What comes to mind when you think of Maryland? Blue crabs and Baltimore? The Ravens and the Orioles? If you’re being honest, you probably don’t think of Japanese food. And that’s understandable. While the state of Maryland has a ton to offer both locals and tourists alike, it only has a relatively tiny Asian population (around 7%), so it might not be the first place you think of to offer exceptional Japanese fare. But, in fact, it does.

Whether you’re into sushi, ramen, hibachi, or another Japanese favorite, there’s bound to be a restaurant in Maryland that will satisfy your craving. Don’t wait! Read on to learn more about five of Maryland’s top Japanese steakhouses, hibachi grills, and sushi bars.

1. Sakura Japanese Steak, Seafood & Sushi, Annapolis, Maryland  

If you love the whole hibachi experience (you know, sitting in front of a hot grill with your family and friends, watching as your meal is cooked right in front of you, joking around with a charismatic chef, and enjoying delicious food while it’s still piping hot), Sakura Japanese Steak, Seafood & Sushi is the place to visit in Annapolis, MD.

Patrons rave about its friendly staff, energetic and funny chefs, outstanding service, ample portions, and amazing food (particularly the fried rice, sushi rolls, scallops, chicken, and shrimp). Let’s not forget about the restaurant’s large beer and Saki selection too.

If you’re not up for in-person hibachi, the steakhouse also offers takeout service, which tends to be very popular (even more so during the pandemic). Despite the lack of a show with this option, reviewers say that the takeout food is as good as it is in person, which is a high compliment. Plus, there’s plenty of parking at Sakura, which makes it easy to run in and out if you’re rushing to get home to eat dinner.

So the next time you’re in Annapolis, try out Sakura! You won’t be disappointed.

Check out Sakura Japanese Steak, Seafood & Sushi’s menu in Annapolis, Maryland here.

Sakura hibachi

2. Niko Japanese Restaurant, Ellicott City, Maryland

Niko Japanese Restaurant in charming and historic Ellicott City, MD is best known for its fresh sushi, sashimi, and udon. Regulars flock to this “little gem in Ellicott City” not only for its top-quality Japanese fares like katsu-don and chirashi but also for its Korean offerings like water kimchi and sundubu. They also appreciate the restaurant’s cleanliness, calm and quiet atmosphere, and friendly service, in addition to its sizable food portions and affordable prices.

Locals frequently drop by during the week to enjoy Niko’s large lunch menu, quick service, and smiling staff. So if you’re in the mood for some absolutely delectable, high-quality sushi, you definitely won’t want to miss out on Niko’s in Ellicott City!

Find Niko Japanese Restaurant’s menu in Ellicott City, Maryland here.

3. Ginza Steak House & Sushi Bar, Severna Park, Maryland

Not all sushi is created equal, right? If you’re a fan of it, you know the difference between sushi that’s been made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and sushi that’s been sitting around for a while. Well, Ginza Steak House & Sushi Bar offers the type of sushi that is “hands down – the BEST sushi around!,” “VERY good,” and “always on point and fresh.” I don’t know about you, but this kind of feedback makes me anxious to try Ginza out myself! After all, nothing beats delicious sushi beautifully displayed on your plate.

Japanese food lovers also visit Ginza for its “high-end, futuristic atmosphere,” “hot, very fresh, and tasty” ramen bowls, miso soups, and shrimp, and quick, consistent, and attentive service. This sushi bar and steakhouse sounds spectacular – we should all pay it a visit soon!

View Ginza Steak House & Sushi Bar’s menu in Severna Park, Maryland here.

Ginza sushi

4. RamenYa, Glen Burnie, Maryland  

Some people love real Japanese ramen (as opposed to the cheap, high sodium version that can be found at the grocery store). If this describes you, then you better run, not walk, to RamenYa in Glen Burnie, MD. It’s a ramen fan’s paradise. Just listen to this high online praise: “this ramen house is the best in all of DMV” and RamenYa “looks to push ramen to the next level.”

RamenYa’s food stands out because there is a lot of Korean influence in its traditionally Japanese dishes (the eatery’s owners are Korean but studied in Japan). Everything, including the noodles and broth, is made from scratch using Japanese ingredients (like flour), which is noticed and appreciated by RamenYa’s large group of devoted followers. So if you’re a rabid ramen enthusiast too, you need to check out RamenYa in Glen Burnie as soon as possible!

Explore RamenYa’s menu in Glen Burnie, Maryland here.

5. Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, Edgewater, Maryland  

If you’re looking for a family-friendly restaurant that provides a diverse selection of Japanese dishes (including sushi and hibachi), look no further than Fuji Japanese Steakhouse in Edgewater, MD. Consider visiting during happy hour when appetizers are half off, come celebrate a birthday, or grab a bite to eat with friends. With a koi pond, a small bar area, and engaging hibachi chefs, the atmosphere is comfortable and friendly.

Customers describe the food as delicious and amazingly fresh. There are gluten-free options, you get a ton of food at very reasonable prices, and the customer service is excellent. I don’t know about you, but the next time I’m in search of a nice family hibachi experience, I’ll be on my way to Fuji in Edgewater!

Find Fuji Japanese Steakhouse’s menu in Edgewater, Maryland here.