The next time you’re enjoying sushi and sashimi, complete the experience by washing it down with a little sake. The Japanese alcoholic beverage is commonly referred to as “rice wine,” but it’s actually produced by a brewing process similar to how beer is created. These Philadelphia spots serve a variety of different types of sake in the form of cocktails, sake bombs, small carafes and flights.
Aki Japanese Fusion and Sushi Bar
1210 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Great sushi specials and a sleek modern atmosphere make Aki a favorite Midtown Village spot. One of the most popular options is the maki roll lunch special. Your choice of any two ($8.50) or three ($11.50) rolls are served with miso soup or salad. Those with a big appetite will love the all-you-can-eat sushi for just $24.95. Wash it all down with a unique variety of over a dozen sakes ranging from light to full bodied, available in four- or eight-ounce carafes or by the bottle. Or go for the more creative sake bombs and specialty cocktails such as the Cherry Blossom, made with sake, passion fruit and lychee and topped with a cherry.
Related: Top Sushi In Philadelphia
723 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Morimoto has been receiving both national and international attention ever since it opened in 2001. When you partner up acclaimed restaurateur Stephen Starr with Iron Chef Morimoto, it’s no surprise that the restaurant appears on lists including “50 Hot Tables in America” in Conde Nast Traveler magazine and “Best Restaurants in America” in Gourmet magazine. Over 10 years after its opening, Morimoto is still one of the most popular Philadelphia spots, so you’ll want to get reservations or you should be prepared to wait. Luckily, the lounge on the mezzanine level is the perfect spot to enjoy pre-dinner drinks. Choose from about 20 different sakes, which are grouped in different categories on the menu to make it easier for you to pick, or try the specialty martini made with sake, vodka and Japanese cucumber.
3636 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Executive chef Hugh Moran and sushi chef T. Takasu serve up Asian-fusion dishes in this University City hot spot from Stephen Starr. The futuristic atmosphere complete with a conveyor belt-style sushi bar and egg-shaped “pod” seating areas, make it a popular spot to meet friends for lunch, dinner or drinks. While most people come for the hand-rolled sushi and sashimi, you’ll want to order a few drinks to complete the experience. The restaurant recently introduced sake flights at $18. Enjoy Shirakabe Gura Tokubetsu, Yuki No Bosha Nigori and Kiki Masamune Taru.
Raw Sushi & Sake Lounge
1225 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
With its tasty Asian cuisine, creative cocktails and a lively nightlife scene, Raw is right at home in eclectic Midtown Village. The menu features innovative takes on Japanese classics such as salmon teriyaki and almond-coated shrimp tempura, along with unique sushi creations. The restaurant’s extensive sake selection is imported from Japan and it boasts more than 30 varieties of the rice-based drink. To make your decision easier, the menu is divided into dry, light and floral, smooth balance and sparkling. To try a variety, order one of the sake flights. Sample four of the featured sakes for $18 or four premium sakes for $31. Sake is available by the carafe, mini bottle or bottle, and it’s also in specialty cocktails, such as the Black Honda, a mixture of raspberry vodka, sake, raspberry liqueur, lemon juice and a bit of Sprite for $11.
211 N. 11th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Yakitori Boy is modeled after the Japanese version of a pub, izakaya. Guests are invited to relax while sharing small plates of food, affectionately called “Japas,” or Japanese tapas. The Yakitori skewers consist of seasoned meat, seafood or vegetables and are always a favorite. Hang out at the downstairs bar for a relaxing after-work drink with friends or head upstairs to cut loose in the Japas Karaoke Lounge. Get some liquid courage with a sake bomb before taking the mic. Yakitori offers an extensive selection of wine, cocktails, Japanese beers and sakes, including bottle service on the second floor.
Michelle Hein is the social media editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer fiance would love to open.