Among The Most Popular Sushi Rolls, Best Taste Goes To …

No kidding. You and I will be seriously putting all of the most popular sushi rolls we’ve ever heard to an evaluation. A normal person, just having a look at the sushi rolls menu, will find this decision-making moment too stressful to continue reading. But, thanks gods, voting members of Ranker Food helped us to nominate and order these 10 following marvelous types of sushi rolls from good to great. For each type, we would mention the contains so that someone with shellfish allergy won’t be murdered by Shrimp Killer Roll. We would also justify the rank by trying our best to give an objective view on the taste along with the more personal reason why people love it in this list of sushi rolls.

Without further ado, let’s get the sushi rolled!

What are sushi rolls?

They are the juniors of nigiri since they were invented quite late compared to narezushi’s thousands of years of history. Bit sushi rolls are the revolution that contributes tremendously to sushi worldwide popularity nowadays. During the 1960s, to conquer the American market where people aren’t used to eating raw fish, sushi chefs discovered and invented new tastes, new ingredients, and serving methods. So, that’s why bite-sized cut rolls of colorful ingredients (not necessarily raw fish) including multiple types of meat and vegetables are introduced. Besides, people can dip sushi rolls in various dipping sauces like cream cheese or spicy mayonnaise (very Western-style) instead of only soy sauce. 

In modern days, even vegetarians can order vegetable-style sushi rolls. And California sushi rolls spread their influence outside of the US borders. But there are more amazing sushi rolls to enjoy, that you may not know. Below are our top 10.

10. Dynamite Roll


  • Yellowtail and/or prawn tempura
  • Bean sprouts, carrots, avocado, cucumber, chili
  • Spicy mayonnaise.
Most popular sushi rolls

Dynamite Roll can create an explosion of flavors and visual appeal.


Sushi is usually appealing to customers who care about their health. One particular roll, though, is not that healthy but is highly delicious. It is called the Dynamite Roll. It is called “Dynamite” perhaps for its heavy calorie numbers and its color scheme.

This 2000s American pop star usually consists of one to two types of baked seafood (scallop, shrimp, yellowtail, etc) with a special spicy mayo dressing. During its heyday, people get really crazy about it over old traditional sushi.

9. Philadelphia Roll


  • Salmon
  • Avocado and/or asparagus
  • Cream cheese.

This creamy and crunchy Philadelphia Roll is super simple and requires a few ingredients to make!

Not a big fan of sushi plus cream cheese? Stay away from a Philly roll. Some people had quite a bad experience with such an eerie combination. Fun fact, incorporating smoked salmon and cream cheese in a sushi roll took inspiration from a bagel. Um, still make no sense! To be fair, it is as surprisingly easy to make for the first time as addictive to people who fall in love with it. Have the recipe a go!

8. Shrimp Killer Roll


  • Shrimp tempura and cucumber inside. 
  • Shrimp and avocado outside.
types of sushi rolls

Talk about delicious! Look at this “Shrimp Killer Roll”!

Shrimp Killer Roll may not be as popular as other mentioned sushi rolls in the list, however, it is a pretty delightful choice. Fresh to taste and easy to eat, Shrimp Killer Roll goes well with any sauces from typical soy sauce to mayo sauce. Besides, it definitely satisfies consumers with a craving for shrimp.

7. Spider Roll


  • Soft-shell crab
  • Cucumber, sprouts (or lettuce, roe, or avocado) 
  • Sometimes spicy mayo.
most popular sushi roll

A perfect mixture of fried soft shell crab, cucumber, avocado, mayonnaise, and spices

Spider roll is no doubt one of the most popular sushi rolls and of course, tasty. Everyone I know loves fried soft shell crab, which is full of seafood flavor and gives the roll a nice crunch. Because the crab is caught when it is still young, the shell is not too hard and edible. The crab crispness, which is accompanied with a soft center, made by the avocado or cucumber, brings this sushi roll dish to the next level.

6. Rainbow Roll

Ingredients: An assortment of fish and avocado on top of a California Roll.

list of sushi roll

A beautifully colored sushi roll, hence the name, Rainbow Sushi Roll

When I’m not hungry, I just order Rainbow Roll and feel happy as this #instagrammable sushi is roll topped with layers of various slices of fish and avocado! Like an all-in-one sushi! In a Rainbow Roll set, you can see yellowtail, boiled shrimp, tuna, and salmon. It gives a colorful look resembling a rainbow and inspires the name. Despite using a lot of raw fish, it’s not that expensive (usually around $4 to $5 more than a normal California sushi roll).

Halfway there, can you guess what is our top 5 tasty among the most popular sushi rolls? 

5. Spicy Tuna Roll


  • Tuna
  • Mayo and chili sauce.
best sushi rolls

Can’t go wrong with the addicting combo of tuna and a kick of spice

Simply classic with a spicy twist. You wouldn’t believe how easy that is to make! There is only one ingredient to roll. The spicy mayo dipping sauce, which gives the spicy tuna roll its kick, can 100% be homemade too. Important note: I suggest you forget about the soy sauce, as it might be too salty. 

4. Spicy Salmon Roll

Ingredients: Salmon in sesame Sriracha sauce, topped with spicy mayo.

list of sushi rolls

It is so spicy that it opens you up and makes you feel alive!

Just like the above sushi sibling, spicy salmon roll is a fun, yummy and totally achievable kitchen project (as long as you have freshest sushi-grade salmon). So where does the “spice” of “spicy brothers” comes from?  It’s the popular Thai/Vietnamese condiment called Sriracha sauce. Salmon seasoned with Sriracha sauce and sesame oil tastes like magic.

3. Dragon Roll


  • Eel, crab, and cucumber inside. 
  • Avocado outside.
best sushi rolls

Dragon Roll wins major points for the combination of eel, crab, and avocado.

If you are an eel lover, the dragon roll should be your number one pick. For those have no idea, eel is a sea snake, resembling dragons, and thus comes the name dragon roll. In fact, some restaurants even go the extra mile with decorating to make it look like an actual dragon. It is a different, yet appetizing addition to the many incredible sushi rolls that fill the market today.

2. California Roll


  • Crab (or imitation crab)
  • Cucumber, avocado
  • Toasted sesame seeds (or tobiko or masago)
most popular sushi roll

Enjoying seafood with California sushi roll without worry about having actual raw fish included

Probably the most popular sushi roll on our list, the California roll is the father of all sushi rolls and has been extremely influential in sushi’s global popularity.

Anyone just gets into sushi? Try California Roll, it is the perfect place to start. No raw fish is required—just imitation crab—which is typical for this type of roll. The crab included, makes the California roll decadent and satisfying. The avocado and sushi go hand in hand, with the green hot sauce finishing off the heat.

Believe me, after years, this dish still has a huge loyal fandom for a reason. And guess what, it is available everywhere!

1. Shrimp Tempura Roll


  • Shrimp tempura,  
  • Avocado and/ or cucumber.
best sushi rolls

The smooth avocado and the crunch of the shrimp makes for the perfect duet in this roll.

I always order the shrimp tempura roll when eating out at a Japanese restaurant. And it seems that I am not the only one. Shrimp tempura roll is voted the ultimate fan favorite with 400 votes outweighing California roll.

This rising star makes people mouth-watering, only by seeing and captivates them immediately after a bite. It is loaded with crispy fried shrimp tempura and tons of delicious fillings like avocado and cucumber. That gets even better when it is wrapped up in rice and nori to become shrimp tempura roll with that sweet eel sauce.

Well, it’s just soooo good!!! Shrimp tempura roll is the best sushi roll winner.


What are the best sushi rolls?

We ranked them above according to the voting from Ranker Food. However, the real answer is up to you and your personal taste. Sometimes, people also care about calorie count and maybe whether the dish matches their personalities. But I can guarantee you, appearing in the list only, beating hundreds of other creative sushi rolls, our top 10 all taste deliciously and deserve to be eaten once in a lifetime.

Which sushi roll is the healthiest?

I think we should approach it in terms of ingredients which is easier. Let’s say some common ingredients for sushi rolls:

  • Salmon: rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Tuna: also contains omega-3, but keep in mind that tuna, especially bigeye, may contain high levels of mercury. you should eat this kind of fish no more than 1 time a week 
  • Shrimp: not as nutritious as salmon in terms of vitamins and minerals; but it;s still provide some protein
  • Avocado: rich in fats (the kind that is healthy for hearts), fiber along with various nutrients which serve your kidneys and nerves well

Healthy sushi rolls:

  • Vegetarian/Veggie Roll: of course you can’t go wrong with some vegetables right?
  • California Roll: a combination of rice, nori, avocado, cucumber, and imitation crab can’t harm you or make you gain any weight as long as you avoid the high-calorie mayonnaise dips.
  • Rainbow Roll: basically California roll topped with some fish (tuna is usually a must). It’s protein-heavy and healthy fatty but still, within limits.

Not So Healthy sushi rolls:

  • Philadelphia Roll: most people think the philly roll is healthy. But remember it’s made of cream cheese which is mostly saturated fats, cholesterol, and little nutrients. 
  • Shrimp Tempura: as we mentioned, not as valuable regarding nutrition compared to salmon-based sushi rolls. Besides, the deep-frying process adds calories and fat.
  • Dragon Roll: containing eel, actually it is really nutritious, great sources of protein, omega-3s, vitamin A, D. But it is eaten with sauces high in calories.

Which sushi rolls are cooked?

  • In this list, cooked sushi rolls include: Dragon Roll, California Roll, Spider Roll, Shrimp Tempura Roll, Dynamite Roll, Shrimp Killer Roll
  • Sushi rolls with raw fish are: Philadelphia Roll, Rainbow Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, Spicy Salmon Roll

Is sushi good for losing weight?

It depends on what kind of sushi you eat since there are a lot. To make it simple, sushi can be included in your weight-loss diet if its ingredients are rice, fish, avocado or vegetables. In contrast, you should keep yourself away from any type of fried sushi rolls or high-calories sauces.

One last thing…

With the market full of hundreds of various sushi rolls, the voting members must have taken a hard time to go over the most popular sushi rolls and rank them by taste. Honestly, I myself don’t completely agree with the result. There are some of my sushi buddies named Alaska Roll and Boston Roll, which should have been at least nominated. Do you guys feel the same? Or do you have any different sushi rolls to recommend or any personal taste ranking? Let me know in the comment.

About Haruto Suzuki

Haruto Suzuki is a senior food and drinks blogger at Question Japan. He has a background in F&B industry and also experience of running his own Japanese restaurant in Tokyo for over 10 years. Therefore, he has a great knowledge of Japanese cuisine. So if you want to discover Japan through its unique traditional cuisine, Haruto Suzuki’s blog will be a great source of information for you.

One Response

  1. Happy Roll says:

    Thank you for the review! Happy roll sushi is delicious.