I’ve traveled across the world eating sushi in places like Tokyo Japan, Singapore, Honolulu, San Francisco and New York. I’ve tried it all, the high end, traditional sushi and sashimi, the sushi boat restaurants and super high end, Michelin star rated places of the likes of Michael Minna.
You might think I’m jaded after experiencing it all. Well I’m not. I still go back to the basics. I love a great roll with texture, special sauces. To me this is just as great as the finest raw fish in the world.
Wilmington has some of the freshest sushi on the east coast.
I share all this because I feel right at home here in Wilmington with the amazing selection of sushi and Japanese restaurants. So at home that I was compelled to share my list of the top 5 best rated sushi bars and restaurants in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Wilmington offers a diverse variety of Japanese food for all levels of budgets and experiences. Whether you are looking for a casual and affordable sushi experience or a fancy traditional Japanese meal, this list has you covered.
View all Japanese restaurants in the Wilmington area.
- View Japanese restaurants in Midtown
- View Japanese restaurants in Wrightsville Beach
- View Japanese restaurants in Carolina Beach
1. Yo Sake Downtown Sushi Lounge
Yo Sake Downtown Sushi Lounge is a modern sushi restaurant and bar located in an old historic brick building in Downtown Wilmington. The expansive restaurant located up a long flight of stairs serves all your mainstream and hip Japanese food delights including miso soup, sashimi and a plethora of rolls. Yo Sake also has a decent happy hour, so get there early and get the most out of your sushi experience.
2. Tokyo 101
Tokyo 101 is a popular Japanese restaurant located at Mayfaire. The restaurant features traditional sushi, sashimi, soups and of course hot plates. At Tokyo 101 you will find all your favorite sushi rolls including the famous California Roll, Spider Roll and Rainbow Rolls. The food is affordable and the atmosphere inviting.
3. Nikki’s Fresh Gourmet & Sushi Bar (downtown)
Nikki’s Fresh Gourmet & Sushi Bar is a local Japanese restaurant chain with stores across the Wilmington area. Nikki’s Downtown Bar is one of the best sushi bars in Wilmington. Hand’s down. The small, simple, yet authentic feel of the restaurant transports you to Tokyo. The staff are friendly the sushi is basic, yet complex and the fish is fresh and tasty. At Nikki’s you can get all your usual sushi and rolls plus a lot more and the pricing is right.
4. Genki Japanese & Sushi Restaurant
Genki Japanese & Sushi Restaurant is another local favorite located at New Towne Center in Wilmington. Genki features an authentic Japanese dining experience with one of the largest sushi bars in the Wilmington area. The owners take pride in the freshness of the fish and most dishes source ingredients and seafood from local farms and fishermen. While Genki delivers on quality it also is affordable and a great place to take your family for a dining experience.
5. The Bento Box Sushi Bar and Asian Kitchen
The Bento Box Sushi Bar is the passion of Chef Lee Grossman a local sushi chef here in Wilmington, North Carolina. The Bento Box features authentic sushi and Japanese fare that is simple yet powerfully impactful. Grossman harnesses the local seafood and farms to deliver his version of sushi. The Bento Box also serves hot plates and soups, you can find a variety of authentic asian dishes. The restaurant itself is very much a modern Tokyo style design. Sushi and sashimi prices are above average for Wilmington because you are paying for quality.