Skip to Content
Food & Drink

5 Things to Know About Rollicious, Dinkytown’s Newest Sushi Spot

A DinkyDale Mall newbie that serves up hand rolls and onigiri with a side of whimsy (and won't break the bank).

Stacy Brooks|

The Gopher Roll

Welcome back to "Five Things," Racket’s recurring rundown of new, new-to-us, or otherwise notable Twin Cities restaurants.

Dinkytown has become a destination for Asian cuisine: You’ve got longtime favorite Shuang Cheng, K-Bop Korean Bistro, Pho Mai, Tasty Pot, Bonchon, Mango Mango Dessert, Banh Appetit (get the Dirty Bird), CrunCheese (Minnesota’s first Korean hot dog joint), Bober Tea & Mochi Dough… plus the newest addition, counter-service sushi spot Rollicious, which opened in February. It’s owned by Soi Ho, who according to the Minnesota Daily got to know Minneapolis during family vacations and relocated to Minnesota specifically to open his restaurant.

Here are five things you should know before you go.

1. Nori and Rice Take Center Stage

Rollicious is tucked into the DinkyDale Mall, and cheerful pink signs with a smiling onigiri direct you in from the sidewalk and down a picturesque brick hallway. The tagline on the signs is "Nori & Rice," which indeed sums up the bulk of the menu. There are over a dozen different types of hand rolls, an unsliced style of sushi meant to be eaten by hand, burrito-style. Onigiri (filled rice balls wrapped in nori) are also well represented, with fillings including beef, chicken, and various types of cooked fish. Other nori-and-rice items include sliced maki sushi rolls and spam musubi, and the spam and egg musubi looks like a stellar brunch option.

Of all the menu items we ordered, my favorite was the blue crab onigiri ($5.25). It fits in your hand and looks deceptively snackable, but a few bites in you realize that wow, this is a hefty portion of food for five bucks. It’s mostly rice, but the crab filling is evenly distributed throughout the onigiri, and a layer of sesame seeds adds pleasant toasted notes. The rice is really, really good—my partner made fun of me for being so jazzed to eat rice, but making it well is an art that Rollicious has mastered.

Rollicious's hand rolls and onigiri

2. Stripped-down Sushi? Maximalist Specialty Rolls? They’ve Got You Covered.

I was very into my spicy tuna hand roll ($4.99), with its medium heat level, generous tuna-to-rice ratio, and minimalist appeal. My partner, on the other hand, couldn’t resist the wacky glory of the Gopher Roll ($13.99), a potentially Mad Libs-generated sushi roll stuffed with beef, cream cheese, cucumber, and crab, topped with salmon, and enthusiastically garnished with spicy mayo and neon-orange masaago (smelt roe). 

The maki roll menu is split between straightforward rolls (salmon, yellow tail, spicy tuna) and more-is-more specialty rolls like this one loaded with cream cheese, tempura shrimp, sriracha sauce, etc. There’s also a small selection of sashimi. Even though this maximalist genre of sushi isn't really my thing, I have to admit that the Gopher Roll works; the cream cheese is a sort of neutral mortar that pulls all the disparate elements together, and the spicy mayo and masaago provide some nice punches of flavor to lighten up the heavier elements.

Stacy Brooks

3. There Are Some Solid Plant-Based Options

Don’t eat fish or meat?  You haven’t been overlooked: There’s a dedicated vegan section of the menu with several hand rolls, including avocado, cucumber, carrot, pickled radish, and seaweed salad. I was a big fan of the vegan tofu skin hand roll ($3.99); the fried strips of tofu have a captivating texture that’s kind of chewy, but also a little bit crispy, and the slivers of carrot contribute some welcome freshness. The shiitake mushroom onigiri is also flagged as vegan on the restaurant’s menu board.

4. It’s Not All About Sushi

Although hand rolls, onigiri, and maki rolls make up the bulk of the menu, you can also get teriyaki bowls topped with your choice of chicken, salmon, or beef, plus included sides of veggies, miso soup, and a beverage. There are also appetizers including gyoza, tempura shrimp, and edamame. We split an order of six pork and vegetable-stuffed gyoza ($6.99) and they hit the spot: satisfyingly plump, nicely crisped exteriors, and served with a umami-packed dipping sauce.

Inside Rollicious's cute lil dining roomStacy Brooks

5. It’s a Cute, Budget-friendly Date Night Spot

Sure, the food is served in takeout containers and you’re sitting on folding chairs, but some genuine thoughtfulness has gone into making customers feel cared for. The staff was attentive, offering us cups of water and coming around to bus our table when we had finished eating.

The space is fun, too. DinkyDale Mall seems to have been created by enclosing the alley between two neighboring brick buildings, and following the signs to the end of the hallway gives Rollicious a tucked-away, intimate vibe. There’s a colorful wall of framed kids’ art across from the cash register, and the seating area is decked out with fairy lights and paper lanterns in shades of pink. If you’re a U of M student watching your wallet, this is the date night place for you.  

And if you’re not a student? My partner and I are 15-plus years past our college days, and it was still a fun night out. We got more food than we really needed for $45.39 (including tip) and got to pretend that we had returned to a more carefree time in our lives, pre-home maintenance and endless Zoom meetings. However old you are, you can always use a little whimsy with your hand rolls and onigiri.

Address: 1316 Fourth St. SE, Ste. 7, Minneapolis
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 12:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter