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Naples Sushi: From Traditional Sushi Bars to Asian Fusion and Italian Restaurants



Sushi hit Naples, Florida, big time at the turn of this century. The town’s inventory quickly grew from a handful to at least four times that today. Many non-Asian restaurants even began adding sushi bars to the premises. Still today, Cirella’s in Bonita Springs and Noodles Italian Café and Sushi in North Naples hand out sushi menus along with their Italian cuisine menus. Others expand beyond Japanese dishes to include Thai, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and even, as in the case of Komoon Sushi Thai & Ceviche, Peruvian influences.

AZN Azian Cuizine at Mercato in North Naples takes the fusion trend to its most modern, most gourmet extreme in a dramatic indoor and outdoor setting . This list includes all of these permutations of the sushi bar, plus some spots truly devoted to Japanese fare and nigiri, sushi, sashimi and maki rolls. From AZN’s stylized. low-light setting, they range to corner strip mall eateries with bright, minimalist design. Some add hibachi grills to the mix, others boast extensive menus and exotic cocktails. In other words, just because this list is only about sushi, expect to find great variety in what each of the 10 best restaurants offer for sushi non-lovers as well. 


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Fujiyama Steak & Seafood House
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


One of Naples' earliest and most persistent Japanese restaurants, Fujiyama earns its loyal following with its hibachi performance cuisine, Club Sushi menu and exotic drinks. You can order a number of artistically prepared nigiri by the piece, such as asparagus, yellow fin tuna, squid, escolar or flying fish roe. Sashimi comes three pieces to an order. Or you can order combination platters of either or both with soup and salad included. Its long list of rolls include Beauty & the Beast – half tuna, half eel. Besides steak, hibachi chefs prepare shrimp, salmon, scallops and calamari with vegetables. The menu also offers traditional appetizers and kitchen dishes such as chicken teriyaki.

Recommended for Sushi because: The restaurant's Club Sushi is a longtime favorite for Naples' sushi lovers.

Chelle's expert tip: Bring the kids – they love the show that the hibachi chefs put on.

Read more about Fujiyama Steak & Seafood House →


Fuji Sushi Bar and Asian Bistro


Thai born Chef Jon Augsondthung has created a bistro atmosphere where the sushi is fresh and beautiful, and the rest of the menu travels Asia. Aside from the sushi, nigiri, sashimi and maki rolls, many of the hot dishes reflect Chef's Thai background: Thai basil, Thai red or Massaman curry and volcano sauce dishes. From China, there is sesame chicken, kung pao chicken, Mongolian beef and pepper steak. Pad thai, fried rice and rice and noodle bowls complete the extensive dinner menu. At lunch, bento boxes allow you to pick one appetizer, roll and entrée. For an adventurous main course, try the Hamachi-pino roll, an artfully crafted treat featuring fresh yellowtail and spicy sliced jalapenos.

Recommended for Sushi because: Sushi is a main focus in this modern pan-Asian bistro well-loved by locals and visitors.

Chelle's expert tip: During happy hour, Monday through Saturday 3 to 6 p.m., you can order two rolls from the happy hour menu for only $13.

Read more about Fuji Sushi Bar and Asian Bistro →


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Sushi One
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


Sleek and Japanese minimalist in design, Sushi One is a favored spot for local sushi enthusiasts who know what's freshest and most flavorful. It also serves a select menu of luncheon bento boxes and dinner time specialties such as grilled salmon teriyaki, plus starters like salmon miso soup, spicy dumpling, tuna tatiki and sushi tacos. But sushi, sashimi and lovely rolls of different sizes are Sushi One's main focus. The sushi bar dominates the bright dining room, which spills out onto the front sidewalk. Boasting 35 years of experience between them, Japan natives Norio and Seto opened Sushi One in 2009.

Recommended for Sushi because: The Japanese chefs at Sushi One are serious about sushi with a combined 35 years of experience from New York to Florida.

Chelle's expert tip: For those who don't like raw fish, Sushi One offers a number of cooked seafood rolls.

Read more about Sushi One →


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Komoon Sushi Thai & Ceviche
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


Japanese, Thai and Peruvian. It sounds like the beginning of a joke about three guys going into a bar. The only bar here, however, is a sushi bar featuring more than 60 varieties of sushi rolls. And this is no joke: Komoon Sushi Thai & Ceviche is dead serious about its well-traveled menu. From Japan, besides sushi, there's teriyaki, katsu, tempura and noodle dishes. Thai-lovers can choose from stir-fries, curries, fried rice, pad Thai, and more noodle dishes. Komoon's nod to Peruvian includes ceviche, saltado stir fries, grilled meats and chicken, and fried seafood. Desserts too run the gamut from Thai donuts and green tea mochi ice cream to Peruvian flan. Enjoy Komoon's world travels at its Bonita Springs or Naples location.

Recommended for Sushi because: Komoon Sushi Thai & Ceviche offers a wonderful, varied menu of raw and cooked sushi rolls and raw sushi and sashimi.

Chelle's expert tip: Komoon is not timid with its spicy heat. When you ask for "hot," you sweat.

Read more about Komoon Sushi Thai & Ceviche →


Noodles Italian Café and Sushi
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


Yes, you read that correctly: Italian and sushi under one roof. Noodles has gained a lofty, 20-plus years reputation with locals for its variety of global cuisine, its cordial indoor and outdoor spaces and a happy hour that draws them in. Where else can you find three such diverse signature items as Gorgonzola salad, chirashi (Japanese brown rice,served warm with an assorted selection of sashimi-style fish) and salmon Florentine. Both the lunch and dinner menus include paninis and personal pizzas, plus there are gluten free, happy hour and late night menus that mix it up Italian and Japanese style.

Recommended for Sushi because: More than 30 varieties of sushi rolls demonstrate the chefs' creativity and competency behind the sushi bar.

Chelle's expert tip: Save room for dessert: The tiramisu ranks among the best in town.

Read more about Noodles Italian Café and Sushi →


Cirella's
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


Is it crazy or crazy clever: an Italian bistro and sushi bar in one? Considering Italian and Japanese cuisine couldn't be more different, it does seem kind of crazy. But also consider that here you have two of the world's most popular cuisines – Italian forever so, and sushi so trendy, emerging. It's not as though Cirella's tries to fuse the two cuisines. Quite the contrary, the sushi and Italian menus are kept entirely separate. The dining room, with its welcoming feel and Italian opera masks, wraps around a tidy sushi bar. It seems a bit out of place and one has to wonder how Cirella's can possibly pull both off successfully. It does.

Recommended for Sushi because: Choose from nearly 40 raw and cooked rolls plus sushi and sashimi.

Chelle's expert tip: Pasta dishes, except for lasagna, come in two sizes.

Read more about Cirella's →


Charlie Chiang's
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


This is not your mamasan's dining experience: Chinese cuisine enters the new age at Charlie Chiang's. Your first clue? The sushi bar and new wavy feng-shui calming effect as you walk in the door. The most delighting clues? The select wine list, martinis, a choice of white or brown rice (even in your sushi rolls), lots of vegetarian selections, pan-Asian influences, and a "Revolution Diet" healthy menu section. In case the sushi didn't tip you off, Chiang's goes way beyond Chinese. There are Vietnamese summer rolls on the appetizer menu, Thai hot and sour soup, pad Thai and regional Chinese specialties such as Singapore or Taiwanese noodles, in addition to traditional chow mein, Peking duck, et al.

Recommended for Sushi because: Zagat rates Charlie Chiang's the best Chinese cuisine in Naples.

Chelle's expert tip: At lunch, the restaurant prepares eat-in bento boxes and carryout boxes.

Read more about Charlie Chiang's →


DaRuMa
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


One in a short, three-restaurant chain that reaches from Sarasota to Naples, it combines two of the most popular Japanese traditions – sushi and hibachi. The hibachi grills, where chefs prepare your meal live in an entertaining fashion - occupy their separate space from the sushi bar and main dining room. You can order all things from the extensive menu in all places in the restaurant (a limited sushi menu is offered in the hibachi rooms). For dessert, don't miss the créme brulée: the lemongrass notes are subtle, somewhat overpowered by the rum and burnt sugar flavors; the consistency, however, is lightly divine and creamy.

Recommended for Sushi because: DaRuMa offers a wide range of sushi, sashimi and rolls and combination dinners therof.

Chelle's expert tip: Fans typically rave more about the sushi here than the hibachi and traditional menus.

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AZN Azian Cuizine
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


In keeping with the spirit of fine food at Mercato center, AZN redefines our childhood notions of chow mein and fried rice to bring gourmet, pan-Asian fare in an impressive high-ceilinged dining room that spills out on the sidewalk around its swank bar. Indonesian chicken satay, Mongolian beef tacos, Vietnamese spring rolls, Hong Kong style lettuce wraps, sake mussels and Indian roti flatbread take their cues from the Far East. And that's just the appetizer menu. Dumplings, meat and poultry, seafood, rice and noodle dishes range from Korean beef short ribs to Japanese eggplant. Sushi plays an important role on an extensive menu where creative specialty rolls balance with traditional rolls, sashimi, nigiri and sushi.

Recommended for Sushi because: Sushi plays an important role on an extensive menu where specialty rolls balance with traditional rolls, sashimi, nigiri and sushi.

Chelle's expert tip: AZN has a nice selection of fine sakes – the kind you drink cold. (Inferior sake is typically drunk warm.)

Read more about AZN Azian Cuizine →


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Old Naples


With four locations in the Naples-Bonita Springs area, Sushi Thai is saturating the region with its well-loved mix of Asian flavors. Its downtown restaurant with its sidewalk seating gets a lot of traffic and fans. The menu is a veritable encyclopedia of all the favorites from Japan and Thailand. Besides an interesting and varied selection of sushi, sashimi and maki, Sushi Thai prepares teriyakis, rice and noodle bowls, stir-fried dishes, tempura, soup and gyoza with deft aplomb. From Thailand you can taste authentically executed favorites such as chicken in basil sauce, curries prepared to your personal heat index, fried rice, noodles, spring rolls and full-flavored soups.

Recommended for Sushi because: With sushi the first word it its name, Sushi Thai demonstrates a deep devotion to the art.

Chelle's expert tip: Try the green tea ice cream or Thai donuts for a sweet ending

Read more about Sushi Thai Too →


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Meet Chelle Koster Walton

Chelle Koster Walton – the Local Expert for Naples, Florida and the Caribbean – has been covering the destination for 30 years. Her top-selling Sarasota, Sanibel Island, and...  More About Chelle

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