Here's Where You Can Find The Best Vegan Sushi In The Country

Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle choice that has been around for ages, though there's still quite a bit of misinformation surrounding it. As the TheVeganSociety defines, a vegan is an individual who aims to stop the exploitation of animals by humans in all aspects of their lives. With this, vegans refrain from using and eating animal-based products — in some instances animal-based by-products as well — or products that have used animals for testing. 

Although sushi isn't the first thought when considering a vegan lifestyle, it's not a dish to rule out. In fact, there are a lot of misconceptions about sushi. Firstly, LiveJapan notes that traditional sushi isn't always in a roll. "There are a lot of non-Japanese people who think that sushi equals rolls. When it comes to sushi, that is the one thing that I understand the least," one ex-pat noted, per LiveJapan. This is because nigiri (raw fish placed on hand-molded balls of rice) and sashimi (raw fish) are what Japanese people think of when they hear sushi. 

So can there ever be a successful melding of these two? Yes, and the outcome is delicious, filling, and healthy. In fact, TotalFood documents that there were 1,474 strictly plant-based restaurants in the United States in 2020. As of December 2021, according to IBISWorld, there are 15,999 sushi restaurants in the U.S. Read on to see 10 of the nation's best restaurants that serve vegan sushi.

1. Sticky Rice - Washington, D.C.

If a music venue, cocktail bar, vegan earth, and izakaya somehow had a lovechild, Sticky Rice would be the offspring. Currently rated a four out of five on Open Table, this is a low-key eatery with lots of neon, rainbow stairs, karaoke, and varied food offerings. Sticky Rice isn't just into selling sushi to omnivores — oh, no. They have a whole slew of vegan and vegetarian menu items, including soups and salads, rice and/or noodle bowls, sandwiches, and even tater tots. Yup, tater tots. (Cause who doesn't like tater tots?). 

Washingtonian notes that innovator chefs and entrepreneurs have begun to convert the nation's capital into a plant-based dining mecca. With people representing a wide variety of cultures coming in and out of the state, it makes sense that D.C. would have space for vegans who love sushi as well. In fact, D.C. and its surrounding area have the highest volume of vegan restaurants per capita (per Health IQ).

Sticky Rice has delicious sushi choices along with creative titles, including G.I. Jane (a roll filled with yellowtail, cream cheese, and scallions in crunchy wasabi peas) and Snap, Crackle, Pop (a large spicy roll stuffed with fresh salmon, cucumbers, jalapeños, tobiko, and tempura crunchies).

2. Beyond Sushi - New York, New York

If you're looking for sushi, New York City has you covered. With about 8.8 million residents (per the U.S. Census Bureau) and thousands of food establishments, The Big Apple is a hot spot for healthy eats. It's a good thing that Beyond Sushi is one of the top vegan sushi joints to scope out, coming in second after PLANTA, who we'll get to a little later (via Yelp).

This award-winning restaurant — dubbed Best Sushi by VegOut Magazine — isn't only just one location, but four. Yelp users have rated this 100% plant-based fast-casual establishment a total of 4.5 out of five stars, citing that its affordability was a very welcomed bonus. 

A notable dish is the Mighty Mushroom — a signature spicy roll — which is filled with black rice, shiitake and enoki mushrooms, shiitake truffle sauce, tofu, and micro arugula. It's mentioned as one of the "must try" items on the menu. Also in the running for "try before you die" is the Crunch n' Munch, which uses kiwi to mimic the appearance of fish.

3. Shojin - Los Angeles, California

Lucky for you, Shojin has two locations in the City of Angels — one sits on the third floor of Little Tokyo Marketplace on the cusp of the Arts District (and Little Tokyo), while the other is located in Culver City near Venice Beach. Though both locations may be tough to spot if you're not actively seeking them out, once inside, the decor is warm, inviting, and incredibly romantic. 

According to the Intentionalist, owner Tsuguhiro Morishima named his upscale eateries after the vegan/vegetarian diet that is followed by Japanese Buddhists. Shōjin Ryōri translates to "devotion cuisine" which was originally prepared and perfected by Buddhist monks (per BBC). Traditionally and at Shojin, the food is 100% plant-based, gluten-free, organic, allergen-friendly, and macrobiotic, which is both a diet and philosophy focusing on balance and harmony, as reported by Healthline. The restaurant also refrains from using refined sugar and table salt.

It's a scientific fact that we eat with our eyes first — that's why food presentation plays a big role in what we want to eat (via NUUSH). Luckily, Shojin delivers on the quality of its food presentation. But what about taste? One reviewer on HeyVegetarian writes that the sushi is simply amazing, with an emphasis on amazing. Over 1,889 Yelpers rate Shojin four out of five stars, citing that the food and ambiance are top-notch.

4. Chef Kenny's Vegan Dim Sum - Las Vegas, Nevada

Chef Kenny's Vegan Dim Sum is located in hot and sunny Las Vegas, Nevada. If you've never considered dim sum really fitting for the desert, you'd be mistaken. Las Vegas Magazine notes that Sin City pretty much has everything when it comes to food options and as of 2022, it's become a "hot bed" for Thai, Vietnamese, and Korean restaurants. 

While dim sum has origins in China, it's important to note that Las Vegas also has its own Chinatown with more than 100 restaurants located in the downtown section of the city (via SantoriniChicago).

Chef Kenny's Vegan Dim Sum, which opened on Father's Day 2021, is the brainchild of Chef Kenny Chye, who also opened Chef Kenny's Asian Vegan Restaurant in 2012. He's also the former chef at Veggie House (via Eater). In less than a year, Chef Kenny's Vegan Dim Sum garnered a 4.5-star rating on Yelp, five stars on HappyCow, and Google shows an impressive 4.9-star rating. The most mentioned sushi items are the spicy tuna roll and mushroom tofu wrap. An honorable mention goes to the vegan egg custard tart — and while it's not sushi, almost everyone loves dessert.

5. Cha-Ya - San Francisco, California

A few blocks away from the heart of San Francisco is Cha-Ya, a small family-owned eatery specializing in 100% plant-based Japanese fare. It's pretty much a hidden gem in the Mission District, blending in with its surroundings. However, the warm, intimate atmosphere on the inside — along with its modern take on Japanese Buddhist cuisine — will win you over.

Cha-Ya also follows the Shōjin Ryōri style of cooking; Luxiders notes that Shōjin Ryōri's use of salt plays a minimal role in this cuisine. Therefore, it's possible those who eat a lot of salt would find dishes that follow Shōjin Ryōri to lack bold flavors as our tastebuds start to become accustomed to salty food over time (via TheHealthSite). So you might want to keep that in mind with this style of cooking. 

The big hits at the restaurant are the Cha-Ya Roll — a signature roll filled with asparagus, yam, carrots, and avocado, and that is tempura-fried — and the Urumaki sushi, which utilizes mushrooms in place of the protein.

6. Wellness Sushi - Denver, Colorado

This little eatery not only sits in the top-rated spots in Denver (via HappyCow), but it's also the city's first 100% plant-based sushi and Japanese foodie destination. Wellness Sushi was opened in November 2019 by a husband and wife team that had one main goal with their no-frills restaurant: To provide healthy, filling food at an affordable price, without sacrificing flavor. In September 2021, the duo opened the doors to their second sushi location, Wellness Sushi Plant-Based Eatery, with the same mission, but with vegan-vegetarian cuisine in mind. 

It's safe to say that Wellness Sushi has successfully achieved its goal since Yelp, HappyCow, and Facebook have all given the restaurant five stars.

Wellness Sushi prides itself on contemporary and healthy dishes including sushi, ramen, onigiri, and donburi. Some of the local favorites are the Royal Potato Roll (tempura-fried Okinawa sweet potato, avocado, and cucumber), the Hot Pink Flamingo (a signature "krab" salad with vegan tuna sashimi, cucumber, avocado, and Sriracha), and the Kakiagi Roll (krab salad, cucumber, and avocado with a side of vegetable tempura). 

The food is so tasty one reviewer remarked that the mock-tuna sashimi tasted a little too close for comfort. If you can achieve that type of reaction while utilizing only plant-based products, then you've mastered the art of food wizardry.

7. PLANTA - West Palm Beach, Florida

PLANTA is a plant-based restaurant and bar founded in 2016 and specializing in east-meets-west fusion fare. It was created as a way to make plant-based foods more accessible and seen as a filling and healthy way to eat. With a focus on plants having the power to change the world, PLANTA also focuses on sustainability and sustainable practices in all aspects of the eatery's operation.

The restaurant currently has hubs in Florida, New York, Maryland, and Toronto, and is growing four new locations as its website suggests. Though PLANTA's a bit pricier than their vegan competitor, Beyond Sushi, PLANTA holds firm at 4.5 stars across mainstream review sites (including HappyCow and Yelp). 

Foodies enjoy PLANTA's relaxed vibes and bright, upbeat atmosphere. Customers love its unique take on sushi, where they use watermelon in place of tuna. Apparently, it tastes so good that it made someone cry. 

8. Tane Vegan Izakaya - Oahu, Hawaii

Although Hawai'i leans more towards pineapple, kalua pork, or Spam, vegans still have options when they visit the island. Tane Vegan Izakaya, located on the island of Oahu, will make you a believer in vegan eats.

Tane Vegan Izakaya is a relatively new establishment, first opening in March 2019 (via HappyCow). With only a year in business at the time the pandemic began wreaking havoc on the island, Tane somehow managed to survive and keep business afloat. 

With almost 700 reviews and a rating of 4.5 stars, Tane is rated No. 1 for vegan sushi on Oahu (via Yelp). It's toted as cool, upscale, and romantic, with the agedashi tofu, eggplant nigiri, and The Wedge Roll on the menu receiving major kudos. RestaurantGuru gives it a 4.7 (within the Google rating system). It also earns a spot in the Top 10 Best Vegan Restaurants in Honolulu. Reviewers also compliment the attentive service and the speed at which the food actually arrives.

9. Ma-kin Vegan Sushi & Izakaya - Agoura Hills, California

Ma-Kin Vegan Sushi & Izakaya is located in the greater Los Angeles County of California. It's also a newbie in the restaurant world, having opened in early August 2021 (via HappyCow). Ma-Kin has yet to disappoint as it's rated 4.9 on Google and five stars on multiple review websites, including Yelp and Mapquest. Even non-vegans noted that it was the best vegan sushi they had tried and that it tasted identical to the real thing. When someone says this is the "best sushi" — not just "best vegan sushi" — they've ever had, that has to speak for something.

Ma-Kin's tempura is reported to be a crispy and delicious dish that's universally enjoyed. Another aspect sushi lovers seemed to get excited about was that the "seafood" actually tastes like the real thing. The Sexy Lady Roll — filled with spicy crab and tempura-fried shrimp, and topped with salmon, avocado, crispy onion, and chili oil — also seemed to entice multiple palates. Can it get any better? Of course, because Ma-Kin Vegan Sushi & Izakaya is also 100% organic and GMO-free.

10. Franchia - New York, New York

If you're looking for a 100% vegan restaurant with tons of options, then head to Park Avenue and take a seat at Franchia Vegan Cafe. This vegan and vegetarian Asian-fusion café — which is open for lunch and dinner only — is the sister restaurant to the popular Korean restaurant HanGawi (also located in New York City). 

Franchia's menu is pretty extensive and all-encompassing, offering everything from yakitori, bibimbap, dumplings, and soup and salads, to noodles, rolls and sushi, and even hot pot. They also have desserts made with nut milk and a decadent dairy-free cheesecake

The cafe is definitely a spot to check out, especially since over 1,200 reviewers have given it 4.5 on Google, while Yelpers give it four stars and Trip Advisor foodies give it a 4.5 rating. All the "meats" are made from soy, seaweed, and/or textured vegetable protein. If you don't feel like being adventurous with the mock duck, then opt for the Franchia Roll (vegetarian crab, squash, greens, avocado, carrot, and cucumber) or the Philidelphia Roll, which contains vegan cream cheese, cucumber, avocado, and soy chicken.