Zento Contemporary Japanese Cuisine

★★★★☆
Philadelphia's chic, comtemporary Japanese restaurant offering great lunch deals, online ordering and Sushi catering.
  • 138 Chestnut St

    Philadelphia, PA 19106

    Map & Directions
  • 215-925-9998

About Zento Contemporary Japanese Cuisine

Hours
Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am-5pm Sat 12pm-5pm Dinner Sun-Thur 5pm-10pm Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm
4.0714 14
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Fresh fish! I just love Japanese food and also fresh fish and when you go to this place you can have both. The perfect place to go to if you are craving some Japanese in ya.

1
★★★☆☆

Fresh fish! I just love Japanese food and also fresh fish and when you go to this place you can have both. The perfect place to go to if you are craving some Japanese in ya.

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We didn't have a reservation and they squeezed us in even though the place was packed. Sushi was the best I have ever eaten in the city. Everything was super quick and fresh! Service was excellent!!

2
★★★★★

We didn't have a reservation and they squeezed us in even though the place was packed. Sushi was the best I have ever eaten in the city. Everything was super quick and fresh! Service was excellent!!

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This restaurant is BYO and while the atmosphere isn't exactly anything to write home about, the sushi is great and so is the service. It isn't cheap, but it is worth it!

2
★★★★★

This restaurant is BYO and while the atmosphere isn't exactly anything to write home about, the sushi is great and so is the service. It isn't cheap, but it is worth it!

Pros: the sushi is great!

Cons: atmosphere isn't the best

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The sushi is delicious and fresh and creative. The service is warm. And they deliver! The only drawback is the atmosphere, but it doesn't even matter.

2
★★★★★

The sushi is delicious and fresh and creative. The service is warm. And they deliver! The only drawback is the atmosphere, but it doesn't even matter.

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Been going to Zento since it opened a few years ago and have NEVER been disappointed. Staff is super friendly. The chef always has very creative and delicious specials. The fish is very fresh. Definitely get the Square roll (either tuna or salmon)!! The only other sushi in the city that is comparable is at Morimoto, but its not comparable in price!! AND its BYO!

5
★★★★★

Been going to Zento since it opened a few years ago and have NEVER been disappointed. Staff is super friendly. The chef always has very creative and delicious specials. The fish is very fresh. Definitely get the Square roll (either tuna or salmon)!! The only other sushi in the city that is comparable is at Morimoto, but its not comparable in price!! AND its BYO!

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If you like sushi, you will enjoy eating at this great BYOB. I have been seven times and I have never had a bad meal. I dream about their tuna pizza, and the sushi rolls are also tasty, with high-quality fish. After reading some of the bad reviews, I think you have to ask yourself if you go out to eat for the food or the ambiance. For me it?s a clear choice; I would pick the food over ambiance every time. Although it?s a tiny restaurant, it?s cozy, and the wait staff is helpful. If you go on the weekend, go by 5:30 or make a reservation. During the week you can probably walk in and get a table.

2
★★★★★

If you like sushi, you will enjoy eating at this great BYOB. I have been seven times and I have never had a bad meal. I dream about their tuna pizza, and the sushi rolls are also tasty, with high-quality fish. After reading some of the bad reviews, I think you have to ask yourself if you go out to eat for the food or the ambiance. For me it?s a clear choice; I would pick the food over ambiance every time. Although it?s a tiny restaurant, it?s cozy, and the wait staff is helpful. If you go on the weekend, go by 5:30 or make a reservation. During the week you can probably walk in and get a table.

Pros: delicious sushi, byob

Cons: small, gets crowded early on weekends

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Excellent selection of sushi & sashimi

Minimalist decor in this small, but comfortable space.

Their signature square sushi is something not to be missed

Casual and enjoyable - Staff is polite and knowledgeable

4
★★★★☆

Excellent selection of sushi & sashimi

Minimalist decor in this small, but comfortable space.

Their signature square sushi is something not to be missed

Casual and enjoyable - Staff is polite and knowledgeable

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Wonder why the sushi isn't as good at Morimoto? Because that chef started Zento. It's a small, cute, inviting place that has a small yet satisfyingly tasty menu. BYOB is a big plus. Not too pricey either.

4
★★★★☆

Wonder why the sushi isn't as good at Morimoto? Because that chef started Zento. It's a small, cute, inviting place that has a small yet satisfyingly tasty menu. BYOB is a big plus. Not too pricey either.

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Listen I too signed up on this site to defend this place from the exaggerated bad reviews below. A little history about myself: I've tried the following sushi places at least two or more times since Ive lived here for 4 years now: Raw, Morimoto, Fuji Mountain, Haru, Mizu, Aja, Genji, and Shiroi, as well as others around the area. I want to tell all of you readers of my review and the ones below, that if someone considers even eating "Super fresh" (which is anything but fresh) sushi and then rates it higher than Zento, they absolutely have no clue about good sushi, so please do not listen to their recommendations for sushi. THEY BRING SHAME to the great places like this one. Also for the record, I have plenty of Japanese friends, no not American, Japanese, and they can all vouch for this place, since they recommended it to me.
Zento is a small, casual, inexpensive, sushi place right across the street from Cebu in olde city. The service is not meant to be anything like morimoto and Haru; you can not compare the two, that?s completely unfair to Zento. There is only one person watering every time I've gone there, but the wait wasn't long at all considering how little staff they have. Honestly, I don?t know about you guys but when I go out looking for good sushi that?s all that matters to me. Regardless of how the place looks and how many waiters are throwing themselves at me, in the end all that matters is how good the sushi is. So people, stop bashing this sushi place and giving such a poor review just because they dont have valet parking, gold painted walls, and reservations you need a month in advance. THE SUSHI AT ZENTO IS AMAZING! Go for the sushi not the restaurant itself. If you really want to dine in complete opulence then yeah head over to Morimoto or something, but if you want just some top-5, inexpensive sushi, with some friends or maybe for lunch, definitely stop by Zento and try it out, you wont be sorry. Top 5 for me! Def try the VOLCANO ROLL, perfect!

2
★★★★★

Listen I too signed up on this site to defend this place from the exaggerated bad reviews below. A little history about myself: I've tried the following sushi places at least two or more times since Ive lived here for 4 years now: Raw, Morimoto, Fuji Mountain, Haru, Mizu, Aja, Genji, and Shiroi, as well as others around the area. I want to tell all of you readers of my review and the ones below, that if someone considers even eating "Super fresh" (which is anything but fresh) sushi and then rates it higher than Zento, they absolutely have no clue about good sushi, so please do not listen to their recommendations for sushi. THEY BRING SHAME to the great places like this one. Also for the record, I have plenty of Japanese friends, no not American, Japanese, and they can all vouch for this place, since they recommended it to me.
Zento is a small, casual, inexpensive, sushi place right across the street from Cebu in olde city. The service is not meant to be anything like morimoto and Haru; you can not compare the two, that?s completely unfair to Zento. There is only one person watering every time I've gone there, but the wait wasn't long at all considering how little staff they have. Honestly, I don?t know about you guys but when I go out looking for good sushi that?s all that matters to me. Regardless of how the place looks and how many waiters are throwing themselves at me, in the end all that matters is how good the sushi is. So people, stop bashing this sushi place and giving such a poor review just because they dont have valet parking, gold painted walls, and reservations you need a month in advance. THE SUSHI AT ZENTO IS AMAZING! Go for the sushi not the restaurant itself. If you really want to dine in complete opulence then yeah head over to Morimoto or something, but if you want just some top-5, inexpensive sushi, with some friends or maybe for lunch, definitely stop by Zento and try it out, you wont be sorry. Top 5 for me! Def try the VOLCANO ROLL, perfect!

Pros: Great Fresh Sushi, Their "Volcano Roll", Original, Friendly and Fast Service, Moderately Priced for Expensive Quality

Cons: Small, Little Staffed

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Our waitress was spectacular and had tremendous knowledge of her sushi (they usually defer to the chef for explainations) and was kind to steer us to our palatte. The dining experience lasted for hours (as was our want). Grazing, sipping, grazing, etc. No Rush.

They had unusual selections - trigger fish for one.

All and all a great meal without the usual mortgage payment sushi tab.

Can't wait to get back

2
★★★★★

Our waitress was spectacular and had tremendous knowledge of her sushi (they usually defer to the chef for explainations) and was kind to steer us to our palatte. The dining experience lasted for hours (as was our want). Grazing, sipping, grazing, etc. No Rush.

They had unusual selections - trigger fish for one.

All and all a great meal without the usual mortgage payment sushi tab.

Can't wait to get back

Pros: food, service

Cons: well lit

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I felt the need to sign up on citysearch to defend this place. My boyfriend and I are huge sushi fans and have been to pretty much all the Japanese restaurants in the city. I'm truly shocked by the bad reviews. I enjoyed this place for a quiet Tuesday night dinner. The place was clean and the service was pretty quick and excellent. We had the tempura and seafood ramen, live scallop sushi, a couple of inari, and the rainbow rolls. While the size is a bit small, the quality was very fresh. There was no fishy smell and the fish melted in your mouth. It's not exactly the fanciest place, unlike Morimoto or Haru but it was a nice place to grab a quick bite when you don't feel like cooking on a weeknight. The byob option is fun but we forgot about it after work and didn't bring a bottle. The couple next to us opted to bring a bottle of wine and they promptly opened it for them. Try their green tea. It's light and comforting. Cheers!

2
★★★★☆

I felt the need to sign up on citysearch to defend this place. My boyfriend and I are huge sushi fans and have been to pretty much all the Japanese restaurants in the city. I'm truly shocked by the bad reviews. I enjoyed this place for a quiet Tuesday night dinner. The place was clean and the service was pretty quick and excellent. We had the tempura and seafood ramen, live scallop sushi, a couple of inari, and the rainbow rolls. While the size is a bit small, the quality was very fresh. There was no fishy smell and the fish melted in your mouth. It's not exactly the fanciest place, unlike Morimoto or Haru but it was a nice place to grab a quick bite when you don't feel like cooking on a weeknight. The byob option is fun but we forgot about it after work and didn't bring a bottle. The couple next to us opted to bring a bottle of wine and they promptly opened it for them. Try their green tea. It's light and comforting. Cheers!

.

These first reviews puzzle; perhaps there's a learning curve? I found this place spare, but cozy. When I was there (a Thursday evening) it was somewhat bustling, and I'd recommend reservations for a weekend. By Tokyo standards, the place was spacious, and I didn't think it too crowded. Plenty of sushi bars in Japan are more stark.
The food was creative; it's Japanese-based, and then the chef adds his little spin. The sashimi was fresh, the rice, wasabi and shoyu nicely flavored. The rolls we had were tasty amuse-gueule. My Kobe beef dish with vegetables pleased my dumb palate. I thought the prices were fair for this sort of fare, and I'd go back.

2
★★★★☆

These first reviews puzzle; perhaps there's a learning curve? I found this place spare, but cozy. When I was there (a Thursday evening) it was somewhat bustling, and I'd recommend reservations for a weekend. By Tokyo standards, the place was spacious, and I didn't think it too crowded. Plenty of sushi bars in Japan are more stark.
The food was creative; it's Japanese-based, and then the chef adds his little spin. The sashimi was fresh, the rice, wasabi and shoyu nicely flavored. The rolls we had were tasty amuse-gueule. My Kobe beef dish with vegetables pleased my dumb palate. I thought the prices were fair for this sort of fare, and I'd go back.

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We've lived in Old City for 3 years now and are always up for trying the newest place in town. As sushi lovers, we were especially excited to try Zento when it opened across the street from us (as the walk to Hikaru isn't fun in this cold). While it doesn't have the flare of Haru, or the decor of Cubru Libre, we didn't want to pre-judge the place on its unimpressive appearance. So we went in with hopeful thoughts and empty stomachs and came out very disappointed. THE SUSHI WAS AWFUL!!! The sushi lacked flavor and the rolls were small, without much flavor and with meager portions of fish. I've had better sushi from SuperFresh! We will skip this venue in the future and make the longer walk to Hikaru where we know the sushi never disappoints!!!

0
★☆☆☆☆

We've lived in Old City for 3 years now and are always up for trying the newest place in town. As sushi lovers, we were especially excited to try Zento when it opened across the street from us (as the walk to Hikaru isn't fun in this cold). While it doesn't have the flare of Haru, or the decor of Cubru Libre, we didn't want to pre-judge the place on its unimpressive appearance. So we went in with hopeful thoughts and empty stomachs and came out very disappointed. THE SUSHI WAS AWFUL!!! The sushi lacked flavor and the rolls were small, without much flavor and with meager portions of fish. I've had better sushi from SuperFresh! We will skip this venue in the future and make the longer walk to Hikaru where we know the sushi never disappoints!!!

Pros: Good location

Cons: Poor service, poor food

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This is a small new restaurant in the heart of old city, key word being small! The service was not good at all, but maybe it will improve in time...I would suggest that you only go there for the sushi, which truly was pretty good, but for the most part, the entrees were flavorless. It is b.y.o.b., which is nice if you can get a waitress to actually open your bottle and give you glasses...Over all, at the moment i feel as though they are below average, but i'm not one to cross restaurants off my list when they are only open for a few weeks, so i would maybe go back in a few months...we'll see!

1
★★☆☆☆

This is a small new restaurant in the heart of old city, key word being small! The service was not good at all, but maybe it will improve in time...I would suggest that you only go there for the sushi, which truly was pretty good, but for the most part, the entrees were flavorless. It is b.y.o.b., which is nice if you can get a waitress to actually open your bottle and give you glasses...Over all, at the moment i feel as though they are below average, but i'm not one to cross restaurants off my list when they are only open for a few weeks, so i would maybe go back in a few months...we'll see!

Pros: Good sushi, byob

Cons: very very small, bad service

 

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