If you live and breathe authentic sushi, Ask Genie can save you the trip to Japan with our guide to the best sushi eateries in your area.
From the omakase menu at Sushi Masaki Saito to the stand-up counter at Tachi, Toronto boasts some of the world's best and most expensive sushi restaurants.
Guide to the most expensive sushi in Toronto
In no particular order regarding the quality or price, the following restaurants are sure to leave your wallets lighter and your souls fed.
Yasu is Canada's first omakase sushi bar. Sushi Chef Yasu curates a daily menu based on the finest and freshest seafood available. Chef Yasu was born in Osaka, Japan, and started his culinary training at the early age of 17.
From washing dishes to owning an award-winning eponymous restaurant, Chef Yasu has all the skills and experience to give you an authentic taste of Japan.
For $175 per person, the omakase sushi course consists of 20 meals on average and includes everything from a sashimi plate and soup, to a selection of seasonal nigiri and dessert.
Sushi Masaki Saito
Your gastronomic pilgrimage to Japan can be shortened by visiting Sushi Masaki Saito instead of forking out the cash for airfare. Raised in Hokkaido and trained in Tokyo, Chef Masaki Saito entered the Canadian culinary scene with a background in marine biology, traditional edomae-style sushi, and is the recipient of two Michelin stars.
Chef Masaki Saito was awarded his first Michelin star in 2016 and the second in 2018 at New York's Sushi Ginza Onodera. After that, he moved to Toronto and launched his restaurant, Sushi Masaki Saito, to Canadian foodies.
The interior is complete with a 200-year-old Hinoki counter shipped from Japan and other handcrafted décor contributing to the traditional atmosphere. Prepare to be transported from the bustling streets of Yorkville to Edo-Tokyo.
Hopeful diners must make reservations for Sushi Masaki Saito months in advance, and the set menu has a hefty price tag. At a princely sum of $680 per person, you can expect an authentic Japanese aesthetic, extraordinary skill, the purest ingredients, fresh fish imported from Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market, and an overall life-changing experience.
This one-of-a-kind price is for one-of-a-kind sushi. Visiting Sushi Masaki Saito must be on any avid sushi addict's bucket list.
Kaiseki Yu-zen Hashimoto
The omakase experience seats you at the sushi bar and encourages interaction between the chef and diners. Omakase allows for creative improvisation and flexibility, while the kaiseki experience is more formal and fixed.
Kaiseki fine dining offers high-end, six-course lunch menus and eight-course dinners with handpicked seasonal ingredients and mouth-watering Japanese food. Within the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto is helmed by Chef Masaki Hashimoto.
This three-table, one-Michelin-star restaurant considers "Omotenashi" (to look after guests wholeheartedly) an utmost priority. With more than 30 years of experience in the kitchen, Chef Masaki Hashimoto prepares everything from start to finish to ensure each bite leaves you feeling satisfied.
Dinners are followed by a traditional tea experience in the tatami room to properly conclude the Omotenashi way. Excellent food presentation, season-inspired dishes, fresh fish and ingredients imported from Japan contribute to the unrivalled kaiseki experience.
Each day features a changed set menu with lunch priced at $250 and dinner priced at $350 (excluding drinks, tax and gratuity).
Expect the unexpected. Anything from miso soup to a sashimi lobster platter has the potential to make its way onto your plate.
Shoushin means "to show one's own ingenuity, crafted to perfection”. Everything from the wild-caught Japanese-sourced fish to the hinoki cypress wood carefully crafted into a sushi bar is evidence of the quality and care put into this sushi shrine.
Quality over quantity; simplicity over complexity. At Shoushin, Chef Jackie Lin brings Tokyo to Toronto with his minimalistic edo-style menu. Chef Jackie Lin offers diners their choice between two omakase menus.
The Obsession Perfection Omakase, the more expensive menu, is only available at the chef's discretion. He draws inspiration from your individual preferences and surprises you with innovations previously unknown to your taste buds. In exchange for your trust, Chef Jackie will turn the two simple ingredients of rice and fish into a personalized masterpiece.
The omakase menu is set at $330, while the Obsession Perfection starts at $480. Their sushi bar seats 14, while dining is limited to six guests. They advise customers to make reservations through Tock, but they also take reservations by phone from 2 pm during business days.
In the mood for rapid-fire express omakase sushi? Tachi, the sister restaurant of Sushi Masaki Saito, introduces Torontonians to stand-up sushi. As the name suggests, guests remain on their feet at a stand-up counter opposite skilled and engaging chefs.
Comparing this eatery's prices with other omakase restaurants, the Tachi dining experience is an outright steal at only $69.75 per person. The price includes 11 pieces of sushi, one hand roll and truly unforgettable flavours, all served in under 30 minutes!
Unlike other omakase-style restaurants, Tachi offers customers the option to enjoy their sushi at home with customizable bento boxes. Book through their online reservation system to ensure your turn at their stand-up counter.
What sets Miku apart from the above-mentioned expensive sushi restaurants is their specialization in contemporary Japanese Aburi cuisine. Translated from Japanese, the word "aburi" means "flame-seared”. The dish transforms when flame and sushi meet, and new flavors develop with enhanced umami.
Miku's use of the aburi technique is a truly innovative method in which traditional Japanese food and modern Western culinary arts find common ground. Within the distinctive taste of Japan, traces of French cuisine can be found.
Chef Junnosuke Fujikawa heads the sushi department at Miku and strives to continue experimenting with food and encouraging innovation within the industry.
Miku offers a range of menus from dine-in to takeout. But if you want to immerse yourself in the Miku Kaiseki experience, you can make a reservation online for their curated $150 menu.
Miku believes in the Ningenmi philosophy: "finding joy in your life by bringing joy to others”. There's plenty of joy to go around when you dine at the Toronto Harbourfront sushi joint.
JaBistro believes that sushi extends beyond taste and aims to gratify all the senses. To these chefs, making sushi is a creative expression in which each ingredient contributes to the final masterpiece. JaBistro is known for its flame-seared aburi sushi and pressed oshizushi sushi.
They remain respectful of traditional Japanese techniques while adding their own twist to ensure there are opportunities for innovation and surprise.
In the mood for a sashimi lobster platter? JaBistro will deliver. Everything from miso soup and aburi sushi to regular sushi and chocolate matcha lava cake is available for the sushi lovers of Toronto.
JaBistro's doesn't operate omakase-style, so guests are welcome to make their selection off the menu. Customers can expect to pay at least $100. However, their dining experience will be worth every penny.
World-renowned Michelin-star Chef Akira Back is synonymous with artistic culinary vision and outstanding cuisine.
His namesake restaurant, Akira Back, is located within Toronto's Bisha Hotel and draws customers from worldwide. He takes inspiration from his Korean heritage and global culinary experience to expose customers to Japanese cuisine with a Korean-flavored twist.
You can expect a menu filled with creative innovations (such as the Tuna Pizza or the Hot Mess poke bowl with screaming o' sauce) and the more traditional Sashimi. The restaurant also offers the Nazo 9, the Chef's Signature Mystery Box, for $120 with nine secret items handpicked by Chef Akira Back himself.
Yuzu No Hana
Yuzu No Hana is a contemporary Japanese restaurant in the Club District that offers both an à la carte menu and a $140 omakase 8-course menu with sushi personally chosen by Chef Bruce Bu. The sushi bar offers a relaxed dining atmosphere and a traditional menu within the contemporary Toronto setting.
After 10 years of success at Japango, Chef Bruce Bu opened Yuzu in 2008 and received praise for his signature dishes, such as the Saikyo Miso Grilled Black Cod and the Berkshire Pork Belly Braised in Sansho Miso.
In contrast to most expensive sushi restaurants, Yuzu offers seating for more than 10 guests, up to 170! The two-story restaurant includes a sushi bar with high ceilings, large windows, and private dining rooms.
Aburi Restaurants Canada introduces a contemporary Kyō-Kaiseki experience at Aburi Hana. Kyō-Kaiseki originates from Kyoto, Japan, and refers to the dining style associated with Japanese tea ceremonies. The cuisine focuses on the subtle flavours offered by seasonal and fresh ingredients instead of heavy seasoning.
Michelin star Chef Ryusuke Nakagawa oversees the refined culinary experience and ensures that tradition and innovation maintain a healthy balance. His meals include Japanese ingredients and local produce to complement the changing seasons and celebrate global cuisine.
By incorporating modern and ancient techniques, he introduces understated flavours and unique food presentation to the Torontonian district.
The restaurant offers guests the choice between taking a seat at the chef's table, where they get to observe Chef Nakagawa do his magic in real-time, or they can reserve a private dining room which allows for privacy and customizable lighting, temperature, and music.
True to the Kaiseki experience, the menu is set and asks you to trust your chef for a truly unique creation. The experience is priced at $380 per guest and guarantees an authentic taste of Japan.
What is the most expensive sushi in the world?
Expensive sushi isn't restricted to the cultural hub of Toronto or Canada. Filipino Chef Angelito Araneta Jr, also known as the "Karat-Chef", is known for making sushi with edible gold, diamonds, and pearls. He made it into the Guinness World Records in 2010 with a five-piece nigiri roll dish made with edible gold and covered in diamonds and pearls.
What is omakase sushi, and why is it so expensive?
If you expect to be given a set menu in any establishment serving authentic omakase sushi, you're in the wrong restaurant.
The most expensive sushi restaurants usually offer guests an omakase "menu" - but not the sort you'd find at your local diner. Omakase is a Japanese phrase that translates to "I leave it up to you”. Guests are at the mercy of the chef, who controls the entire dining experience. The head sushi chef curates a tasting menu consisting of several creative dishes made with only the finest ingredients.
Omakase is an exclusive experience, with some omakase restaurants serving a maximum of 10 people per evening. The meal involves personal interaction with a very hands-on chef. Customers are seated at the sushi bar, where they witness the chef preparing their meal and learn more about the process as the chef explains the origins of the fish and answers any questions.
Omakase is not for the faint of heart, and picky eaters would do well to reconsider their reservation, as you can expect to pay a minimum of $100 for the fine dining experience. This unique, menu-less meal will be life-changing for those who can overcome their food neophobia (the fear of trying new foods). If you expect regular sushi at any one of these restaurants, you're in for a (tasty) surprise.
What do you wear to omakase?
There is no strict dress code, but the implied dress code is elegant casual. Formal wear isn't necessary, but it's recommended to avoid wearing shorts or t-shirts. Avoid perfume or cologne as it interferes with the other guests' sushi experience.
Discover the most expensive items in the world with Spin Genie
If you love sushi, there are some amazing places to eat in Toronto and Canada, as we’ve explored.
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