Pensacola is proud of our seafood, and our sushi is no exception!
For one, it’s fresh. Even if we’re not catching it in the Gulf, we know how to find, treat and serve fresh, quality seafood.
Second, Pensacola is home to a huge, globetrotting, military population. They know good sushi. No sub-par rolls would last long against their knowledgeable, international palates.
Third, even though we know the sushi traditions, we're not afraid to mix it up. Pensacola's diverse cultural heritage makes us a true melting pot of culinary styles, and even our sushi isn't immune to our love of southern cooking. Be on the lookout for Cajun crawfish, fresh-caught Gulf fish and other local flavors, along with some local names like Blue Angel, Bayou, Five Flags, Santa Rosa, Graffiti Bridge and Third Coast rolls.
Here's where you'll find the freshest fish, the biggest rolls, fun atmosphere and non-sushi options.
1. Sake Café, Uptown Pensacola
Sake Café is one of Pensacola’s oldest sushi destinations and a local favorite, too, having collected the area’s “best of” award for sushi several years in a row and is highly rated on both Google and Facebook. The dining room is cozy and the perfect place to catch up with friends while sharing a selection of sushi rolls. For the avid sushi lover, pull up a seat at the sushi bar and watch the master at work. Owner and Chef Wayan Sumadi can often be found behind the bar designing many colorful sushi presentations. Ask him to create a surprise roll of his choosing for you. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. The Sake Café menu is rounded out with a wide selection of authentic Japanese sides and salads, they offer lunch and dinner specials too, and even feature hibachi. www.sakecafepensacola.com
If you want your sushi fresh, you can eat it at the fish market. You’ll walk by every iced-down catch of the day to get to Joe Patti’s small sushi counter at the back of the market. It’s just sushi—don't look for sides or salads. (Although they do have veggie-only roll options and other choices a few steps away at Amangiari's Deli & Specialty Food Market.) The sushi counter has a small, eat-in dining area. Pay at the main market checkout then return the receipt to the sushi counter to get your rolls rolling. Feeling ambitious? Joe Patti’s also has all the supplies you need to roll your own sushi at home. www.joepattis.com
Jellyfish opened its doors as a martini and sushi bar as the Gulf Coast was recovering from Hurricane Ivan in 2004. With its beach vibe, great views and stellar sushi menu, it quickly became a favorite of both locals and Perdido Key vacationers. Jellyfish's sushi is known as much for its incredibly beautiful presentation as its flavors and Gulf-caught, fresh ingredients. Located just 20 minutes from Pensacola, the restaurant has grown to include a full menu including fresh cooked seafood, steaks, sandwiches and more. www.thejellyfishbar.com
Nom Sushi Izakaya is one of the newest additions to the downtown dining scene. They offer traditional sushi and a menu of new twists on the roll with ingredients like toasted quinoa, sweet potato hay and lemon aioli. They are also known for their unique “izakaya" (small plates, like tapas), and their ramen with fresh noodles made in-house. Located on Palafox Street, it's perfect for an intimate dinner or lunchtime people-watching. www.nomsushi.com
With beautiful views of Pensacola Bay and plenty of outdoor seating, Atlas is a perfect sushi date night. Big rolls stuffed with traditional and nouveau ingredients make it a good venue for ordering a little of everything and trading pieces around the table. (And if you’re looking for a fusion appetizer, the fried St. Augustine spring rolls are stuffed with alligator tail meat.) If you're looking for a bargain, on Tuesday evening's they offer half-priced sushi! www.atlasoysterhouse.com
Of course, if you're into raw seafood the Pensacola area also has many options for a giant, icy tray of freshly shucked oysters too. But that’s a whole other topic…
Left a sushi favorite off this list? Comment below and let us know you’re favorite spot!