The Charleston sushi scene has been slowly expanding over the years. Just a few years ago, there were many places in the Lowcountry to grab a California roll or rainbow roll, but less with fresh wasabi or rare delicacies like uni. Today, many sushi aficionados put Sushi-Wa Izakaya at the top, but there are a few other stops in town to quell nigiri cravings.Read More
7 Leading Sushi Restaurants in Charleston
From omakase to fat cream cheese rolls
Sushi Wa Izakaya
Sushi Wa Izakaya offers some of the freshest fish around. Chefs Kazu Murakami and Chris Schoedler offer high-end sushi, chirashi, sake, and small plates in the intimate dining room. Experience the nigiri-focused omakase Wednesday through Sunday, beginning at $80 per person. Reservations are difficult to snag, but the restaurant will occasionally announce openings on Instagram.
Chef Sean Park puts the utmost care into every plate and seems to score the freshest catches around. Kanpai was one of the first Lowcountry spots to put live uni on the menu. Mount Pleasant residents should definitely make a stop at Kanpai.
Hachiya Kyoto Steakhouse and Sushi Bar
Kyoto-trained chef Yuichiro “Junior” Takebata runs the sushi side of this Japanese steakhouse in West Ashley. He specializes in nigiri and sashimi, but Hachiya also offers an extensive signature roll menu as well. Takebata sources most of the fish he uses in his sushi bar from purveyors who order directly from Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo.
O-Ku is a major King Street hot spot, but it still commits to a solid sushi program. From the lemon and salmon roll to the otoro nigiri, there’s something for everyone. The popular happy hour on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays is a fun way to try out the restaurant for less.
Shiki is a tucked-away space on East Bay Street beloved by locals since 2001. The long-standing sushi eatery is an intimate space to catch up with friends. The rolls are super fresh, the service is solid, and the sake is affordable. It's a relaxed night with raw fish and perfect rice.
167 Sushi Bar
In 2021, the team from always-packed oyster outlet 167 Raw turned their attention to even more seafood with the opening of 167 Sushi Bar. The sliver of a restaurant, which is 50 percent chef’s counter, offers a menu of the classic choices of nigiri, sashimi, and hand rolls. The eatery also offers izakaya options like a katsu sando and yakatori.
The place to go for "retro rolls," Thai Elephant satisfies the sushi needs of the James Island set. The restaurant also focuses on Thai food, but for those customers looking for deep-fried rolls bursting with cream cheese, this is the place.