Photo: Let it V
Our oceans are in danger. Commercial fishing is a severe problem, and bycatch is one of the many consequences. According to a report published by Oceana, a non-profit ocean conservation organization, the global bycatch can be up to 63 billion pounds per year.
When fishing takes place, bycatch happens; this means billions of fish, and other marine animals get hauled with the catch and are discarded back into the ocean or left with injuries resulting in death. In other words, every piece of sushi you pop in your mouth produces an enormous impact on other marine species.
Now, sushi is typically associated with fish. But in recent years more restaurants are reimagining traditional sushi rolls, making them with plant-based ingredients. Whether savory or sweet, stuffed or unstuffed, comfort food or delicacy, sushi is as versatile as it is delicious.
Our members love great vegan sushi, and we've compiled a list of ten restaurants that serve plant-based sushi from around the world and soon, you can start ticking these places off your bucket list.
Tane Vegan Izakaya from Honolulu, USA
In Hawaii, the Japanese population makes up the second-largest ethnic group in the state. It is no surprise then that sushi is widely available. Helmed by Chef Kin Lui, Raymond Ho, and ocean conservation activist Casson Trenor, Tane is an extension of restaurant Shizen, a plant-based sushi bar in San Francisco.
A favorite amongst locals and tourists, Tane draws inspiration from Shojin Ryori — a Buddhist cuisine eaten by monks in Japan based on seasonal vegetables. The restaurant applies Japanese culinary techniques to vegetables, fruits, and flowers to create aesthetically pleasing dishes that are kinder to the planet.
At Tane, many of our members enjoy The Wedge Sushi. @anchi says, “One of our favorite specialty rolls on Tane’s menu! And that’s saying a lot because I love all of them. Savory, with a little spicy kick, so many complex umami flavors, and on top of that, it is a work of exquisite art.”
Photo: The Wedge Sushi from Tane Vegan Izakaya
Another popular item here is the Philadelphia Classic Roll, and the star ingredient is plant-based cream cheese. @anchi describes this saying, “Before I was vegan, I never understood sushi with cream cheese in it — yuck! But now I’m a vegan cream cheese sushi convert. This Philadelphia roll is incredible — smoky flavors meld with creamy deliciousness and a little bit of cucumber crunch. It looks simple, but the depth of this dish is vast. I order this every time.”
YO! Sushi from Edinburgh, UK
YO! Sushi is as casual and no-frills as it gets. This restaurant operates like a conveyor belt sushi chain with more than 100 locations in the UK. Here, the sushi restaurant focuses on two things: animal welfare and sustainable sourcing.
While the restaurant is not entirely plant-based, they make an effort to work with suppliers committed to animal welfare. Yo! Sushi hopes to inspire people to eat colorful food, and this is reflected in many of their vegan sushi platters.
Photo: Plant Powered Sushi Set from YO! Sushi
@katelouisepowell describes the sushi here as, “Soooo yummy. A sushi set that’s clearly marked vegan, including Avo Maki, Inari Tacos, and Veggie rolls with a little bit of everything. I enjoyed the addition of vegan mayo - it was really flavorful overall.”
Lucky Cat from Singapore
Lucky Cat is tucked away in the heartlands of Singapore and is known for its plant-based spin on Japanese cuisine. A must-try piece is the Salmon Sashimi. It looks like the real deal, but the salmon is made from Konjac jelly, giving its slippery and chewy texture.
Photo: Salmon Sashimi from Lucky Cat
@mariaubergine says, “OK, I was legitimately confused after eating this as it tasted SO MUCH like real sashimi?? Brought my omnivore friends to Lucky Cat and they absolutely adored everything — especially this vegan salmon sashimi! The texture and taste were both spot on! Definitely heading back for this dish.”
Photo: Tofunagi Maki from Lucky Cat
Many members also recommend the Tofunagi Maki; it replaces grilled unagi with charred tofu and gets topped with a drizzle of sweet teriyaki sauce and the Soy Meat Floss Maki, made with mock crab sticks.
Let it V from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentina is a meat-loving country, but many vegan restaurants have emerged in the dining scene in recent years. One of them is Let it V, which started in 2019 and is located in one of the largest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. Let it V has several dishes, but sushi is one of their signature items on the menu.
Photo: Hey Jude from Let it V
Many of their sushi rolls get named after famous Beatles songs. Hey Jude, is one sushi that many of our members like; @lauchis reviews saying, "My favorite vegan sushi place. It comes with rolls and nigiri. So good!"
Linfa Milano from Milan, Italy
The name of the restaurant comes from the Latin word "lymph," meaning water. Its logo symbolically represents freshness and purity. The meaning refers to the idea of nourishing the body and mind. Hence, the restaurant believes consuming plant-based food is the way to restore balance.
Photo: Futomaki Avo Rosa from Linfa Milano
Many of their dishes get inspired by Mediterranean flavors, and this is seen in their sushi. Take the Futomaki Avo Rosa; it is made with rice, rose nori, avocados, dried tomatoes, and basil. @animalionline reviews this saying, "It was very interesting to taste maki with a Mediterranean flavor." Another popular order is the Futomaki Nori Verde; it's colorful and filled with fresh ingredients such as zucchini, carrots, peppers, chives, cashew, and herbs.
Hokkaido Restaurante Japonés from Madrid, Spain
Photo: Sushi Platter from Hokkaido Restaurante Japonés
The restaurant was founded in 2005 and has gained a name for itself over the years. The prices might be steep, but their plant-based sushi does not disappoint. Many of our members refer to this place as one to come by if you want to indulge. @Violetacm says, "They have many vegan and original options. It is not cheap, but for a special occasion, it is well worth it." Our members' favorites from here are the Assorted Sushi and Maki. @crazyoatlady says, "The shiitake sushi is incredible, and the original tempura sweet potato. The quality of the sushi is very good."
Kyoto Joe from Hong Kong
After 20 years, Kyoto Joe has reopened in a new location right across the street from its former premises. Created with a mission to deliver original and unique Japanese dishes, Kyoto Joe uses fresh ingredients for all their sushi. The menu is not entirely vegan, but they provide plenty of plant-based sushi options that many members enjoy.
Their Ladyfinger roll is a fan favorite for many vegans in the community, @moosewong reviews saying, “These were absolutely delicious. Okra sushi rolls wrapped in a thin beancurd sheet served warm with a slightly sweet sauce. The flavors and textures worked so well together - what a great example of purely vegan food (without mock meats) that is also flavorful and filling!”
Photo: Ladyfinger Roll from Kyoto Joe
SUPE Vegan from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This restaurant opened its doors in 2019 and is widely known for its range of Japanese fusion vegan dishes. The restaurant's moniker was inspired by the combination of the owners' names which is Summer and Hope, leading to Supe. Our members particularly enjoy the Golden Age Sushi platter, especially the mango roll. @scynsa says, "This #mango, #cucumber, #carrot all wrapped together with the rice and seaweed is phenomenal and fresh! It's so refreshing in your mouth, and I love being #veganin2020!"
Plushi from Cape Town, South Africa
Plushi operates as an online restaurant but still ticks the boxes on unique sushi flavors, customer satisfaction, and sustainable packaging. Expect several surprises when you order from this sushi restaurant.
Photo: June Sushi Platter from Plushi
Along with a complimentary incense stick, you'll find a customized Spotify playlist that matches the theme of your sushi order. Their food packaging is plastic-free too. It is made from PLA, a material made from plant-based ingredients, making the entire box compostable. Their sushi platter menu changes weekly, and they drop a mystery roll every month.
Tenon Vegan Sushi from Toronto, Canada
Tenon Vegan Sushi is a family-run restaurant with two locations in the city. As the name suggests, sushi is their specialty, but they offer other vegan Japanese dishes too. The restaurant began as a vegetarian spot, then moved to provide plant-based choices in 2011.
Photo: Golden Dragon Roll from Tenon Vegan Sushi