clock menu more-arrow no yes

15 Essential Sushi Bars in San Diego

How many spots have you tried?

View as Map

Of all the types of cuisines offered around town, San Diego's sushi game is particularly strong. From omakase splurge-spots to solid neighborhood spots, our city is blessed with some spectacular showcases for fresh seafood. Though some promising new sushi bars have opened over the course of the pandemic, this guide spotlights the tried-and-true, time-tested local places; 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.

Note: Map points are not ranked.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Wrench And The Rodent

Copy Link
1815 S Coast Hwy
Oceanside, CA 92054
(760) 271-0531
Visit Website

Chef/owner Davin Waite has developed a fervent following for his irreverent yet sincere approach to sushi, which brings 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

Copy Link
130 N El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 634-2746
Visit Website

While Kaito might not offer a large 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

Copy Link
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 including Japanese Wagyu beef nigiri and luscious tuna belly topped with truffle and sea urchin.

4. Himitsu

Copy Link
1030 Torrey Pines Rd G
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 263-4463
Visit Website

With just eights seats at the sushi bar, 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.

The corner sushi bar inside Himitsu Himitsu

5. Hidden Fish

Copy Link
4764 Convoy St ste a
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 210-5056
Visit Website

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

Copy Link
4529 Mission Bay Dr
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 270-5670
Visit Website

For over a quarter-century, chef/owner Yukito Ota has been showcasing his tremendous sushi skills at his eponymous and unassuming strip-mall spot. Sit at his section of the bar and order the tasting menu, or omakase, and know that you're getting the finest quality seafood, including the chef's favorite local sea urchin.

Sushi Ota sign and storefront.

7. Kokoro

Copy Link
3298 Greyling Dr Ste B
San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 565-4113
Visit Website

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

The sushi bar insided Kokoro. Kokoro

8. SOICHI

Copy Link
2121 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 677-2220
Visit Website

Veteran sushi master Soichi Kadoya’s first solo restaurant on Adams Avenue carries on the same attention to tradition and hospitality. There are a few tables, but the best seat is at the sushi bar, where Kadoya puts together customized and creative omakase menus that can range from sushi to sashimi and seasonal appetizers. The Michelin-honored restaurant also offers an impressive array of sake.

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

9. Saiko Sushi

Copy Link
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

Copy Link
2244 San Diego Ave Ste C
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 297-0298
Visit Website

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-recognized kitchen’s preparations of ankimo, or monkfish liver, and shirako, or cod sperm.

11. Hane Sushi

Copy Link
2760 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 260-1411
Visit Website

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

Copy Link
2321 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 238-4760
Visit Website

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

Copy Link
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

Copy Link
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

Copy Link
207 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 814-4124
Visit Website

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

Loading comments...

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

Chef/owner Davin Waite has developed a fervent following for his irreverent yet sincere approach to sushi, which brings 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 a large 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 including Japanese Wagyu beef nigiri and luscious 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
The corner sushi bar inside Himitsu Himitsu

With just eights seats at the sushi bar, 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, chef/owner Yukito Ota has been showcasing his tremendous sushi skills at his eponymous and unassuming strip-mall spot. Sit at his section of the bar and order the tasting menu, or omakase, and know that you're getting the finest quality seafood, including the chef's favorite local sea urchin.

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 sushi. Chef/owner Akio Ishito is classically-minded, sporting traditional Japanese elevated wood sandals while behind the bar. The restaurant's minimal decor puts the spotlight directly on the plates of pristine fish.

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’s first solo restaurant on Adams Avenue carries on the same attention to tradition and hospitality. There are a few tables, but the best seat is at the sushi bar, where Kadoya puts together customized and creative omakase menus that can range from sushi to sashimi and seasonal appetizers. The Michelin-honored 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-recognized 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

Related Maps