Sushi has never gone out of style here in Toronto, and, with the sheer volume of Japanese restaurants popping up across the city, it likely never will. But it’s not just any sushi that diners are lined up for this spring: hand rolls are having their long overdue moment in the spotlight. Once reserved for only high-end sushi masters and omakase dining, now these rolls have become one of the most popular items on the sushi menu.
Temaki gets its name because unlike maki, these rolls are meant to be picked up with your hands and bitten into. So leave the chopsticks at home when you try out these must-have hand rolls across the city!
The temaki at Torch are so tightly packed and smoothly rolled, you wouldn’t think they were done by hand. Though the spicy salmon is a beloved customer favourite, the hand roll highlight on this menu goes to the lobster roll—one of the chunkiest you’ll find at this price point. 507 Church St.
Whatever kind of roll you want most, To-Ne Sushi probably has it up at an affordable price. The classic spicy tuna hand roll is one of the most talked about at this joint, though they also serve up some interesting twists on rolls, like the Crunch hand roll, a California roll rolled in tempura bits. 414 Queen St W.
With a wrap to separate the negi from the rice, even the takeaway hand rolls at downtown sushi joint Omai are as fresh as if you’re dining in house. With tastes and are prices this good, you don’t have to pick just one hand roll—but if you do, the bluefin tuna is a customer favourite. 3 Baldwin St.
It might be one of the more low-key and underrated sushi bars, but Kinoya offers one of the largest selections of hand rolls the city has to offer. Everyone’s had a California roll and a negitoro, but Kinoya’s snow crab and Hamachi rolls are harder to come by. And who knows, you might even see a celebrity while there! 293 King St. W.
Nami Japanese Restaurant
One of Toronto’s highest rated Japanese restaurants also happens to be one of the oldest. Though Nami Japanese Restaurant serves up the hand rolls at a higher cost ($19 for a negi-toro compared to closer to $10 at other locations), it’s worth it for the traditional Japanese atmosphere you get when dining inside. 55 Adelaide St. E.
Spanning from Vancouver’s Aburi Restaurant, Miku is Toronto’s source for flamed-seared sushi. On the take-out menu, hand roll options include everything from cucumber avocado to spicy salmon and spicy tuna, but the most sought-after is the classic negi-toro hand roll. The green onion and fatty tuna combination might be on every sushi menu, but it’s a classic for a reason! 105-10 Bay St.