270 JPY (excl. tax)) made of wild tuna, albacore tuna, and tuna with leek. No matter what you order, the servings will be big and worthy of Hokkaido's image. This is a recommended restaurant for those that want to eat plenty of fresh seafood in familiar types of sushi for a reasonable price.
There are many sushi restaurants in Sapporo outside of the ones listed here, so please discover your favorite!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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