Affordable Sushi in Downtown Aspen | Takah Sushi

Finding affordable sushi in Aspen, Colorado, is pretty much unheard of — unless you’ve had the pleasure of dining at Takah Sushi.

It all started with a semi-cimmerian evening of blues, pinks, and clear skies, opaque against the coming starlit night.

The day had been comfortable but was quickly turning into a crisp dawn where the collection of colorful Christmas lights made a romantic walk down the city streets.

However, my attention was not drawn to the surrounding lights, single women, and lack of snow but to the underground dungeon of one of Aspen’s most authentic, innovative, and flourishing treasures — Takah, known for serving the best sushi in Aspen!

As I receded down into the constantly warm, yet bare staircase to the heart of the Takah Sushi establishment, I turned the corner and was quickly welcomed by not only a nice staff but also a contemporary design that would have left me shaking the architect’s hand in approval.

Taking a seat at the sushi bar to have a more personal relationship with the individual who was making my hopefully favorable meal, I was introduced to Sous Chef Joe, who greeted me with a smile as he prepared for what seemed to be a very busy night.

The Best Affordable Sushi in Aspen

As the waitress provided me with water and took my order for a glass of King Estates Pinot Gris, a four-year-aged white wine bottled out of Oregon in the year 2007 that should definitely be featured in the Aspen Food & Wine Festival. I took a look at the menu and quickly ordered the “Me So Happy Roll” along with the “Salmon Skin Roll,” which seemed to be quite a delight.

Affordable Sushi in Downtown Aspen | Takah Sushi

Watching Joe showcase his culinary expertise, he promptly presented me with a stunning display of the two rolls, known for being the best sushi in Aspen. Anxious to dig in, I set my napkin on my lap, broke out the wooden bamboo chopsticks, and took my first bite, which happened to be the Salmon Skin Roll.

Immediately, my taste buds erupted with flavors! Each ingredient flowed evenly throughout my mouth, starting with the salmon itself. It was quickly followed by the bonito flakes, burdock root, and kaiware sprouts that tasted as if it was sandwiched between two smooth patties of Japanese white rice and wrapped in seaweed.

Surprised at the quality and freshness of each ingredient (after all, we were in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, over 900 miles away from the Pacific Coast), I swallowed the delightful bite I had just encountered at one of the best sushi restaurants in Aspen and readied myself for the next seemingly superior roll.

Picking up my chopsticks once more, I balanced the work of art that we call sushi, examined the ingredients, and allowed myself to enjoy the perfect combination of tempura sweet potato, spicy tuna, and radish sprouts immersed in the sweet Japanese rice and eel sauce.

Thinking back on it now, the best way to explain it would be an “orgasm in my mouth” experience!

Affordable Sushi in Downtown Aspen | Takah Sushi

Savoring Takah’s Special Roll

Finishing up my two rolls, I glanced through the menu once more to find another special delight — Takah’s Sushi Special Roll, a delectable choice that perfectly complements the vibrant atmosphere of enjoying sushi in Aspen, paired with a side of Japanese rice.

Wrapped inside out with rice, a thin layer of seaweed, pieces of tuna, snow crab, avocado, and cucumber, topped with one of my personal favorite ingredients in sushi (masago), Takahs’ Special Roll was indeed very special with the type of ingredients it contained!

The roll was a subsidiary in the choice to the previous rolls, but don’t let my decision persuade you to describe the sushi roll as mundane — I enjoy food that excites and delights my taste buds!

Uni Nigiri Delight

Finishing up once more, I was extremely full and decided to treat myself to something that had caught my attention earlier — the Uni Nigiri Sushi, widely acclaimed as the best compared to other sushi restaurants in Aspen. 

The last experience I had with sea urchin was when I worked onboard a cruise ship based out of Hawaii. Back then, my buddy Victor and I spoke with the locals about which ones were edible, then proceeded to go diving so that we could try one out.  

Sadly, we picked two that were still babies, so there wasn’t a lot of meat in it, and we hadn’t tasted much of the flavor to enjoy the experience. However, sitting at this sushi bar in Aspen, Colorado, was a different story!

Affordable Sushi in Downtown Aspen | Takah Sushi

Placing two large pieces of the best sushi in Aspen, Uni, in front of me, Joe paused to take in my expression. From the look on his face, you could tell that not many people ordered this dish, and he seemed somewhat curious as to what my response would be.

Even the people sitting to the left and right of me stopped in curiosity to see what I had ordered, and they, too, had a similar look of puzzlement across their faces. Putting everyone’s curiosity behind me, I opened my mind once more, separated the two pieces, and proceeded to “live in the moment,” even though I’ve heard many times that sea urchin takes an acquired taste.

Aspen’s Underrated Sushi Gem

Taking in the first bite of this underrated sushi in Aspen, my senses began to set in motion with the wide variety of flavors. It really amazed me how much this small slice of urchin actually reminded me of the islands. You could distinctively taste the ocean in every bite. It was fishy, but not too fishy. 

Although a bottom feeder, the flavor was intense with the marine life, but not too intense.

It wasn’t chewy by any means but instead had a texture that reminded me of fish but was a bit smoother as it melted in my mouth. 

All in all, I would give this rare delicacy, from one of the must-try, best affordable sushi restaurants in Aspen, a 9.5 out of 10 when rated in the seafood category, and I have to say that you’ve GOT to try it out.

Finishing my meal, the waitress cleared my plate and Joe presented me with one last treat of pineapple (the perfect palate topper), I paid my bill, tipped Joe, and made my way up the stairs and out of the establishment.  

Final Thoughts

Takah in Aspen was one of the best meals I’ve had since moving here, not just because I love sushi but due to the food’s freshness, quality, and presentation.

Where do you go for affordable sushi while traveling? Would you like to try this affordable sushi in Aspen? What’s your go-to sushi restaurant? Share it with us, and let’s build a community of sushi enthusiasts and swap stories that tantalize our taste buds!