SF Bay Area Trip Highlights
We all know that San Francisco offers some of the best
dining options on the West coast (or world, dare we
say?). And if you are like me, sushi is a top choice
when deciding on which phenomenal San Francisco
restaurant to go for dinner.
1. Umami (2909 Webster Street, Webster & Union)
This sushi restaurant never disappoints. Umami is the
ideal spot for impressing a date, out of town guests,
or San Francisco newcomers.
The ambiance is cozy, yet lively. The bar is always
happening (go early for happy hour if you want a bar
seat!), or you can choose to cozy up at one of the
dining tables, small or large.
Besides the fun vibe, Umami has some of the freshest,
most delicious fish in the city. The large cuts of fish
make for unbelievable nigiri and sashimi, their rolls
are original and exciting, and the appetizers are to
2. Ozumo (161 Steuart Street, Steuart & Mission)
Nestled just off the Embarcadero, this SF sushi
restaurant offers fabulous bay views to accompany your
delicious sushi. Now, Ozumo ain’t cheap, but you get
what you pay for…. Which is high-quality sushi in a
truly beautiful atmosphere.
The ambiance is modern, yet inviting and always buzzing
with diners. The massive sushi bar in the center of the
dining room is impressive to say the least and watching
the sushi chef’s in action is always exciting. Large
(almost arm chairs) allow you to indulge in sake and
If you are looking for just a quick bite and cocktail,
the bar at the front of the restaurant is your sweet
spot. Settle in and be prepared to guard your seat- the
bar tends to get crowded and stay crowded.
3. Blowfish Sushi to Die For (2170 Bryant Street,
Bryant & 20th)
Blowfish Sushi mixes traditional with modern for a
unique sushi experience.
Off the beaten path of Valencia Street’s restaurant
row, you may have to Google map this little gem.
Decked out in Japanimation, this SF sushi restaurant is
energetic, vibrant and a neighborhood favorite.
Blowfish Sushi is an ideal spot to start your night out
as house music will be (subtly) bumping while you munch
on the Ritsu Roll or Pyramid of Tartare (yes, it’s as
good as it sounds).
If you are looking for a change of pace from sushi,
Blowfish also has incredible Asian-fusion options not
involving raw fish. One especially good non-fish dish
is The Punch- rare filet mignon on sautéed spinach
with crispy red onions. Enjoy!
4. Tataki Sushi Bar (2815 California Street, California
If you want to enjoy exceptional sushi in a very San
Francisco, eco-friendly kind of way, Tataki is the
perfect spot for you.
Boasted as the first sustainable sushi restaurant in
the U.S., Tataki offers only sushi that has been
responsibly sourced in an environmentally friendly way.
A boutique restaurant that seats about 25 max, this is
an ideal location for a delightful sushi dinner,
without all the San Francisco chaos.
Although small, this little restaurant has a large
presence in the city and has opened two additional
locations- delicious sushi made even more
5. Kiss Seafood (1700 Laguna, Laguna & Bush)
Don't blink, you might miss it- Kiss Seafood is one of
San Francisco's best kept dining secrets.
This uber-traditional Japanese restaurant, run by a
husband and wife team is small, intimate and authentic.
The understated vibe of the restaurant pairs with the
subtly delicious food. Kiss Seafood doesn't overdo it,
they get it just right. This reservation only
restaurant is the perfect place for quiet, intimate
The Chef's Special Omakase Dinner is delightful (and
filling)! This six course meal consists of salad
various salads, soups, assorted sashimi and nigiri.
Another tip- try the octopus sashimi! Kiss is one of
the few restaurants to serve raw octopus.
6. Ebisu (1283 9th Avenue, 9th & Irving)
An SF favorite, Ebisu is just. plain. yummy. Be
prepared to wait, especially during weekends- the
secret is out on this one, but this sushi restaurant is
well worth the wait.
The "Two Strikes, One Ball" roll alone is worth waiting
in line for- tuna wrapped in avocado?! Say hello to
every Californian's dream.
Without a doubt some of the freshest fish in San
Francisco, Ebisu offers large cuts of fish and creative
specialty rolls. The 49er is unique (lemon slice in
your sushi!) and a crowd favorite.
The modern, yet warm decor makes Ebisu an ideal combo
of hip and trendy with approachable, authentic San
Francisco (this family run city favorite has been
around 30+ years!).
Attentive service and personable sushi chef's seal the
deal for greatness at Ebisu. This SF sushi restaurant
is not to be missed!
7. Maruya (2931 16th Street, 16th & S. Van Ness)
Now, Maruya is sushi done RIGHT! Head Chef Masaki
Sasaki certainly knows what he's doing.
The dishes at Maruya are authentic and
traditional. The menu changes constantly based on
seasonality, which means there is always something new
and exciting to try.
There are different options for the Omakase dinners and
the nigiri is often served in pairs with complementing
The ambiance is warm and welcoming. The sushi bar is
open (no glass to separate you from the chef), and the
entire restaurant is outfitted in beautiful,
contrasting shades of wood. Try to grab a seat at the
bar and watch absolutely beautiful sushi creations come
8. Akiko's Restaurant (431 Bush Street, Bush & Claude
Without a doubt, many San Francisco residents (and
visitors), have walked by Akiko's without realizing
what a true sushi gem is hidden inside!
This small, yet modern, restaurant has no signage out
front (if you see the Irish Bank sign, you are in the
right place), but once inside you'll enjoy a relaxed
atmosphere and fresh fish.
This eco-friendly restaurant also changes the menu
based on seasonality and the servers are always helpful
with recommendations. Helpful hint- the Hamachi Kama
(broiled yellowtail with a ponzu, daikon dressing) is
9. Ichi Sushi + NI Bar (3282 Mission Street, Mission &
Ichi Sushi has a loyal SF following, so much so that
they've just relocated and expanded to become Ichi
Sushi and NI Bar!
NI Bar is the perfect addition, offering diners a
fabulous spot to enjoy a drink and small snacks while
This cheeky restaurant features massive wall art, which
actually instructs diners on the art of sushi eating
(hey, you might learn something).
Ichi gets another point for having a great happy hour,
including $1 oysters, $6 wine, and $6 for their famous
Yuzu chicken wings!
10. Daigo Sushi (2450 Clement Street, Clement &
This small, no-frills sushi restaurant in the Outer
Richmond is not the place if you are looking for a
trendy, scene-y night out. However, if you are looking
for impeccable sushi in a casual environment with great
service, Daigo is your spot!
Just a short drive from Land's End, this sushi
restaurant is the perfect place for a healthy dinner
after a gorgeous hike. The service is efficient and
friendly, you won't find yourself waiting for a drink
or dish at Daigo.
A few dining tips- Both the albacore and beef Hamachi
are favorites. The albacore is fresh and perfectly
presented while the filet mignon is tender and very
high quality. A refreshing roll, wrapped in cucumber,
the Naruto roll, is also a must-have.