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Where to Find the Best Sushi in Melbourne

These Japanese restaurants and grocers serve up the finest maki rolls, nigiri, sashimi and hosomaki — all stuffed with some of Melbourne's best seafood.
By Andrew Zuccala
November 17, 2023
By Andrew Zuccala
November 17, 2023


These Japanese restaurants and grocers serve up the finest maki rolls, nigiri, sashimi and hosomaki — all stuffed with some of Melbourne's best seafood.

Melbourne is pretty sushi crazy. There are countless takeaway sushi joints and sushi trains dotted all about the city. But the best sushi in Melbourne is usually found in small neighbourhood Japanese restaurants, where stacks of passion and skill go into preparing each and every bite of sushi.

It can strongly be argued that the best sushi is often found in omakase restaurants, but we decided to keep those out of this guide. They deserve their own separate praises and, let's be honest, tend to be far too expensive for the average sushi lover to hit up regularly. So, read on to discover where you should next fuel up on outstanding sushi, sashimi, nigiri and uramaki in Melbourne.


Recommended reads:
The Best Japanese Restaurants in Melbourne
The Best Ramen in Melbourne
The Best Thai Restaurants in Melbourne
The Best Fried Chicken in Melbourne

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    This sushi bar and supermarket is the Japanese food repository you never knew you needed. If you’re looking to make something yourself, the packed shelves are your friend. Find anything from koroke to katsu, gyoza to green tea Kit Kats, and a mammoth amount of bottled sauces. Oh, and sake and shochu.

    Over at the sushi counter, a range of 80+ options will be available. There are traditional varieties like your sashimi and nigiri platters, plus more unique creations like the salmon aioli with squid and egg salad. Plenty of vegetarian sushi options are also available here, something that’s surprisingly hard to find at some of the best sushi spots in Melbourne.

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  • 9
    Wabi Sabi Japanese restaurant in Collingwood - home to some of the best sushi in Melbourne.

    This hugely popular Collingwood restaurant is home to both traditional Japanese eats and contemporary fusion creations. You’ll find ramen, oden stews, katsu sandwiches and some of the best sushi and sashimi in Melbourne.

    The yellowfin tuna sashimi with truffle soy and wasabi cream is one of our favourites, but we tend to order the sashimi teishoku when visiting. It includes a selection of sashimi that changes daily — depending on what the chefs get at the market that morning — as well as some extra rice, a bowl of miso soup, pickles and a few small side dishes. It’s the perfect way to sample Wabi Sabi Salon’s banging sushi.

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  • 8
    Mr Ryu Japanese restaurant - home to some of the best sushi in Melbourne.

    This South Yarra Japanese restaurant might be small (and easy to miss), but its menu is pretty damn big. Head chef and owner Seung Yeop Ryu uses traditional Japanese cooking methods and flavours throughout, blending them seamlessly with Aussie native ingredients.

    Kick things off with edamame beans dusted with Murray River pink salt and the spicy tuna sashimi tacos with avruga caviar, saltbush and lemongrass mayo before hitting up the extensive sushi and sashimi offerings. The sashimi platter is a good place to start, but be sure to try its signature sushi rolls made with panko crumbed prawns, spicy tuna, jalapenos and cucumber. For hot stuff, the team also serves gyoza, fried chicken, beef ribs and a wicked ramen gnocchi.

    Image: Tran Nguyen

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  • 7
    Sushi selection from Sake Restaurant and bar on the Southbank - home to some of the best sushi in Melbourne.

    Starting in Sydney and Brisbane, Sake has brought its sharing philosophy, extensive cocktail list and sensational sushi to Melbourne’s Southbank. Tucked under Hamer Hall, boasting views across the Yarra, this spot is almost always busy — especially when the sun is out and diners take over the waterside terrace.

    The food offerings are extensive, so much so that the sushi and sashimi dishes have their very own separate menu. If you really know your sushi, sashimi and nigiri, then go for broke when ordering a la carte. Otherwise, opt for some of the mixed platters (ranging from eight to 21 pieces) and let the chefs pick what’s good that day. Whichever way you go, you’ll be sampling some of the best sushi in Melbourne.

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  • 6
    Samurai in Hawthorn - Japanese restaurant home to some of the best sushi in melbourne.

    Divided into two floors, this slim little eatery in Hawthorn gets quite a workout every night of the week (except Sundays). Don’t come expecting a quiet night out, though — this place is perpetually buzzing with big and small groups of diners feasting on reasonably priced Japanese classics.

    You’ll find a heap of teriyaki dishes and katsu curries, but this spot is known for serving up some of the best cheap sushi and sashimi in Melbourne. For the most part, you’ll get eight pieces for just $10, which is an absolute seal these days. Our favourites? The soft shell crab and the crumbed prawn sushi rolls, for sure.

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  • 5
    Suzuran in Camberwell - home to some of the best sushi in Melbourne.

    Suzuran in Camberwell is unlike any takeaway sushi spot in Melbourne, for not only does it serve fresh and inventive sushi, but it’s also a Japanese market with a huge range of imported Japanese products you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

    When ordering takeaway, the chefs will make the food right in front of you, which is always one of the joys of Japanese dining. One of the specialties here is the uni (sea urchin), and if you’ve been too nervous to try it in the past, then be sure to give it a go here first. It is consistently delicious and prepared to perfection. Otherwise, all of the sushi here can be deemed some of the best in Melbourne. Simply ask the chef for their recommendations and trust them without doubt.

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  • 4
    Shira Nui

    If you plan to visit Shira Nui, be sure to book ahead, because this place often has a waiting list a month in advance. Opened over twenty years ago by chef and owner Hiro Nishikura, Shira Nui is the type of restaurant where looks can be deceiving. The dining room’s design is fairly basic and the menu is laminated — but the food is nothing short of incredible.

    This place is serious about its Japanese eats yet is still fun and charming, with the staff a pleasure to deal with and chef Hiro the life of the party. It’s famous for its grilled oysters, and the bento boxes are favourites among locals, but you really can’t go past the sushi and sashimi. The sushi selection includes salad rolls for vegetarians, California rolls, pan-fried salmon and even oyster sushi on request. Pair these with a few rounds of sake, and you’ll be in for a delightful night out — that is, if you can get a seat.

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  • 3
    Kenzan Japanese restaurant in the CBD - home to some of the best sushi in Melbourne.

    Kenzan is a proper Melbourne dining institution. For over 35 years, it has led the Japanese restaurant scene in Melbourne, training up some of the best Japanese chefs in the country — who have gone on to work at spots like Usami and Minamishima.

    Traditional Japanese cooking skills are on full show here, used to create both simple and inventive dishes. But when it comes to the sushi, it’s all classic — with great attention given to preparing the seafood and getting the rice just right. For one of the most important components of sushi is the rice. The menu of sushi rolls, sashimi and nigiri is extensive, with a huge variety of platters up for grabs during lunch and dinner service. You’re truly spoilt for choice at Kenzan, home to some of the very best sushi in Melbourne.

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  • 2
    Sushi platter at Ichi Ni Nana - best sushi Melbourne - supplied -

    Located on the ground floor of Hotel Fitzroy, Ichi Ni Nana Izakaya is the kind of Japanese restaurant where the food, which is exceptional, isn’t the only star. The restaurant itself is huge, with the sun-soaked courtyard being the jewel in the crown. In summer, there is nowhere better to sit and soak up the ambience over a plate of sushi with a Japanese beer or cocktail.

    And speaking of the sushi, you’re in for a hell of a good time when feasting on these bad boys. Head to the sushi bar and build your own feast from the massive selection of maki rolls, hosomaki, sashimi and nigiri. Alternatively, get on the sushi platter train, letting the chefs decide for you. They’ll even box these up so you can take them back to the office or home for dinner.

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  • 1
    Tsukiji Restaurant - home to the best sushi in Melbourne.

    Named for the famous Tsukiji seafood market in Japan, this Melbourne Japanese diner is unlike your typical sushi and sashimi joint. Instead of just ordering off a menu or choosing from pre-made sushi scuttling along a sushi train, here you head to the deli fridge, select your fish, and watch the chefs carve it up for you fresh in the kitchen.

    In the fridge, you’ll find servings of tuna, salmon, octopus and scallops, among other cuts, which the chefs will prepare for you on a delightful sashimi platter. The place itself is quite small and is basically always busy, which gives off the bustling feeling of the genuine Tsukiji market. It’s hands down the very best place to get sushi in Melbourne.

    Image: Tran Nguyen

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Top images: Suzuran

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