kansas city best sushi
Blue Sushi

Kansas City is as landlocked as it gets, but that doesn’t mean the heartland doesn’t have great sushi. From quaint neighborhood spots to trendy downtown establishments, Kansas City’s sushi scene is as varied as it is exceptional.

Often overshadowed by other cuisines more suited to our regional ingredients, the sushi offerings in the heartland tends to be undiscovered by both locals and visitors alike. In this guide, us Kansas City sushi-loving locals share the best options for sushi in our hometown.

We know you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the high quality sushi these local options turn out.

You might just be fooled into thinking we’re steps from the ocean. Ok, probably not, but regardless, you’ll be impressed with the freshness of the raw fish that the heartland offers.

Kansas City also has great seafood restaurant options – but that’s a different guide that you can read next.

So, let’s get into it – below are Kansas City’s best sushi restaurants.

kansas city best sushi restaurant
Blue Sushi

Kansas City Sushi

These are top recommendations from locals!

1. Friends Sushi & Bento Place

Neighborhood: Midtown 39th Street
Pricing: $$

Friends Sushi & Bento Place, established in 2005, is a neighborhood sushi bar that has become a local favorite. Its somewhat inconspicuous location amidst a busy block lends it a charming, understated allure​​​​.

While the sushi options are a major draw, the menu also features a variety of bento boxes, ramen bowls, and other Japanese dishes.

The ambiance of Friends Sushi & Bento Place is welcoming and casual, centered around the sushi bar and the several expert chefs at work behind it. In addition to a focus on flavor, the dishes are beautifully plated.

We are consistently impressed by the quality of food, which is fresh and flavorful. The sushi offerings, including sashimi, maki, and specialty rolls, are varied and cater to both sushi enthusiasts and those less inclined towards raw fish.

They are known to have staff that are welcoming and attentive – visits are always pleasant! Parking is a bit difficult in this neighborhood. Be patient – you’ll find street parking, but it may be several blocks away. It’s worth the walk.

Menu highlights include bento boxes, vegetarian sushi options, nigiri, seafood udon soup, and shrimp shu mai.

2. Blue Sushi Sake Grill

Neighborhood: Downtown Power & Light
Pricing: $$$

Blue Sushi Sake Grill sets itself apart with its modern, edgy interior and a menu that’s an intriguing fusion of traditional and inventive. The ambiance here is lively and contemporary, with a décor that’s vibrant and hip – think bold colors and stylish lighting.

We believe in supporting local small businesses as much as possible, and when we venture out on the town, we make a point to choose local. Blue Sushi is our only exception to that.

Between the trendy ambiance, wide array of specialty rolls, and incredible happy hour specials, it’s hard to not acknowledge that it’s damn good sushi. And although it is technically not local, there are only twenty locations across the nation, two of which are in Kansas City.

Their menu is a mix of classic sushi and sashimi options alongside more creative rolls that are a testament to their culinary innovation. But it’s not just about sushi here. They have a variety of Japanese dishes that cater to those who might be less inclined towards raw fish.

Their Conscious Earth initiative emphasizes their commitment to positively impacting the oceans and the planet. This involves making informed decisions about sourcing seafood and meats, with a focus on sustainability and respect for Earth’s ecosystems​​.

And, of course, the sake. The sake selection is thoughtfully curated, offering something for everyone from sake novices to connoisseurs.

Menu highlights include blistered shishito peppers, inventive sushi rolls, vegan sushi options, and crispy brussels sprouts.

kansas city best sushi restaurant
Blue Sushi

3. Kata Nori Hand Roll Bar

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Pricing: $$$

As one of Kansas City’s new restaurants, Kata Nori Hand Roll Bar is set to redefine the sushi dining experience with its focus on the chef-driven artistry of sushi hand rolls and crudos. This establishment is the city’s first to concentrate solely on the craft of temaki sushi, offering a fresh and distinctive culinary venture.

kata nori sushi restaurant in kansas city is a new restaurant
Kata Nori

The design of Kata Nori Hand Roll Bar is sleek and modern. It features an intimate wrap-around counter seating arrangement, which limits the number of patrons, making it feel like an exclusive experience.

This layout not only fosters a social atmosphere but also allows diners to witness the skillful preparation of each roll by the sushi chefs.

There’s a lounge area for waiting guests, adding to the bar’s social environment. Along the walls are painted murals of the Kansas City skyline with Japanese accents, such as cherry blossom trees, added in.

kata nori sushi restaurant in kansas city is a new restaurant
Kata Nori

Kata Nori stands out in its approach to sushi. Unlike the typical maki rolls served in bite-sized pieces, Kata Nori specializes in temaki – hand-rolled cones of seaweed filled with sushi rice, and a variety of raw and cooked fish, seafood, and fresh vegetables.

These rolls are meant to be eaten by hand, offering an immersive dining experience.

kata nori sushi restaurant in kansas city is a new restaurant
Kata Nori

You’re encouraged to eat the hand rolls as soon as they are individually delivered to you, resulting in a fresh bite with crisp, crunchy nori. You can order them a la carte, or opt for the three, four, or five roll set, which lowers the price of each handroll.

In addition to the sushi menu and a few small plates, Kata Nori boasts a full bar program, including unique cold sake selections.

Menu highlights include hamachi crudo, wagyu hand roll, and furikake rice.

4. Prime Sushi on Main

Neighborhood: South Plaza
Pricing: $$

Prime Sushi is a sleek, modern sushi bar, resulting in a space that is both welcoming and contemporary.

In addition to sushi, the menu features a range of bento boxes with options like chicken teriyaki or tonkatsu pork. For those seeking warm dishes, the ramen, bulgogi, and bibimbap bowls offer hearty and flavorful alternatives.

With over twenty-six different maki rolls and two dozen raw, baked, or tempura rolls, the menu at Prime Sushi is extensive and varied, ensuring that there is something for everyone.

The bar is a central feature of the restaurant, offering a selection of crafted cocktails that perfectly complement the sushi experience. One standout drink is the “Japan with Fashion,” a unique take on the traditional Horsefeather cocktail, made with bourbon, spicy ginger, bitters, Amaro Meletti, and an orange-peel garnish.

Menu highlights include bi bim bap, spicy ramen, creative sushi rolls, and crab cakes.

5. Kabuki Sushi

Neighborhood: Brookside
Pricing: $$

Kabuki Sushi in Kansas City, is an unassuming neighborhood sushi bar. This discreet location adds to its charm, making it a quaint spot for those in the know.

Established in 1985 in a former location, this family-run sushi restaurant is one of the oldest in Kansas City, bringing a legacy of culinary expertise and traditional sushi-making to the table​​​​​​.

Kabuki Sushi has garnered praise for its impeccable sushi, particularly noted for the freshness of its nigiri. The ambiance focuses on simplicity and comfort, allowing the sushi bar and expert Japanese-trained sushi chefs to take center stage​​​​​​.

The omakase dining option is highly recommended at Kabuki Sushi. Omakase, which translates to “I’ll leave it to you,” offers diners a unique experience where the chef decides the menu, often leading to creative dishes not found on the standard menu.

This approach not only showcases the chef’s culinary talents but also provides a custom dining experience that changes with each visit​​.

While the ambiance is understated, the quality and presentation of the food makes this a standout option.

Menu highlights include omakase, fatty tuna nigiri, gyoza, and red bean ice cream.

best kansas city sushi

That’s A Roll (Er, Wrap)!

These culinary gems collectively dispel the myth that great sushi is exclusive to coastal cities. Each restaurant not only impresses with the freshness and quality of its offerings but also tells a story of passion, innovation, and culinary excellence.

We hope you find a favorite amongst these best Kansas City sushi restaurants!