Japanese: Kampai Alley

Take a turn down Alley A in Columbia to find Kampai Alley, a hip sushi bar nestled in the heart of downtown. Here, traditional Japanese dishes are balanced with those reflecting Midwestern influence; try the tuna and goat cheese with Fuji apple, cracked pepper and pumpkin-seed oil, or the crispy Brussels sprouts with lemon and chiles, plus sashimi, nigiri and more than 20 popular sushi rolls. (Photo by Aaron Ottis)

Kampai Alley, kampaialley.com

» Runner-Up: Osaka Japanese Restaurant, osakacomo.com