Best Sushi in San Francisco: 21 Spots for Mouthwatering Rolls, Sashimi, and Omakase

best sushi in san francisco

Find out where to go for perfectly knifed nigiri, elegantly sliced sashimi, and thoughtfully curated omakase in San Francisco.

Good sushi spots have never been hard to find in San Francisco, which has a long history of Japanese immigration. 

But in recent years, several high-end restaurants have also popped up across the city, earning Michelin stars and plaudits from critics.

You can now find Tokyo-level sushi spots if you’re willing to pay the Tokyo-level prices. 

Omakase has gained popularity amongst San Francisco diners looking for an authentic food experience and delicious dishes. 

The decades-old mom-and-pop joints are still around too, and it’s always worth heading away from SoMa and into San Francisco’s smaller neighborhoods for a more low-key and affordable experience.

So whether you’re looking for the hottest new sushi spots, a local gem, or you just want late-night sushi after a karaoke sesh, here are the best places in town for superb nigiri, sashimi, and rolls for your sushi cravings.

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best sushi in san francisco

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Map of San Francisco Sushi Places

Omakase

Address & Neighborhood: 665 Townsend St., San Francisco, CA 94103, SoMa
Contact info: (415) 865-0633
Don’t miss: Anything from the impressive sake menu
Reserve a table here
Menu

Omakase means “entrust the chef,” which you can certainly do at this high-end sushi restaurant. Chef Jackson Yu creates traditional dishes using fresh ingredients imported from the famous Fish Market in Tokyo for a full Omakase experience.

But what makes Omakase the best Japanese restaurant in San Francisco isn’t simply the edomae-style sushi, although it is delicious. 

It’s the convivial, dinner-party-with-friends atmosphere created by Chef Yu, as he patiently explains the dishes, cracks jokes, and occasionally joins guests for a sake.

Akiko’s Restaurant

Address & Neighborhood: 431 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108, Chinatown
Contact info: (415) 397-3218, [email protected]
Don’t miss: New Zealand King Salmon
Reserve a table here
Menu

Akiko’s restaurant is a family-owned joint, serving sushi in downtown San Francisco for 30 years. 

Located within walking distance of Union Square, Akiko’s has some of the best sushi in Chinatown and could lay claim to the best sushi place in San Francisco, with rave reviews from the Michelin guide.

The traditional-meets-industrial setting is unassuming, so you may miss it as you walk by. But Akiko’s is well worth stopping at, as any of its loyal customers will happily tell you. 

In fact, it’s better to snag a reservation for this tiny but popular hidden gem. 

If you’re hoping for a romantic meal, opt for the cozy back room instead of the buzzing sushi bar.

Ju-ni

Address & Neighborhood: 1335 Fulton St. #101, San Francisco, CA 94117, NoPa
Contact info: (415) 655-9924
Don’t miss: Ikura, chirashi bowls
Reserve a table here
Menu

The most coveted seats in sushi restaurants are always at the counter, where diners can watch the chef at work. 

There are only twelve seats at Ju-ni, and all of them are pulled right up to the polished wood-and-stone sushi bar.

Ju-ni (twelve in Japanese) offers the omakase experience – where the chef personally guides diners through each course by the set menu by the chef – to groups of up to four sitting around the L-shaped counter. 

Although the high-end sushi dishes have earned the restaurant a Michelin star, the trio of energetic chefs is approachable and friendly, keeping the overall Ju-Ni experience fun for diners.

Each bite of the 12-course meal has perfectly balanced flavors, from the subtle vinegar on the sushi rice to the sweet and salty barbecue unagi. 

You will need a reservation for Ju-ni, which you should make about one month ahead.

Hand Roll Project

Address & Neighborhood: 598 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110, Mission Dolores
Contact info: no contact information available
Don’t miss: The Ankimo roll
Reserve a table here 
No online menu available

The Hand Roll Project is a sister restaurant to Michelin-starred Ju-Ni, bringing great sushi to the Mission at affordable prices.

It’s aimed at diners who want to try the omakase experience but don’t want to spend hours working through multiple courses of nigiri or spend hundreds of dollars on a meal. 

Many of the dishes on the menu are of a similar high standard to Ju-Ni, without the prolonged sitting or the hefty price tag.

As with many casual sushi spots, expect a line to get a seat in the tiny dining room. There is no number to call, but reservations are available on the restaurant’s website if you prefer not to wait. 

You cannot currently order takeout at The Hand Roll Project, but this should be available soon.

Sushi Zone

Address & Neighborhood: 1815 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103, Downtown
Contact info: (415) 621-1114
Don’t miss: Baked mussels with spicy mayo
No reservations, walk-ins only
Menu

This tucked-away sushi bar spot fills up quickly with regulars, here for the no-frills nigiri and well-made rolls. 

Sushi Zone has been around for 30 years, and its old-school charm is a big part of the attraction for its loyal fans, who start lining up before opening to snag one of the 25 seats.

You can’t go wrong with the generous sushi rolls, but check out the nightly specials too. 

Also, don’t skip the delicious baked mussels covered in spicy mayo, one of the tastiest apps around. 

If you don’t mind the wait, Sushi Zone offers authentic sushi with friendly service at great prices, perfect for dinner with friends.

The Shota

Address & Neighborhood: 115 Sansome St., San Francisco, CA 94104, Financial District
Contact info: (628) 224-2074, [email protected]
Don’t miss: the menu changes seasonally
Reserve a table here
Menu

Follow the after-work crowd to The Shota in the Financial District for some of the best sushi in downtown San Francisco. 

This one-Michelin-star Japanese restaurant uses the traditional edomae techniques to age, cure, and marinate fish flown in from Japan.

The Shota focuses on high-quality ingredients, some sourced locally and some imported from the Tokyo fish markets, all perfectly prepared by skilled chefs. The result is a work of art almost too good to eat. 

The Omakase menu varies depending on seasonality.

Saru Sushi Bar

saru sushi bar

Address & Neighborhood: 3856 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114, Noe Valley
Contact info: (415) 400-4510
Don’t miss: Outdoor seating and the tasting spoons
No reservations, walk-ins only
Menu

Noe Valley is my favorite San Francisco neighborhood for its superb, under-the-radar eating spots, including the tiny Saru Sushi Bar. 

Pull up a seat at the sushi counter or sit at one of the two dining tables. Order a colorful Rainbow Roll topped with assorted fish or the colorfully named Rock and Roll, which features tasty BBQ eel.

Many of the rolls are under $15, which makes this small restaurant perfect for an affordable night out. 

Saru Sushi has indoor and outdoor seating, so you can make the most of the Noe Valley sunshine. Try the popular tasting spoons–delicious morsels served on a spoon–which receive rave reviews from happy customers.

Tekka

Address & Neighborhood: 537 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94118, Inner Richmond District
Contact info: none available
Don’t miss: Sashimi combo
No reservations, walk-ins only
No online menu

No credit cards, reservations, or website – this husband-and-wife joint runs purely on word of mouth. Tekka is tiny, seating just eight to ten diners, but offers generous portions of high-quality sushi, nigiri, and sashimi to loyal customers willing to wait.

Tekka is cozy inside, with hand-written notes from happy customers lining the walls. 

Chef Noboru Shimizu has been running the joint for 30 years alongside his wife, and nothing much has changed in that time, despite many sushi restaurants in San Francisco popping up over the years. 

Tekka is a classic San Francisco neighborhood gem and is well worth venturing out to the Richmond for traditional Japanese hospitality.

Sushi Ran (Sausalito)

Address & Neighborhood: 107 Caledonia St., Sausalito, CA 94965
Contact info: (415) 332-3620
Don’t miss: Chirashi bowls and Bluefin tuna sashimi
Reserve a table here
Menu

Sushi Ran has justifiably earned a reputation for being the best sushi in the Bay Area over its 36 years. 

This restaurant is so famous I have included it in this list of the best sushi restaurants in San Francisco, despite being located across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito.

Customers return over and over for the great sushi and nigiri, relaxing bayside setting, and to drink sake from the extensive menu. 

Start with a red crab salad with a sweet soy sauce dressing, or one of the colorful chirashi bowls, then move on to fatty tuna, yellowtail, or king salmon nigiri or sashimi.

Whatever you choose, you can trust the chefs to create something delicious.

Interested in all of Sausalito’s culinary offerings? Check out one of these other best restaurants in Sausalito.

Wako

Address & Neighborhood: 211 Clement St. San Francisco, CA 94118, Richmond District
Contact info: (415) 682-4875
Don’t miss: Omakase options
Reserve a table here
Menu

An understated exterior disguises one of San Francisco’s best sushi restaurants in the Richmond neighborhood. 

Sushi is presented omakase style, with the chef selecting courses for diners, explaining techniques and ingredients along the way, or a la carte. Wako is a fantastic option for a special occasion night out or a casual catch-up with friends.

The zen-like dining room is a relaxed setting for the excellent sushi dishes, which have earned Wako a Michelin star. 

Non-sushi small plates like poached monkfish liver or squid with Meyer lemon zest over sushi rice are also available.

Robin

Address & Neighborhood: 620 Gough St., San Francisco, Hayes Valley
Contact info: (415) 448-7372, [email protected]
Don’t miss: Potato chip nigiri and sesame noodles
Reserve a table here
No online menu available

Want to try omakase but are nervous about how it all works? Try Robin, an unpretentious, modern omakase restaurant in the hip Hayes Valley neighborhood, perfect for a fun date night or a first-timers foray into omakase. 

Robin swaps out the usual earth tones and wood decor for dark and moody decor, brightened with colorful art. 

This casual spot offers innovative and fun menu items like nigiri made with potato chips and caviar. Popular dishes include sesame noodles, toro tartare, and bluefin tuna. 

In contrast to other upscale sushi spots, Robin focuses on Northern California ingredients rather than importing everything from Japan. 

The wasabi, for example, is sourced from Half Moon Bay, one of the only farms in North America growing the rhizomes.

Ken

Address & Neighborhood: 252 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, Lower Haight
Contact info: (628) 867-7113, [email protected]
Don’t miss: Saba Bou-Zushi
Reserve a table here
Menu

After stints as a chef at Sushi Ran and Kusakabe, Chef Ken was finally ready to open his high-end sushi restaurant in San Francisco. 

Unfortunately, the pandemic put his plans for an intimate, six-seat omakase spot on hold, and Ken initially opened as a place to order takeout only.

Now that restrictions are lifted, and diners are back to eating indoors, Ken is back to serving edomae-style sushi at the Divisadero location. 

Order omakase-style for a selection of sashimi pieces, including Bluefin tuna and Hokkaido scallop, or make individual sushi selections, like seven pieces of Kyoto-style sushi.

Shizen

Address & Neighborhood: 370 14th St., San Francisco, CA 94103, Mission
Contact info: (415) 678-5767
Don’t miss: Spicy tofu rolls and the candlestick
Reserve a table here
Menu

Shizen is a fully vegan sushi bar and izakaya, serving innovative dishes without seafood. 

Vegan or not, all fans of sushi restaurants will appreciate the delicious flavors in Shizen’s sushi and small plates.

It’s not only the best vegan sushi in San Francisco, but also one of the best sushi restaurants, period. 

Try the yuba salad with miso dressing or the spicy tofu rolls that make a great alternative to tuna, and see for yourself.

For some tableside theater, order the candlestick, which arrives with a side of fire!

Hakashi

Address & Neighborhood: 474 3rd St., San Francisco, CA 94107, SoMa
Contact info: (415) 872-9589
Don’t miss: Hokkaido uni
Reserve a table here
Menu

If you’re missing Daigo Sushi, the popular sushi restaurant that closed during the pandemic, head over to the newly-opened Hakashi. 

Julio Zapata, the former chef at Daigo, has opened his own sushi restaurant with the goal of creating a welcoming place for everyone.

Whether you’re an omakase fan or someone looking for a casual spot for affordable but good sushi rolls, there’s something for everyone. 

Alongside the seasonal nigiri and sashimi pieces, find delicious menu items like wagyu steak, pork belly, and grilled lobster.

PABU Izakaya

Address & Neighborhood: 101 California St., San Francisco, CA 94111, Financial District
Contact info: (415) 535-0184
Don’t miss: Enjoying the outdoor seating at Happy Hour
Reserve a table here
Menu

Founded by Chefs Michael Mina and the late Ken Tominaga, PABU Izakaya is a modern take on traditional izakaya-style dining. 

Step into the elegant, buzzy dining room for high-quality sushi, sashimi, and meat from the robata grill, or enjoy your meal al fresco with the outdoor seating.

PABU uses imported fish, wagyu steak from Japan, and local seafood, to create an innovative menu equal to many of the high-end omakase joints that have opened recently in San Francisco. 

Popular menu items include the miso soup with tofu or black cod, spicy tuna roll, and California roll. There’s also a Happy Hour, with an extensive cocktail selection.

So if you’re looking for sushi in the Financial District or sushi in Union Square, head over to PABU to satisfy your sushi cravings.

An Japanese Restaurant

Address & Neighborhood: 22 Peace Plaza, #510, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94115, Japantown
Contact info: (415) 250-7276, [email protected]
Don’t miss: imported sake
Text (415) 250-7276 for reservations
No online menu available

This cozy but swanky restaurant in Japantown Mall offers an upscale sushi bar experience. Be sure to make a reservation over text message, as this tiny eatery has limited seats. 

An Japanese Restaurant serves high-quality sushi, sashimi, and nigiri imported from Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market, along with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. 

An omakase experience is available, as well as individual menu items, plus a good range of sake.

Kusakabe

Address & Neighborhood: 584 Washington St., San Francisco, CA 94111, Financial District
Contact info: (415) 757-0155, [email protected]
Don’t miss: Toro
Reserve a table here
Menu

Kusakabe pioneered the omakase experience in San Francisco, which has since taken off in sushi restaurants across the city. 

The Financial District restaurant offers Kyoto-style sushi and nigiri, using traditional Kaiseki techniques developed in Kyoto that preserve fish.

The $185 prix-fixe omakase menu is on the pricier side, but the quality sushi served over a substantial eight courses, including twelve pieces of nigiri, makes it a good value. 

Dishes include a sweet ginger soy marinated toro and a comforting miso soup with seaweed from the Shimanto River.

Sushi Aoba

Address & Neighborhood: 1700 Laguna St., San Francisco, CA 94115, Japantown
Contact info: (415) 658-7388
Don’t miss: Conch shell
Call (415) 658-7388
Menu

Sushi Aoba is a recent addition to Japantown’s sushi restaurants, but an experienced team runs it. 

Legendary Japantown restaurateur Lena Turner has opened seven restaurants over the past four decades, and Sushi Aoba is the most recent. Head chef Sachio Kojima has been a fixture of San Francisco’s sushi scene for over 30 years.

Guests here will find a high-end, elegant dining room with just 10-12 seats, giving diners an intimate omakase experience. 

The presentation of the dishes is both elegant and innovative, including dishes like the flaming conch shell, or the delicate chawanmushi with crab meat and mushroom.

Koo

Address & Neighborhood: 408 Irving St., San Francisco, CA 94122, Inner Sunset
Contact info:  (415) 731-7077 
Don’t miss: Spoonful of Happiness
Reserve a table here
Menu

Koo likes to fuse traditional techniques with unexpected flavors, injecting fun into the omakase sushi experience. 

Diners can order a la carte or pick one of the omakase menus and let the chef choose.

Whatever directions you take, don’t skip the Spoonful of Happiness. These delightful little starters are a burst of flavor, served with a shot of sake. You’ll find a range of nigiri, small plates, and sashimi at affordable prices brought to your table with a smile.

Sushi Delight

Address & Neighborhood: 1946 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94102, Downtown
Contact info: (415) 621-3622
Don’t miss: All you can eat menu
No reservations, walk-ins only
Menu

Sushi Delight is one of the best sushi places to go for all-you-can-eat sushi in San Francisco. 

For $35 Sunday-Thursday, or $38 on Friday and Saturdays, fill up on sushi rolls and nigiri, plus tasty appetizers like gyoza and spring rolls.

This cozy spot is open until 10 p.m. and is just next door to Mint Karaoke Lounge, ideal for late-night refueling after an evening of karaoke. 

Come hungry, and fill up on the best affordable sushi in San Francisco.

Oma San Francisco Station

Address & Neighborhood: Japan Center West Mall, 1737 Post St., Suite 337 San Francisco, CA 94115, Japantown
Contact info: [email protected]
Don’t miss:
Reserve a table here
No menu available

Oma San Francisco Station is one of the best casual sushi spots for omakase at affordable prices. 

The tiny restaurant, based inside the Japantown Mall, is inspired by Japanese train station izakayas, traditional taverns where chefs prepare food in front of customers.

In addition to sushi, sashimi, and nigiri, there is a selection of small plates. Three fixed-price omakase menus are available, starting from just $95. 

If you’re looking for high-quality sushi in Japantown with approachable service, Oma San Francisco is ideal.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Sarah McDonald

Sarah McDonald is a travel writer based in the Bay Area. She writes for the national parenting website Red Tricycle and on her own family travel blog, Tiny Trailblazers. She loves exploring California’s outdoors and has a weakness for a national park gift shop.


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Best Sushi in San Francisco: 21 Spots for Mouthwatering Rolls, Sashimi, and Omakase

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