If there’s one thing in my life that stays constant, it’s my undying love for sushi and Japanese-American cuisine. When I arrived in Eugene four years ago I set out on a mission to find a sushi eatery that had fresh fish, a unique menu and a traditional feel.
It took time but I believe I have discovered five of the best sushi locations in the area.
Located in Oakway Center, Mio offers an exceptional menu, a sushi train, affordable prices, and excellent service. Menu items include bento boxes, combination meals, salads, soups, appetizers, premium sushi rolls, nigiri sushi, noodle dishes and even dessert. All menu items are available for both lunch and dinner. They also have a daily happy hour with excellent drink specials and discounted food prices. Mio Sushi actually has twelve locations around Oregon and Washington so wherever you are, give it a try! I promise it will become one of your favorites.
If you’re ever on campus and have a craving for Japanese food, walk no further than 13th and Hilyard. Miso is always bustling with students and faculty, so don’t be surprised if you run into an awkward acquaintance or your attractive economics teacher. Service is not always the greatest as there is only one waitress to take orders and deliver food. Just don’t go there when you’re pressed for time. Menu items include the usual bento boxes, specialty sushi rolls, appetizers, udon, and combination meals, and Miso is the only place I am aware of that offers a chicken teriyaki and rice bowl for $3.95. I am always surprised by the freshness of their sushi, which actually makes the wait very worthwhile. Relax from beginning of the term jitters and head over to Miso.
Sushi Pure (pronounced pure-ay)
Located right next to 5th Street Public Market, Pure is Eugene’s own high-end sushi eatery. Though prices are higher than others on this list, Pure has an extensive menu with several imaginative variations of typical Japanese cuisine and a trendy yet traditional atmosphere. Lunch is a few dollars cheaper than dinner and their diverse daily sushi specials are available all day. There’s also a full bar! Pure uses special rice that appears purple and apparently has several health benefits. For one person, you’re looking at spending anywhere from $10 to $30 depending on what you order, but keep in mind that most high-end sushi restaurants around America are often more expensive. So take your special someone or visiting parents to Pure for a night of Eugene-style extravagance.
With two locations a few miles off campus, the family owned Sushi Domo is sure to satisfy your taste buds. They are open for lunch and dinner throughout the week though closed on Sundays. The ambiance is traditional yet contemporary with a sushi bar and Japanese style benches complete with plush lounge pillows. The menu includes a large range of bento boxes, noodles, and sushi rolls – all the typical Japanese menu items but with their own unique twist. Every meal is guaranteed fresh, and prices for meals range from $10 to $20. Sushi Domo’s sushi is especially noteworthy with items like the Titanic (8 pieces of shrimp tempura, tuna, salmon, crab, avocado, asparagus and a spicy aioli ponzu sauce), the Crazy Roll (8 pieces of unagi, crab meat, asparagus, avocado with coconut and special sauce), and the Volcano (8 pieces of baked spicy tuna on a California roll with garnished masago, green onion, hot sauce and unagi sauce). If those don’t make your mouth water, I don’t know what will!
Located in a quiet shopping center near Costco, Izumi Sushi and Grill is Eugene’s own swanky Japanese restaurant. They’re open Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner and for dinner on weekends until 11 p.m. The lounge-like eatery offers happy hour everyday from 4 to 6 p.m. and then 9 p.m. to close. The service is impeccable as is the menu with both simple and complex sushi rolls, delicious noodle soups, and fresh fish and meat entrees that make the drive and price totally worthwhile.