1. Ten – The Pinnacle of Charlottesville Sushi

Rising high above Charlottesville’s bustling streets, the elegantly stylish Ten exudes a luxurious atmosphere that combines classic sophistication and modern simplicity. This downtown standout is proud to be Charlottesville’s tallest restaurant, offering picturesque views of the city from its floor-to-ceiling windows. Whether you’re ensconced in the plush, intimate seating, or seated at the sleek sushi counter, you’ll surely be steeped in casual elegance and warmth of its ambiance.

When it comes to the menu, Ten flexes its creative muscles, and the result is a sushi experience that reflects both disciplined Japanese tradition and innovative fusions. The sushi chefs work meticulously, drawing on their vast knowledge to marry flavors and textures with impressive precision.

  • Highlight: Special Omakase, the chef’s bespoke selection of sashimi and nigiri that showcases the peak freshness and delicate flavors of various types of seafood. This unpredictable culinary journey, delivered in an array of visually striking dishes, punctuates Ten’s commitment to pushing the boundaries while revering sushi’s past.

  • Additional Features: Apart from the remarkable sushi selection, the sake list at Ten is admirable and extensive, perfectly complementing their food offerings. An exquisite selection of Japanese whiskeys is also available for those inclined towards stronger fare.

  • Perfect for: Special occasions and lavish celebrations, impressive business dinners where presentation and taste equally matter, romantic occasions, and anyone looking to indulge in a top-notch sushi experience.

2. Monsoon Siam – A Thai Sanctuary with Fantastic Sushi

Travel southeast from Japan to Thailand without leaving Charlottesville at Monsoon Siam. The vibrant eatery, draped in warm hues and adorned with eclectic decor, elicits the spirit of bustling Thai streets. The moment you walk in, the fragrant aromas envelop you, hinting at the culinary journey you’re about to undertake.

While Monsoon Siam is known predominantly for its high-quality Thai dishes, their sushi offerings often steal the spotlight. The sushi rolls are rolled as traditional as they come but with an added twist – an exotic Thai flair.

  • Highlight: Their Spicy Tuna Roll is a fiery showstopper – superbly fresh tuna, spiced and tempered to navigate the dynamic balance between heat, flavor, and texture. The roll’s vibrancy reflects the lively and adventurous spirit of Thailand itself.

  • Additional Features: Their menu boasts a range of vegetarian-friendly sushi options, offering a balanced variety for all. You can also pair your sushi with some of their famous Thai dishes for the best of both worlds.

  • Perfect for: An adventurous culinary escape, family-style meals, relaxed catch-ups with friends, and vegan sushi lovers looking for a place where their dietary preferences are respected.

3. Now & Zen – Humble Outside, Horizons Inside

Disguised as a modest sushi bar, once you step into Now & Zen, the world changes. The small, cosy interior denoted by minimalist decor, allows the focus to remain where it really matters – the food. And when it comes to food, Now & Zen transforms into a universe where culinary imagination runs wild, dishing out some of Charlottesville’s most inventive sushi offerings.

  • Highlight: The Ultimate sushi roll, is an ensemble of top-quality sushi favourites – tuna, yellowtail, salmon – topped with creamy avocado. True to its name, ‘The Ultimate’ represents a harmonious blend of taste and texture, taking you on a journey across the ocean’s depths in each mouthful.

  • Additional Features: Don’t leave without trying their array of sake or explore their collection of imported Asian beers. For dessert lovers, their green tea ice cream offers a palate-refreshing end to a hearty meal.

  • Perfect for: Low-key but flavorful food journeys, catch-ups with friends, casual family meals, or whenever you wish to savour high-quality sushi without denting your wallet.

Lauren Critzer

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and after college, I moved to San Francisco to explore new opportunities and broaden my horizons. I fell in love with the city's vibrant culture and unique atmosphere, but eventually, I moved again, this time to Austin, Texas.

As much as I loved living in different parts of the country, having a baby boy brought me back to my hometown in Charlottesville, where I now live with my husband, our little one, and two furry friends. I enjoy going to wineries, taking my pups everywhere, and spending quality time with my family.

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