Atlanta is known for many things: hot weather, sports teams, musical history, the list goes on... Sushi does not often make this list. However, Atlanta’s sushi scene is not to be mis-underestimated. Despite its lack of recognition, the diverse variety of menus and atmospheres at each price point is enough to impress even the harshest of sushi critics. In my two years living in Atlanta, I’ve become embarrassingly familiar with several of these restaurants. Naturally, I’ve compiled my top picks in a list in my notes app. Finally, I’m here to share this--once confidential and highly valuable--information in the following article. Here are the best sushi restaurants in Atlanta:


UMI is likely Atlanta’s most renowned sushi restaurant-- and certainly the most upscale. While its posh atmosphere and high menu prices can be slightly intimidating as a college student, the food is undeniably good. For starters, the spicy tuna crispy rice and rock shrimp are must-purchases. In terms of sushi, standouts are the sake aioli nigiri, hurricane roll, and new page roll. While you might leave the restaurant with an empty wallet, you should not be disappointed. Keep in mind, however, that due to its popularity, UMI requires reservations. I recommend that you make a reservation online at least two weeks in advance. 


Brush is the most recent addition to the list. Brush’s trendy atmosphere and diverse and innovative menu earns it a top spot. In addition to sushi, Brush’s menu features a wide selection of ramen, bao, and other small plates. Amongst these are out-of-the box dishes, including the beyond bao and tomato soy milk -- both of which, I can attest, are delicious. After a delicious meal --accompanied by spray bottle soy sauce -- you can check out the surrounding area: downtown Decatur. Filled with boutiques, bars and restaurants, and excellent ice cream shops, the quaint town square makes for the ideal post-dinner stroll. 


O-Ku is the first sushi restaurant I visited in Atlanta and has remained in my regular rotation of restaurants since the first visit. Its nigiri, rolls, and appetizers (specifically the sake caviar and smokey hamachi nigiri, baja California roll, and rock shrimp tempura) stack up against UMI -- but without the extravagant price tag. O-Ku also features an expansive rooftop terrace with trendy seating and its own unique food and beverage menu. With delicious, reasonably priced sushi and views of downtown, O-Ku makes for a cool spot for dining with friends or a romantic date night. 

MF Sushi

MF sushi takes the number one spot as my favorite sushi restaurant in Atlanta. While its intimate interior and sleek Japanese decor creates a pleasant atmosphere that adds to the overall experience, the main event is certainly the sushi itself. I’ve never tried a bad dish at MF, but the signature sake nigiri and spicy yellowtail roll are must-orders. In addition to sushi, there is one non-sushi menu item that you simply cannot leave the restaurant without trying: the baked scallops. A staple amongst my close friends and family, these scallops are indescribably good. If for no other reason, go to MF sushi for this dish. 

Despite its lack of recognition, Atlanta’s sushi scene is quite impressive. Specifically, these four aforementioned restaurants' menus and atmospheres make them worth the visit -- and revisit (and possibly many more revisits thereafter).