I pride myself in being a bit of a sushi snob. This might surprise you since I am a Denver native and Colorado isn’t exactly known for its proximity to the ocean nor for its maritime cuisine. However, that isn’t to say that the Mile High City doesn’t have its fair share of delicious Japanese cuisine and since I’ve seen the worst and the best of it, I’m here to ensure you eat all of the best and none of the worst! Here is a local’s guide to my personal favorite sushi spots in the Denver area.
5. Kona Grill
Earning points for one of the most stylish restaurants on the list, Kona Grill is located in the posh Denver neighborhood of Cherry Creek South right within the Cherry Creek Mall. Perfect for those post shopping spree sushi cravings, Kona Grill also has some of the best Happy Hour deals around. Boasting $1 margaritas, $5 sushi rolls, and $2 draft beers, Happy Hour is a can’t-miss occasion at Kona. Find the menu here.
Happy Hour: M-F 2 pm to 7 pm, M-F 9 pm to close, all day Sunday
4. Blue Sushi Sake Grill
Located in the trendy LoDo district, Blue Sushi is a hot spot for city-living millennials. Blue Sushi makes the list for its extremely fresh and flavorful sushi rolls and for its inclusion of tangy ceviche on the menu. During Happy Hour, rolls start at $5.50 but drinks don’t get much of a discount. Also keep in mind that parking can be difficult during peak hours, but worth it for a high quality dining experience. Make a reservation and view the menu here.
Happy Hour: M-S 3 pm – 6:30 pm, Sun 12 pm – 7 pm
3. Sushi Basho
I am convinced that no one finds this hole-in-the-wall sushi joint unless they know to look for it. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon it on an afternoon wandering historic downtown Littleton with a good friend of mine. Though the building was humble, to say the least, the food definitely did not disappoint. While there are no Happy Hour deals, they aren’t necessary as all of Sushi Basho’s rolls are very reasonably priced! Regular rolls average at about $5 and special rolls at about $11. Honestly, this is a sushi joint where I could eat for days. The quality of flavor and texture lands it in the middle of my top five. Click here to view the sushi selection.
2. Sushi Den
Known as the crème de la crème of the sushi scene in Denver, Sushi Den’s extravagant prices definitely reflect its fine dining status. As a broke young adult, my foray into Sushi Den was through pure luck of having a good friend who was the wine salesman to the restaurant. He was able to classify our dinner bills as business expenses and I was able to eat high class sushi for free! A win-win, right? (Also he’s an amazing person and a great conversationalist, just saying.) Sushi Den can be found in the up-and-coming Pearl Street District of South Denver which is known for its great restaurants, art galleries, and summertime farmers market. The sushi is TO DIE FOR. All of the fish is flown in fresh every single day and the sake was incredible. The only reason Sushi Den is not my number one location is that it’s not really that affordable for the average traveler. Make a reservation here.
1. Sushi Totoro
Perhaps it’s because I’m an Aurora girl at heart, but there are so many reasons I love this restaurant. First of all, I have eaten there over twenty times and I have NEVER had bad sushi. In fact, I’ve never had just okay sushi. The sushi has been excellent every single time and the prices are ridiculously reasonable. Not to mention that Sushi Totoro is the only place on the list offering all-you-can-eat specials! The best time to go is at lunch as all-you-can-eat only costs $15 a person! This includes all regular rolls, most specialty rolls, all nigiri sushi, edamame, teriyaki, soups, and salads. I generally will pull up around noon on an empty stomach and eat to my heart’s content. Beware that if you wait until dinner, all-you-can-eat prices increase to $25 a person, so definitely go at lunch. As it is located in suburban Aurora, there is plenty of parking and even a Cold Stone next door if you’re craving dessert! For hours and location check their Facebook page.
What are your favorite sushi spots in Denver? Drop a comment!
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