If there's anything you need to know about a city, it's where to find some of the best of one of America's favorite meals: sushi.
Boston has got its collection of raw fish servers packed to the brim. On every major and even not-so-major subway stop, you're sure to find a place selling our classic favorite. But don't just settle for any server on the streets. Here are three sushi eateries you should be sure to check out.
Avana Sushi, Chinatown
Don't let looks fool you. In the case of Avana Sushi, the old saying that you should never judge a book by its cover rings true.
Walking in, you wouldn't realize that you're headed for a sushi restaurant. You pass through a convenience store and a cell phone product sales counter before reaching the somewhat cramped seating area. After two or three visits, it's become evident that the place is popular — there are always plenty of people around but the servers manage to find you a place to sit, guaranteed.
The set-up is simple, but welcoming — checkered table cloths line the tiny tables and the walls are covered with Styrofoam plates decorated by happy customers praising the restaurant. The servers immediately come to take your order, and are always cheerful and pleasant. For the quality of the food, the sushi is amazingly cheap.
One of their best rolls is perhaps the Volcano Roll, which is served with a warm topping of cheese and sauce on a well-arranged platter. The restaurant also offers a small variety of bubble tea and milk-based beverages.
What is most striking about Avana Sushi is their dedication to customer service. During one visit, the restaurant actually remained open an hour past closing to make sure every customer was happily fed — even those coming in after the closing time. Frequently, the cooks add several rolls of sushi to your order for no charge at all. And, no matter what, the servers are friendly and accommodating.
Ikura, Newbury Street
If you're looking for more quality service that could match Avana Sushi, Ikura on Newbury Street is another top notch option.
The restaurant is quite small, but well laid out in a way that is pleasing to the eye. For the basics, Ikura is relatively cheap, but some special rolls can cost up to $15. It has a wide variety of options, including a delicious lobster roll.
Best of all, each table has a large red button to press to call a waiter. You can use the button when you are ready to order, want the check, or require any other accommodations. The waiters come quickly and make things run as smoothly as possible in order to provide great customer service.
Haru, Shops at Prudential Center
Haru's initial appeal lies in its simple but classy design and decor. Walking by at night, the place looks sleek and modern. Inside, you are greeted by an employee and seated as quickly as possible. Be careful about eating at Haru during typical dinner hours if you're not a fan of sitting at the bar — the restaurant is justifiably packed.
The servers are quick and attentive, and present your order with an artistic touch. The price range is probably average to high, depending on the type of roll. None of the special rolls fall below $12, while the regular rolls range anywhere from $3.50 to $10.75.
It is undoubtedly classy, first-date material. If you're willing to spend a little, definitely head to Haru.