I’m sure that I can assign you into one of two categories… those who like sushi and those who think they don’t like sushi. It’s actually remarkable how many people I’ve met who just assume they don’t like sushi without having ever tried it. Most people believe that sushi is just raw fish. However, some sushi rolls (called maki) are prepared with cooked fish. If the thought of raw fish grosses you out then give cooked sushi a try. Even if you think sushi is not for you, please keep reading.
Disney World has really come a long way in recent years to provide guests the opportunity to get sushi while on vacation. There are numerous eateries that have some sort of sushi offered on the menu. While the restaurant atmospheres and price ranges vary, most of us sushi lovers can agree that any sushi is better than no sushi at all.
Anyone desperate to find some quick “supermarket” sushi should be able to find something in all parks except for Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. Epcot has two locations that are worth checking out. Katsura Grill in the Japan pavilion of the World Showcase has a standard variety of sushi with choices like the California Roll and Spicy Tuna Roll. There are also combos available that include a roll and Tsukemen Salad. In the past, I’ve seen pre-packed sushi at Sunshine Seasons, as well, but I can’t say that it’s available all of the time. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, your only sushi option is Starring Rolls, where you can find pre-packaged basic rolls. The selection does change from day to day at Starring Rolls, so keep that in mind. A couple of quick service locations in Disney resorts on property have sushi available at times. Pre-packaged sushi has been seen before at Caribbean Beach, Beach Club, Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian resorts.
If you’re wanting to get true fresh sushi you’ll have to check out actual sit-down restaurants. Wolfgang Puck Cafe is a popular restaurant at Downtown Disney. While it doesn’t specialize in sushi, there are many standard and unique rolls available, as well as nigiri and sashimi. This is a great place to choose if your traveling companions don’t want sushi. Same goes for Teppan Edo in Epcot. While there are only a couple of standard rolls, sushi is available as an appetizer in your meal. 1900 Park Fare is a buffet at the Grand Floridian Resort, and typically there are a few rolls on the buffet.
There are a handful of restaurants on Disney property that specialize in amazing sushi. The only one of these actually in a Disney World park is Tokyo Dining in Epcot. Tokyo Dining is a beautiful restaurant that is an easy place to get into without an Advanced Dining Reservation. If you schedule a reservation a bit before IllumiNations and ask for a table by the windows, you’ll get an excellent view of the fireworks show while you are enjoying your meal. A popular item on Tokyo Dining’s menu is the Bento Box, which includes some cooked meat, vegetables, as well as a variety of sushi.
Kimonos, at the Swan Resort in between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, is Disney’s only restaurant that is all sushi all the time. Come the evening, karaoke begins at Kimonos to liven everything up. Kimonos definitely has my favorite sushi on Disney property. The menu is huge, which means great variety. You’re really getting great quality fish, but of course it’s going to come at a price. I definitely think that Kimono’s miso soup is my favorite miso that I’ve tried anywhere. There is a full service bar, as well, so you can enjoy an awesome saki bomb as you dine. I definitely suggest trying the Jalapeño Roll! It’s oh so good.
Many of you have dined at Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Resort before, but not enough of you have given Kona Island Sushi Bar next door a chance. You don’t need a reservation to dine at the sushi bar, and your best bet to get a seat without a wait is to get there at 5:00 p.m. when it opens for sushi. You can order off of the sushi menu or the standard Kona Cafe menu while dining at the bar, and vice versa. The sushi menu isn’t huge, and the prices are a little steep, but if you want more than decent sushi it’s a great option.
Probably the most talked about restaurant that has a creative sushi menu is California Grill atop the Contemporary Resort. I can flat out say that the sushi is expensive as all heck, but it’s definitely great quality and not something that you’re going to find anywhere else on Disney property. The presentation is always top notch and the dining atmosphere cannot be beat. If you’re just dying for a great view of Wishes, make a reservation before the show starts, and you’ll have the best spot anywhere.
Alright sushi lovers, what are your favorite restaurants in Disney World? Let me know in the comment section below!