With such close proximity to the Bay, it’s no surprise that San Francisco has some of the best sushi. With a sea of options, we know picking a restaurant can be difficult. Luckily, we’ve scouted out some of the best sushi San Francisco has to offer at a variety of price points that never sacrifice on taste. Roll your way over to these spots to try some of the best sushi in San Francisco.
With so many Japanese restaurants in Japantown, it can be hard to decide where to go. For the best sushi in San Francisco, Sasa is our go-to when we are in Japantown. Tucked away in the corner of a shopping center, Sasa is the perfect place to escape the crowds for lunch or dinner. For our more adventurous eaters, we recommend getting the Mystery Chirashi Don. This mystery box comes with the chef’s choice of assorted fish served sashimi style. The tuna and black snapper are particularly spot-on here. Reservations are recommended for Sasa, especially if you’re planning to go on the weekend.
Sasa Japanese Restaurant
$$$ Japanese, Sushi Bars
9. House of Sushi
For affordable sushi that doesn’t skimp on quality, head to House of Sushi. Located on popular Polk Street, this hidden gem is serving up some of the best sushi in San Francisco. House of Sushi has a variety of signature and traditional rolls, but we recommend getting the chef’s choice, which you can get as nigiri or sashimi. You will get an amazing spread of fresh cuts for less than $30, and the tuna here never disappoints. House of Sushi doesn’t typically have long waits, but they are only open for dinner service, so we still recommend getting there early to grab a spot at this hole-in-the-wall.
House of Sushi
$$ Sushi Bars
8. Ace Wasabi
Happy hour enthusiasts, it’s your time to shine. Ace Wasabi in the Marina neighborhood is one of our favorite places in the city for happy hour. Every day from 5-6 p.m. choose from a curated list of rolls and small plates. The handrolls, especially the Rock n Roll, are top-notch at Ace Wasabi. Grilled eel, avocado, and cucumber, which adds the perfect crunch to each bite, combine for a handroll that’s both refreshing and satisfying. The spicy scallop and tempura shrimp handrolls are also a must.
Ace Wasabi San Francisco
$$ Sushi Bars, Japanese
The Hayes Valley neighborhood is home to some of our favorite restaurants, so it comes as no surprise that a sushi spot would be one of them. With a very intimate vibe, especially if you’re dining on the quaint outdoor patio, Domo almost makes you forget you’re in San Francisco. The Hot Tuna is a must-have when dining at Domo and is one of our favorite fried rolls. With a generous drizzle of sriracha mayo, this roll packs a serious heat punch with each bite. For the spice-averse, The Dragon, a tempura roll with eel and avocado, is filling and delicious. Head around the corner for a post-sushi sweet treat at Salt and Straw, one of our top picks for the best ice cream in the city.
$$ Sushi Bars, Japanese
Nara is one of our go-to spots for date night or a fun dinner with friends. Our favorite dish is the hamachi truffle. Perfect as an appetizer to share with the table or as an entree for yourself, this dish is simple, filling, and packed with flavor. The crunchy jalapeno adds the perfect hint of spice with each bite without overpowering the subtle flavors of the hamachi. Round out your meal with the Shrek and Sake Bomb rolls. Nara does offer reservations, and we recommend one to try some of the best sushi in San Francisco.
$$ Japanese, Sushi Bars, Bars
5. Elephant Sushi
Elephant Sushi has become one of the most popular sushi destinations in the city and for good reason. While we’d usually recommend starting with a classic miso soup, here the must-have starter is the poke nachos. Piled high with toppings and drizzled with honey mustard and sweet soy glaze, these nachos are unreal. Every roll we’ve had at Elephant Sushi is delicious, but the Flaming Seabass is a stand-out. This roll is an experience–coming in hot (literally), the staff torches your roll table side. We love the flavor profile of the sea bass/ spicy tuna combo with the chili and soy glaze, which creates a very creamy but overall light roll. Order the Ya Man roll to round out your meal of some of the best sushi in San Francisco. Elephant Sushi now has two locations, and the Hayes Valley location accepts reservations.
Elephant Sushi – Russian Hill
$$$ Sushi Bars, Japanese
Elephant Sushi – Hayes Valley
$$$ Sushi Bars, Cocktail Bars
Located on Valencia Street in the vibrant Mission District, Cha-ya is a family-owned vegan Japanese restaurant that is breaking stereotypes and showcasing the simple joys of plant-based food. Whether you’re vegan or not, when it comes to Cha-ya’s menu, everything is delicious. They have a way of making every dish with such complex flavors while still sticking to their simple roots. When it comes to rolls, the Cha-ya roll is essential. This deep-fried roll is filled with avocado, yam, asparagus, and carrots and is drizzled with a show-stopping soy-ginger glaze that adds the perfect rich, sweet finish. The Starlight and Shattuck rolls are also noteworthy. Cha-ya is only open a few days during the week but has both lunch and dinner service on the weekends. It’s an absolute must-try while eating through the best sushi in San Francisco.
$$ Japanese, Vegetarian, Vegan
Located near the famous Ferry Building on the Embarcadero, Ozumo is the perfect place for an upscale dining experience while eating some of the best sushi in San Francisco. We recommend starting with the Hanabi, a dish that is light and has a great balance of acid from the ponzu sauce with the creamy avocado slices that each complement the hamachi. All the dishes at Ozumo are fantastic, but the nigiri is especially excellent. Yes, it can be a little pricey, but the quality of the fish is worth it. Our go-to is the Chutoro, a cut that has a smooth, buttery texture that melts in your mouth with each bite. Reservations are encouraged and can be booked through Ozumo’s website.
Ozumo San Francisco
$$$ Sushi Bars, Japanese, Steakhouses
Mamanoko is an upscale sushi restaurant that is very deserving of the hype it receives. Start your meal off with the pork gyoza, which is served with three incredible dipping sauces–a dumpling sauce, spicy chili oil, and hot mustard. Each elevates the savory flavors of the gingery pork gyoza, making for an appetizer not to be missed. The signature rolls at Mamanoko are also noteworthy. The Mordori is crafted with king salmon, albacore tuna, scallion, jalapenos, kaiware, and avocado, and is garnished with tempura flames, togarashi, and a delicious ponzu sauce. With so many flavor components, the roll could easily be overwhelming, but it all melds together magically. The Wiki Wiki roll has a very smooth texture from the cut of spicy ahi tuna paired with the bold flavors of garlic oil and fish. No dinner is complete without a little dessert, and the famous cookie dough ice cream roll at Mamanoko is no exception.
$$ Japanese, Cocktail Bars, Sushi Bars
1. The Handroll Project
Since opening in 2022, The Handroll Project has become a bucket list restaurant for Bay Area foodies. The menu here is simple and small–a few appetizers and their signature handrolls. Handrolls can be ordered individually or as a set, and we recommend the seven-piece set to get a sample of everything. The Handroll Project doesn’t seem to have a single miss on the menu and honorable mentions include the Creamy Scallop and Toro Takuan. Getting a spot at The Handroll Project can be tricky due to minimal seating, so we recommend making a reservation or arriving at opening to get on the waitlist. The splurge-worthy experience of eating at one of the best sushi places in San Francisco is 100% worth it.