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A Tyrannosaurus Rex in a glass cage.
An audio animatronic dinosaur greets you at the entrance to Gosuke, in the Henn Na Hotel.

8 Great Places for Bargain Sushi

From nigiri to chirashi to rolls

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An audio animatronic dinosaur greets you at the entrance to Gosuke, in the Henn Na Hotel.

For those of you who believe there’s no such thing as cheap sushi, this map will be a revelation. While much of the pricey commodity is usually offered these days as omakases costing from $100 up to $400 and more, there remain good honest places that charge a lot less for top-quality fish. One way they can do it is by offering more common seafood such as wild albacore and farm-raised salmon that are, as a bonus, often more sustainable than more expensive species.

Here are some of our favorite inexpensive sushi bars.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Sushi 456

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Sushi 456 offers several menu items that deliver value. The “special sushi” with eight pieces of nigiri plus a cut roll priced at $50 includes some distinguished fish. Though the selection varies, on a recent visit medium fatty tuna was included, some maki rolls using the same tuna in a spicy mash-up, and a marinated scallop that stole the show. At $45, the chirashi — a selection of fish offered in a bowl over sushi rice — was an even better deal.

Three rows of glistening sushi.
The bargain priced special omakase at Sushi 456.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Umami Sushi

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This very modest, mainly carryout spot concentrates on sushi at bargain prices, turned out by a pair of busy sushi chefs with few kitchen dishes offered (great appetizer fried chicken is an exception). Sushi deluxe comes in at $30 and includes ten pieces of nigiri sushi plus a California roll. Unusual for this price point, many of the sushi pieces are pre-seasoned with a marinade, a sear, or a dab of flavored mayo, so look before you dip a piece in soy sauce. Lunch specials of two or three rolls are another highlight.

An array of sushi including finger sushi and a sushi roll served on a wooden block.
Deluxe sushi assortment.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Gosuke-Akimitsu

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Just to the left of the lobby desk in the Hotel Henn-na, as you hurry past the animatronic Tyrannosaurus in a glass cage, find combination sushi bar and tempura parlor Gosuke. This compact, well-lit restaurant offers good quality fish, including some unusual varieties in a more expensive omakase that often make their way into the inexpensive assortments. The sushi dinner called joh ($40) includes eight pieces of nigiri sushi and one maki roll, while others will opt for the chirashi for $10 less.

A squarish bowl with fish and orange roe heaped on rice.
Churashi at Gosuke.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Citarella Gourmet Market - Upper West Side

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Open since 1912, Citarella is one of the city’s most distinguished retail seafood purveyors, and be assured the store can distinguish fresh from not fresh. This extends to their sushi, which is made during the day on a continuous basis, packaged in protective trays, and deposited in a reach-in case. Bargain assortments sufficient for a light meal come in at around $15, often including four or five nigiri and a maki roll. If you’re obsessed with freshness, watch the sushi chef at work, pick your assortment as soon it’s put in the case, and consume it on the sidewalk outside.

Two plastic boxes of sushi
A pair of sushi boxes at Citarella.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa

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Sugarfish is a 35-year-old Los Angeles chain that emphasizes sustainable fish, including its signature albacore tuna. It arrived here in 2016 and now has four branches in Manhattan. Assortments are available at several price levels, beginning at $27 at lunch and $30 at dinner, typically starting with a welcoming piece of sashimi, then proceeding to seasoned nigiri sushi dramatically delivered one or two pieces at a time, ending with a hand roll.

A pair of small eel pieces on rice glistening darkly.
Eel as served at Sugarfish.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar

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Deep within Rockefeller Center lies a minor offshoot of the Blue Ribbon empire — the original on Sullivan Street made famous by its late-night chef patrons. This small storefront with eight seats along a sushi bar is mainly for carrying out poke and sushi, but eating in is also a relatively inexpensive proposition. Sushi combinations that include six nigiri and one maki roll ring in at $24, and though the range of fish is small, the quality is high. Richly fat-streaked belly salmon was a recent highlight.

A wooden block with sushi on it, and a couple of blurry figures of sushi chefs in the background.
Eat sushi at a discount sushi bar in Rockefeller Center.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Located on the edge of the Pratt campus in a gleaming condominium, U-gu partakes of that real estate glamor. The menu emphasizes a pair of specialties: noodles and elaborate sushi rolls, of which there are 68 choices, some vegetarian, others wrapped with cucumber. Assortments of nigiri sushi start at $28, which includes nine pieces and a spicy tuna roll.

A sushi assortment on a wooden blocks.
Seared sushi and stunt rolls are two of U-gu’s strong points.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Bushniwa

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Regular sushi dinners at this Bushwick stalwart start for as little as $35, with a very big chirashi available at $38. It is also a full-menu Japanese restaurant with plenty of kitchen options (including a splendid broiled yellowtail collar) and a very wild list of specialty rolls if you are a maki fan. The Bushniwa, for example, features spicy scallop crunch, smoked yellowtail, and jalapeno sauce.

A sign with a giant B on it.
Bushniwa is located just off the Morgan stop on the L.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Sushi 456

Three rows of glistening sushi.
The bargain priced special omakase at Sushi 456.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Sushi 456 offers several menu items that deliver value. The “special sushi” with eight pieces of nigiri plus a cut roll priced at $50 includes some distinguished fish. Though the selection varies, on a recent visit medium fatty tuna was included, some maki rolls using the same tuna in a spicy mash-up, and a marinated scallop that stole the show. At $45, the chirashi — a selection of fish offered in a bowl over sushi rice — was an even better deal.

Three rows of glistening sushi.
The bargain priced special omakase at Sushi 456.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Umami Sushi

An array of sushi including finger sushi and a sushi roll served on a wooden block.
Deluxe sushi assortment.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This very modest, mainly carryout spot concentrates on sushi at bargain prices, turned out by a pair of busy sushi chefs with few kitchen dishes offered (great appetizer fried chicken is an exception). Sushi deluxe comes in at $30 and includes ten pieces of nigiri sushi plus a California roll. Unusual for this price point, many of the sushi pieces are pre-seasoned with a marinade, a sear, or a dab of flavored mayo, so look before you dip a piece in soy sauce. Lunch specials of two or three rolls are another highlight.

An array of sushi including finger sushi and a sushi roll served on a wooden block.
Deluxe sushi assortment.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Gosuke-Akimitsu

A squarish bowl with fish and orange roe heaped on rice.
Churashi at Gosuke.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Just to the left of the lobby desk in the Hotel Henn-na, as you hurry past the animatronic Tyrannosaurus in a glass cage, find combination sushi bar and tempura parlor Gosuke. This compact, well-lit restaurant offers good quality fish, including some unusual varieties in a more expensive omakase that often make their way into the inexpensive assortments. The sushi dinner called joh ($40) includes eight pieces of nigiri sushi and one maki roll, while others will opt for the chirashi for $10 less.

A squarish bowl with fish and orange roe heaped on rice.
Churashi at Gosuke.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Citarella Gourmet Market - Upper West Side

Two plastic boxes of sushi
A pair of sushi boxes at Citarella.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Open since 1912, Citarella is one of the city’s most distinguished retail seafood purveyors, and be assured the store can distinguish fresh from not fresh. This extends to their sushi, which is made during the day on a continuous basis, packaged in protective trays, and deposited in a reach-in case. Bargain assortments sufficient for a light meal come in at around $15, often including four or five nigiri and a maki roll. If you’re obsessed with freshness, watch the sushi chef at work, pick your assortment as soon it’s put in the case, and consume it on the sidewalk outside.

Two plastic boxes of sushi
A pair of sushi boxes at Citarella.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa

A pair of small eel pieces on rice glistening darkly.
Eel as served at Sugarfish.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Sugarfish is a 35-year-old Los Angeles chain that emphasizes sustainable fish, including its signature albacore tuna. It arrived here in 2016 and now has four branches in Manhattan. Assortments are available at several price levels, beginning at $27 at lunch and $30 at dinner, typically starting with a welcoming piece of sashimi, then proceeding to seasoned nigiri sushi dramatically delivered one or two pieces at a time, ending with a hand roll.

A pair of small eel pieces on rice glistening darkly.
Eel as served at Sugarfish.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar

A wooden block with sushi on it, and a couple of blurry figures of sushi chefs in the background.
Eat sushi at a discount sushi bar in Rockefeller Center.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Deep within Rockefeller Center lies a minor offshoot of the Blue Ribbon empire — the original on Sullivan Street made famous by its late-night chef patrons. This small storefront with eight seats along a sushi bar is mainly for carrying out poke and sushi, but eating in is also a relatively inexpensive proposition. Sushi combinations that include six nigiri and one maki roll ring in at $24, and though the range of fish is small, the quality is high. Richly fat-streaked belly salmon was a recent highlight.

A wooden block with sushi on it, and a couple of blurry figures of sushi chefs in the background.
Eat sushi at a discount sushi bar in Rockefeller Center.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

U-gu

A sushi assortment on a wooden blocks.
Seared sushi and stunt rolls are two of U-gu’s strong points.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Located on the edge of the Pratt campus in a gleaming condominium, U-gu partakes of that real estate glamor. The menu emphasizes a pair of specialties: noodles and elaborate sushi rolls, of which there are 68 choices, some vegetarian, others wrapped with cucumber. Assortments of nigiri sushi start at $28, which includes nine pieces and a spicy tuna roll.

A sushi assortment on a wooden blocks.
Seared sushi and stunt rolls are two of U-gu’s strong points.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Bushniwa

A sign with a giant B on it.
Bushniwa is located just off the Morgan stop on the L.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Regular sushi dinners at this Bushwick stalwart start for as little as $35, with a very big chirashi available at $38. It is also a full-menu Japanese restaurant with plenty of kitchen options (including a splendid broiled yellowtail collar) and a very wild list of specialty rolls if you are a maki fan. The Bushniwa, for example, features spicy scallop crunch, smoked yellowtail, and jalapeno sauce.

A sign with a giant B on it.
Bushniwa is located just off the Morgan stop on the L.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

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