San Diego’s sushi game is particularly good among the various cuisines available. San Diego is blessed with some nice restaurants for fresh seafood, ranging from splurge-worthy omakase places to respectable local restaurants. While most sushi restaurants in San Diego adhere to the traditional form of sushi, there are a few exceptions that demonstrate that sushi can be fun. So buckle up as we tour San Diego’s best sushi restaurants.
San Diegans enjoy fresh seafood other landlocked cities can only dream of, with 70 miles of coastline in San Diego County alone, as well as Baja California and the entire Pacific Northwest. So it stands to reason that San Diego is home to many excellent sushi spots.
San Diego’s sushi restaurants offer any kind of sushi experience you seek, from casual, laid-back sushi feasts to exquisite, carefully planned omakase encounters and Michelin-starred wonders.
Best Sushi Restaurants in San Diego
With the beach right outside their door, brilliant and dedicated sushi chefs in San Diego impress locals and visitors alike with some amazing Japanese delicacies.
Without a doubt, San Diego is home to some of America’s most promising new sushi eateries. So, without further ado, here are some top sushi restaurants in San Diego.
Soichi Kadoya has become a local icon for his impeccable use of skill after working alongside Takeaki Tadokoro. Soichi, his concept, was awarded a Michelin star. Soichi’s omakase selections surely won them over.
Chef Soichi prepares and customizes each omakase option for the dinner. There are some sushi alternatives on the menu, but they are few.
Soichi’s goal has always been to provide diners with a pleasurable experience, and this they have accomplished.
2. Bang Bang
Bang Bang is more than simply the massive disco ball and the famed Ryan Gosling ladies’ room.
Nigiri, sashimi, and specialty rolls like Hello Kitty (shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, avocado in a pink soy paper topped with tempura flakes, chili aioli, bay scallops, and eel sauce) are available.
If your Bruce Lee roll doesn’t come with a side attraction of the party, you can always relax in the sushi room.
3. Wrench And The Rodent
Davin Waite, a popular local chef who now owns many other restaurants in Oceanside, got his start in sushi and has gained a loyal following for his playful yet honest approach to the dish.
Local fish and inventive sauces are combined in unexpected flavor combinations. If you’re going to deviate from the norm, do it here.
4. Sushi Ota
Sushi Ota is a legendary sushi restaurant in San Diego known for its traditional and high-quality sushi.
The menu at Sushi Ota has an extensive selection of nigiri, sashimi, and specialty rolls, prepared with precision and using the freshest ingredients available.
If you seek a traditional take on sushi and other Japanese dishes, head to Sushi Ota.
5. Sushi Lounge on Market
Sushi Lounge on Market, located in the Gaslamp Quarter, is a stylish and contemporary sushi restaurant, offering a modern take on traditional Japanese cuisine.
Their menu has an array of sushi rolls and specialty dishes, accompanied by a lively atmosphere and craft cocktails, making it a popular choice for a night out in downtown San Diego.
6. Sushi Tadokoro
For years, owner Tadokoro has focused on presenting the most immaculate Edomae-style sushi to guests. He was awarded a Michelin star in 2021, which has further strengthened his company and stature.
Edomae-style sushi is a delicately aged traditional sushi preparation method. It has now become nearly extinct, but this simple restaurant has revived it.
We can only recommend the omakase because you’ll never completely appreciate the rich flavors unless the chef chooses for you. Reservations are strongly advised to avoid disappointment, particularly for evening service.
7. Nobu San Diego
Nobu has also become a hospitality monopoly, as there are now numerous Nobu Hotels. Nobu San Diego is located right on the sea, with beautiful views of the San Diego Bay and West Coast sunsets.
The tuna and Japanese red snapper sashimi, as well as the yellowtail and jalapeño and hot scallop sushi, are highly recommended.
They also have the crispiest vegetable tempura and superb veggie rolls with sesame miso sauce.
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8. Hidden Fish
Hidden Fish is a richly diversified breath of fresh air from America’s normal sushi restaurant artery. It is one of the first of its kind in San Diego. It creates an elaborate timed Omakase experience with Chef Hong at the helm.
You’re in for the most authentic Japanese experience you can find with Japanese-imported seafood. Dining is done in 90-minute chunks.
It’s a small restaurant with only 13 seats centered on Chef Hong, who makes his masterpieces in an almost surreal dance of culinary talent. They carry their upscale reputation really well.
It’s an incredible experience for any keen foodie to enjoy, and with the intimacy it provides, it’s almost romantic.
9. Kaito Sushi
Kaito Sushi, located in Encinitas, is a hidden gem that caters to sushi purists. The restaurant offers an omakase experience, showcasing the chef’s meticulous technique and premium ingredients.
The intimate setting and attention to detail make Kaito Sushi make it one of the best sushi restaurants in San Diego and a favorite among locals.
Off-the-beaten-path destinations can sometimes provide a rewarding experience. Chef Mitsu Aihara created Himitsu, which translates to “Secret.” Still, we’re about to expose them since they’re just too good to stay secret for much longer.
The menu has a wide variety of Japanese small plates and sushi, with a more traditional take. You’ll discover superb seafood without the overzealous sushi of more Western eateries.
Chef Aihara’s techniques enhance the rich taste of the fish and bring out the best in the natural sources that you could dream of.
It’s a stunning and transformational location that highlights everything you could desire from an evening out. We’d like to emphasize the importance of booking.
11. Hane Sushi
Hane Sushi is directly across the street from San Diego’s iconic Balboa Park, which also houses the San Diego Zoo.
Chef and owner Roger Nakamura learned and cooked under Sushi Ota’s (another sushi restaurant on our list) owner Kumamoto Kyushu, attempting to continue the legacy of true Japanese techniques while also bringing a contemporary twist.
Hane Sushi’s plating is gorgeous in its simplicity, and there are many unique Japanese items that you won’t find on other menus.
Consider Chawan Mushi, a savory egg custard, or the Futomaki roll, which has egg, smelt roe, gobo, gourd, crab, shitake mushroom, and pickled radish.
12. Azuki Sushi
Azuki Sushi, one of the best sushi restaurants in San Diego is located in Bankers Hill. It offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere, serving up a variety of sushi rolls and nigiri.
The menu includes both classic and creative options, with an emphasis on using fresh ingredients to deliver delightful flavors.
13. Yoshino’s Japanese Restaurant
Yoshino’s Japanese Restaurant is a small, somewhat unassuming establishment that proudly serves its cuisine with flair.
Their food features diverse flavors and delightful, perfumed flavors. With a variety of various meals, it is simple yet diverse. They source their seafood sustainably and locally, and it is very fresh and melts like butter on the mouth.
This, combined with Western components, has resulted in a divine meal that is both inventive and delicious.
We beseech you not to be fooled by appearances. They’re a fantastic venture that delivers sushi that could make grown men cry with joy.
14. The Joint
While you may not associate Spanish cuisine with Japanese cuisine, Tapas and Sushi have a similar premise in that they are a selection of small morsels to be enjoyed with cocktails, wine, or beer.
The menu at The Joint is one of the most extensive and impressive we’ve seen, with endless rolls, sashimi, nigiri, and innovative small plates.
The Hamachi Carpaccio with spicy ponzu, thin-sliced yellowtail sashimi, and jalapenos is a must-order. They also have a particularly inventive veggie roll menu, complete with specialty rolls that will make even meat lovers salivate.
15. Sushi Deli 3
Sushi Deli 3 is a modern, colorful sushi and bento restaurant and cocktail bar with a surfer ambiance from Southern California.
Traditional Japanese preparations of local California cuisines, as well as all-American bar food with a Japanese touch, are on the menu.
Try their panko-crusted tempura fried jalapenos packed with spicy tuna and cream cheese or their spicy tuna poppers.
San Diego, with its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, offers an amazing sushi scene that meets the need of all sushi lovers. From traditional sushi bars to trendy fusion spots, the city is a haven for those seeking fresh and delicious sushi.
If you are in town and craving some delicious sushi, try any of these 15 best sushi restaurants in San Diego listed in this article. You are sure to get the culinary treat of your dreams.