Hmart is a Pan-Asian supermarket store chain located in 11 states. We're lucky to have a location in one of Baltimore's suburbs! Things for many exotic cuisines can be sourced there, including Latino ingredients perfect for Filipino fare. They also have a tremendous selection of fresh fish, including live seafood.
But unlike most supermarkets, they have a made to order restaurant inside! Hmart's abundance of seafood can be seen in their "food court" restaurant, which has a selection of sushi. This is fish-featured sushi: cream cheese surrounded by rice doesn't reign here.
The atmosphere is as casual as can be.
Recommended for Sushi because: Where else can you park your grocery cart while you grab some sushi?
Tamar's expert tip: The few tables fill up quickly, so if you see an open one, grab it!
There are a number of exciting dining choices now on Hampden's "Avenue", but sometimes, you just feel like sushi! If you're lucky while dining in at Asian Taste, you'll be served by the restaurant's darling – and hard-working! – son.
But where the restaurant really stands out: they deliver! Their delivery staff hustles orders to your door quickly and in all weather. You can even pay ahead of time with your credit card, adding the tip to the total when your sushi arrives.
The sushi menu – they also have Chinese and Thai specialties – isn't the most exotic, but you'll be able to fulfill your craving. They have a basic selection of sashimi, all the classic rolls, as well as tempura and vegetarian options.
Recommended for Sushi because: The ultimate luxury is being able to eat dinner in your bathrobe. Even if you don't feel like going out, you can still get sushi!
Tamar's expert tip: At certain price points ($25, etc.), they throw in a free item, increasing in value with what you've spent. But you have to ask for it! The offer's on their paper menu, but you can just ask while ordering what you might be able to get for free.
If you want "authentic", rotating sushi bars are all the rage in Japan! It totally makes sense in a busy city like Tokyo for people who love sushi, but don't want to make a leisurely foodie study out of it, staring at sushi chefs creating rolls for all the other patrons. Similarly, when you have just a short lunch break from work, a rotating sushi bar is perfect.
Towson – Baltimore County's seat and home to two colleges – has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years, Little clapboard houses have been razed to make room for major apartment complexes and business developing. You certainly don't want to be behind a huge line when it's time for lunch!
Recommended for Sushi because: There's a young energy at this place. For you single people, lunchtime might be a great time to meet a young, successful professional!
Tamar's expert tip: It's cheap – or can be – at $2.95 to $5.95 a dish.
Though they have a couple of other locations in the collar counties, Yama Sushi's Baltimore restaurant has an unassuming storefront in a Hampden/Hoes Heights strip mall. But once you step inside, a Japanese ambiance wins you over. Private booths, servers in traditional costume and other touches elevate the restaurant that's very popular with nearby Loyola and Hopkins personnel, as well as the local neighborhood.
Did you ever envy the Claire Standish/Molly Ringwald character in The Breakfast Club, with her little bento box filled with sushi? No need to any more! Yama has a terrific lunch deal for $7.95: you get your choice of two from about 20 different sushi rolls, 10 different sushi or sashimi pieces and about 10 cooked Japanese specialties, plus soup and salad.
Recommended for Sushi because: They have nice quality fresh fish with interesting daily specials, including the occasional live scallop! They're open for carry-out until 10 pm most nights.
Tamar's expert tip: Yama Sushi serves lunch starting at 11 am, which is perfect if you have something else to be at noon.
Jimmy's has been family owned since 1974. Indeed, with their huge banquet halls, they've been the tasty destination for rehearsal dinners, wedding banquets and even final send-off gatherings for generations of Baltimore's families.
The quality is consistently tops across the menu – whether surf, turf or suds – and has remained so throughout the decades. Their recipes have that Old Bay flavor with a kick. Portions are very generous, drinks pack a punch. Their sushi has incorporated local flavors, like corn, crab and rockfish.
The second floor bar is cool looking, with gorgeous wood fixtures. It's a young, hip crowd on sushi nights. Having to go upstairs from the outside gives the place a speakeasy vibe. Classic rock adds to the party atmosphere and big screen televisions abound.
Recommended for Sushi because: The atmosphere in the upstairs bar on Wednesday nights is a completely fun party! The food is tasty and fresh, too.
Tamar's expert tip: Wednesday night is sushi night
Here's a sushi restaurant that's not afraid to break out of the same old, same old. Their special Sweetheart maki is wrapped in fresh tuna and made into a heart shape. Great for dates!
Their bento boxes are a fantastic deal, available in two sizes, with miso soup and a discount off of what each item would cost on its own. You can choose from several options to fill the box. The bigger size includes beautiful pieces of sashimi. Unlike at some restaurants, this special is available for lunch and dinner.
The quality of fish is excellent, as well as the little touches, such as metal chopsticks.
The restaurant has free WiFi.
Recommended for Sushi because: They incorporate lots of local ingredients into several of their maki rolls, like fried oysters and lump crab meat.
Tamar's expert tip: It's BYOB here.
For all of its hidden location behind a bus turnaround circle in Mt. Washington, Chiyo Sushi is wildly popular. It's pretty much the date night epicenter for the artsy, intellectual crowd in Baltimore and parts of Baltimore County.
There's a small sushi bar area and just a few tables downstairs. Tables are also at a premium upstairs on busy nights.
Servers are very good about describing the flavors of the different fish and the elaborate daily special rolls.
Chiyo serves up some of the most gorgeous sushi in the area. Special rolls utilize several colors and types of fish roe, exotic fruit and vegetables as part of the garnishes on their plates.
Recommended for Sushi because: Though it's an intimate, neighborhood place, the flavors are sophisticated.
Tamar's expert tip: They have lengthy lunch periods (11-3), but only Tuesday through Friday. The restaurant is closed on Monday.
Located in one of Mt. Vernon's elegant townhouses, Minato has a luxe atmosphere suitable for date night. There's sophisticated lighting, like that of cities much bigger than Baltimore. And yet, with its location in the arts district and lots of specials, Minato is quite popular during lunch, too.
Sashimi lovers will rejoice with the thick, fresh slices of fish that are sliced. Sit at the bar to see the magic happen, take a two-top in front for that see and be seen social aspect or head to the rear room for more privacy.
Monday - Friday, from 5 pm to 7, they have sushi specials, as well as cocktails crafted to go with these unusual flavors.
Recommended for Sushi because: With generous portions and a gorgeous setting, this restaurant is one of the city's winners.
Tamar's expert tip: At lunchtime, all of their special rolls are $7.50: even the really fancy ones!
This is a more sophisticated type of sushi restaurant that goes beyond the American favorite introductory types of fish like salmon, tuna and imitation crab meat, though they certainly have that – including several types of tuna – along with chicken and cooked fish rolls. Additionally, they have several kinds of vegetarian sushi rolls, to work with all kinds of dietary restrictions.
But for the more adventurous, you'll find mackerel, Maryland favorite lump crab meat, surf clam, quail egg, eel and even whole steamed lobster tail on the menu.
Sushi Hana has three locations in Baltimore County, all with free parking.
Recommended for Sushi because: The quality of this restaurant's fish is impeccable, which should encourage guests to try some more unusual offerings, including their daily specials.
Tamar's expert tip: The menu prominently states that there are no modifications or substitutions on their sushi rolls.
Tucked away in Baltimore's "Luxury Corridor" – Harbor East – is a sushi restaurant serving first class quality seafood. Azumi checks off several boxes: hot neighborhood, gorgeous water views, perfect date night or meeting spot, top notch sushi.
There's outdoor seating under a shady awning, including a coveted plush sofa, all next to the harbor. Inside, the restaurant is shaped in a semi-circle: the ends offer privacy and the center allows for social see and be seen.
Azumi is significantly pricier than other Baltimore sushi restaurants, but their selection is excellent. On the menu, you'll find 4 kinds of tuna, 2 kinds of salmon, several types of whitefish, 3 kinds of mackerel, live scallops and umi, the "fois gras of the ocean". For this reason, you may want to enjoy this quality as nigiri or sashimi; their roll selection is limited and more basic. So, let your fish be fish!
Recommended for Sushi because: Sashimi is the equivalent of a nude model: there's nothing to hide behind! Azumi is the place to order raw fish at its simplest.
Tamar's expert tip: Their happy hours – weekdays, from 4-7 – have great prices for special rolls and cocktails.