From Sushi Rolls to Ramen Noodles: Best Japanese Restaurants in Denver
By Carri Wilbanks
Denver Local Expert
Sometimes, the urge to have Japanese food strikes, and nothing satisfies until you get it. When that happens, count on 10Best to point you in the direction of Denver's best Japanese restaurants. We understand the desire to have a great meal, and we work hard to bring you the top places to eat in Denver. We vet restaurants carefully for quality. When you set out to experience Japenese resteaurants in Denver, you're looking for culinary culture, but mostly you're searching for a great meal, Japanese style.
Whether you lean toward the sushi, sashmi, tempura, or the noodles, we want you to know that when we recommend popular eateries like Sushi Den or tell you that Sushi Uokura gets good reader feedback, you can believe it. We want to direct you to neighborhood favorites like Taki Sushi in Wash Park, Namiko's Sushi bar and Japanese Restaurant in Arvada; or Halu Sushi, an affordable option in Golden. We also add local expert tips, so you know where to find the best sushi happy hour; the most sushi rolls; and the best ramen noodles.
Because after all, when that Japanese craving strikes, you want your sushi now. We'll make sure you get - and eat - what's best.
Tokio, the alternative spelling for Tokyo, is the passion and concept of chef and owner Miki Hashimoto. His aim was to bring authentic ramen to Denver. If you're thinking those over-salted packets you mixed with water as a poor college student, rethink now. What's offered at Tokyo is not even remotely similar. The menu also features sushi, sashimi, yakitori and other traditional Japanese favorites. Small plates include pot stickers, steamed dumplings and bacon wrapped avocado.When it comes to dessert try the Green Tea Tiramisu, Crème Brulee or Ginger Ice Cream. The atmosphere is designed to reflect a typical structure of a Japanese house complete with Japanese oak tables. Upstairs find a loft area with a private sake bar. (720.639.2911)
Blue Sushi Sake Grill
Blue Sushi Sake Grill isn't just about fresh sushi but also an electric atmosphere. Inside, find a spot reminiscent of a classy club atmosphere but with sake specialties instead of spirits. The sushi includes all types of traditional roles but also catches a lot of customers with speciality nigri rolls like the Cherry Bomb which is served with tuna, Serrano, rice tempura and a spicy sauce. There are also rolls made with gluten free ingredients including nigri, sashimi, maki soups and salads. You will also want to check out the sake menu which includes both warm and hot options. Check out happy hour from for $5 maki and discounted apps and martinis.
Halu Sushi & Asian Bistro
Halu Sushi & Asian Bistro is a cozy family owned sushi and Asian/Chinese restaurant, located on Old Golden Road in a former fast food restaurant (Wendy's). The sushi menu is extensive,fresh, tasty and affordable with sushi rolls starting at just $4.95 to $10.95. The owner Marvin accomplishes a lot with the hodgepodge space. Entrance opens to the sushi bar, and then to left are tables for seating, including a sunken bottom area (courtesy of former building design).The menu consists of typical , shareable Chinese dishes ($8.95-$14.95), from Happy Family to Kung Pao and Mongolian Chicken -- all very tasty and the usual more-than-you-can-eat in one sitting Chinese meal. (303-279-5231)
If you live in Wash Park, you already know about Taki Sushi. Japanese Fusion Cuisine at its finest, packaged in a little joint. Don't let its small exterior fool you. Taki Sushi seriously serves some of the best and freshest sushi in town, but the ultimate is the always impeccable service. If you're searching for quality food in a relaxed, nonpretentious atmosphere, you've come to the right place. Taki Sushi fills the bill for this neighborhood Japanese joint, with a combination of sushi,rolls, handrolls, and their tantalizing Japanese fusion style rolls. Non-sushi restaurant goers can also order from their cooked menu of fish, chicken and beef. (303-282-0111)
This Japanese restaurant knows how to prepare sushi, and with over 100 options available, the menu offers plenty of choices with fish, seaweed, eel, or avocado on the outside; try whole fried rolls; or opt for a low-carb selection, made without rice. Some are expensive and adventurous, like the Roll in the Hay including salmon and smelt roe, quail egg and wiggly sea urchin. Some are more accessible, such as Funky Monkey Baby stuffed with avocado and soft shell crab. If sushi isn't your thing, Banzai offers fully cooked,tempting array of traditional dishes including fish, chicken or beef. The menu features a wide range of just about everything from tempura and teriyaki to katsu and hibachi offerings. Reservations accepted only for groups of four or more. (303-329-3366)
Tucked away from the hustle of Colorado Boulevard, Osaka Sushi is a real find for those who love authentic Japanese cuisine. Expertly prepared by veteran chefs, flavorful dishes come proudly presented by attentive servers. Try a Denver roll, delicately filled with yellowtail tuna, crab, cucumber, and radish sprouts, or sample a vegetarian dish of tofu and steamed vegetables. Always a hit are its Playboy Rolls, but don't forget to check out its fresh fish specials. Cooked options are available, and sushi happy hours offer tasty treats at reduced prices. A pleasant atmosphere, an enclosed patio, and small white lights dangling above set the dining scene. (303-698-9919)
Namiko's Sushi Bar & Japanese Restaurant
Family owned and operated, Namiko's is a popular Arvada sushi and Japanese Restaurant. If you're looking for fresh food, bigger portions, better prices, and great service, you'll find it here. Their tempura is made with premium soybean oil and always is served fresh and flaky! Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday (closed Mondays), Namiko's offers both sushi bar and Japanese menu items. Located in a strip mall, Namiko's offers plenty of parking, and although weekends are typically busy, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you'll be seated even when it's crowded, and the staff is always friendly and ever present. (303-420-3600, 303-423-6115)
Juxtaposing homespun charm and modern pizzazz, Sushi Uokura breaks out of the mold of typical sushi places. The restaurant is housed in a refurbished cottage and provides a comforting, if somewhat odd, backdrop to stellar sushi. Accept that it's not a fancy Japanese restaurant but revel in the reasonable pricing and laidback setting. Accept that they don't service alcohol. Instead focus on festing on their noodle dishes, sukiyaki, and even steak, but don't forget the sushi. Yellowfin tuna, red snapper, salmon, and Spanish mackerel are cut precisely and crafted into superb rolls that you'll come to crave again and again. Sushi Uokura has something for everyone, but the Golden and the Vegas Roll will keep you coming back. (303-278-8000)
To say the least, Domo Restaurant is enchanting. It steps outside your typical restaurant ambience beginning with the dining room reminiscent of a charming cottage with its tables made from stone and seats from tree stumps. The backyard is an urban oasis, almost as if you're dining in an exquisite display garden. No matter where you choose to dine, you'll enjoy Japanese country cooking, such as eggy tojimono, donburi bowls topped with fresh raw fish, and a fantastic list of noodles. Entrees are served with sides of pickled vegetables, yams and fermented soybeans. Only fresh ingredients, flown in from the northern countryside of Japan, are used to create the oversized portions at Domo. (303-595-3666)
Many credit Sushi Den's entry onto the dining scene with the popularity of sushi in Denver. No matter how you slice it, Sushi Den's wonderful, high-quality dishes are sure to please, and fresh fish is flown in daily -- a practice that makes for a slightly pricier, but more than worthy, menu. The modern decor encourages trendy crowds to visit over sake, sushi, and sashimi. Other notable dishes include teriyaki sesame chicken and roasted sea bass with wasabi-caper beurre blanc. Cooked dishes and tempura are equally appealing. For those wanting to bring the Japanese style cuisine to their home, consider taking their "SLICED! SUSHI MAKING CLASS." (303-777-0826)
About Carri Wilbanks
Carri Wilbanks (CatchCarri.com) is a Denver based freelance writer, producer and TV host for Xfinity Comcast who is always on the hunt for the next adventure. Whether climbing a volanco in Iceland, trying out new water sports like flyboarding or exploring local culture in South America, you never know where you will catch her next. When she's not living out of a suitcase, Carri can be found in Colorful Colorado keeping up with the local scene. Read more about her global adventures at catchcarri.com.
Read more about Carri Wilbanks here.