By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Oct 21, 2022 at 10:02 AM

Looking for new spots to try? Lori Fredrich has dished out her top five picks in 20 different dining categories, from brunch to BBQ and everything in between. 

What makes great sushi? It's definitely about the freshness and quality of the fish; but it's also about the way it's cut. It's about the rice, the grains of which should be smooth and shiny, with grains that are distinct. It's also about balance; the fish should be the star of the show, with the ingredients (however creative) complementing its delicate flavor. As a result, great sushi tends to be pricier, and for good reason.

These five spots are worth your while.

1. Kawa Ramen & Sushi

Sashimi at KawaX

2321 N. Murray Ave., (414)-800-7979
3rd Street Market Hall, 275 W. Wisconsin Ave.

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I have a great deal of respect for sushi restaurants that aren’t above purchasing great fish in small quantities, even if it means running out of it by the end of the day. It’s a philosophy employed by Kawa Ramen & Sushi, a restaurant which has upped the ante for East Side sushi fans. Their dishes are beautiful and balanced, and their fish is fresh.

2. Screaming Tuna

Sushi from Screaming TunaX

106 W. Seeboth St., (414) 763-1637
6300 W. Mequon Rd., (262) 643-4385

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The fish selection on the sushi menu at Screaming Tuna is a bit different from others in town, and if you’re looking for selections like unagi or bluefin tuna, you won’t find them. As a Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch partner, they’ve committed to a menu featuring only sustainably raised fish. That’s very good news for the sea. But, it’s also good news for you. Not only will you feel good about eating their sushi, you’ll appreciate their creative approach, which includes the use of fish like Iwana (Arctic char) and Shiro Maguro (Pacific Albacore).

3. Kin by Rice N Roll

Tosa Fab - Kin by Rice N RollX

7484 W. State St., (414) 524-9056

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The Thai fare at Kin is stellar, but their fresh, beautifully presented sushi is equally worthy of attention. Choose from more traditional nigiri and maki, plus beautifully presented modern creations like the Tosa Fab roll featuring a combination of fresh yellowtail, cilantro and avocado wrapped in black rice and topped with super white tuna. It’s topped with housemade curry mayo and microgreens.

4. Hungry Sumo 

Sashimi at Hungry SumoX

2663 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 595-9656

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For many years, Bay View was a sushi desert. But that’s no longer true thanks to Hungry Sumo, which brought a wealth of new dishes, plus a great sushi program to the table. Guests can choose from more classic maki, nigiri or sashimi (yes, it’s fresh!) or dive into modern takes like the La Fiesta maki featuring yellowtail, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeno, lime and chili oil topped with tuna, mango, avocado and black tobiko. 

5. Spicy Tuna

Phoenix board at Spicy TunaX

4823 W National Ave., (414) 671-4823

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There’s a reason why they say that sushi is an art form. The best is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate. But Spicy Tuna goes the extra mile with sushi platters decorated with flowers, whimsical animal drawings and abstract designs created with sauces that complement the featured maki. But the experience isn’t just for show; in fact, guests are encouraged to dip pieces of the accompanying sushi into the decorative sauces to create unique flavor combinations.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.