Top-quality sushi restaurants consistently serving up uber-fresh fare and creative rolls aren’t restricted to Atlanta’s city limits. Here’s the inside scoop on four sushi restaurants outside The Perimeter that are local gems worth checking out.
Diamond in the rough is the perfect way to describe Circle Sushi’s location, tucked away in an unassuming strip mall off Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. There’s not even a sign overhead, but you wouldn’t know it from the throngs of regulars and die-hard sushi lovers inside that come from near and far to eat at Circle Sushi.
Start with an order of the tuna carpaccio, thinly sliced fresh tuna and avocado served in a delicious marinade concocted with onion, garlic, oil and soy sauce that’s almost good enough to drink on its own. A bevy of rolls are available on the expansive menu (which also offers plenty of cooked options for sushi-phobes—and don’t miss the vegetable tempura for a crowd-pleasing appetizer). Choose from cooked varieties to standard rolls to special creations, including standouts like the Green Monster (spicy tuna and avocado with wasabi tobiko on the outside) and the Circle Box Roll (with a variety of raw fish on top of sticky rice).
8725 Roswell Rd., Atlanta, 770-998-7880.
Nosh on sushi rolls, small plates, noodle bowls, teriyaki and more at sleek and modern Sushi Nami in Alpharetta. The menu offers extensive options for sushi aficionados while the sushi-averse can peruse the section called “I Don’t Like Raw Stuff.” There are plenty of spicy rolls for those who like some heat in their sushi (try the Ikemen roll with yellowtail that gets a nice kick from jalapeno), as well as signature creations like the Big O roll topped with supremely fresh tuna. The Ahi Poki small plate is another favorite. Try to snag a seat at the sushi bar to watch the chefs do their magic.
5316 Windward Pkwy., Alpharetta, 678-566-3889, sushinami.com.
Located in the heart of historic Roswell, Zest offers a contemporary take on a sushi restaurant with a menu of creative tapas and rolls with unexpected flavor combinations. Kick off your meal with one of their martinis (the lychee is our go-to), and then sample one of the sushi specialty dishes, like the fiery yellowtail jalapeno dish (calling all Sriracha lovers). The specialty rolls shine, especially the namesake Zest roll, which envelopes a mix of snow crab, tuna, cream cheese and avocado in a crisp cucumber wrap, the citrus ponzu sauce sealing the deal. The Ashleigh roll is another standout, featuring a shrimp tempura roll topped with spicy tuna and a wasabi-cucumber sauce for a little extra heat.
957 Canton St., Roswell, 678-461-6788, zestoncantonstreet.com.
Offering a menu of izakaya-style cuisine (think of it as a Japanese-style gastropub fare), Sushi Mito is a hidden gem in Peachtree Corners, boasting an intimate interior and a large menu for both lunch and dinner. Come with a big appetite and order one of their “sushi sets,” which brings fresh nigiri and rolls. Or order the Chirashi Deluxe that presents five pieces of melt-in-your-mouth sashimi and egg on sushi rice. Bento boxes, paired with soup and salad, are also popular options. If you’re in the mood for rolls, try one of the cooked delights, like the deep-fried unagi tempura roll topped with sweet eel sauce or the double shrimp roll. The Happy Roll—loaded with tuna, white fish, salmon and yellow tail—and the Crispy Spicy Tuna Roll, which has a nice crunch from fried tempura batter inside, are also fine choices. Don’t forget to try one of their shochu (a bit like vodka) cocktails.
6470 Spalding Drive, Norcross, 770-734-0398, sushimito.com.