Explore Vancouver’s Top-Notch Sushi and Poke Options

Sourced from The Lobby Lounge and RawBar

With its location on the Pacific coast, Vancouver has unparalleled access to fresh seafood. It’s no surprise, then, that the city has some of the best sushi and poke in North America. Not only is the quality of ingredients exceptional, but Vancouver chefs evidence well-honed technique (like knife cuts), as well as wonderful inventiveness in their creations.

The sushi and poke scene is vibrant and diverse, ranging from quick grab-and-go options, to more elevated dining experiences.

Tojo’s Restaurant

Sourced from Tojo’s

The grandfather of Vancouver’s sushi restaurants is, undoubtedly, Tojo’s (1133 West Broadway), which has been going strong for 32 years. Chef Tojo, who enjoys world-wide acclaim, has been a pathmaker, credited for introducing Omakase to Vancouver, as well as creating the “inside out” Tojo roll (aka the “California roll”), as well as the BC roll and rainbow roll. He’s just released a fall seven-course omakase menu, which features items like a tuna sashimi ice bowl with Tojo’s special sauce, in additional to a seasonal assortment of sushi. Signature rolls include the Great Canadian roll with Atlantic lobster, asparagus, and smoked Pacific salmon. This is sushi wizardry at its finest.

Miku

Sourced from Miku

Another innovator in Vancouver’s sushi landscape is Miku (70-200 Granville Street), the first to bring aburi (“flame seared”) sushi to Vancouver and to the nation. The gorgeous waterfront location showcases Vancouver at its best, as does its sushi offerings. The salmon oshi sushi, with pressed wild sockeye salmon, jalapeño, and Miku sauce, has inspired numerous similar versions in other restaurants but the original still is a favourite among diners. Nigiri and sashimi options are also available, including the sustainable albacore. Specialty rolls include a red wave roll with prawn and avocado, wrapped in red tuna and finished with masatake sauce. You can find these sushi options at Miku’s sister restaurant Minami (1118 Mainland Street) in Yaletown.

The Lobby Lounge and RawBar

Sourced from the RawBar

Not only does the RawBar (Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, 1038 Canada Place) produce delicious, expertly crafted sushi, but it also boasts the title of being the first entirely Ocean Wise (sustainable) sushi restaurant in Vancouver. And this is no small feat, indeed. In addition to a selection of nigiri (e.g. mirugai – geoduck, sake – Lois Lake steelhead), innovative rolls are also on the menu, such as the Lobby Lounge roll with albacore tuna, red tuna, kampachi, avocado, shiso leaf, Dungeness crab, cucumber, and yuzu kosho glaze. Order from their To Go menu via Tock, or visit during their daily cocktail hour (3-6pm), for margaritas, martinis, and nori sushi tacos (hand rolls).

Bistro Sakana

Yaletown stalwart Bistro Sakana (1123 Mainland Street), Japanese owned and operated, consistently provides elegant and creative takes on sushi, such as the use of brown rice in their items. The restaurant does not stint on quality, with selections like Gindara black cod aburi and madai (seabream) sashimi. French influences also appear through the menu, such as in a caprese roll, with hotate scallops, fresh shiso-basil pesto, fresh tomato, and bocconcini mozzarella, which is lightly sauteéd and plated with extra virgin olive oil and an aged Modena balsamic reduction.

Seafood Restaurants

Sourced from Coast

Seafood restaurants in Vancouver also evidence Japanese culinary influences, often spotlighting sushi selections on their menu. Coast (1054 Alberni Street) features a refreshing mango California roll with Dungeness crab; playful fish ‘n’ chips cones; as well as nigiri and sashimi options (e.g. anago – salt water eel).

Sourced from Sandbar

Order from Hoshi Sushi at The Sandbar (1535 Johnston Street) on charming Granville Island. Master sushi chef Tsutomu Hoshi has created specialties like the Hoshi roll with tuna, salmon, unagi, ebi, crab, and avocado, all lightly fried and drizzled with unagi sauce. The menu also includes classic rolls, like a spicy tuna roll, as well as sashimi (Hamachi – yellowtail) and nigiri (ebi – black tiger prawn) selections.

Both Coast and The Sandbar serve poke, with the former serving a tuna poke bowl with a feature beer ($15) every Friday from noon to 5pm. The Sandbar has two poke options on their regular menu: an Ocean Wise ahi tuna poke bowl with edamame, wasabi mayo, coconut jasmine rice, avocado, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, lettuce and crispy wontons; and a vegetarian poke bowl, with all the same delicious ingredients minus the ahi tuna.

Honey Salt

Sourced from Honey Salt

For an Ocean Wise, as well as a gluten- and dairy-free option, head to Honey Salt (Parq Vancouver, 39 Smithe Street) for their poke bowl, consisting of Ocean Wise BC albacore, cilantro-miso dressing, avocado, cucumber, orange segments, and black rice.

Gotham Steakhouse & Bar

Sourced from Gotham

They may be primarily known for steak but Gotham Steakhouse & Bar (615 Seymour Street) has a stand-out tuna poke appetizer, which has sashimi grade tuna, macadamia nuts, and Maui onions, all seasoned with a sesame-soy honey dressing.

The Poke Guy

Sourced from The Poke Guy

Vancouver has numerous poke-focused restaurants that entice with high quality grab-and-go options. Their menus offer house creations, as well as the choice to build customized poke bowls. For example, The Poke Guy (420 Richards Street) is appealingly healthy and sustainable, using wild seafood, Ocean Wise ingredients, as well as 100% compostable packaging. Those who enjoy a bit of heat should order the hulapeno tuna poke, with Ocean Wise albacore, tomato, corn, pineapple, red onion and edamame, garnished with cilantro, jalapeño, crispy onions and arare and finished with avocado and hula-peño dressing.

Honolulu Coffee

Sourced from Honolulu Coffee

Finally, for a further taste of Hawaii, drop by Honolulu Coffee (888 Nelson Street; 2098 West 41st Avenue) for beverages brewed with Kona-grown and roasted beans. Particularly popular are their Hawaiian lattes and honey coconut cold brews.

And that is just a mere glimpse into Vancouver’s vast array of sushi and poke establishments. The quality and selection are incredible!

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2 Responses to Explore Vancouver’s Top-Notch Sushi and Poke Options

  1. Thank you for this expertly curated list. I’ve been loathe to try most of the poke places in town as their handling of their raw fish looks dubious at best. The Japanese are meticulous with how they handle the raw stuff—but poke originated from Hawaii.

  2. Some of your suggestions are sure the trendiest place to go but not necessary the best food. I am a foodie and mind if I recommend more localized, classic, with heart, and maybe …. worthy to give it a try
    Ajisai
    Temaki
    Sushi Bar Shu
    Joe Fortes
    Elisa
    Cioppino’s
    Lupo
    These are always my great time favor but of course, Vanicouver is a place for food. These are only among the best. 😀

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