This Hidden Sushi Restaurant Is Tucked Inside A Gas Station

Sushi is so ubiquitous now, even in landlocked parts of America, that it's easy to take for granted this tasty, mostly hand-held and bite-size combination of fish, rice (blended with vinegar and other seasonings), and vegetables, often held together with an outer wrapping of seaweed (per MasterClass). Sushi and sushi restaurants are so common these days that it's also easy to forget the concept of sushi originated in Japan and that sushi has been part of the fabric of life there since the ninth century (via PBS).

Sushi came to America in the mid-1960s, when business partners Noritoshi Kanai and Harry Wolff, opened Kawafuku, a sushi bar serving traditional nigiri sushi, in the Little Tokyo neighborhood of Los Angeles. By 1970, Hollywood had welcomed a sushi restaurant. Favorable reviews from celebrities helped sushi rise in popularity and start gaining fans in other American cities. Today, sushi is considered to be healthy food and it can be found just about everywhere, including grocery stores and airports (per TASTE). And at least one gas station.

Would you eat sushi from a gas station? A TikToker asked that question recently when she posted about a sushi restaurant that shares space with a gas station and convenience store in Apex, North Carolina.

Akami Sushi Bar is a Han-Dee stop in Apex, North Carolina

According to the TikTok account @lindaeatsworld, hosted by a food and travel content creator based in North Carolina and Texas, Akami Sushi Bar in Apex, North Carolina is worth seeking out. The restaurant is tucked away in a gas station at 1561 E. Williams St., in Apex. "If you've been following me for a while,” @lindaeatsworld notes in a video, "you know I have a soft spot for unassuming exteriors that serve delicious food, and Akami fits the bill.”

Lani Simeona, host of the "Lunchtime Eats” channel on YouTube, visited Akami Sushi Bar shortly after it opened in 2021 and gave the restaurant an enthusiastic review. The casual restaurant with brightly colored decor is located at a Han-Dee Hugo's convenience store and BP gas station. Simeona ordered a house salad of mixed greens and vegetables with ginger dressing and a Phat Boy roll from Akami's list of signature rolls. It's made up of spicy tuna, scallion, cucumber, avocado, and tempura crunch, crowned with toro, the fatty part of tuna that's prized by sushi chefs and fans (per Catalina Offshore Products) and wasabi pepper. Simeona notes the Phat Boy roll packs such a flavor punch on its own that there is no reason to drown it in soy sauce.

'The best gas station sushi I have ever had'

Apex, about 20 minutes from Raleigh, North Carolina, is considered a great place to live, work, and raise a family (per Apex Economic Development). Big city neighbor Raleigh, meanwhile, is considered one of the top "foodie” cities in the country, sandwiched between San Antonio, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, according to a WalletHub survey. The greater Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area, known as the Triangle, is home to all types of cuisine, from steakhouses and seafood restaurants to brewpubs, wood-fired pizza, tapas, Mexican food, and classic Southern fare (per Eater). Got a hankering for sushi? You'll find that, too. M Sushi, the Triangle's inaugural "dedicated sushi and seafood restaurant” (per OpenTable), has locations in Durham and nearby Cary, North Carolina (according to Eater).

You might have an easier time grabbing a bite at a sushi restaurant in Apex, a little bit off the beaten path. There are multiple choices for sushi in and around the suburban community, according to Google, and Akami Sushi Bar gets high grades for freshness, presentation, and atmosphere (via Yelp). Yelp users describe the sushi and sashimi at Akami as top-notch and the atmosphere at the restaurant as casual (befitting a restaurant at a gas station) and contemporary. Says one Yelp user: "I gotta say, this is by far the best gas station sushi I have ever had. Full disclosure tho...this is the only gas station sushi I've ever had!!”