The Original 'Foodies': 10 Best Japanese Restaurants in San Francisco

Do you love Japanese food? We do too, and that's why we dedicate ourselves to finding the best places to enjoy Japanese cuisine in San Francisco. We've diligently scouted out the top eateries, and we've listened to our readers and their reviews of San Francisco restaurants. We share the places that get great buzz, like Ebisu, and we showcase the ones that have proven themselves over time, like Grandeho's Kamekyo.

With so many wonderful restaurants in San Francisco, it's important to take some time to really think about where you want to spend your money. If your trip is just a few days, that's only three dinners in a city that could fill up a calendar year of distinct choices. We think the best approach to enjoying Japanese food is to follow the same standards that goes into preparing the food. Most of these dishes takes time, and the sauces and flavors are fairly delicate and deserve the same attention in eating that they had in preparation. In other words, if you want a grab and go meal, Japanese might not be the best pick.

We also point out good neighborhoods for Japanese restaurants in San Francisco - Japantown, for instance. When the craving hits, we'll make sure you get your fix!

Ace Wasabi's Rock 'n' Roll Sushi


For good times and great sushi, head to Ace Wasabi's, where you'll find a happening crowd and a diverse menu, including appetizers, salads, and seafood cooked and uncooked. Innovative sushi rolls are a specialty, as indicated by the Flying...  Read More



Beautifully dressed in granite and pale wood, this enticing restaurant is a magnet for local professionals. Not only do they relish its fabulous sushi, but they also appreciate a creative approach to traditional Japanese fare. Artfully presented...  Read More

Noe Valley
Hamano Sushi


At this trendy Japanese restaurant, you'll be mesmerized by both the cuisine and the beautiful interior. A blonde-wood sushi bar serves as a gathering spot for folks who want to glimpse the sushi-making process, and a dining room accommodates...  Read More

Kabuto Sushi


This spirited Japanese sushi bar thrives on the quality of its fish and the variety offered to customers. Affordable maki, nigiri, and sashimi are beautifully prepared and presented, as much a visual delight as a gustatory one. Guests are also...  Read More



Clean-lined, airy, and brightened by original artwork, this small restaurant serves top-quality sushi. The quality of the food begins and ends with owner Yoshi Tome, originally from Okinawa but overseeing the precise workings of Sushi Ran since...  Read More

Nob Hill


Cuisine leaps to the forefront of this restaurant's appeal, thanks to raw and cooked options that, without exception, deliver on flavor, presentation, and preparation. Diners can choose from teriyaki, donburi, and tempura dishes and then pair...  Read More



For those who want to experience what puts the Nob in Nob Hill, check your humility at the door and strut with all the swanky style you can muster right into Keiko's. When you mix the lofty expectations of French cuisine with the deep pockets...  Read More



Although it's a small place, and waits are inevitable, this Japanese restaurant creates some of the city's best sushi. The quality of food is impeccable, and the friendly waitstaff are happy to explain the menu's offerings. Cooked dishes are...  Read More

Cole Valley


City veteran Ebisu has been serving some of San Francisco's best sushi for two decades now. The legend behind the namesake reveals the care and tradition this restaurant brings to their food. Ebisu, one of the Seven Deities of Good Fortune, is...  Read More



Owners and partners Tim and Erin Archuleta have put their heart and soul into this small, popular sushi restaurant. Since opening, ICHI Sushi has won Best of the Bay in five outlets, was named one of Zagat San Francisco Bay Area Guide 2013's Top...  Read More


Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

Tom has lived in the San...  More About Tom