Food & Drink

Why Is SF Experiencing a Tidal Wave of Poke Restaurants?

Published On 08/24/2016 Published On 08/24/2016
Ramen Bar
Ramen Bar | Kevin McCullough
Amani King/Courtesy of Hook Fish Co.
Kevin McCullough

The Ramen Bar

Financial District

The hero at this fast-casual collaboration between Chefs Ken Tominaga and Michael Mina is obviously ramen, but the selection of poke bowls are a great option for when you’re looking for something healthy, light, and filling. Choose from tuna, salmon, or octopus, all of which can be served over a mix or rice (brown or white) and salad or just salad. The tuna is incredibly popular, as is the poke trio, which is a mix of all three.

Pacific Catch

Pacific Catch

Inner Sunset, Marina

The Hawaiian poke at this small Bay Area chain restaurant is real highlight. There are six different types to choose from, and it comes served with wonton crisps, seaweed salad, and daikon salad. Or just wonton crisps if too much salad isn’t your thing. The original (ahi tuna, sesame-soy marinade, and spicy seasonings) is our go-to when we want something healthy, tasty, and light, but we’re also fans of the indulgent macadamia nut or the serrano when we’re in the mood for a bit of a kick.

Poki Time

Poki Time

Inner Sunset

This casual café is about to open two more locations in the Marina and Daly City, but for now the Inner Sunset location is the place to go for a satisfying poke bowl with tons of toppings. You start with a base (rice, mixed greens, kale, half and half), then pick your fish (salmon, tuna, yellowtail, crab meat), then choose a sauce (sesame shoyu, spicy mayo, ponzu, wasabi), and finally add your toppings, which range from edamame to onions to avocado to jalapeño. So... not your traditional poke, but still damn tasty and very affordable.

Limu & Shoyu

Lower Pacific Heights

The focus at this casual Lower Pac Heights eatery is offering customizable poke bowls, but also serving fresh, sustainable fish, and taking care of the environment. Choose from house poke bowls or create your own with fish options like albacore, Arctic char, ahi, and octopus. There’s even a tofu options for vegetarians.

Shannon McLean

Liholiho Yacht Club


If there’s one dish everyone talks about at Liholiho, it’s the tuna poke with sesame oil and radish, served with a nori cracker. Chef Ravi Kapur is not serving up traditional Hawaiian fare by any means, but that’s the glory of eating at his restaurant. Everything is inventive and modern, but maintains the “Aloha Spirit” that’s so important to Kapur.

And stay tuned for Hook Fish Co. opening soon in the Outer Sunset.