Japanese Restaurants in Castro, San Francisco


Select Local Merchants

  • Samovar Tea Lounge
    facet: Main type: Traditional locale: en_US title: Samovar Tea Lounge facet_type_id: 23d05a70-5f37-1032-bebf-9221cde81cf5 html_text: |- Your senses seem stronger inside Samovar Tea Lounge. Warm sunlight streams through tall windows and hushed conversation mingles with the sound of tea flowing from nubbly iron kettles, their contents perfuming the air with hints of herbs, smoke, toasted rice, flowers, and revolutions in Boston. This is owner Jesse Jacobs' vision, what he describes on his website as "an escape from the overflow of information" into an intimate space for human interaction, carved out by the global ritual of sharing tea. This global emphasis inspires an artisanal menu of small plates and sandwiches that could conceivably be served during tea services in India and Morocco, or, in a playful turn by the chef, the Paleolithic era. It is the tea, however, that enables guests to get acquainted with international terroir without sneaking small shrubs through customs. Small, family farms in countries including Kenya, Paraguay, and Nepal, many of them organic, send their whole-leaf brews to fill Samovar's carefully curated collection. Each of its three locations serves the entire menu, which is comprehensive enough to classify oolong and pu-erh separately and boast vintage blends dating back to 1989.
    Read More
    498 Sanchez St.
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Sushi Time
    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).
    Read More
    2275 Market St
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Restaurant Eiji
    Four Things to Know About Eiji Chef-owner Eiji Onoda’s cozy Castro spot showcases a variety of Japanese dishes, from delicate sushi and sashimi to perfectly balanced entrees. Here are a few more facts to keep in mind if you plan to visit. The homemade tofu is the chef’s signature... Eiji serves the tofu three ways. There’s a cold preparation sprinkled with bonito flakes, as well as a hot, custard-like version topped with an earthy sauce. ...and the oboro tofu is his standout preparation. SFWeekly raved over the oboro, which is made to order using housemade soy milk. This mild, silky tofu is paired with an “artist’s palette” of sesame seeds, chili-laced daikon, and other condiments that allow diners to customize it. Don’t be afraid to bump elbows. The intimate dining room only has a few tables, so be a good neighbor to fellow diners. The only way to guarantee a table is to make a reservation, and there’s almost always a wait for walk-ins. Request dessert with your reservation, too. The fresh strawberry-mochi dessert is very popular and sells out most nights unless you’ve ordered it in advance.
    Read More
    317 Sanchez St
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Osaka Sushi
    Six Things to Know About Osaka Sushi A hidden neighborhood gem in the heart of The Castro, Osaka Sushi cultivates a distinct Eastern-urban vibe, built in the style of cozy beer and sake bars found throughout Japan. Read on to get the most out of your next visit: There are options aplenty, no matter your diet. Vegetarians can find a wealth of fresh and healthy options, from veggie sushi to tempura to teriyaki. There’s even gluten-free soy sauce. Complimentary green tea comes with every meal. You can order a traditional boxed lunch or dinner. The chefs take special care to make traditional Japanese bento boxes, filling trays with your choice of rolls, fish or meat, and pickled veggies—plated alongside miso soup, salad, and perfectly cooked sticky rice. The restaurant is set up like a traditional Japanese beer and sake bar. Two and four tops hug the walls, perfect for friendly get-togethers or romantic nights out. Belly up to the bar for an authentic Japanese experience, complete with cold Sapporo beer or hot sake. There are some truly unique rolls. Try the Tropical Napoleon, an Osaka Sushi specialty that layers sushi rice with snow crab, mango, avocado, and grapes, all artfully drizzled with a creamy kiwi sauce. It’s a one-minute walk to the Castro Street Muni.
    Read More
    460 Castro St
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Amasia Hide's Sushi Bar
    In Focus: Amasia Hide’s Sushi Bar Well-executed classic: spicy tuna roll Adventurous option: steamed monkfish liver Happy hour: half-price sake and drinks from 5:30–6:30 p.m. daily Why you should bring nondisposable chopsticks: It helps reduce waste, and you’ll get free edamame if you do. Entertainment: origami paper and simple instructions on each table Live music: Staff members play the koto on select evenings.
    Read More
    149 Noe St
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Warakubune Sushi Restaurant
    Warakubune Sushi: A User's Guide Sushi Delivered by Boat | Traditional Japanese Cuisine | Giant Ramen Bowls Sample Sushi Sashimi: spicy white tuna Nigiri: salmon Maki: special shrimp tempura roll Where to Sit: Snag a spot by the boat bar, naturally. Simply reach out and grab whatever plates catch your eye—your server will count them up at the end of the meal to determine your bill. When to Go: Busier crowds generally mean a greater variety of sushi. On the other hand, the space is small and fills up fast, so arriving between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. should put you in the sweet spot. Inside Tip: If you don’t like any of the boats’ options, you can supplement their cargo with dishes from the menu. While You’re in the Neighborhood Before: Slow down and take in the minute details of the Market Street Railway Mural (300 Church Street), Mona Caron’s time-traveling, building-length look at the history and future of Market Street. After: Grab a scoop of ice cream or a slice of chili-apple pie for dessert at Chile Pies (314 Church Street).
    Read More
    307 Church St
    San Francisco, CA US

Groupon Guide