Writer’s note: This is the 11th story in a monthly series on the “best of” Medellín and the surrounding area. To read the tenth story, click here.
Sushi seems to be gaining in popularity in Medellín, so much so that you have more than a handful of places to choose from in the city.
We’re going to help you make a decision, and I say, “we,” because Dave decided to team up with me on this “best of” post. He also loves sushi.
You’ll find below what we feel is the best sushi in Medellín.
I saw Dave’s fave’s when I posted mine, and naturally, they were different. But that’s one of the things I like about working with Dave: we have different perspectives.
We’ve also updated the post this September (2014), to stay current with the boom of sushi restaurants in the city. A Top 3 is no longer sufficient. We need a Top 5.
The influx of sushi also forced me (Ryan) to say goodbye to my original Nos. 2 and 3 restaurants, Sushi Train and Sushi Market, although “forced” might be too strong a word because those places only made it by default in the first place, thanks to a sparse market. I was never really a fan of either.
So let’s find out exactly what we have in this new and updated Best Sushi in Medellín story…
Ryan’s Top 5
1. Envy Sushi Bar
Calle 9A #37-16, Poblado, Parque Lleras
I had heard about Envy Sushi Bar, because of its location atop the 5-star Charlee Hotel, but kind of overlooked it as just another locale with overpriced food. I was wrong.
At the urging of friends, who swore the sushi is worth the high price, I finally gave it a try, and the only thing that upset me was that I hadn’t gone sooner.
I started with the hamachi carpaccio (18,000 pesos or about $9.50), which was so good, I nearly shed a tear when I was done. Love the toppings of jalapeños and crispy fish skin, and the sauce it was bathing in, a mix of soy sauce, maybe a little ponzu sauce and a touch of lime, made it not just my favorite raw fish option in the city, but my favorite item to start a meal.
After that I tried the volcano roll (25,000 pesos or about $13). It wasn’t like the volcano rolls I had gotten used to in the states because it wasn’t really spicy, but it was still good and filling, stuffed with scallops and topped with fried shrimp.
Can’t wait to return and try the other rolls too.
2. Sushi House
Calle 35 #80A-09, Laureles
A paisa friend told me he and his family think Sushi House the best sushi in the city, and I came to agree, even though I’ve since changed my mind, but it’s a close second so that’s good, right?
The fish is fresh and there is enough variety to satisfy the most contemporary tastes.
My favorite roll is the krakatoa — prawns, avocado and cream cheese on the inside, eel on the outside. I like salmon sashimi they stuff with avocado and cream cheese too, what they call a geisha.
Maybe that name could qualify for a Tosh.0 comedy segment of “Is it racist?” but I don’t care. The sushi is too good.
Others are finding out too.
The Laureles restaurant has expanded into the space next to it, providing twice as many seats, and the friendly staff is more than happy to serve you. They even offer a sushi class now.
Go on a Tuesday (10 percent discount on everything) or Wednesday (three rolls for the price of two). Or, if you live nearby and don’t feel like going out, give them a call and have some sushi delivered.
3. Sushi Shop
Carrera 35 #7-108, Poblado, Via Provenza
Sweet mango and spicy wasabi make a great pair. Throw in some rice, seaweed and red snapper and you make a pretty good sushi roll.
I learned that after eating at Sushi Shop, the newest kid on the block in the sushi boom that has come to Medellín.
A business meeting earlier brought me by the location on beautiful Via Provenza, one of Poblado’s best streets for restaurants, and I couldn’t resist trying at least one roll, the akako.
Next time I’ll have two.
4. Sushi Taste
Carrera 76 #34-06, Laureles
My ideal night at Sushi Taste: salmon skin roll for an appetizer, teppanyaki for the main course.
But let’s focus on the sushi for now.
As I already said, I like the salmon skin roll. I’ve tried basically every roll on their menu so I can say with authority that this one is the best.
Not that the others aren’t good. So give it a try.
Calle 30 #4A-80, Poblado
Ginger loses points for geography, all the way up in the hills of Poblado, along the Inferior. It’s too bad. The sushi is good.
Eel is one of my favorite things to eat so that’s the roll I ordered, and I really enjoyed it.
I like that they didn’t douse it with too much eel sauce because that would have taken away from the vinegar flavor and everything else that makes sushi so special.
I used a lot of wasabi, as I always do, and the collision of sweet and spicy made for a good meal.
Dave’s Top 3
1. Sushi Train
Calle 10A #34-11, Poblado
For the best sushi in Medellin, head to Sushi Train at the Calle Diez Hotel.
It’s the only sushi restaurant that features a conveyor belt, which means you can walk in, grab a seat, and start eating immediately.
On top of the convenience, you also have direct access to the sushi chefs to make special requests. Put in a request for your favorite combination of ingredients, or ask them to surprise you!
Each color plate has a corresponding value, so as your plates stack up, it’s easy to estimate how much you’re spending.
Sushi Train also feature a regular menu with a variety of sushi rolls, but I’ve never actually ordered from it. Still, based on my numerous visits, I’m confident it’s the all-around best place in town in terms of quality, service, and price.
2. Sushi Light
Santafé and La Strada malls, Poblado
The sushi restaurant I’ve eaten at more times than any other is easily Sushi Light, thanks to their two for one sushi roll special on Tuesdays.
Back in 2010/2011, I use to meet friends at the Santa Fe location every Tuesday night and we’d gorge ourselves on sushi.
I quickly made my way through the entire menu. In the beginning, I was enamored with the Napalm roll, which is flambeed in front of you.
The slightly spicy Poseidon was another favorite, as well as the Cangrejo Blanco, but these days, I stick with the Fishen roll, as I feel it offers the best amount of salmon for your money.
Every now and then, when I’ve ordered the Rainbow roll, which includes salmon, tuna, and tilapia, the quality of fish hasn’t looked so good.
Another reason I can’t give Sushi Light top honors is that unless you get there early on Tuesday evenings, there can be a long wait to get seated, and get your food.
I was also bummed to find out earlier this year that they no longer serve nigiri on Tuesdays, as they say the fish needs to be preserved for the rolls.
I’ve eaten most often at the Santa Fe location, followed by the one in La Strada. Sushi Light’s newest location is in Laureles.
3. Sushi House
Calle 35 #80A-09, Laureles
Ryan wouldn’t let us publish this article unless I tried Sushi House, his #1 pick for sushi in the city. I went over one day last week, with high expectations.
The first thing I noticed was the place was empty, but it was a little late in the afternoon by that point (1:30/2 PM).
I ordered a half roll of the Tibet, a vegetarian roll with avocado, mango, and cucumber, and a half roll of the Atacama, with red snapper, avocado, and salmon tartare. I should’ve stopped there.
Those two rolls, pictured above, were excellent. Both were a nice change from the rolls I’d grown use to at Sushi Light.
But I’m also a huge fan of Spicy Tuna, thinking it was done the same way everywhere. Big mistake.
The menu indicated “Atun sellado” which must mean cooked, because that’s how the tuna arrived.
It wasn’t pink and raw like I expected. It was bland, with the consistency of canned tuna. And of course I’d ordered a full roll of that one!
After the convenience of Sushi Train, and the cost savings of Sushi Light, I think the rest of the sushi restaurants are about even.
What’s your favorite sushi restaurant in Medellin?