In my experience, Portland is a sushi town. We have lots of choices, but the winning choices always seem to come down to a favorite few. Those not mentioned here received few votes. This year, Bamboo Sushi once again sweeps away the competition. However, there is a wrinkle. This year Hokusei Sushi, a newcomer to the scene, tied with long-time favorite Murata for second place. I’ve never heard of it, but obviously I need to check it out. Finally, where is Mio Sushi? I won’t eat there, but lots of people voted for it in the past. Now, with seven branches, it doesn’t get enough votes to be statistically significant. Hmm.
2012: Bamboo Sushi 43%, Murata 7.5%, Yoko’s Masu 7%, Saburo’s 4.8%, Mio Sushi 3.8%, Boxer 3.6%, Sinju 3%, Syun 2%, Mirakutei 1.4%
2011: Bamboo Sushi 27%, Murata 9%
Out of 848 votes:
1. Bamboo Sushi – 41%.
- 310 S.E. 28th Ave., Portland, 97214. Map (503) 232-5255
- 836 NW 23rd Ave., Portland 97210. Map (503) 239-1925
2. Hokusei Sushi – 7% 4246 SE Belmont St., Portland 97215 Map (971) 279-2161
3. Murata – 7%. 200 Southwest Market St # P105 Portland, OR 97201 Map (503) 227-0080
4. Masu – 6.8%. 406 sw 13th Ave., Portland 97205 Map (503) 221-6278
5. Saburo’s – 5%. 1667 Southeast Bybee Boulevard Portland, OR 97202 (503) 236-4237 Map
My favorites? Bamboo and Murata.
bruce bauer says
You should check out Hokusei, FD. We think they’re doing the best sushi in town. Not as many frills as Bamboo (which we also like), but the very best fish and beautiful plating.
Saburo is fifth? That damages my faith & trust in a chunk of the voters. Their food is truly gross. Quantity over quality to the max. Bad service. Long wait. Good times.
To me, looks like a three-way tie for second.
Yes to Hokusei!
The sushi is outstanding at Hokusei, but for the love of god, sit at the bar. Stunningly unknowledgeable, distracted and incompetent service abounds out in the tables. I’ve only been once, so my sample size is small, but I’ve heard the same complaints from many others.
Love Hokusei, and not surprised to see it on the list (and yes, go FD! – and agreed, sit at the sushi bar!)….but surprised that Boxer is not on the list. I think those are the top 2 in town.
where is chef hiro and mirakutei? i find this amazing.. he is practically the ‘jiro dreams..’ of portland.. a master! not a lot of options, but hwat he serves is amazing.
i’ve never been impressed by bamboo.. great menu, really supportive of the sustainable aspect, but the sushi has always been sub-par IMHO..
most of my issues with sushi in portland come down to the rice.. some places just don’t understand! at this point i will walk into a new place and ask to taste their rice before ordering anything.. i’ve been burned by plain steamed rice before :/
There aren’t enough authentic sushi places in Portland. In Japan, a place will just serve one thing: sushi, eel, tempura, or ramen. Portland gets it all wrong, they serve 89 different things in one restaurant and usually don’t get it right. At Masu, I have had inedible cuts of fish with gristle and even bone.
That said, I have had good sushi at Bamboo (my Japanese friends say the fish quality is good, if not authentically prepared), Mirakutei, Sho, Kurata, and Maki (the latter two are in Lake Oswego and Tigard). Also, Sushi PDX food cart on Belmont no longer serves salmon roe, but they make a nice eel avocado hand roll.
Control + F “yama” …
Nothing?! That seems wrong.
Bamboo is good, but the lack of Hamachi and Unagi are a deal killer for me. If I’m going out for sushi I have a hard time willingly omitting those 2 options.
@pdxyogi, I went to Saburo’s once and that was enough. I agree 100%.
I’d have to disagree with Nate – we’ve been to Hokusei more than a dozen times and we’ve always been incredibly impressed with the detailed knowledge of the staff. Always excellent descriptions of the differences between all of the fish on the extensive nigiri specials menu, and very good opinions of which sakes we might like when we tell them which we’ve enjoyed before, and lots of info on origins and brewing methods, etc. This is a very very good sushi bar, and deserves to be climbing this list quickly.
You’re right TIm – Bamboo’s rice is a dealbreaker for us, and the sustainability issues are very important to us – we wish we could love it.