Happy International Sushi Day! As I write this blog post, on the morning of International Sushi Day (June 18), my thoughts are turning to today's lunch and tonight's dinner – and I've barely made it through my breakfast. Let me put this into some culinary context: I did not grow up eating sushi or any authentic Asian food for that matter. We were a meat and potatoes kind of family (and frequently fried bologna). On my first venture into Toronto during my university days I stumbled into a downtown sushi house near the bus depot. While the restaurant is long gone, the memory still lingers. I was simultaneously shocked, smitten and enthralled by the tastes and textures of sushi. My tongue came into contact with seaweed-wrapped fish and there was no turning back. Like many first-time sushi eaters, I started with a California roll, but very quickly I decided that was too safe. My palate craved other flavours. I started to explore the world of sushi. I've enjoyed sushi in many places around the world, but my taste buds forever bring me back to Toronto, for numerous reasons. I'll give you five in fact. My top five favourite sushi restaurants in Toronto: 1. Kibo Sushi House: I give this spot high marks for the food (the chef doesn't shy away from experimenting) and ambience (relaxing and modern escape in the heart of Cabbagetown; see below for some mouth-watering pics). 2. Ki Modern Japanese + Bar: This modern restaurant and bar in the heart of the business district woos customers with contemporary takes on sushi – and some of the most inventive cocktails in town! This is also the place to sample sake. 3. JaBistro Modern Japanese: the Aburi salmon sushi is a must. You heard it here. 4. Sushi Inn Japanese Restaurant: While the Yorkville location is trendy, the prices are modest. I'm almost tempted to use say 'cheap'. A Japanese friend teased me mercilessly when I ordered the 'sushi pizza." He took one bite and stopped laughing. 5. Guu Izakaya: Before you go, ask yourself: do you like communal dining? How about rowdy kids (you're within hollering distance of Ryerson University)? And do you mind the occasional wait? If yes to all three, check it out. Here's a sampling of what awaits you at Kibo Sushi House: What's the best sushi spot in your city?