For decades, the tiny eatery tucked away on a short side street in the heart of downtown has served award-winning sushi by Tokyo-born chef Yoshi Mabuchi. In a location too hidden to stumble upon, Sushi by Yoshi became a destination—for some, a meal by Yoshi was the only reason to venture into town. For many young Nantucket residents, their first bites of sushi were prepared by Yoshi; he introduced an entire generation of island kids to Japanese food.
When fire swept through Sushi by Yoshi in November of 2013, there was a huge outpouring of sadness and good wishes for this beloved island restaurant and for owners Yoshi and Donald Noyes. No one had been injured in the electrical fire, but the restaurant was gutted. Throughout that winter and the following spring, the restaurant remained boarded up, and residents were unsure of when (or if) it would reopen. Slowly the plywood nailed over the entrance door filled with graffiti:
“You make miso happy!”
“Must have sushi now!!”
“You’re our roll model.”
“We love you Yoshi, please return.”
As the weather grew warmer, activity on East Chestnut Street made it clear that Sushi by Yoshi would return. By August, the restaurant was open for business with Chef Terry Noyes taking the place of his Uncle Don and Yoshi working his usual long hours: tending the garden where he grows Japanese vegetables he uses, mixing spices, crimping dumplings, and creating new recipes. “Yoshi is a bundle of energy,” Terry commented. “He’s up every morning by 5 am, and by 10 am we have a new invention,” added Colin, our enthusiastic server.
Sushi is the jewel in the crown at Yoshi’s, but the menu also offers Japanese dishes (both hot and cold) from spring rolls and miso soup to curry, tempura, rice, and noodle dishes. There’s always something new on the Daily Specials board that often features seafood fresh from the docks (we’ll never forget the sweet & savory bay scallop rolls offered a few seasons back). Yoshi’s is BYOB, but they are happy to chill your wine or heat your saki.
The new interior is bright and airy, with high ceilings and a relaxed, open feel. The small sushi barwas sacrificed for additional table seating in the renovation — good thing, because it’s first-come, first served, no reservations.
The menu at Sushi by Yoshi is familiar to patrons and includes island favorites like their beautiful Rainbow Roll, simple Negi Hamachi, and summery Aloha Roll, plus a few named after loyal long-time customers (yes, Mitchell, we’re talking about you!). The Nigiri is beautifully draped and the Sashimi fresh and shimmering. New items are frequently added, usually successful specials such as the Tempura Sweet Potato Roll and Nantucket Ocean Roll.
New for this season is a 3-course Lunch Special. For just $15, you may order miso soup or salad then add gyoza or spring roll or shrimp shumai and finish with a California Roll or a Dynamite Roll or a Nantucket Tuna Roll. Take out or eat in, it’s the best deal in town!
We would have happy just feasting our Sushi by Yoshi favorites during our dinner last week, but every evening there’s a tempting new dish to try.
For now the downtown location of Sushi by Yoshi is the only place you can buy Yoshi’s sushi, but come July their superb sushi will be available fresh daily in Sconset at the Sconset Market and in Madaket at Mille’s Market.
Sushi by Yoshi
508-228-1801 • 2 East Chestnut Street,
(around the corner from the Information Center)
Lunch Daily: 11 am – 2:30 pm Dinner Daily: 4 – 9:30 pm
Expanded hours in-season
BYOB • First-Come, First-Served.
Party Platters and Catering Available
Major credit cards accepted
Indoor Dining & Full Menu offered as Take-out