Does authentic Japanese food exist in Colorado?

Our site may contain affiliate links. Read Advertiser Disclosure policy here.

A disproportionate amount of my favorite dishes in the world are Japanese.  As a newly minted Colorado resident, I have spent a good part of first few months here exploring the Japanese cuisine landscape. Unfortunately, I have been largely disappointed and would classify the Japanese food in Colorado including sushi to be quite mediocre. Amu in Boulder is a solid place but that’s about all I have found thus far.

In discussing my recent trip to Osaka with a fellow Osaka cuisine-addict, I received a tip that there was an Osaka man who started a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Japanese restaurant in the back of a small grocery store and the food is authentic as it comes.

I took up his advice and headed to Niwot, a small city North of Boulder.  The tipster told me to walk into the Niwot Market, the city’s local grocery store and head straight to the back past a Boar’s Head sandwich stand and self serve soup stand.



After a bit of wandering I saw a box of Pocky and knew we were in the right place.


My first criteria to determine if I am getting authentic Japanese food is whether I receive a healthy number of “Arigatou gozaimasu”s. (If you’ve been to Japan you know what I am talking about.)  Chef Tsukasa showered us with the familiar phrase so we immediately knew we were on to something.


After pulling up a seat at the small bar, we perused the menu and ordered a couple sushi rolls as appetizers.


The meticulous work of the younger man creating our rolls was impressive. The high quality cuts of fish were proudly on display. Without question this was the best sushi I have had in Colorado.  We loved our sushi but we were far more interested in the quality and authenticity of the Japanese entrées, the Japanese food that really excites our palates.

We went simple and ordered an Udon bowl and Donbori (Japanese rice bowl).  One bite and that amazing feeling of dining in Osaka came rushing back to us.  This is the real deal.


This food is absolutely phenomenal and as authentic as you will find in landlocked Colorado.  Our two rolls and two bowls with green tea came to 30 USD with tip.

Sachi Sushi is the name of the ‘restaurant’ and you can find the menu here. I’m sure it goes without saying, but come here for the food….not the ambiance.


We were there on a quiet Thursday evening but after becoming enamored with the food, we found that a small set of people in the know come here on Sundays when Chef Tsukasa serves a Sunday only Ramen dish that has my mouth watering already.

Chef Tsukasa is an incredibly friendly man and made us feel so welcome in his small restaurant.  The food is amazing and surely not what you’d expect in the back of a small grocery store in a small town in Colorado.

The bottom line

The next time you travel to Colorado, don’t come here!  The cuisine is too good, too reasonably priced and I love not having to wait in line.  Winking smile

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

About alex

Alex loves to travel and does so a lot. Logging 100,000 flight miles each year over the past 4 years, Alex uses points and miles to power his passion. Alex is continuously striving to experience the far reaches of the globe. In his day job, Alex is a Management Consultant frequently on the road advising Technology organizations. I love thinking about, reading about, and talking about all things travel. Feel free to reach me at

Sign up for Email || Twitter || Facebook |Tips & Tricks
Hotel Offers || Airline Offers || Bank Offers || Cash Back Offers


  1. Finding good japanese food can be hard and really hurts me. It’s my favorite food and after living there it’s hard to replicate. I’m currently in vancouver and nothing lives up to what I want =[
    Glad you found some though. Eat all you want!

  2. Second the sushi den comment (or Izakaya Den, it’s next door neighbor and run by the same owner)! Another option would be to check out Domo restaurant closer to the city.. Fantastic atmosphere and great “country” Japanese cuisine! Source: lived in Tokyo for 3 years and now living about a block from Sushi Den! 🙂

  3. I used to live in Boulder, and just got back from a visit a couple days ago. While we have been spoiled on Sushi here in HI, we liked going to Sushi Tora next to Zoe Ma Ma/Pasta Jay’s right off of Pearl. Hit the Gelato shop around the corner after! Looking for any other tips, shoot me a message. We ate out a lot and love Boulder!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.