Haruko Japanese Fusion in Pembroke Pines.
Haruko Japanese Fusion in Pembroke Pines.
Photo by Nicole Danna

Ten Best Sushi Restaurants in Broward County

Just like fashion, food comes and goes in trends. What was once your risque, '90s, cheek-baring cut-off shorts is now your cultural norm. Just a couple of decades ago, the idea of consuming raw fish was a big no-no for most Americans; only the most adventurous eaters would consider stuffing a big slab of raw tuna down their gullets.

Obviously, that's no longer the case. The Japanese staple can be found all over the place.

But as common as sushi may be these days, not all rolls are created equal. We've all walked into — and then quickly out of — a few foul-smelling fish joints. To help you on your Japanese-style seafood adventures, we snacked and sampled our way through the region to find the freshest in the land. 

Here are ten of the best sushi restaurants in Broward County. Did we miss your favorite spot? Let us know in the comments section below.

(To find the best sushi in Broward, check out our list.)

Sasaya Japanese Market in Fort Lauderdale.
Sasaya Japanese Market in Fort Lauderdale.
Courtesy of Sasaya Japanese Market.

10. Sasaya Japanese Market
1956 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-761-8010, or visit sasayajapanese.com.
Set in the Gateway Shopping Center, this little market offers all sorts of Japanese and other Asian products: teas, candies, sake, ceremonial teapots, anime, whatever your little heart desires. But it's the hidden sushi bar that gets us going. Here, you'll find superb sushi for just a fragment of the usual cost. Hand rolls and basic rolls go for $3.50 each. Huge portions of spicy tuna rolls will set you back a meager five dollars. A giant volcano roll with scallop, crab, masago, tamago, scallions, and Japanese mayo on top of a California roll goes for less than $10 (in fact, the most expensive roll is $13). The market is open for eat-in — with two communal bartops — but most people do takeout, offered Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. 

Coco Asian Bistro in Fort Lauderdale.
Coco Asian Bistro in Fort Lauderdale.
Courtesy of Coco Asian Bistro.

9. Coco Asian Bistro
1841 Cordova Road, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-525-3541, or visit cocoasianbistro.com.
Good food is nice even without fancy digs, but things just seem to taste better when served in beautiful surroundings. Set in the always busy Harbor Shops, just a hop, skip, and jump from Port Everglades, this Asian spot offers a wide range of fare, from traditional Thai to fusion to sushi. While it's often not a good sign to have too many influences on a menu, it works here; the fare is flavorful and well-prepared. The raw fish tends to sway toward the Thai side with bold and interesting rolls. Mike's Roll combines tuna, spinach, avocado, asparagus, tempura flakes, cucumber, and kampyo rolled in sweet, black, sticky rice and sweet chili sauce. The Alaskan king crab roll subs the real deal for the imitation meat and mixes it with avocado and cucumber inside a soy paper wrap with masago; it's served with fresh fruits and crab meat salad. It might be a bit more expensive than your average sushi spot, but this place is high class. 

Haruko Japanese Fusion in Pembroke Pines.
Haruko Japanese Fusion in Pembroke Pines.
Photo by Nicole Danna

8. Haruko Japanese Fusion 
18283 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines. Call 754-703-4847, or visit harukomiami.com.
This Miami import is already making waves with its new location in Pembroke Pines, offering up a unique blend of Nikkei cuisine — a fusion of Japanese, Peruvian, and Korean cooking techniques — adapted to use South Florida ingredients. Aside from the usual tiraditos, ceviche, and causas, you can find over two dozen sushi rolls for every taste and type. Specialty rolls feature elements of many different cultures including the eponymous Haruko, a combination of goat cheese, crab salad, avocado, tempura flakes, shrimp tempura, and tuna topped with aji amarillo, eel sauce, and truffle oil. Salad rolls are wrapped in soy paper and spring mix salad, like the Veggie rolled with asparagus, cucumber, red onion, avocado, cherry tomato, and pesto. There are even quinoa rolls, a healthier take that wraps the superfood grain, instead of rice, in soy paper.

Beg for More in Fort Lauderdale.
Beg for More in Fort Lauderdale.
Photo by Candace West

7. Beg for More
2831 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-900-3082, or visit begformorefl.com.
Most South Florida Asian restaurants offer the same thing: sushi and some standard Thai dishes. The owners of Beg for More want to change that. Instead, their menu is an amalgamation of American, Thai, Japanese, and Chinese-tinged fare. There's still sushi, of course, and it's good, despite some off-color titles like "Taste Like My Ex-Girlfriend" that will evoke a double take (at the very least) — it's actually a reference to the roll's spicy ingredients, a combination of Thai and Japanese chili peppers may burn you. Then there's the "Fat Ass," a rice-less yet deep-fried roll with tempura salmon and lava cheese topped with crispy bacon. Of course, the most popular specialty roll is also the bar's signature sushi item: the Beg for More, a curious assortment of pear, asparagus, and avocado topped with crispy fried rock shrimp, chopped tuna, and truffle oil. 

Kevin's Sushi & Thai in Deerfield Beach.
Kevin's Sushi & Thai in Deerfield Beach.
Photo by Candace West

6. Kevin's Sushi & Thai
706 S. Federal Hwy., Deerfield Beach. Call 954-418-3939.
Looking for supersized sushi rolls for a good price? Look no further than Kevin's Sushi & Thai in Deerfield Beach. Here, you’ll dine in solace, with the chef’s full attention. If you desire the hum of a well-packed dinner crowd, go at night. Chef-owner Kevin Ongtua will be there, the counter seats at the sushi bar offering the perfect vantage point to watch as he prepares the restaurant’s most impressive menu items: enormous sushi rolls the size of sand dollars, most priced $10 to $12. More pricey rolls go for $16 to $18 thanks to more pricey ingredients like hamachi, conch, or tuna, but can be made in half-orders for nearly half the price. For this reason, Ongtua will make hundreds of rolls each day, using fish delivered to his restaurant six days a week. There’s a small section dedicated to “customers’ favorites” — homage to the loyal patrons who have supported him over the years. There are also the classic and standard gourmet rolls, each an uber-Americanized take that has gone the route of the McDonald’s supersize. The American Dream is just that: fat tempura-fried shrimp and thick cuts of eel fused together with cream cheese and avocado, topped with a splash of gooey-sweet eel sauce and sesame seeds that act as binder, helping to keep it all neatly bound as you configure a way to fit a single slice in your mouth without taking a bite.

Phat Boy Sushi in Fort Lauderdale.
Phat Boy Sushi in Fort Lauderdale.
Photo by Nicole Danna

5. Phat Boy Sushi
4391 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-533-4218.
This one-month-old restaurant is home to a pretty darn good sushi burrito, available as a lunch special daily, which makes it a top spot in our books any day. The well-composed menu by chef-owner Thuan Lam also encourages patrons to explore a variety of creative starters, soup, salad, and sushi. It opens with innovative appetizers like salty dried kawahagi (dried smelt fish jerky served with the house spicy mayo) or a savory black pork sausage that literally snaps when you bite into it (from the Japanese Kurobuta black pig). It continues with soups and noodles, salads, rice dishes, tempura, and stir fry. Grilled items include several larger-style sharing plates that feature short rib, whole squid, and sesame salmon or miso sea bass. Flip the menu over and an entire page is dedicated to sushi, sashimi, and specialty rolls ranging from the traditional spider roll to a surf & turf roll (tempura lobster, cucumber, and cilantro topped with seared rib-eye). And if you think the sushi burrito is worth a visit, save room for dessert. One of Lam's best dishes is his take on banana tempura: sliced ripe banana rolled in soy paper and deep-fried until the outer layer of sushi rice turns a crispy, golden brown and served with a creamy yuzu and green tea condensed-milk glaze.

Sushi One Take-Out in Fort Lauderdale.
Sushi One Take-Out in Fort Lauderdale.
Photo courtesy of Sushi One Take Out

4. Sushi One Take-Out
23 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-761-9009, or visit sushi-one.com
While we're fans of ambiance, it isn't everything. This place serves as evidence. With a no-frills atmosphere, it's still one of Fort Lauderdale's most popular sushi joints. For more than a decade, the spot has garnered a following for its fresh fish, low price points and convenient downtown Fort Lauderdale locale (it's on the corner of Broward and Federal Highway). No wonder it's won several awards and accolades. Menu items include a wide range of cooked Japanese fare (udon noodles and beef teriyaki) to the much-loved raw seafood options. Although you can never go wrong with sushi for less than ten bucks, we suggest sticking with us. The New Times roll is a favorite: tuna, scallions, and tempura flakes topped with tuna, spicy mayo, and more scallions. It's piquant and refreshing — just like us.

Gaysha New World Sushi in Wilton Manors.
Gaysha New World Sushi in Wilton Manors.
Courtesy of Gaysha New World Sushi

3. Gaysha New World Sushi
2223 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors. Call 954-530-0153, or visit gayshasushi.com.
Takeshi Kamioka knows a little something about Japanese cuisine; his father was a sushi chef brought over from Japan to work at Benihana in the '70s who eventually opened his own shops, Japanese Steakhouse Village and Tokyo Sushi. After a childhood spent in the biz, Kamioka went on to spend time at Nobu in Miami. If that's not a legit background, we don't know what is. At his Wilton Manors eatery, he churns out a wide selection of nigiri, ranging from shrimp and local snapper to bluefin tuna; creative sushi specials like the Tonkotsu pork belly take (pictured here) topped with ramen choice jelly; and rotating chalkboard specials of ramen and other small plates. Best part: Everything on the menu is made with fresh and organic ingredients. And since you can't go wrong with anything at this place, we say take a walk on the wild side with the omakase or chef's choice. 

Marumi Sushi in Plantation.
Marumi Sushi in Plantation.
Photo by Nicole Danna

2. Marumi Sushi
8271 W. Sunrise Blvd., Plantation. Call 954-318-4455, or visit marumisushi.net.
It's safe to say most chefs know a thing or two about food. So the fact that Marumi gets packed nightly with cooks who've just finished their shifts at other Asian restaurants speaks volumes. Broward's late-night Japanese izakaya (a place for beer and small plates) is run by two veterans of South Florida's sushi scene, Teruhiko Iwasaki and Tetsu Hayakawa. The pair serves mind-boggling dishes for serious culinary freaks, like braised beef tongue, fried glass minnows, and crispy squid salad. But the real draw is always the fresh catch. It offers an unparalleled supply of locally and internationally sourced fish like yellow jack, skipjack, black grouper, and snapper rendered into sashimi or seared and sliced thick. For the adventurous eater, the uni roll is a favorite pick here, a stellar combination of creamy uni paired with the spicy, clean taste of Thai basil and crisp cucumber, both mellow enough to let the umami notes of the sea urchin shine. For those who need to indulge in Americanized rolls, creative options do exist — like tuna cilantro roll with tuna, garlic, and spicy sesame oil.

Sushi Rock Cafe in Fort Lauderdale.
Sushi Rock Cafe in Fort Lauderdale.
Courtesy of Sushi Rock Cafe.

1. Sushi Rock Cafe
1515 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-462-5541.
The key to great sushi is that it has to be fresh: You don't want to go to a place where the fish sits languishing in the fridge. Here, that's never the problem. The tiny Las Olas space is always packed, frequently racking up 45-minute waits. It's so popular that it once let actor Alec Baldwin leave rather than skip ahead of the hordes looking to get in on some sushi. Sucks for him; he lost out on the chance to sample a menu full of creative and interestingly named rolls. Items range from health-conscious to plain-out crazy, like the Slim Shady cucumber wrap (full of assorted vegetables served with ginger dressing) or the Strawberry Fields Forever roll (made with barbecued sweet eel, avocado, green apple, eel sauce, and roe, topped with fresh, ripe strawberries). It's worth braving the wait, but you can now skip the line with its second location just a ten-minute drive away.

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.

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