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If your mouth waters at the mere thought of ocean-fresh, tender sushi, these are some of the best places to eat sushi outside of Japan on your travels.
There’s no ignoring the authenticity and sumptuous dishes of the seafood markets and sushi bars throughout Japan. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find exquisite sushi elsewhere.
Japanese food has traveled well, and you’ll be surprised at some of the cities across the world where sushi is big business.
So try your best to quell your food envy, as we take a closer look at 9 top destinations to find mesmerizingly good sushi outside of Japan.
Best Places To Eat Sushi Outside of Japan
1 – Seoul, South Korea
With South Korea a mere stone’s throw across the Sea of Japan, it’s no surprise sushi has found its way into Korean cuisine over many centuries.
Busan in the south looks across the water to Japan, and it has access to the flavorsome seafood from the Sea of Japan.
Seoul, however, is South Korea’s most cosmopolitan city, and an array of both Eastern and Western flavors can be found throughout the city.
You won’t have to look too far for authentic Japanese sushi, while gimbap, an authentic South Korean sushi, is a non-fish dish definitely worth trying.
Made from rice and vegetables, wrapped in a casing of edible seaweed known as gim, gimbap is one of the most popular grab-and-go street foods in South Korea.
2 – Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a rich, exciting place, blending various aspects of Eastern and Western culture together.
The waters of the East China Sea grace its shoreline, giving it access to an array of diverse and breathtakingly fresh seafood.
The people of Hong Kong have plenty of love for Japanese sushi, with the city boasting an incredible array of sushi restaurants, both for exquisite, high-end tastes and the budget traveler.
3 – Manila, Philippines
If you’re looking for a home-cook, street-food-feel to sushi, the choice of dishes available in Manila, Philippines is truly mind-blowing.
Manila’s grab-and-go sushi options are up there with the city’s street food, and many even come with delivery.
Manila is also renowned for big, grand sushi platters, perfect for feeding large groups of sushi-lovers in cozy, authentic restaurants.
For casual dining and sit-in experiences, the city is also home to a wide range of both authentic and commercialized Japanese restaurants.
4 – Lima, Peru
Peru has the second largest Japanese population in South America, with Brazil having the largest.
Couple this with Peru’s geography, its west and south side lapped entirely by the Pacific Ocean, and it’s no surprise rich and daring sushi fusions can be found throughout the country.
Lima’s emergence as one of the most luxurious foodie cities throughout the world makes it an ideal place to try exquisite sushi.
The Miraflores region of Lima, in particular, is a melting pot of daring fusions and high-end dining.
Mouthwateringly fresh, sushi is one of Lima’s underrated dishes and can be tried in various sushi bars and luxury restaurants.
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5 – São Paulo, Brazil
It is a little-known fact that Brazil is home to the largest number of Japanese people outside Japan, just shy of 2 million.
While sushi was largely a frowned upon food in Brazil, only served to other Japanese immigrants by fellow Japanese, that all changed in the 1980s.
The success of Japanese food in America meant sushi suddenly became popular, and São Paulo became one of the best places in Brazil for all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants.
Combine that with a plethora of Japanese-Brazilian fusion restaurants, and you have a city that has a deep, deep love for sushi.
6 – Buenos Aires, Argentina
While sushi is very popular across Argentina’s coastal cities, like Puerto Madryn, Buenos Aires’ emergence as a luxurious foodie city paved the way for sushi of all shapes and styles.
Both sit-down restaurants and grab-and-go sushi are rife across Buenos Aires.
But if you really want to indulge, both Buenos Aires’ upscale authentic Japanese and Japanese-Peruvian restaurants serve up some of the most melt-in-mouth sushi in the country.
7 – Vancouver, Canada
When it comes to western-style sushi, many will argue that the movement ultimately started in Vancouver.
Vancouver was one of the first cities to introduce sushi to the west. The exotic style, paired with the freshness of Pacific ocean seafood, meant sushi’s popularity went through the roof.
Today, sushi restaurants are just as prolific as coffee shops which, in Vancouver, is saying something.
Naturally, western-influenced sushi is easy to find. However, there are plenty of authentic Japanese styles restaurants too, if you’re willing to go a little more off the beaten track.
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8 – Seattle, US
Like Vancouver, Seattle was one of the first American cities to experience, then truly embrace, sushi.
And while Seattle may not have introduced the likes of the Californian roll to Americans, it certainly played its part in introducing and westernizing sushi for a whole new audience.
Seattle is full of high-quality Japanese restaurants. Accompanied by authentic and all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants, there’s sushi for all tastes throughout the city.
9 – Porto, Portugal
Porto’s shores and ports are lapped by the waters of the North Atlantic, making it a prime spot for devoted seafood lovers.
Once sushi arrived on Portuguese shores, it slowly and steadily grew in popularity.
Today, Porto is home to a wide range of both high-end and grab-and-go sushi restaurants, serving the freshest catches from Portuguese fishermen.
Best Places To Eat Sushi Summary
Sushi opens your mind and palette to a trove of new flavors and textures, and it is undoubtedly the must-try food when in Japan.
But if you’re hooked on sushi, we thankfully today live in a world where quality and delicious sushi can be found in many cities and regions, worldwide.
Whether you’re seeking authentic, western-style, or willing to try new and exciting fusions, these nine destinations are perfect for a foodie-themed break or vacation, with this classic, sumptuous seafood dish the star of the show.
If your next getaway takes you to one of these wonderful cities, be sure to enjoy the culture, the nature, the nightlife, but above all: the sushi!
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Author: Dale Johnson is a content writer, designer, and strategist, who has traveled to 30 countries and counting. He has tried sushi in a number of countries, including Portugal, South Korea, and Peru.
Images licensed via Shutterstock