Bijay Gurung, left, and Amanda Bennett prepare sushi at Japango in Boulder, Colorado July 17. Michael Wilson/ Special to The Camera
Bijay Gurung, left, and Amanda Bennett prepare sushi at Japango in Boulder, Colorado July 17. Michael Wilson/ Special to The Camera ( MICHAEL WILSON )

When it comes to Colorado, no, there aren't plenty of fish in the sea. We're landlocked, people.

But that little barrier thankfully doesn't mean there isn't great sushi in town.

Check out these five cool spots for great sushi nearby.

Sushi Hana on the Hill

1220 Pennsylvania Ave.

11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 4-10 p.m. Sundays


The first you'll likely hear about, the closest you'll find to campus and recently revamped, Hana on the Hill is a go-to heaven for sushi-loving students. The cozy hideaway has an upscale chef but down-to-earth prices, such as $2.95 small plates (gyoza! calamari!) and two-for-$7 rolls before 5:30 p.m. every day.

It's an east-meets-west vibe, which is obvious in items like the Sushi Pizza, $13. It's a homemade pizza crust topped with spicy salmon, spicy tuna, crunchy roe and soy sauce. The chef also likes to experiment with wrapper choices. The Nanuto ($12) is tuna, salmon, yellowtail, crab and roe wrapped in a sheet of cucumber, and the Larry Sashimi Roll ($15.50) contains spicy tuna, asparagus, yellowtail inside soybean paper, topped with salmon, eel, avocado, roe and spicy sauce.

But those are the fancy-pants choices. Hana will also do you right with beginner and intermediate rolls, vegetarian rolls and great sushi entrees. Served with miso soup, you can get a large plate of seven pieces of sushi and tuna or assorted sashimi and pickled vegetables for $16.


1136 Pearl St.

11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-11 p.m. Fridays, and noon-11 p.m. Saturdays


Open and bright, Japango is a sushi restaurant that won't intimidate, especially because they have a large selection of non-sushi, non-seafood options. Lunch bowls of teriyaki chicken or beef, for instance, are $7.50-$10.

Sushi KAITEN has more than fish -- a fruit plate drifts by on the conveyer belt at the Longmont sushi restaurant.
Sushi KAITEN has more than fish -- a fruit plate drifts by on the conveyer belt at the Longmont sushi restaurant. ( Greg Lindstrom )

But it's the sushi menu you'll want to focus on if it's Tuesday or Happy Hour. For the former, Japango offers all-you-can-eat sushi for $29.95 from 5-10 p.m. For the 5-6:30 p.m. latter, hand rolls, four-piece California rolls and two-piece shrimp are each only $2.50, and there's $2 off special rolls.

That Happy Hour special brings the Aquaman special roll -- with tuna, asparagus and avocado, drizzled with honey and chopped macadamia nut -- down to only $10.50, but the more classic sushi is also reliably tasty. Try the tuna tataki, which is seared and served with a light sauce and chopped green onions.

Hapa Sushi Grill and Saki Bar

1117 Pearl St.

11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays-Wednesdays and 11:30 a.m.-midnight Thursdays-Saturdays


You -- the student with an erratic schedule and limited cash as well as good taste -- are the eater Hapa Sushi was designed to please. They offer online ordering, delivery (through Restaurant Runners, call 303-447-9883 for south of Pearl and 303-473-4730 for north) and are open until midnight on bar nights.

We consider sushi post-drinking food: Welcome to Boulder! On those bar nights, you'll also get great deals 10 p.m.-midnight. Rolls are two for $7 and appetizers are half off.

Hapa caters to both novice and expert sushi lovers. Beginners might want a classic California Rolls with crab, avocado and cucumber for $5.50, while the Advanced menu includes goodies like the Salmon Skin Roll for $6.50 with the skin, gobo (burdock root), salmon skin, cucumber, bonito (a relative of tuna), masago (capelin roe), sweet soy and scallions.

They also cater to, well, um, the kinky. Some of their most popular rolls are sex-themed, like the 69, the Foreplay, the Orgasm, the Multiple Orgasm and the XXX.

Sushi Zanmai

1221 Spruce St.

11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 5 p.m.-midnight Saturdays and 5-10 p.m. Sundays


Back rooms for big parties, karaoke Saturdays, all-day Happy Hour on Sundays and excellent sake bombs -- Zanmai is just downright fun. One of the chefs is even known to whip out a guitar during meal service. The fact that the food is consistently rated the best or among the best in the Boulder area is icing on the cake.

Fun aside, Zanmai is on top of the crowd because of the attentive service and detail-oriented chefs, who prepare food fresh at the sushi bar and sometimes tableside. Their most popular menu item actually isn't seafood, but beef: the Colorado Roll ($8.50), which includes raw filet mignon. Still, their sushi menu boasts some rare items like wasabi flying fish roe, surf clams and quail eggs.

If you're the type to crave a more Zen atmosphere, Zanmai's quieter sister restaurant Amu is right next door, where you'll have to remove your shoes before sampling their elegant small plates and wide array of sake.


2055 Ken Pratt Blvd. Suite A in Longmont

11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, noon-9 p.m. Saturdays and 5-9 p.m. Sundays


True, you're going to have to leave the precious Boulder bubble and venture to a strip mall in Longmont for Sushi Kaiten, but you've never eaten so well off a conveyer belt. Yep, a conveyer belt. Plates color-coded by price (about $2-$5 each) of fresh seafood crawl past the noses of diners, who snag whatever and however much their hearts and palates desire.

The offerings vary based on what's fresh and the chefs' whims, and the plating is still nice despite the mechanical delivery method. At the end of the meal, the server will count up plates to tally the bill.

Sushi KAITEN also has a set menu for those not keen on the game show-reminiscent challenge of snagging off the belt. Both the salmon and lobster hand rolls ($4 and $5) are popular, but regulars agree whole-heartedly that if you go to KAITEN and miss the apple wood-smoked salmon, you haven't really been.

Contact writer Kate Jonuska at On Twitter: @kjonuska.