Raw Power in Orlando: Sublime Sushi Options to Suit Any Occasion

Sushi is often as artful as it is appetizing and in Orlando there are no shortage of options. Not surprisingly, some of the city's best venues come in the form of restaurants that hide in plain sight, tucked into some or other shopping center awaiting discovery. Some are exceedingly local, as frequented by take-out customers as dine-in, others are superb for date night – whether casual or fancy. Topping our list: Seito Baldwin Park, where Chef Austin Boyd and his crew are churning out colorful, flavorful, succulent bites, along with a host of sushi alternatives for the folks who like their Japanese (and "new Japanese" to kiss a hot pan or two before heading to the plate. Not far from here, Kabooki sits in one of those aforementioned strip malls, though the cosmopolitan atmosphere you'll find inside is world's away. Other such gems, some more upscale than others, include East Orlando's Fujiyama, Winter Park's Kiko and – for food truck aficionados – Sushi Seoul on the Roll. The tony Dr. Phillips neighborhood contributes here, as well, with well-known favorite Dragonfly Robata Grill (bring your boss, your date, your grandmother) and truly "hidden" gem Nagoya, an alley-ensconced hideaway you'll be happy to find. 

Doctor Phillips

Tucked into an easily missed hideaway, Nagoya is a long-standing gem of Restaurant Row (there is a second location in the East Orlando town of Winter Springs, fyi), This eatery sits alongside pricey heavy-hitters like Christini's with Japanese...  Read More

You'll find these mobile sushi artisans around town at various regular truck events, along with staple watering holes including the Thirsty Topher, Will's Pub, Redlight Redlight, and BART, along with events like Tasty Tuesdays in the Milk...  Read More

Sensual. Spiritual. Savory: three words that express the emotional enlightenment Dragonfly Robata Grill tries to evoke with its service and cuisine. Dragonfly's interpretation of Japanese pub culture is taken quite seriously, making for quite...  Read More

East Orlando

Not far from the bustle of UCF, Fujiyama does brisk business. An impressive selection of traditional and specialty rolls whizz past full tables, prompting diners to question whether they should have ordered differently. No worries, though, with...  Read More

An inarguable favorite among locals – in particular before or after a movie at the nearby AMC Altamonte Mall 18 – most would stress that Hana offers good value and myriad flavors in modest digs. It's small and simple, great for a date or...  Read More

A sleek and intimate interior belies a nondescript exterior on busy Colonial Drive near the Fashion Square Mall. It's an Orlando favorite for sushi and Asian fusion, with artful and generous presentation and a soothing, cosmopolitan vibe....  Read More

Though portions at this Japanese fusion venue are billed as "tapas-style," they are generous, which makes sharing not only fun, but more filling than often expected. While seafood, sashiimi and sushi lovers are certain to love Umi's super fresh...  Read More

East Orlando

Native Orlandoans remember a time when Oviedo was nothing but native woodlands and sprawling farms – celery, horses, you name it. These days it's a growing suburb with many, many residents, all of whom need a place to get their chow on. As...  Read More

South Orlando

Tempura and ramen and rolls, oh my! Yes, Sushi Tomi has been doing all of these – not to mention a host of other Japanese favorites – up right for quite a few years now. Aficionados enjoy this restaurant's beautifully crafted sushi and...  Read More

If you're one who attaches importance to cooking competitions, take note: it was Seito Baldwin Park's top man, Chef Austin Boyd, who took home the belt at the first-ever Ramen Rumble here in Orlando. Okay, there was no actual belt, but if there...  Read More


Meet A.D. Thompson

A.D. Thompson has spent more than 20 years as a professional writer and roughly 15 as a Floridian. The words, she has found, come easier with bare feet and rum.

A roller coaster enthusiast,...  More About A.D.