The Best Sushi Restaurants in San Diego for Omakase, Nigiri, and Sashimi
Enjoy fresh fish and creative hand rolls and more at the best sushi restaurants in San Diego.
With 70 miles of coastline in San Diego County alone, along with Baja California and the whole Pacific Northwest, San Diegans enjoy a fresh seafood bounty that our landlocked counterparts can only dream of. It stands to reason, then, that we also are home to an abundance of outstanding sushi restaurants. From casual, laidback sushi feasting to refined, specially curated omakase encounters and Michelin-starred sensations, San Diego’s sushi restaurants deliver the experience you’re craving. Here are a dozen of our favorite spots to satisfy your cravings.
There’s more to Bang Bang than just the gigantic disco ball, and notorious Ryan Gosling ladies’ room. Expect a great selection of nigiri, sashimi, and a list of specialty rolls like Hello Kitty (spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, avocado in a pink soy paper topped with bay scallops, tempura flakes, chili aioli, and eel sauce). If you don’t like your Bruce Lee roll with a side of party, you can always mellow out in the sushi room.
How to book: Reservations can be made online. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.
Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar
Check out Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar in Carlsbad, and their sister restaurant, Blue Ocean | Harumama in La Jolla when you’re looking to try something a little unexpected. At Carlsbad, try skewered meats and veggies cooked on a robata grill with an omakase box, some unique specialty rolls, or a number of plant-based options. Their bar holds a selection of Japanese whisky, sake, a craft cocktail list, and a few sake bomb options, one of which is made with 151. At the La Jolla spot, pair your sushi with some of Hamurama’s adorable character buns in sweet and savory options, or folded bao bao buns stuffed with soft-shell crab, pork belly, or karaage chicken.
How to book: Seating is on a first-come basis. Order online from your location for takeout or delivery.
Cloak & Petal
A lot of our favorite sushi bars are on the small side, so when your tribe gets a craving, it’s tough to find a place that can seat the whole gang together. Cloak & Petal has you covered—it’s designed with group dining in mind. Host visiting family under C&P’s iconic cherry blossom tree in the main dining room or grab your pals and hit happy hour in its new speakeasy concept area, Shibuya Nights, for $12 specialty cocktails and select rolls, including decidedly non-traditional faves like Face It, You’re Basic (panko shrimp, avocado, krab, tempura crunchy flakes, spicy aioli, sweet soy sauce reduction) or Cesar Chavez (shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, avocado, black pepper, tuna, charred jalapeño ponzu, cilantro, habanero). It’s open later than most places, closing at 11 pm Sunday-Thursday and 1 am Friday-Saturday (the kitchen shuts down a half-hour before).
How to book: Book tables for up to six online. For larger groups, call the restaurant directly at 619-501-5505.
Harney has been serving sustainable sushi to San Diegans for well over a decade—they can tell you exactly where every piece of their seafood originates. Both locations have a dimly lit bar vibe with a daily food-and-drink happy hour, in addition to a late-night social hour and live music several nights a week at the Old Town spot.
How to book: Reservations can be made via Yelp for Old Town and Oceanside. Walk-ins are accepted at both locations if seating is available. Order online from Old Town or Oceanside takeout or delivery.
Tucked into the long corridors of The Quarter in Liberty Station’s, this tiny shop consistently turns out some of the finest, freshest nigiri in the city, as well as colorful, inventive rolls, which come fresh, seared, baked, or deep fried. We love the Poke Roll; spicy tuna, cucumber and gobo inside, tuna, salmon, hamachi and whitefish mixed with garlic, scallions, sesame and sesame oil on the outside, or the Panko Special Deep Fried Roll, stuffed with tuna, shrimp tempura, masago, gobo, and avocado inside, and lots of crunchy panko and a drizzle of eel sauce on top. Before you order, be sure to check out the chalkboard for specials, which features special fresh catch delicacies that aren’t on the regular menu. The restaurant itself is small, but there’s plenty of outdoor tables on the promenade to enjoy takeout.
How to book: Seating is on a first-come basis. Stop in or call 619-221-1228 for takeout.
In true OB fashion, The Joint is doing something a little different—serving a long list of legit sushi and specialty rolls in addition to a tapas menu that has absolutely nothing to do with Asian fare. No matter what kind of sushi you like, you’d be hard pressed not to find something you love on their list—like the tuna poke or the Bomb-A-Licious roll full of spicy crab and tempura shishito peppers topped with hamachi, avocado, micro cilantro, habañero, masago, and cilantro pepper sauce.
How to book: Reservations can be made online. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available. Order takeout or delivery online.
How to book: Reservations are released at the beginning of each month.
Lumi features contemporary Japanese fare with Nikkei and Korean influences created by Michelin-starred chef Akira Back. The sushi menu showcases inventive specialty rolls, including luxurious Alaskan king crab, surf and turf, A5 Wagyu nigiri, and daily off-menu selections. Let the sushi chef surprise you with Nazo 9, a mystery box for two containing nine dishes that aren’t revealed until they’re placed in front of you, or the daily omakase menu. Pair your meal with sips from the largest selection of top-tier Japanese whiskies in the city, Akira Back’s own sake, or a Toki Japanese Highball machine that yields ice-cold, lusciously fizzy, perfectly-blended cocktails.
How to book: Reservations can be made online. Order takeout by calling 619-329-5864 or delivery via third-party options.
Mikami Bar & Revolving Sushi
Mikami Bar & Revolving Sushi is one of California’s largest revolving sushi venues, offering more than 70 types of sushi in a 6,000 square foot, kaiten-style restaurant. Color-coded plates glide smoothly by diners, a mix of innovative sushi dishes, popular rolls, appetizers, sides, and entrées from head chef Aiden KT Lee’s menu. In addition to the sushi options, booths are equipped with touchscreen tablets so guests can order appetizers, ramen, udon, yakisoba, fried rice, and additional entrees, domestic and international wine, and a wide selection of beer from local breweries.
How to book: Reservations can be made online. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.
Shiku Sushi Bar
Shiku's standout sushi comes with a bonus of solid value, which is a pleasant surprise in a generally overpriced neighborhood. You can’t beat the happy hour roll specials, hot or cold sake for just a few bucks, and their specialty roll menu with cleverly named options like the I’m So Baked roll made with crab, tuna, and cream cheese wrapped in white fish and topped with lobster and jalapeño, then baked with a garlic crab dynamite sauce.
How to book: Seating is on a first-come basis. Order takeout or delivery online.
Soichi Kadoya opened his own restaurant in 2019, after stints at Surfside Sushi in Pacific Beach and Michelin-starred Sushi Tadokoro in Old Town, earning a Michelin star of his own in 2021. Soichi specializes in omakase-style fare in three options—petite omakase with three tasting dishes to start, six pieces of nigiri sushi, soup, and homemade ice cream; regular nigiri omakase with four tasting dishes and twelve pieces of nigiri, soup, and ice cream; and eight-course omakase specially selected by chef Soichi. In addition, there’s nigiri by the piece, various cut rolls, and a big futomaki roll, plus chirashi bowls, chawan mushi, and an impressive selection of sake. Fish is sourced from Japanese waters, and shipped same-day to the restaurant, so you’re getting the best of the best. Reservations are booked well in advance and sell out quickly, so check their website for availability.
How to book: Reservations can be made online. Call 619-677-2220 for takeout.
You normally wouldn’t expect to find amazing sushi in a strip mall tucked between car dealerships and a 7-Eleven, but that’s what makes Sushi Ota a hidden gem. Despite the unspectacular location, it's usually packed, so unless you like hanging out in parking lots, make a reservation. You can order rolls if you want, but what they’re really known for is their spot-on, fresh sashimi and some of the most reliably delicious uni in town.
How to book: Reservations can be made online. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available. Call 858-880-8778 to order takeout.
Old Town doesn’t exactly spring to mind when a sushi craving hits, but nestled amongst the Mexican restaurants is a little Michelin-starred place serving some of the freshest traditional edomae-style sushi in town. They’re open for lunch and dinner, but the place is small, so now that the secret’s out, reservations are definitely advisable.
How to book: Reservations are available online. Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available. Call the restaurant at 619-297-0298 for takeout.
San Diego sustainable seafood wizard chef JoJo Ruiz recently opened Temaki Bar: Handroll, Sushi, Sake, where you’ll experience sushi the traditional way—made-to-order hand rolls that are meant to be eaten immediately after the chef hands it over the counter, perfectly balancing warm rice, cold fish and crisp nori. Temaki’s signature tuna roll and its craveable spicy sauce, sustainably sourced blue crab, yellowtail, salmon and more are menu favorites. Temaki also has a diverse selection of Japanese beer, sake, and wines from the barrel and a backdrop of eclectic art by Todd DiCiurcio, featuring locally-loved Rob Machado Surfboards.
How to book: Join the waitlist for dine-in, or order pickup online.
Junya Watanabe’s concept combines his Convoy District and Little Italy restaurant clusters—The Yasai by RakiRaki, his vegan sushi spot, and Matsuoka, its non-vegan counterpart, along with Raki Raki Ramen and JCK, Junya’s Crispy Karaage, into one-stop open spaces. To replicate the texture and flavor of conventional sushi, various vegetables are fermented, torched, grilled, smoked, boiled, and fried, depending on the type—each vegetable requires a different treatment, and sometimes a combination of two or more steps are necessary. The sushi menu at Matsuoka showcases nigiri, sushi rolls, temari sushi, a traditional ball-shaped sushi, and seasonal kaiseki bento boxes.
How to book: Reservations for The Yasai can be made online. Order takeout via your favorite location.