Conveyor Belt Sushi Bars Are the Best Restaurant Trend of 2021

An endless carousel of sushi? Sign us up.

There's something everybody inexplicably loves about seamless, automated food delivery. Maybe that's why vending machines are fun to us as kids, or why the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM was the hottest place to stop for sweets in 2012. Ever eaten a Pez? Of course you have, and it's not because those little sugar bricks taste that great.

Whatever the reason for that may be, the fascination is undeniable. So, when sushi plates and conveyor belts join forces for the ultimate automated dining experience, you know it's going to be a hit. I saw post after post of these revolutionary revolving sushi counters before I finally caved and visited one myself (Kura Revolving Sushi Bar in Atlanta). Even going solo for a quick lunch, it was a memorable meal that was absolutely worth the trip.

This restaurant operation is one-of-a-kind. A conveyor belt of delicious-looking sushi plates weaves around tables like a toy train, carrying everything from octopus nigiri to spicy popcorn shrimp rolls to hokkaido milk creamy tarts. Each table has an interactive touch screen menu that tells you about every sushi item on the bar, plus specialty dishes and drinks available for order.

Each dish is secured in a bubble-like capsule that pops open once you grab the plate with your fingers. The speed of the belt is about the same as the one you'd grab your checked luggage from at the airport, so you have a few seconds to decide on your picks. If you miss a dish or like it enough to take seconds, the menu repeats every 12 minutes or so.

The restaurant is priced by plates (each averaged at $2.85), and there's a little depositing slot at each table to tally up your finished plates. The more you eat, the more you're rewarded with Japanese cartoons on your table screen that prompt you to eat more. Appetizers, hot plates, and noodle dishes can be ordered as well for around $5 a dish, and come out on a higher, much speedier conveyor belt. All in all, it was a seriously well-priced dining experience.

Apparently, this style of sushi dining is far from newly trendy in Osaka, Japan where it originated at least 50 years ago. Restauranter Yoshiaki Shiraishi was inspired by watching beer bottles travel along a conveyor belt at a brewery and applied the same mechanics to his sushi plates. Thankfully, the United States has finally jumped on the sushi belt as well.

This restaurant-style allows you to get a sampling of Japanese cuisine without having to commit to just one roll or dish. Plus, you get to eat with your senses as you see and smell the food around you. You might end up trying something you would have completely disregarded on a standard menu. Check out a rotating sushi bar near you for your next date night or dinner with friends, and experience the nonstop food fun for yourself.


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