Each day, sushi boats careen across Queen City tables carrying brightly colored cargo in the form of rolls and freshly sliced sashimi. Yes, we’re lucky — from massive burgers topped with sushi to New Zealand-inspired rolls, Charlotte has mastered its quirkily delicious sushi game. With a bevy of quality establishments to choose from, we selected six extra-worthy local sushi spots from the community.

6 Charlotte Sushi Spots to Check Out

New Zealand Cafe

1717 N. Sardis Road, Ste. 6A • (704) 708-9888
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Sure, at first thought, the country of New Zealand doesn’t exactly elicit Jiro Dreams of Sushi, but at New Zealand Cafe, prepare to have your cultural opinions redefined. The owners of this small, affordably priced spot have taken it upon themselves to educate the Charlotte community on New Zealand’s wide range of Asian-inspired culinary offerings. Their creative sushi menu has more than 30 options, ranging from traditional maki to eclectic specialty rolls. Check out their wasabi salmon roll with spicy albacore, crab and a heavy dose of wasabi. In addition to sushi, take a look at the grill menu featuring Queenstown Crispy Chicken and all sorts of seafood dishes.

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

4310 Sharon Road • (704) 365-1922
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar doesn’t believe in choosing between sushi and burgers for a night out. And thank goodness for that, because we don’t, either. Trendy, bright and conveniently located just a stone’s throw from SouthPark Mall, Cowfish doesn’t sacrifice one specialty for the other. Their burger-sushi combos, aptly named burgushi, are outrageous in both name and construction. For instance, take The 4-S Sear-iously Sensational Sushi Sandwich, a seared Koji-marinated tuna and yellowtail sandwich boasting Asian slaw, red peppers, daikon sprouts and cucumber — all served on grilled spring roll wrapper “buns” filled with kani and sushi rice. Now, that’s what we call a burgushi!


Cowfish Burger Bar

The Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love Burger | Image: Poprock Photography

Upstream Seafood

6902 Phillips Place • (704) 556-7730
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

For upscale sushi and more oceanic offerings, swim over to Upstream Seafood at Phillips Place. With a sleek, modern ambience, Upstream’s menu, helmed by Executive Chef Scott Wallen, showcases an expansive array of Pacific Rim cuisine. This season, you’ll find North Carolina mahi-mahi, served with Asian pears and a duck confit risotto, on the dinner menu and a long list of show-stopping rolls on the sushi menu. Round out your dining experience by selecting an exceptional pour from Upstream’s Dirona-designated and award-winning wine list.

Soul Gastrolounge

1500-B Central Ave. • (704) 348-1848
Hours: Open daily, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

What do you call a place that masters cocktails, cuisine and vibe? A gastrolounge. Staying true to its namesake, Soul Gastrolounge serves up innovative sushi and bar fare alongside an original list of outstanding cocktails — all in a totally cool setting. The nigiri and sashimi are fantastic and with rolls like Sushi Fondue, made up of spicy tuna, avocado, kani stick and capelin roe with creamy aioli and crispy tempura flakes, it’s no wonder this small pub gets packed fast.


Ballantyne Village, Level 2, Ste. F250 • (704) 369-5088
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

When in the Ballantyne area, head for Jade to get a satisfying sushi fix. Experienced restaurateur John Chen heads things up and routinely wows customers with fun sushi specials (Candy Crush roll, anyone?) and Japanese-fusion entrees. Stop in on a Monday and enjoy half-price bottles of sake with your meal.

Pisces Sushi Bar

1100 E. Metropolitan Ave., Ste. 120 • (704) 334-0009
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.

An all-you-can-eat lunch menu filled with made-to-order sushi for just $10? Really, you are too good to us, Pisces Sushi Bar. Aside from their stellar weekday special, Pisces’ full dinner menu featuring Charlotte-themed rolls and the decadent 30-piece sushi Love Boat, is hard to beat. With two locations, the original on Metropolitan Avenue and another near Lake Norman, Pisces Sushi is more than deserving of its loyal Queen City following.

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