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An assortment of nigiri sushi.
Sushi Tadokoro.
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San Diego’s 15 Essential Sushi Bars

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Sushi Tadokoro.
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Of all the types of cuisines offered around town, San Diego's sushi game is particularly strong. From splurge-worthy destinations for omakase to solid neighborhood spots, our city is blessed with some spectacular showcases for fresh seafood. While most of these temples of sushi are practitioners of the classic and reverent style of sushi, we included a couple entries that veer off the traditional path because sushi can be fun, too.

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Note: Map points are not ranked.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Wrench And The Rodent

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1815 S Coast Hwy
Oceanside, CA 92054
(760) 271-0531
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Popular local chef Davin Waite, who also runs several other restaurants in Oceanside, got his start in sushi and has developed a fervent following for his irreverent yet sincere approach to the cuisine, bringing together local seafood and creative sauces in unexpected flavor combinations. If you're going to take a turn from the traditional, do it here.

A composed plate of sashimi with vegetables and garnishes in an orange sauce at Wrench and Rodent.
A plate of sashimi.
Wrench and Rodent/Facebook

2. Kaito Sushi

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130 N El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 634-2746
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While Kaito might not offer the largest array of fish, you can be sure that the day's fresh selection will be prepared impeccably by Tokyo-trained Kazuo Morita, one of the undisputed sushi kings of San Diego. If his delicate version of saltwater eel, or anago, is available, don't miss it.

Looking through the plate-glass window at diners inside Kaito Sushi. Kaito Sushi

3. Ken Sushi Workshop

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11375 El Camino Real #120
San Diego, CA 92130
(858) 793-1200

North County sushi lovers swear by this spot owned by another alum of Sushi Ota. It’s known to be pricey, as one can expect from a sushi shop that features luxurious bites like Japanese Wagyu beef nigiri and tuna belly topped with truffle and sea urchin.

4. Himitsu

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1030 Torrey Pines Rd G
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 263-4463
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With just eights seats at the sushi bar, as well as a handful of outdoor tables, this La Jolla spot offers an intimate dining experience in the hands of chef Mitsu Aihara, who spent 16 years at the revered Sushi Ota. Aihara does traditional sushi and offers an elegant omakase menu, but also features trendy dishes like the rib-eye katsu sando, a sandwich stuffed with a breaded steak and ginger-dressed cabbage.

himitsu food Haley Hill

5. Hidden Fish

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4764 Convoy St ste a
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 210-5056
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One of the Convoy area’s best options for sushi, Hidden Fish’s 12-seat sushi bar offers a 90-minute, 18-piece omakase dining experience from executive chef John Hong that features a rotating selection of fish from Japan’s Toyosu Fish Market.

6. Sushi Ota

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4529 Mission Bay Dr
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 270-5670
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For over a quarter-century, owner Yukito Ota showcased his tremendous sushi skills at his eponymous and unassuming strip-mall spot. Ota, who trained many of the city’s best sushi makers, recently retired and the restaurant is now being run by one of his head chefs.

Sushi Ota sign and storefront.

7. Kokoro

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3298 Greyling Dr Ste B
San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 565-4113
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A bit off the beaten path, but worth a trip, Kokomo is a quiet temple to the art of Japanese Kappo cuisine where the restaurant’s minimal decor puts the spotlight directly on the plates of pristine fish. Chef Akio Ishito is classically-minded, sporting traditional Japanese elevated wood sandals while behind the bar.

The sushi bar insided Kokoro. Kokoro

8. SOICHI

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2121 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 677-2220
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Veteran sushi master Soichi Kadoya presides over this warm and welcoming family-run restaurant. There are a few tables, but the best seats are at the sushi bar, where Kadoya puts together customized and creative omakase menus that includes sashimi, nigiri, and seasonal appetizers. The Michelin-starred restaurant also offers an impressive array of sake.

A piece of nigiri sushi on a place at Soichi. Michael Ly

9. Saiko Sushi

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2884 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

With another well-established location in Coronado, this North Park favorite prides itself on an unparalleled sake program and a menu from executive chef and co-owner Anthony Pascale based on whole, locally-sourced fish paired with housemade ingredients.

The sign and storefront of Saiko Sushi North Park. Saiko Sushi

10. Sushi Tadokoro

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2244 San Diego Ave Ste C
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 297-0298
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This intimate Old Town restaurant has established a reputation as one of the best practitioners of traditional Edo-mae style sushi, specializing in pristine sashimi and nigiri. Sushi adventurers swear by the Michelin-starred kitchen’s preparations of ankimo, or monkfish liver, and shirako, or cod sperm.

11. Hane Sushi

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2760 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 260-1411
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Yet another vet of Sushi Ota is behind this Bankers Hill restaurant, which serves lunch and dinner in a spacious and modern setting. Adept at faithful and fresh nigiri sushi and sashimi, Hane is also known for its creative license with off-menu specialties and rolls that range from the Fish and Chips Roll to the Pizza Roll.

The sign and storefront of Hane Sushi Hane Sushi/Facebook

12. Azuki Sushi

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2321 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 238-4760
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One of the best dining options in Bankers Hill, Azuki is the local sushi bar that every neighborhood deserves. The modern lounge provides an intimate and friendly setting for food that's fresh and unfussy.

13. Shino Sushi + Kappo

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838 W Ash St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 255-2527

Another disciple of Sushi Ota runs this small sushi bar near the train tracks on the edge of Little Italy. The ‘kappo’ in the restaurant’s name refers to skill not just in cutting fish and making sushi but also a mastery of other cooking techniques, from grilling and steaming to frying and simmering, all part of a well-balanced omakase menu.

14. Taka Sushi

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555 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

This longtime Gaslamp staple is one of the downtown area’s sushi standouts and has been a launching pad for many of the area’s best sushi chefs. Consistently solid, with attentive service, the restaurant offers sushi, sashimi, and basic rolls along with handful of entrees ranging from baked black cod to salmon teryaki.

A plate of assorted sashimi including sea urchin, salmon, yellowtail, and tuna at Taka Sushi.
Sashimi platter.
Taka Sushi/Facebook

15. NOBU San Diego

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207 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 814-4124
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Part of celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s global restaurant chain, this high-energy outpost inside the Hard Rock Hotel is naturally popular with tourists but also a special occasion spot for locals. Try the Nobu classics, including tiradito with fluke, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño, and Matsuhisa’s signature black cod with miso.

The sushi bar inside Nobu. Nobu/Facebook

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1. Wrench And The Rodent

1815 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
A composed plate of sashimi with vegetables and garnishes in an orange sauce at Wrench and Rodent.
A plate of sashimi.
Wrench and Rodent/Facebook

Popular local chef Davin Waite, who also runs several other restaurants in Oceanside, got his start in sushi and has developed a fervent following for his irreverent yet sincere approach to the cuisine, bringing together local seafood and creative sauces in unexpected flavor combinations. If you're going to take a turn from the traditional, do it here.

1815 S Coast Hwy
Oceanside, CA 92054

2. Kaito Sushi

130 N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
Looking through the plate-glass window at diners inside Kaito Sushi. Kaito Sushi

While Kaito might not offer the largest array of fish, you can be sure that the day's fresh selection will be prepared impeccably by Tokyo-trained Kazuo Morita, one of the undisputed sushi kings of San Diego. If his delicate version of saltwater eel, or anago, is available, don't miss it.

130 N El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024

3. Ken Sushi Workshop

11375 El Camino Real #120, San Diego, CA 92130

North County sushi lovers swear by this spot owned by another alum of Sushi Ota. It’s known to be pricey, as one can expect from a sushi shop that features luxurious bites like Japanese Wagyu beef nigiri and tuna belly topped with truffle and sea urchin.

11375 El Camino Real #120
San Diego, CA 92130

4. Himitsu

1030 Torrey Pines Rd G, La Jolla, CA 92037
himitsu food Haley Hill

With just eights seats at the sushi bar, as well as a handful of outdoor tables, this La Jolla spot offers an intimate dining experience in the hands of chef Mitsu Aihara, who spent 16 years at the revered Sushi Ota. Aihara does traditional sushi and offers an elegant omakase menu, but also features trendy dishes like the rib-eye katsu sando, a sandwich stuffed with a breaded steak and ginger-dressed cabbage.

1030 Torrey Pines Rd G
La Jolla, CA 92037

5. Hidden Fish

4764 Convoy St ste a, San Diego, CA 92111

One of the Convoy area’s best options for sushi, Hidden Fish’s 12-seat sushi bar offers a 90-minute, 18-piece omakase dining experience from executive chef John Hong that features a rotating selection of fish from Japan’s Toyosu Fish Market.

4764 Convoy St ste a
San Diego, CA 92111

6. Sushi Ota

4529 Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
Sushi Ota sign and storefront.

For over a quarter-century, owner Yukito Ota showcased his tremendous sushi skills at his eponymous and unassuming strip-mall spot. Ota, who trained many of the city’s best sushi makers, recently retired and the restaurant is now being run by one of his head chefs.

4529 Mission Bay Dr
San Diego, CA 92109

7. Kokoro

3298 Greyling Dr Ste B, San Diego, CA 92123
The sushi bar insided Kokoro. Kokoro

A bit off the beaten path, but worth a trip, Kokomo is a quiet temple to the art of Japanese Kappo cuisine where the restaurant’s minimal decor puts the spotlight directly on the plates of pristine fish. Chef Akio Ishito is classically-minded, sporting traditional Japanese elevated wood sandals while behind the bar.

3298 Greyling Dr Ste B
San Diego, CA 92123

8. SOICHI

2121 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
A piece of nigiri sushi on a place at Soichi. Michael Ly

Veteran sushi master Soichi Kadoya presides over this warm and welcoming family-run restaurant. There are a few tables, but the best seats are at the sushi bar, where Kadoya puts together customized and creative omakase menus that includes sashimi, nigiri, and seasonal appetizers. The Michelin-starred restaurant also offers an impressive array of sake.

2121 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

9. Saiko Sushi

2884 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
The sign and storefront of Saiko Sushi North Park. Saiko Sushi

With another well-established location in Coronado, this North Park favorite prides itself on an unparalleled sake program and a menu from executive chef and co-owner Anthony Pascale based on whole, locally-sourced fish paired with housemade ingredients.

2884 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

10. Sushi Tadokoro

2244 San Diego Ave Ste C, San Diego, CA 92110

This intimate Old Town restaurant has established a reputation as one of the best practitioners of traditional Edo-mae style sushi, specializing in pristine sashimi and nigiri. Sushi adventurers swear by the Michelin-starred kitchen’s preparations of ankimo, or monkfish liver, and shirako, or cod sperm.

2244 San Diego Ave Ste C
San Diego, CA 92110

11. Hane Sushi

2760 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
The sign and storefront of Hane Sushi Hane Sushi/Facebook

Yet another vet of Sushi Ota is behind this Bankers Hill restaurant, which serves lunch and dinner in a spacious and modern setting. Adept at faithful and fresh nigiri sushi and sashimi, Hane is also known for its creative license with off-menu specialties and rolls that range from the Fish and Chips Roll to the Pizza Roll.

2760 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

12. Azuki Sushi

2321 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

One of the best dining options in Bankers Hill, Azuki is the local sushi bar that every neighborhood deserves. The modern lounge provides an intimate and friendly setting for food that's fresh and unfussy.

2321 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

13. Shino Sushi + Kappo

838 W Ash St, San Diego, CA 92101

Another disciple of Sushi Ota runs this small sushi bar near the train tracks on the edge of Little Italy. The ‘kappo’ in the restaurant’s name refers to skill not just in cutting fish and making sushi but also a mastery of other cooking techniques, from grilling and steaming to frying and simmering, all part of a well-balanced omakase menu.

838 W Ash St
San Diego, CA 92101

14. Taka Sushi

555 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
A plate of assorted sashimi including sea urchin, salmon, yellowtail, and tuna at Taka Sushi.
Sashimi platter.
Taka Sushi/Facebook

This longtime Gaslamp staple is one of the downtown area’s sushi standouts and has been a launching pad for many of the area’s best sushi chefs. Consistently solid, with attentive service, the restaurant offers sushi, sashimi, and basic rolls along with handful of entrees ranging from baked black cod to salmon teryaki.

555 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

15. NOBU San Diego

207 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
The sushi bar inside Nobu. Nobu/Facebook

Part of celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s global restaurant chain, this high-energy outpost inside the Hard Rock Hotel is naturally popular with tourists but also a special occasion spot for locals. Try the Nobu classics, including tiradito with fluke, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño, and Matsuhisa’s signature black cod with miso.

207 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

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