Vancouver's Sushi Scene


Walk into pretty much any Vancouver sushi restaurant and you’ll be greeted with this phrase, which loosely translates to “come on in!” But perhaps this greeting should be delivered at Vancouver International Airport instead: “Irrashimase – come on in to our city and try the sushi!”

Vancouver was one of the first North American cities to introduce sushi to Western palates, and has since grown in popularity so much that it has been dubbed the “sushi capital of North America”. From nigiri novice to maki master, the city is a veritable hot spot for raw fish. Sushi restaurants in Vancouver are about as common as coffee shops, and visitors would be hard pressed to walk a block or two in any direction and not wander past one. In fact, at last count, there were over 600 sushi spots in Metro Vancouver. Thanks to the combination of an engaged Japanese community together with top-quality fish and seafood, Vancouver is considered by many to have some of the best sushi outside of Japan.

Whether dine in or take out, traditional menus or West Coast twists on the classics, ask any Vancouverite you meet and they’ll happily share their favourite go-to sushi spot. If you ask two locals, you’ll likely witness a vigorous debate over which restaurant is the better option. While it’s hard to go wrong with any choice in this town, here are six of our favourites.

Of course, in Vancouver you won’t have to visit a Japanese restaurant to find excellent sushi. For instance, seafood specialists such as Blue Water Café and Ancora both boast some of the city’s best raw bars. But wherever you choose to get your sushi fix, you’re assured of Vancouver’s unique mix of tradition, fresh ingredients and a dash of Canadian creativity.