Although Portland isn’t at all lacking in great Japanese restaurants, chirashi bowls are a bit harder to come by. Chirashi bowls, an assortment of different cuts of fish over rice, are a dream come true for sushi lovers, often abundant with prime cuts of sashimi at a decently low price. Chirashi bowls are not for the unadventurous, almost always an eclectic mix of chef’s choice fish. In some cases, a lucky diner may nab a few bites of sea urchin. Those seeking a wider variety of fish may prefer to check out our sushi map.Read More
10 Unbelievable Chirashi Bowls in Portland
Explore the different bowls across the city
1. Toshi Restaurant
Beaverton, OR 97006
Tucked away in the outskirts of Beaverton, Toshi is a homey, hole-in-the-wall restaurant that serves an impressive spread of Japanese comfort dishes. Even though Toshi hasn’t garnered much media attention, it’s a well-known Japanese institution on the west side. The chirashi bowl here comes with a standard assortment of items such as salmon, tuna, shrimp, mackerel, and eel; however, it can be upgraded to a deluxe for some salmon roe and sea urchin.
2. Fish & Rice
Relatively new to the Portland sushi scene, Fish & Rice delivers casual counter service sushi in a cute & stylish setting. The Northwest Portland spot has an abundance of tender and fresh fish, without any of the upscale restaurant prices. The chirashi here is a very visually pleasing one, served with microgreens and several cuts of the chef’s selection. Don’t forget to order some items off the special menu, which occasionally include gems such as king salmon collar or Miyazaki wagyu nigiri.
3. Masu Sushi
Known for its modern design and eclectic sushi dishes, Masu delivers remarkable sushi in a fashionable setting. Masu’s chirashi might be the most expensive in town, but it’s also one of the largest, with everything from salmon belly to yellowtail. Plus, the happy hour here offers a discount on most of the sushi menu, including the chirashi bowl — the discounted price will make room in any budget for bubbles or wagyu nigiri.
4. Bamboo Sushi
Portland’s sustainable sushi chain, Bamboo’s chirashi bowl here features a wider variety of humanely caught fish than others, and is one of the few to consistently accompany it with surf clam and octopus. Reservations at Bamboo are highly recommended on evenings and weekends, unless your name is Damian Lillard.
5. Yama Sushi & Sake Bar
With two locations on opposite sides of Portland, Yama Sushi has a wide variety of sake in addition to their large sushi menu. The chirashi here usually comes with thick cuts of fish like salmon and amberjack, and holds its own against some of the more expensive bowls in town.
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Portland, OR 97201
An incredibly popular spot among Japanese businessmen and sushi fanatics alike, Murata is a little slice of Japan. On the menu is a wide spread of well-made Japanese classics such as broiled mackerel, steamed egg custard, and pork katsu. Although Murata’s chirashi features a great variety of rotating fish, the star of the bowl is most definitely the grilled sea eel.
Home of the famous yuzu shio ramen, Afuri is already a Japanese staple in Portland’s food scene. Still, Portland’s Afuri sells more than just ramen — a large portion of the dinner menu includes a variety of sushi dishes, one of them being a heavily loaded chirashi bowl, with a wide variety of sashimi, some fresh crab, and a center of pristine salmon roe.
8. Daruma Sushi + Sake
Daruma, a little Killingsworth gem with high-caliber sushi, is known for its late night $20 “Darumakase,” but the chirashi should not be slept on either. It’s bountiful, with large cuts of chef’s choice sashimi and veggies. It’s best enjoyed at the cozy sushi bar with some of the house-made pickles.
9. Zilla Sake
Helmed by renowned sushi chef Kate Koo, Zilla delivers both rare sake and meticulously sourced fish from places like Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Market. The chirashi here is not only wildly inexpensive for the quality, but also one of the most dynamic and distinctive in the city. Loaded with an assortment of fish from the daily specials board, be prepared for anything — even monkfish liver.
Nimblefish chef and owner Cody Auger runs a chic-but-decently-casual Edomae-style sushi counter in Southeast Portland. Although the prices here are on the lavish side, the chirashi is affordable and ever-changing. It’s generally anchored by staples such as tuna and salt-water eel, as well as a mix-in of unusual cuts like skipjack and golden eye snapper.