Sushi is a Japanese dish featuring seasoned rice on which raw fish is served. There are many types of sushi, and the most popular one in the U.S. is the California Roll. According to Britannica, the first roll version was introduced in the 1960s by Chef Ichiro Mashita. Finally, since then, sushi has spread, making many Japanese restaurants open. Among them are the impeccable spots that are not playing around when it comes to serving authentic sushi. Finally, let's uncover San Francisco's best sushi restaurants now.
20. Okoze Sushi (1207 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94109, United States)
It is located in Russian Hill next to Swensen's Ice Cream. According to Okoze Sushi, the restaurant was established in 2003 by Chef Jason. Fortunately, for nineteen years, the menu has seriously focused on the quality and freshness of meals. Locals and foodies adore this place for its authentic Japanese sushi. Furthermore, the chefs are extraordinary artists who bring out delicious and best sushi experiences in this restaurant. Finally, the popular menu here is; Omakase Sushi Combination, Hamachi Sashimi, Shrimp Tempura, and Sake. The restaurant is open from 5:00 to 10:00 pm.
19. Sushi Zone (1815 Market St #5, San Francisco, CA 94103, United States)
Sushi Zone is nestled near the corner of the market on Pearl Street. This well-appreciated restaurant was first established in 2010 by Chef Sean. It has a tiny, cozy place with two boots and about ten seats at the bar; hence, the wait can be long. However, not because of the little space but because its customers have discovered the high-quality sushi spot at a reasonable price. It accepts only cash, and also booking a reservation might be necessary. The popular menu includes; Sushi, California Roll, Sashimi Bass, Miso Soup, and Sake. Business opening hours are from 4:30 to 9:30 pm from Wednesday to Saturday.
18. Zushi Puzzle (1910 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123, United States)
This Japanese restaurant and a neighborhood spot are located in Hayes. It gives the best World's best sushi and hand rolls. This spot is owned by a Chef Master, Roger Chong, who Michelin and Zagat appreciated his quality sushi. This arguably best restaurant has never disappointed its customers when giving classic sushi staples and other Japanese meals cooked with love, intention, passion, and care. It provides an unparalleled dining experience of incredibly high-quality meals with ingenious flavor combinations at a reasonable price. The popular menu served is Fish, Sushi Bar, Albacore, Sashimi Deluxe, Sake, and Gyoza. The restaurant is open from 5:00 to 10:00 pm.
17. Ju-Ni (1335 Fulton St #101, San Francisco, CA 94117, United States)
This Michelin Star Sushi restaurant is owned by the duo Chef Geoffrey Lee and his business partner Tan Truong. Ju-Ni, a Japanese word meaning twelve, corresponds to the number of seats available in this tiny spot. The space has an intimate and warm atmosphere and amazing outdoor dining. The food quality is fresh and divine, with the chefs being creative in techniques to bring out bold and authentic flavors. It is quite pricey but a highly recommended space. The popular menu served is; Smoked Black Cod Crème, Ikura W Ankimo, Crumble, Chef's Choice Temaki Wagyu, Chirashi Bowl, Butter, Hon Maguro, and Omakase. Fortunately, the restaurant's opening hours are 5:00 to 10:00 pm from Tuesday to Saturday.
16. Wako Japanese Restaurant (211 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118, United States)
The unique style Japanese restaurant is located in the city center of Richmond District. It is owned by Chef Tomohru Nakamura, who comes from Ehime Prefecture. He has trained in sushi and Japanese cuisine and gained in-depth experience at the age of 18 years. With all this, you can expect well-crafted sushi from the sushi masters. This paneled restaurant has a cute ambiance with a small intimate setting, making it a perfect place for romantic dates and anniversary dinners. Furthermore, the dishes are personalized and top-notch, and the most popular menu is; Mackerel, Kaisen Chawan Mushi, Red Miso Soup, Tamago, Salmon Roe, and Anago. Finally, the opening hours are 5:30- 10:00 pm daily from Tuesday to Saturday.
15. Robin (620 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States)
This artsy and modern Japanese-inspired sushi restaurant is located in Hayes Valley. The owner, Adam Tortosa, spent years honing the skills of slicing and presenting raw fish, making Robin one of the city's most prominent spots by the locals. Robin has an impressive décor, and diners are treated to an eclectic soundtrack. Consider visiting this incredible spot for delectable Japanese dishes and unconventional flavor combinations. The popular menu includes; Sushi, Uni with Bacon Butter, Tuna Tartare, Uni Whipped Cream, and Omakase. Opening hours are 5:00-9:30 pm from Wednesday to Sunday.
14. Sakana Sushi Bar (605 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109, United States)
It is a small Tenderloin spot in the city center, fifteen minutes from Palace Hotel. It takes pride in providing diners with authentic Japanese cuisine at a more affordable price. You know, great sushi doesn't have to be overly expensive in San Francisco; therefore, all sushi connoisseurs are highly welcome to try quality sushi at this affordable restaurant. The popular menu is Sashimi, Tempura assortment, California Roll, Maguro, Sushi Plate, and Fatty Tuna. The business hours are 5:30-10:00 pm daily from Tuesday to Saturday.
13. Domo (511 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States)
It is a hidden gem on the edge of the Hayes Valley neighborhood. The restaurant is owned by Luke and Kitty Sung, who founded the restaurant with their friend Kuo Hwa. This little counter spot has a few tables for straight-up sushi. The line might be too long because of the limited spot, but the quality food served here makes the wait worth it. Its limited menu features rotating specials that are well-seasoned and not overly priced. The most popular menu includes; Albacore, Spicy Hulk, California Roll, Fried Baby Octopus, Sake Toro, and Sushi Rice. The restaurant is open from 5:00 to 9:30 pm.
12. Kui Shin Bo (22 Peace Plaza #2, 22 Peace Plz, San Francisco, CA 94115, United States)
This authentic Japanese restaurant is located on Lombard Street, San Francisco. It is a laid-back and family-owned nook founded in 1991. The Japanese name Kuishinbo means "a person who loves to eat," which has made the owners take pride in delivering a completely satisfying dining experience. The menu features creative sushi rolls and other home-style Japanese meals. The most popular dishes offered here include; California Roll, Chicken Teriyaki, Gyoza, Sushi and Sashimi Combo, Seafood Okonomiyaki, and Tonkotsu Ramen. It is open from 11:30 am- 8:30 pm and is usually closed every Wednesday.
11. Saru Sushi Bar (3856 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114, United States)
This art-splashed restaurant is one of the best sushi spots loved by locals in Noe Valley, San Francisco. It is owned by Billy Kong, who is well appreciated for offering stellar-quality sushi and Sashimi at a reasonable price. The spot doesn't take any reservations, so I advise you to get there early enough to beat the line. The meals are fresh and perfectly seasoned, using real crab and little mayo. The most popular menu includes; Nigin Omakase, Fish, Hamachi, Belly with Truffle Oil, Sushi Combo, and White Out Roll. It is open from 12:00-2:00 pm and 5:30-9:00 pm from Sunday to Wednesday.
10. Eiji (317 Sanchez St, San Francisco, CA 94114, United States)
It is a Japanese-style restaurant located on Sanchez Street. It is one of the best and appraised low-key sushi spots that offers nothing but authentic Japanese sushi. The dishes are consistently delicious, and they have a unique menu that is overpriced. Eiji has a tiny space but can exceed your expectations. The most popular menu served is Strawberry Mochi, Sushi Lunch, and Sashimi with Miso Soup Rice, Mochi Ice Cream, Gyoza, Tuna Belly Steak, and Yatsuhashi. The restaurant closes at 9:00 pm.
9. Akiko's Sushi Bar & Restaurant (542A Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States)
This small Japanese spot is located near Union Square. According to SFGate, it is owned by Chef Ray Lee, who is behind the success of Akiko's restaurant. The place is extremely small but very enchanting. The interior has few tables, so booking a reservation is highly encouraged. The restaurant serves well-seasoned and super fresh foods. Furthermore, the popular menu served is Miso Soup, Sushi Bar, Salmon Sashimi, California Roll, and Seaweed Salad. It is open from 11:30 am- 2:30 pm and 4:30- 10:00 pm.
8. Maru Sushi (542A Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States)
It is a basic sushi spot in the Financial District, near Union Square. It is owned by Ken Y, who took over the business in 2007. He was determined to revamp Maru sushi's recipe and hired Japanese Chefs to revise the menu. It has a cozy ambiance and a nice vegan menu. The popular dishes served include; Miso Soup, California Roll, Mixed Sashimi Combo, Fresh Oysters, Gyoza, and Sake Toro. Maru Sushi is a reliable go-to spot for authentic sushi downtown. It is open from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm.
7. PABU Izakaya San Francisco (101 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111, United States)
This high-end spot is located in the city center of San Francisco's Financial District. It is owned by Chef Ken Tominaga, who is determined to bring forth a modern dining experience of exemplary Izakaya-style dishes. It is pricey but worth it. The spot offers great service and a selection of dishes. Fortunately, it has an extensive menu; the most popular dishes are; Tokyo Fried Chicken Karaage, Mackerel, Skewers, Ahi Tuna Poke, Miso Tofu Soup, and Assorted Sushi Sashimi. However, it is open daily from Monday to Saturday from 4:00-9:00 pm and closed on Sundays.
6. Ebisu Restaurant (1283 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122, United States)
The long-standing Japanese restaurant is well appreciated for serving the best sushi and classic entrees. According to Ebisu Sushi, for over forty years, Ebisu has focused on winning the hearts of sushi lovers by providing the best and most authentic sushi. Furthermore, it is a crowded place, often crowded with diners, except for over fifteen minutes of waiting. It offers the best vegetarian option, and the most popular menu is; Rainbow Roll, Combo Sushi, Sashimi Sampler, Bento, Chirashi Bowl, Asari Miso Soup, Omakase, and Uni Sea Urchin. Finally, this restaurant is open from Monday- Saturday from 11:30 am – 2:00 pm and 5:00 -8:30 pm.
5. Roka Akor- San Francisco (801 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94133, United States)
This upscale Japanese restaurant is nestled in the city center of Jackson Square, Financial District. It has a cozy, minimalist interior design. The chefs are so intentional at elevating Japanese Food. It has warm and friendly staff who are beyond helpful. The prices are high, just like the food quality. The most popular menu served is; Sashimi Chef Selection, Yellowtail Sashimi with Green Chili Shallots and Poached Garlic Ponzo, Sushi, Butterfish Tataki, Robata Grilled Asparagus, and California Rolls. However, the restaurant is open from 4:30- 9:00 pm.
4. Sanraku (704 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109, United States)
It is a small high-end sushi spot and other Japanese staples. The owner, Hiro Hattori, opened Sanraku in 2016 purposefully to allow Silicon Valley locals to enjoy authentic sushi and Japanese cuisine. It offers great sushi in a lackluster environment, and the most popular menu here is; Miso Soup, California Rolls, Sesame Chicken, Bento, Chirashi Sushi, Salmon Teriyaki, and Omakase. The restaurant usually opens from 11:30 am – 9:30 pm.
3. Ozumo San Francisco (161 Steuart St, San Francisco, CA 94105, United States)
This contemporary space serves creative sushi and an extensive sake menu. It is in Oakland, across the bay, and it's well known for serving fantastic and quality sushi. It has a great space for dining. The most popular menu served is; Sushi, Sake, Hamachi Maki, Edamame, Miso Soup, and California Roll. Fortunately, the Food is quite costly, but the top-notch quality is happening. It is open from 5:00 to 9:00 pm.
2. Ryoko's Japanese Restaurant & Bar (619 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States)
This woodsy Japanese-inspired restaurant is a famous destination for the best authentic sushi in downtown San Francisco. It offers quality sushi and other Japanese staples at a reasonable price. The popular menu served is; Sushi, Sashimi, Tempura, California Roll, Beer, Age dashi Tofu, Chicken Kaarage, and Mackerel. Finally, the menu is extensive with lots of choices. Finally, the place is open from 6:00 – 11:30 pm
1. Shizen (370 14th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, United States)
Shizen is cozy wood-deck sushi and vegetarian restaurant from Raymond Ho, Kin Lui, and Casson Trenor. It is San Francisco's famous spot for plant-based Japanese cuisine. The restaurant is busy with little space; hence, reservations are highly necessary. Finally, it has a vegan-themed menu with beautifully crafted Food. Furthermore, the most popular dishes served are; Sushi, Secret Weapon Special, Gyoza, Brussel Sprouts, Beef Salad GF, Miso Soup, and Fried Banana with Pineapple Coconut Ice Cream. It is open from 4:00 to 9:30 pm.
San Francisco is famous for giving the best sushi experiences. In this city, you can find the best and most authentic sushi outside Japan. Having covered the impeccable and finest restaurants that you should at least visit while in San Francisco, the price might differ in each restaurant. Furthermore, while some are quite expensive, some are affordable and pocket-friendly. However, the quality remains top-notch, so you can pick a spot that you'll die for from those mentioned earlier and visit it for a sensory experience.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn