Japanese Restaurants San Francisco
San Francisco’s Japanese food scene is strong. Ramen seems to be popping up everywhere, great sushi is easy to find, and we even have an entire neighborhood of Japantown to get our fix. But what’s the best Japanese restaurant San Francisco? We can’t pick just one, of course. We recommend a few hours of eating and visiting Japantown capped off by visiting neighboring Kabuki Spa for a soak. But not all of the great spots are in Japantown. Here are what we think are the best Japanese restaurants that you can’t miss.
You’ll spot Mensho Tokyo from down Geary Street because of the always-present line. Though the Ramen is served quickly, the line doesn’t seem to move as fast the people slurping noodles behind the glass. But wait for your soup and it will be worth it. If you’re up for something rich, try the Tori Paitan which has creamy chicken soup, pork chashu, and duck chashu in it. The Organic Shoyu and the Shio versions are a bit lighter with clear broth. Expect to find kale, menma (bamboo shoots), and nori (seaweed) flavoring your ramen, too. Not meat eaters can rejoice: there’s even a Vegan Tantanmen with mushrooms, konbu, soy cream, and seven types of nuts. Bowls are large, hot, and full of umami-everything you want in a ramen.
672 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102
This is one of the best Japanese restaurants in San Francisco, and one of the best restaurants in all of the Bay. For special occasions, or just for the big spender, Kukusabe’s omakase tasting is hard to beat. The word “omakase” means that your dinner decision will be left up to the chef instead of ordering yourself. Putting trust in these chefs is a great idea, since they know what they’re doing. Both a $98 (7 course) or $165 (10 course) option is available and you must finish one of those to see the a la carte menu. Despite the price point and quality of sushi, don’t expect things to be too formal. Kukusabe encourages you to eat with your hands…seriously. They claim that, “Sushi tastes better by touching the sushi and eat sensuously.”
584 Washington St. San Francisco, CA 94111
The recently relocated and downsized ICHI Sushi is now in the Mission. A smaller restaurant means you’ll be to see Chefs (and married partners) Tim and Erin Archuleta up close. It also means you might have to wait a little longer to score a reservation or walk in seat. But the wait is worth it. ICHI means number one, and many San Francisco locals will claim it is the number one Japanese restaurant San Francisco. Sushi changes daily depending on fresh fish availability. You can expect more consistency from hot dishes like miso clams with ground pork, salt broiled fish, and seared Wagyu beef. They are open at
3369 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Get your yakitori and udon fix at the Missions’s Izakaya Rintaro. For the brave of heart, order skewers of chicken liver and, well..hearts. Standard chicken yakitori is also available as well as vegetables like grilled okra and mushrooms. This is a great Japanese restaurant for non-fish eaters, as there are a lot of vegetable, tofu, and meat options. Order some hot or cold udon noodles and slup them down with some sake. For dessert, it’s hard to say no to green tea panna cotta or chocolate miso mousse cake.
82 14th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Looking to eat other great ethnic cuisine besides the best Japanese Restaurants in San Francisco? Come join us on a progressive meal! Come eat with us!