Sushi restaurants abound in San Francisco. There are casual restaurants with novel-length sushi menus, local favorites that go above and beyond, and lavish omakase counters ideal for special occasions. All the locations in this guide have one thing in common: they’re where you want to go for delicious fish, whether you want to spend $30 or $300. Continue reading to learn about the city’s 15 top sushi in San Francisco.
Sushi restaurants have never been difficult to come by in San Francisco, which has a long history of Japanese immigration.
However, some high-end restaurants have opened in the city in recent years, winning Michelin stars and critical acclaim.
You can now find Tokyo-level sushi restaurants in San Francisco if you’re ready to pay the Tokyo-level price.
Top Sushi Restaurants in San Francisco
San Francisco is known for its creative rolls as well as some of the finest sashimi and nigiri. From multi-course omakase to enigma boxes and hand roll samples, here’s a list of the top 10 sushi restaurants in San Francisco that are open all year.
1. Akiko’s Restaurant
For over 30 years, this family-owned and operated sushi restaurant has been delighting SF diners with exceptional sushi.
The food is not only wonderful, but it is also attractively arranged and presented. The environment is amazingly welcoming, with features like exposed brick walls, softwoods, and low lighting, making every dinner at Akiko’s feel that much more unique.
Of course, the sushi bar is the place to be, but the tables in the cozy rear room are ideal for a romantic evening.
This Inner Sunset institution has been serving simple nigiri, rolls, and handrolls, as well as excellent appetizers like agedashi tofu and miso-glazed eggplant, for nearly four decades.
Things flow nicely at this casual spot as well: despite the fact that Ebisu is loud and the tables are fairly cramped, the service is rapid and the staff is always checking in on you.
Stick to the rolls and pay careful attention to the specials on the board, such as half-shell oysters, and post up at the sushi counter where things feel less frantic.
Dinner at Ken on Divisadero feels like an exclusive dinner party, complete with immaculate silky chawanmushi, nigiri, and dashi-soaked tomatoes that burst in your mouth like water balloons.
With only six chairs at the omakase counter, you may easily strike up a conversation with the person on the other side of the bar, or crack jokes and swap anecdotes with the eponymous chef.
You’ll fall into a comfortable stillness as Ken meticulously scores pieces of butterfish, flames a set of neatly lined up nigiri, and shares the process of poaching the house-cured ikura as you proceed through the seamless 14-course meal.
Lunch here is a memorable experience that you should take advantage of on your next special occasion.
Kusakabe offers an authentic and intimate dining experience, focusing on traditional Edomae-style sushi. This makes it one of the best sushi restaurants in San Francisco.
The sushi chefs at Kusakabe showcase their skills through an omakase menu that features meticulously crafted nigiri, sashimi, and seasonal delicacies.
5. Saru Sushi Bar
This tiny Noe Valley sushi bar is a well-known date destination, but now that it includes outdoor seating, it is also popular with strollers.
Kids, married, and single, everyone here appreciates the pleasant service, high-quality sushi, reasonable rates, and taster spoons (two small portions of the chef’s innovative appetizers).
The watermelon roll (called because it looks like a watermelon, not because it contains watermelon) is also a fun order because it looks fantastic in photos and tastes excellent.
Wako’s well-deserved Michelin star is because of the very meticulous and virtually perfect experience diners get from beginning to end.
The wood-paneled area has a sushi bar and tables where you can order a la carte or partake in a sampling ($86).
We recommend the taste, which includes ten pieces of sushi and a tiny snack dish (and if Wagyu isn’t one of the pieces, don’t leave without it).
7. Zushi Puzzle
Zushi Puzzle is a modern and innovative sushi restaurant that combines traditional Japanese techniques with creative presentations.
The menu features a diverse range of sushi rolls, including unique combinations and flavors that will surprise and delight your taste buds.
If you desire authentic sushi, prepared with quality ingredients, head to Zushi Puzzle, one of the best sushi restaurants in San Francisco.
Dinner at Eiji, a cozy Japanese restaurant in the Castro, always feels like a get-together at a dear friend’s kitchen and that friend happens to prepare delicate ankake tofu, the best sushi rolls, and gently soy-glazed tuna belly.
The concept in this rather pastoral location is light, bright, and straightforward.
A juicy halved cherry tomato tops the picky ceviche roll, solitary shiso leaves spice up slices of the spicy tuna poke roll, and a punchy and lemony vinegar marinates an incredibly crunchy cucumber sunomono.
Never pass up the delightfully chewy mochi with entire sweet red bean paste and fresh strawberry when your waitress eventually drops the dessert menu—you don’t want to insult the host, after all.
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9. Kiss Seafood
Kiss Seafood prides itself on serving fresh, sustainable, and responsibly sourced seafood.
Their sushi offerings are made with the highest quality ingredients, and the skilled chefs at Kiss Seafood create beautifully plated dishes that are as visually appealing as they are delicious.
Ju-Ni means “twelve” in Japanese, and that’s exactly how many seats you’ll find in this one Michelin-starred restaurant when the indoor dining room is open, which it isn’t right now.
You can, however, eat outside in the heated parklet, which is built like a sushi bar with three seating spaces and plexiglass dividers.
This arrangement enables a professional chef to create and guide each of the 12 dishes on the $147 menu, which changes depending on seasonality and seafood availability from Tokyo’s Toyosu Market.
Just make sure to write your reservation on your calendar—and possibly tattoo it on the back of your hand—because after you’ve made and paid for it, you can’t cancel or switch it for another night.
This 14-seat omakase restaurant with a Michelin star is famed for its upgraded Edomae-style sushi produced with fish handpicked by professionals and imported straight from Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Fish Market three times a week, as well as its “classically Japanese” setting.
There are a few small tables, but you should sit at the counter to connect with and watch chef Jackson Yu, a pleasant, engaging, and extremely brilliant master of his profession.
There is no set menu at Omakase, as the name implies; instead, customers pay $195 for about ten courses chosen by the chef (with a $120 optional sake pairing).
12. Oma San Francisco Station
Oma San Francisco Station, one of the best sushi restaurants in San Francisco, offers a contemporary sushi dining experience in a sleek and stylish setting.
Their menu includes a wide selection of sushi and sashimi, prepared with precision and attention to detail, ensuring a memorable culinary journey.
Kabuto, which receives its name from the shogun helmet used in traditional samurai armor in feudal Japan, is all about tradition.
This Richmond District sushi restaurant uses high-quality ingredients to create a classical evening menu unlike any other, speaking to the foundations of Japanese culture and cuisine.
Kabuto’s 3 Course Omakase meal includes quality nigiri and Toro Uni Caviar Sushi, as well as specialty dishes like Wagyu A5 Sushi and Spicy Tuna Tartare, and is ideal for when you want to indulge yourself.
This sleek Japanese spot was once a favorite of Financial District dinners, with expense accounts.
Don’t allow the word “Financial District” to put you off this beautiful restaurant, which serves delicious and high-quality sushi and sashimi, as well as grilled skewers and steaks.
There’s also an omakase tasting menu and a fantastic happy hour with low rates and high-quality drinks (particularly if you like Japanese whisky). Choose the latter when you’re paying and the former when you’re on someone else’s dime.
Whichever, you’ll find that Pabu is less expensive than some of the most upscale sushi restaurants in San Francisco while being almost, if not equally, wonderful.
Hamano is the ideal restaurant for people looking for an amazing, flawless dining experience, with Japanese bar-style cuisine, multi-course sushi omakase meals, and a la carte alternatives.
The Chef’s Corner is a $175 two-hour special meal that incorporates seasonal ingredients depending on availability.
Hamano delivers sushi for every palette, with additional menu selections like Bluefin Tuna and Seared Salmon Belly nigiri, as well as creative rolls like the Dolores, which comes with spicy white tuna, veggies, Tobiko, crunchy garlic, and seven spices mayo.
San Francisco is famous for its diverse culinary scene, and when it comes to sushi, the city offers an array of exceptional restaurants.
Whether you’re a sushi aficionado or new to the world of sushi, San Francisco has something to satisfy every palate. From traditional sushi bars to innovative omakase experiences, these 15 top sushi restaurants in San Francisco are sure to delight your taste buds.