Top 5 Restaurants to Get Sushi at Walt Disney World
Are you looking to find the best sushi at Walt Disney World? Well, read on!
Where I live, you needn’t walk more than a 2-block radius for a sushi joint. I see countless signs on the daily advertising “ all you can eat, a la carte, byob, cooked, raw” etc. and if you’re not careful, you can easily wander into a fishy restaurant serving questionable rolls of sushi.
So yes, there is definitely a sushi hierarchy where I’m from, and caution is always taken before trusting a never-before-tried spot to stock fresh, sushi-grade fish. While there are plenty of seedy sushi places in my neighborhood, the good ones are really good. Like, line-out-the-door-for-a-table good.
In Walt Disney World, you shouldn’t have the same fears when trying a new place for sushi, as all the sushi served property-wide is top grade and fresh. Although you can get fresh sushi anywhere you order the dish at WDW, when it comes to choosing the restaurant, there is a definitive sushi hierarchy.
Sushi is the one food I don’t go out on a limb for- meaning I’m not about to get adventurous if I don’t trust the restaurant, and I’m hard-pressed to even try a place if it hasn’t received a rave review from a friend. Lucky for you, I’ve personally eaten sushi at each of the following restaurants at Walt Disney World – plus a few more spots that didn’t make the list- so you can rest assured the sushi you get will be fresh and delicious!
#5 Trader Sams
Enter through the unmarked door, and you’ll find a host stand in a jarringly dimly lit alcove. Beyond, you hear cheers, yells, and thunder claps, as 2 shots ring out in the distance. Don’t let all that noise put you off!
The shouts and cheers are likely coming from the bartenders serving signature drinks, and the only kind of shots you’ll get here are those of rum! Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is a great tiki themed bar at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and regardless if you’re a sushi fan or not, it’s worth a visit!
You’re probably confused as to why the number 5 spot on the list of best sushi places in Walt Disney World is not a sushi place at all. Yes, Trader Sam’s is known for the drinks, but on their small plates menu lies a hidden sushi gem.
The Headhunter sushi roll features tuna and salmon wrapped in seaweed and pink (?) rice. It’s served with a hibiscus sauce meant to give it a ‘bloody’ look when poured. The sushi I was served was very fresh tasting, and the fish was definitely top quality.
#4 Splitsville Luxury Lanes
Next on the list is another nonconventional spot for sushi. Splitsville Luxury Lanes at Disney Springs is the place to go for brews, big games, good bar food, and of course, bowling. When I first went to Splitsville, I had no idea they had such a selection of sushi on their menu!
The first time I went, I ordered a pizza, but quickly regretted the decision when the table next to mine was presented with heaping plates of sushi that made me salivate from afar. With both traditional and eclectic rolls on the menu, there is a hearty list to chose from. My two favorites are the classic spicy tuna and the Fantasy Roll. Salmon, cucumber, avocado, shrimp, and ahi tuna come together to make a delectably delicious roll.
#3 California Grill
To enjoy the sushi at California Grill, you’ll have to sit at your computer 180 days prior to your vacation to get a reservation. Try crossing your fingers while holding a 4-leaf clover while you do it, because reservations are very hard to come by. If you need some help making a reservation, MickeyTravels will be happy to assist, just comment below to get started!
Once you’ve secured that reservation, all you have to do now is prepare to eat! The menu at California Grill changes seasonally, sometimes daily, so you’ll never be certain of what the chefs are cooking up on the day of your visit. There is always one thing to bank on, though…there will be sushi!
With breathtaking views overlooking Magic Kingdom, the atmosphere here is spectacular, not to mention the food! Speaking from experience, if the roll’s description on the menu appeals to you, I can almost guarantee you’ll like it. Don’t forget, hang onto your receipt from your meal so you can return later that evening to watch Happily Ever After from their guest-exclusive fireworks deck!
#2 The Swan
The Swan and Dolphin hotels are not considered ‘Disney Resort Hotels’, but their proximity to Epcot and Hollywood Studios make them about as ‘on-property’ as you can get. Equally as close to the magic as Disney’s Boardwalk and Yacht and Beach Clubs and a short walk from both Epcot and Hollywood Studios, the Swan hotel holds one of the property’s best sushi spots.
Traditional kimonos hang on the walls of the appropriately named restaurant, and the sparse décor is right in line with traditional Japanese style. I know this article is all about sushi in its purest form, but the seared tuna appetizer is definitely worth a try. As for rolls, the menu is extensive to say the least. Featuring both raw and cooked fish, there are more than 20 rolls on the menu and for a table service restaurant on Disney property, the prices are surprisingly reasonable.
#1 Kona Cafe
It’s not Teppan Edo. It’s not Morimoto Asia. It’s not the Boathouse. Taking the number 1 spot on the list is…drum roll please…Kona Café! If I’m being honest, I would go to Kona for a Lapu Lapu and an order of their sweet Hawaiian dinner rolls and be more than content. If you’re in the mood for a bit more sustenance than just carbs and alcohol, the sushi is absolutely incredible.
I judge good sushi by its color, lack of odor, and temperature. It shouldn’t be freezing cold, there should be little to no smell, and the fish should be brightly colored with small stripes of fat running throughout. I ordered the Kona Sampler Large with a friend, I was presented with sashimi, nigiri, and sushi made with the brightest colored, fat-free sushi grade fish I’d ever eaten.
The fish practically melted in my mouth and it didn’t even need the sauce it was served with-although it didn’t hurt it either! I would wholeheartedly recommend Kona to anyone looking for great sushi on their Walt Disney World vacation! So tell us, do you or someone in your family live for finding the best sushi spots? Which is your favorite roll? Comment below!
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Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer thrilled to be a part of your Disney vacation planning! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon!