Local sushi list updated Wednesday at noon.
After yesterday's post about the new Mr. Fuji going into Stuyvesant Plaza, a few people commented on the abundance of sushi places in the Capital Region now. And we had the same thought (thus, the headline "Yet another sushi place").
So, it seems like there are a lot of sushi places. But how many is "a lot"? Or, for that matter, too many?
Well, there are a few ways to answer that question. One of them is to compare the Capital Region's number of sushi places per capita versus that of other cities.
And that's exactly what we did.
Important: these numbers are very squishy.
We picked 20 metro areas (including the Capital Region). Some of these were picked because they're nearby (e.g., Syracuse). Some were picked because they're big metros we figured would have lots of sushi places (e.g., Seattle). And some were picked because we figured they might be sort of like the Capital Region (e.g., Raleigh).
We used metropolitan area population totals pulled from this table on Wikipedia, which was based on 2009 Census Bureau estimates. So, those numbers are pretty good.
Here's the fishy part (ouch, sorry, couldn't resist). Counting the number of sushi places turned out to be trickier than we though it would be. After going through Google, Bing, Yelp and a few other services, we settled on using Yellowbook.com. We tried our best to get a good count from the listings, often using searches for "sushi surrounding (name of central county in metropolitan area)." As a result, these numbers are almost certainly not 100 percent correct (especially when you add in new/closed places).
For the Albany numbers, we pulled the count from Yellowbook and then did our best to weed out places that no longer exist (e.g., Saso's) and add in places that are new, but not listed (e.g., Kitsu). The full list is embedded below. If you notice any additions/subtractions, please let us know.
OK, on to the numbers...
A few notes
+ In these rankings, the Capital Region does appear to have a relatively high number of sushi restaurants per 100,000 residents. But the Capital Region's count doesn't come close to some of the places ahead of it.
+ We finally came out ahead of Austin in something.
+ The Albany area and its sushi love seemingly stick out in upstate New York. Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester were all way down at the bottom.
+ Though we didn't pull the data, our (flimsy) guess is that two factors influence the number of sushi places in a metro area: the numbers of Asians and the number of people with higher incomes.
So, are there too many sushi places in the Capital Region? Well, based on these squishy rankings, it's probably fair to say the Albany area isn't lacking for choice, relative to other cities.
From an economic perspective, you could say that as long as all these places can stay in business, there's the "right" number of sushi restaurants here.
And from a culinary perspective... well, all the competition may spur the existing restaurants to get better, so that could be good. And some of the new spots, such as the Sake Cafe on New Scotland, have been welcome additions. But even more sushi places? Can we pick something from a different trend?
photo: Matthew Loiacono
Capital Region sushi places
We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.