Sushi in San Francisco

Select Local Merchants

Live Sushi Bar and Live Sushi Bistro blend tradition with innovation in the rice-wrapped fish arts at both welcoming restaurants. Both distinct locations share lunch, dinner, and drink menus, as well as experienced staff and sushi chefs who demonstrate their skills at a sushi bar outfitted with seats for dining spectators.

A Sampling of Sushi

  • Bergschneider Roll: barbecued eel and creamy avocado topped with salmon
  • Live Uni Hand Roll: sea urchin, shiso, and salmon roe with a quail egg
  • Live Scallop: served raw on a pillow of rice or tempura-fried with onions

Some Not-Sushi Options

  • Nabeyaki Ramen: savory broth brimming with tender noodles, shrimp tempura, grilled chicken, squid, and egg
  • Short Rib Teriyaki: grilled, marinated bone-in beef
  • Ankimo: steamed monkfish liver with an aromatic combination of ginger, onion, and tangy ponzu sauce

The Drinks

  • More than 25 sakes, including everything from delicate daiginjo to accessible nigori
  • Themed flights of three complementary sakes also offered
  • Three Japanese beers?Sapporo, Asahi Dry, and Kirin?wash down big meals
2001 17th St.
San Francisco,

In Focus: Midori Sushi

  • Specialties: sushi and Japanese cuisine
  • Atmosphere: cozy and casual
  • Most compact meal: the bento box
  • What makes the Midori Crazy Roll so crazy: It’s filled with fish, topped with fish, and sprinkled with even more fish.
  • Most monstrous roll: the Godzilla
  • Best meal for a group: the sushi boat

1520 Fillmore St
San Francisco,

Sudachi Sushi & Korean BBQ’s menu brims with classic teriyaki and bulgogi as well as eclectic variants such as chicken katsu quesadillas and vegetable teriyaki burritos. Chefs assemble a slate of premium sushi rolls with names such as the Rodeo Roll, What the Heck Roll, and Las Vegas Roll.

1217 Sutter Street
San Francisco,

Like the tectonic layers of our combustible planet’s crust, sushi stacks flavorful ingredients that erupt with explosive taste when agitated by the movement of toothy fault plates. Sushi Rika’s menu offers a varied selection of modern Japanese cuisine and delectable sushi tidbits. Bait chopstick pincers with an artfully crafted specialty roll, such as the Godzilla roll with unagi, cream cheese, and jalapeno ($11.95), or the India express roll with shiro maguro, yellowtail, scallion, and curry powder ($9.95). Sushi and sashimi options pair rice and fresh fish with the tantalizing simplicity of an edible abacus, offering squid nigiri pieces ($4.25) and a 12-piece mix of sashimi ($20.95). Appetizers include taste-bud-revving bites such as fried oysters ($8.95) and gyoza ($5.95), while dinner options flash flavorful plates such as beef udon or soba noodles ($11.95) and charbroiled chicken teriyaki ($12.95). Additionally, a convenient central location provides plenty of free parking for amphibious vehicles and seahorses.

900 Bush St
San Francisco,

Ahn Sushi & Soju stocks barren bellies with fresh Japanese and Korean menu items reeled in from all corners of the oceanic fish bowl, and slakes gullets with sake and signature soju cocktails, colossal libations mixed in hollowed fruits. The unagi sushi's barbecue-infused eel ($5) seduces taste buds while a quintet of toro sashimi ($25.95) softly croons melodies of the seafaring life. Take piscatorial matters into your own hands with the bento box combo dinner, which cordons off a trio of customer-culled fare, such as a crab-stuffed california roll, tangy chicken teriyaki, or a spicy tuna roll ($17.95). Chefs draw upon Korean muses to craft the boneless beef jumuluck kalbi, bathed in a special house sauce ($19.95), or the saeng kalbi, charcoal barbecued short ribs ($19.95).

177 Eddy St
San Francisco,

Sushi Time: A User’s Guide

Stripped-Down Sushi | Tokyo-Style Kitsch | Underground Dining (Literally)

Sample Menu

  • To start: tuna avocado tartare with a miso vinaigrette
  • Special roll: Barbie roll—crab, avocado, and salmon, wrapped in thin-sliced lemon
  • Dessert: black-sesame ice cream
  • To drink: a flight of three sakes

When to Go: Happy-hour discounts run from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and you’ll probably have more luck getting a seat right away.

While You Wait

  • Try to spot all the vintage kids’ toys whose names have inspired special rolls such as the G.I. Joe and the Hello Kitty.
  • Call dibs on an especially cute sake glass—waiters typically let you pick your own from a charmingly mismatched selection.

Inside Tips

  • This spot is also known as “Underground Sushi Time,” and it’s a little hard to spot. Head down the staircase tucked within the mini mall at its address.
  • Reservations aren’t accepted, but if there’s a wait, try heading just upstairs to browse the eclectic selection at Books Inc.—it’s open until 10 p.m.
  • Because of Sushi Time’s small scale, it’s a place for small groups and intimate conversation; parties larger than four may not be able to sit together.

Critical Acclaim

  • No. 5 on Business Insider’s list of the 10 Best Restaurants in San Francisco's Castro Neighborhood
  • One of SFist’s 11 Best Sushi Restaurants in San Francisco

Vocab Lesson
Kenchin-style soup: a soup that incorporates hearty, all-vegan ingredients, including lots of root vegetables, tofu, and shiitake mushrooms. It originates from Japan’s Buddhist temple culture.
Tsukune: Japanese chicken meatballs, often cooked on a skewer and covered in a sweet soy-based sauce.

While You’re in the Neighborhood Before: Peruse the eclectic wares at A&G Merch, which sells everything from acacia-wood coffee tables to whale-shaped bottle openers (2279 Market Street). After: End the night with a seasonal cocktail and a game of pool at Blackbird (2124 Market Street).

2275 Market St
San Francisco,

Groupon Guide