When it comes to fresh and local, it’s hard to beat seafood in San Diego. After all, the ocean is right there! Freshness absolutely matters when it comes to the quality of sushi, so it’s hardly a surprise that San Diego is practically overflowing with amazing options for quality, fresh sushi.
Certain seafoods, like sea urchins, are available with unparalleled quality in the San Diego area. There are also all kinds of fish for both sushi rolls and incredible sashimi coming out of the ocean every day. Combine that with regular shipments of other fish, like tuna, and you have the perfect city for uncooked seafood.
If you’ve never had sushi, it doesn’t have to be an intimidating experience. You can even find sushi fusion dishes, like sushi burritos. Generally speaking, people order either rolls, which are made with rice, fish and veggies, possibly a sauce, rolled up in nori, a kind of sea vegetable. Sometimes, they are also coated in tiny fish eggs, called roe, which add a salty flavor and unique texture to sushi. There is also nigiri, which is sometimes served over a bed of rice, and sashimi, which is served beautifully arranged without rice.
Many places create their own specialty rolls to complement the standard options. You could dine at a different sushi place each night and try different combinations and flavors at each eatery. That can make selecting the right place for your next (or first) sushi experience difficult. Thankfully, we’ve created a list of some of the best and most impressive sushi restaurants around San Diego.
Location: 4529 Mission Bay Drive
Hours: Monday: 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Tuesday-Friday: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5:30 p.m. to
10:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday: 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
If you’re looking for sushi in Pacific Beach, you should absolutely check out Sushi Ota. One thing that sets this place apart is that the Sushi Chef, Chef Ota, was born in Kumamotoa Kyushu, Japan. He fell in love with local sea
urchins in 1982, saying the taste experience changed his life. He opened Sushi Ota in 1990 and has been serving up amazing food ever since.
They offer a wide range of nigiri (fish over rice), including Spanish Mackerel, shrimp, giant clam, scallop, red snapper, salmon and of course, tuna. They offer some very interesting rolls, like the pizza roll, which is a California roll, topped with a special eel sauce and baked. You can also find most of the classics, like the Caterpillar roll, rainbow roll, and spicy tuna or yellowtail rolls.
If you don’t want raw fish, you can order up a plate of tempura, which is battered and fried vegetables, chicken or shrimp. They also serve a range of salads, fried tofu and grilled or baked fish. Everything is sure to be beautifully plated, fresh and full of authentic flavor. Sushi Ota is one of the most-loved sushi places in San Diego, so you might want to make a reservation.
Location: 3930 30th Street
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 10:30p.m., Sunday: Noon to 9:30 p.m.
In need of a sushi fix while in North Park? Riki Sushi is the place to go! During lunch hours, they offer bento boxes,
named for traditional Japanese lunches. These specials range in price from $9 to $13 at lunch time and $12 to $14 during dinner hours. They each come with miso soup. salad, tempura and four pieces of California roll.
If you’d rather order a la carte, they have plenty of options! For those who want to try sushi without the fish, order up an avocado roll or a cucumber roll. You can also order all kinds of fish, from salmon and yellowtail to the traditional tuna. For those who want to bypass sushi altogether, they offer a wide range of amazing Japanese noodles, including udon, yakisoba and ramen. Other menu options include salads, soups and even baked mussels.
If you want to drink with your sushi, you’re in luck! Riki Sushi offers beers and sake, which is a rice wine. In fact, you can get a large beer and a large hot sake for only $5.25 any time. They carry Japanese beers, so you can have your choice of Sapporo, Asahi, Kirin and Kirin Light.
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Location: 334 W Washington St
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday: Noon to 10
p.m., Sunday: 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
RK Sushi is one of the most popular and best – rated sushi places, nestled right between Hillcrest and Mission Hills. Once you stop in, it’s easy to see why! They create truly beautiful and creative sushi rolls, as well as a host of other dishes. In order to entice new customers, they have regularly changing specials on both drinks and sushi, and they happily take and fill take-out orders.
Their sushi menu has a load of cool and unique rolls. Consider the Chargers Roll, which has imitation crab, cucumber, eel, avocado, shrimp and eel sauce. If you’re feeling more upscale, check out the Langostino Lobster Beach Roll, which is baked. It features imitation crab, cucumber, Langostino lobster and scallops, spicy mayo and baked eel sauce. For those who are carb-conscious, RK Sushi has you covered! They offer a Protein Roll, which has no rice. With soybean paper, cucumber wrap, tuna, tilapia, yellow tail, salmon, avocado, imitation crab and seafood dressing, there is plenty to love.
You can also order Japanese beers, hot or cold sake, tea and even plum wine. Finish your meal off with
tempura fried ice cream or a mochi, which is ice cream wrapped in rice flour breading.
Shino Sushi + Kappo
Location: 838 West Ash Street
Hours: Monday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday-Friday: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.,
Saturday and Sunday: 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
You probably don’t think Little Italy when you think sushi, but Shino Sushi + Kappo is an ideal location for a sushi outing! Sino Sushi is well loved for both their fast and friendly service and their artful arrangements of sushi on plates. They offer all the standard sushi fare, as well as some unique takes on classics. Most people know
about miso soup, which is made from a fermented soy paste and seaweeds. You order it here with clams, which offers an extra punch of protein and flavor.
Their fish list is extensive, with everything from albalone and albacore tuna to fresh water and salt eel, golden eye, raw octopus, toro and even monkfish liver. You can order it rolled or as sashimi. You can also order specialty rolls, like the Del Mar, which features crab, scallop and asparagus rolled in panko breadcrumbs and fried, then topped with seared Australian Kobe beef.
If you don’t want sushi they do offer cooked dishes, ranging from duck roast and broiled salmon to teriyaki and tempura. For dessert, they offer both Japanese ice cream and mochi ice cream treats. Flavors include green tea, plum and black seasame for ice cream and green tea, strawberry and mango for the mochi.