How do you eat more at all-you-can-eat sushi?

All-you-can-eat sushi restaurants offer an amazing value by allowing customers to eat unlimited amounts of sushi for a fixed price. For sushi lovers, these restaurants provide the perfect opportunity to indulge. While it may seem impossible to get your money’s worth at one of these restaurants, there are some simple techniques you can use to maximize the amount of food you eat during your visit.

Pace Yourself

One of the keys to eating more at an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant is pacing yourself. It’s easy to fill up too quickly by devouring rolls as soon as they arrive at your table. Instead, take the time to enjoy each piece of sushi. Chew slowly and savor the flavors. This will allow your stomach to register satiety more gradually so you can eat more over the course of your meal.

Try ordering one or two pieces of sushi at a time. Only request more when you’ve finished what’s already at your table. This forces you to pace yourself instead of overwhelming your palate and stomach by ordering a boatload of sushi all at once.

It’s also important to take breaks between orders. Drink some green tea or water to help digest the food you’ve already eaten. Chat with your dining companions for 10-15 minutes before ordering again. This gives your brain and belly time to sync up so you can gauge your fullness accurately.

Start with Low-Calorie Options

To maximize how much sushi you can eat, start your meal with lower calorie items like seaweed salad and miso soup. This will help fill up space in your stomach without overloading it with dense proteins and fats right away. Edamame and gyoza are other light starters that prep your stomach for the rolls to come.

Focus initially on vegetarian sushi like cucumber and avocado rolls too. The lighter flavors and textures make these options easier to consume in larger quantities. Just beware of cream cheese-laden veggie rolls which can be deceptively high in calories and fat.

Hold off on sashimi and nigiri until after you’ve made a dent in the lighter sushi. The raw fish and rice involved are extremely filling, so diving into them too soon can hinder your ability to eat more pieces overall.

Opt for Smaller Portions

At most all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants, any plate with leftover sushi is subject to an additional charge. To avoid this wasted expense and eat more, order smaller sushi rolls that you can consume completely. For example, request cut rolls made up of just 4-6 pieces rather than a full roll of 8 or more slices.

Mini hand rolls and bite-sized nigiri are easier to finish as well. You may even want to specify petite portion sizes to the chef or server. Smaller pieces add up faster than large sushi rolls in terms of maximizing your quantity.

Alternatively, enlist the help of fellow diners. Order larger plates to split and sample a variety of rolls while avoiding leftovers.

Mix Up Your Order

Sticking to just one type of sushi, no matter how delicious, is likely to get monotonous after a few plates. Combat taste bud boredom by mixing up your order. Alternate between creative specialty rolls, classic nigiri, refreshing vinegar-laced sashimi, and fried items.

Varying tastes, temperatures, and textures keeps your palate interested longer. You’re less likely to get full quickly when there’s constant novelty with each round of sushi ordered.

Don’t forget to check the specials board either. All-you-can-eat sushi restaurants typically run daily promotions featuring their most creative rolls. Taking advantage of these specials lets you enjoy the most unique offerings without risking dislike.

Keep Your Plate Clean

Leaving remnants of ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce on your plate takes up valuable real estate that could be used for more sushi instead. To maximize space for fresh pieces, thoroughly clean off any condiments or stray grains of rice before ordering again.

Using a small condiment plate also helps. Mix up a tiny bit of wasabi and soy sauce for dipping rather than pouring it directly on your sushi. This keeps the flavors contained and your plate pristine.

Ask the waiter to remove used garnishes like daikon radish sprouts or lemon wedges as well. Don’t let non-sushi elements clutter your workspace and get in the way of more rolls.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids is crucial for feeling ready to eat more. Green tea, sparkling water, and hot broth soups are all hydrating options that complement sushi well. Dry mouth and dehydration will sabotage your efforts quickly, so be sure to sip liquids often.

One tactic is to order a fresh beverage each time you get another round of sushi. Green tea has the added benefit of aiding digestion, which helps make room for more food intake. Alternating sushi with soup spoonfuls is another great way to get in fluids.

Avoid filling up on soda or other high calorie beverages, however. Water, tea, and broth maximize hydration without ruining your appetite in the process.

Take Advantage of Downtime

All-you-can-eat sushi restaurants often experience ebbs and flows in terms of foot traffic. Take advantage of naturally slower times such as between regular lunch and dinner services to maximize your sushi intake. The staff is likely to be more attentive as well since they have fewer other customers to serve.

Late night right before closing time is another strategic opportunity for all-you-can-eat dining. You’ll face less competition for the chef’s attention if you don’t mind eating late.

Checking online reviews can provide tips on a restaurant’s slowest hours. You may even want to call ahead to inquire or scope it out in person beforehand.

Strategize Plate Ordering

Carefully planning how you order plates from the conveyer belt or server can lead to higher overall consumption. Approach the meal strategically in terms of sushi roll options.

For example, bookend a series of lighter vegetable or shrimp tempura rolls with fatty tuna or salmon nigiri. The contrast keeps your tastebuds engaged and prevents flavor fatigue. Intersperse fried items with raw fish for a balance of textures as well.

Alternating between warm and cool sushi can also make each piece seem more appealing. Place rolls featuring hot sauces like spicy mayo earlier in your lineup before switching to cooling cucumber or avocado.

Mind Portion Size

Keep a mental note of how many pieces come in each sushi roll ordered. This allows you to calibrate the right amount to eat of each plate. Knowing that a specialty roll has 10 pieces means you can gauge fullness correctly and avoid leaving a lot behind.

For all-you-can-eat restaurants that charge for uneaten sushi, carefully monitoring portion sizes becomes especially important. You want to order enough to satisfy you without overbuying rolls you can’t finish.

If still in doubt, ask your server upfront how many pieces come in a particular roll. The menu may also indicate portion sizes to help inform your decisions.

Use Condiments and Garnishes to Your Advantage

Wasabi, pickled ginger, soy sauce, and other condiments can all help you eat more at an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant. Taking advantage of their strategic use is key.

For instance, a tiny dab of wasabi can help clear your palate between different types of sushi. Gari ginger acts as a natural digestive aid, allowing you to consume more overall. Soy sauce adds layers of savory umami flavor, preventing taste bud fatigue.

Mixing a small amount of these condiments into each piece enhances subtle flavors so each bite seems new. Don’t go overboard though. Too much wasabi or soy can overpower the taste of the sushi itself.

Avoid Filling Side Dishes

Some all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants include unlimited complementary sides like miso soup, salads, appetizers, and noodles. While taking advantage of these inclusions can add value, they also take up precious stomach space better used for sushi.

Before diving into the edamame, analyze the menu carefully. Determine which sides are so compelling you’d be willing to sacrifice potential sushi real estate to enjoy them. Otherwise, it may be best to stick to lighter broth-based starters and forego filing sides.

Another tactic is to order rice-based sides like tempura or seaweed salads later in the meal. They make refreshing palate cleansers between decadent fatty sushi courses.

Avoid Filling Up on Fried Foods

From shrimp tempura to vegetable spring rolls, all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants often include an array of deep fried appetizers. While delicious, too many of these heavy options can lead to premature fullness.

Fried foods require a lot more digestion time and soak up stomach space that could be used for sushi instead. Go light on tempura in favor of lighter tataki, seared tuna, or poke bowls if available.

If you simply can’t resist the hot, crispy temptations, follow fried appetizers with low calorie palate cleansers like seaweed salad or edamame. Giving your stomach a break maximizes capacity for more rolls afterward.

Survey All Your Options

Many all-you-can-eat sushi places have very extensive menus spanning pages. Don’t just order the first few options that catch your eye. Take time to thoroughly survey all the available rolls, sides, appetizers, and daily specials.

Finding new hidden menu gems can make the meal more exciting while preventing you from defaulting to the obvious picks. There may even be health-minded or low-calorie sushi choices perfect for packing in more value.

Don’t be afraid to ask your server for recommendations either, particularly if it’s your first visit. Experienced staff can point you towards new rolls you might otherwise overlook.

Wear Loose Clothing

Opt for loose, comfortable clothing when visiting an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant. Tight pants, belts, and slim fitting tops place unnecessary pressure on your stomach, hindering capacity.

Stretchy yoga pants, drawstring shorts, and soft knits allow your belly to expand naturally as you eat without restriction or discomfort. This small wardrobe tweak makes it much easier to fit in more rolls and value.

The same concept applies to avoiding restrictive undergarments. Let your stomach relax and distend freely under looser tops and bottoms.

Walk Around Between Courses

Sitting still for a long sushi binge naturally limits your space for more. Get up and walk around for a few minutes between appetizer and sushi courses or individual orders. Just a quick lap around the restaurant can aid digestion and restore your capacity.

You can also visit the restroom, stretch your legs outside, or peruse the menu boards and specials while waiting for the next round. Keeping your body in motion prevents sluggishness and helps you make the most of the meal.

Ask For Special Preparations

Don’t be afraid to ask the chef or server to adjust sushi rolls to your personal preferences. Customizing orders makes it easier to eat more of what you truly enjoy.

For instance, request halves of two different specialty rolls to create your own fusion fantasy roll. Ask for rolls to be cut into smaller portions to avoid wasting any leftovers. Substitute one filling or sauce for another to perfect the components.

Just be sure to avoid coming across as too demanding. Remember, the staff wants you to savor more so you get value from the experience and hopefully return as a satisfied customer.

Eat Dessert First

Many all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants include complimentary desserts like ice cream, pudding, or fresh fruit. Savvy diners start the meal by enjoying these sweet treats first before diving into savory sushi.

Desserts are light, refreshing, and filled with sugar, which can actually stimulate your appetite for more food. Beginning the binge on a sweet note can start you off hungry for the good stuff still to come.

Alternatively, dessert makes the perfect palate cleanser halfway through the meal. The sweetness serves as a reset before another round of sushi ordering.

Consider a Sushi Lunch Special

One sneaky way to maximize sushi consumption is opting for lunch over dinner. Many all-you-can-eat restaurants offer special reduced pricing at lunchtime on weekdays.

The price is typically only a few dollars more than a standard a la carte sushi lunch. You can then enjoy the dinner menu and unlimited sushi for a fraction of the typical cost.

Just beware of packed weekend lunches when value-seeking crowds flood in. Stick to weekday lunches for the lowest competition and best deals.

Team Up With Friends

Eating all-you-can-eat sushi alone can feel like a daunting feat. Enlist reinforcements by visiting with equally sushi obsessed friends. More people means you can taste more variety by sharing pieces family style.

Competitive eaters can turn the meal into a fun game of who conquered the most plates. Or just enjoy good company while sampling rolls at your own leisurely pace together.

Large parties should still be mindful of timing their orders carefully to avoid hogging the kitchen. But working together ultimately means trying more rolls overall.

Consider a Cooked Meal First

Some experts recommend eating a cooked meal earlier in the day before an all-you-can-eat sushi dinner. The idea is that raw sushi digests quicker, so you’ll have more space freed up if you’ve already consumed a heartier lunch.

A protein, veggie, and carb-rich meal provides plenty of lasting fuel to power you through an active evening. Then your stomach has had a chance to process most of the meal before taking on a sushi feast.

Just don’t consume so much at lunch that you enter the dinner with no appetite left. The pre-meal should simply take the edge off hunger, not totally satisfy you.

Stay For Multiple Rounds

Many all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants place strict time limits on meal durations, usually around 1.5-2 hours. Maximize value by budgeting time to enjoy at least two full rounds of ordering.

This allows you to hit every menu section with the proper pacing. For example, focus initial rounds on lighter veggie rolls before finishing strong with hearty specialty rolls.

If you’re still hungry after the first round, order a few pieces of sushi as soon as you’re seated again to avoid missing the cutoff. Just be sure to abide by the restaurant’s rules.


With some strategy and prep, it’s possible to get your money’s worth and then some at all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants. Pacing yourself, mixing up choices, staying hydrated, wearing loose clothing, and enlisting help from sushi-eating friends will all boost your ability to consume.

Just be sure not to sacrifice enjoyment in the mission to eat more. Remember to savor special rolls and appreciate the value. An all-you-can-eat sushi meal is a rare indulgence, so make the most of it!

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