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SF's Best Casual Neighborhood Sushi Spots

PHOTO: Remy Galvan-Hale

When it comes to eating raw fish, we love the Akikos and Kuskasabes of the world. But we also love not having empty bank accounts and not making reservations. Sometimes you just want to eat quality, easy sushi that doesn’t cost $300, all in the comfort of your own neighborhood.

Here’s our complete list of places with good fish, good prices, and vibes that don’t scream den of sadness. Sushi on.

The Spots


The sushi chef might sometimes be a white hipster bro, but that’s OK with us. This little spot in Hayes has outdoor tables that are perfect on a nice night and lots of good sushi and small plates. We always get the Saba Hit and Wiki Wiki rolls.



Castro / Mission
317 Sanchez St.

The sushi and nigiri here are excellent, but the real standouts are the housemade tofu and mochi-covered strawberries. It’s a small space, but we’ve never had to wait. One of our all-time favorite sushi spots in the city.


Asa Sushi

2365 Chestnut St

Great prices for sushi on the west end of Chestnut in an space that doesn’t make you want to run away and cry. Yes, they have too many rolls with cream cheese involved, but ignore those and you’ll be fine.


Elephant Sushi

1916 Hyde St

You generally need to show up here a few minutes before it opens if you don’t feel like waiting for a table, but it’s perfect for grabbing dinner with a small group. Get the white out roll.



2235 Fillmore St

Ten-Ichi has an especially local vibe, maybe because it’s been holding down the fort on Fillmore for almost 40 years. The sushi is pretty standard, but we often go for the ‘don’ dishes over rice. The salmon donburi is really great.



2815 California St

One of the fancier neighborhood spots on this list, we most often frequent the Tataki in Pac Heights. The presentation is definitely nicer than most other casual spots, which we appreciate. A great order here will include the Extinguisher Roll and any of the specialty tatakis. If it helps you sleep at night, all their fish is sourced sustainably.



1283 9th Ave

Fun fact: this is the same place that has the sushi at the SF airport, which we actually get sometimes and have yet to die. The Ebisu in the Sunset is far, far nicer and better. We usually go with the fresh fish of the day off the board, but the 49er roll and poke roll are also always in the mix.



408 Irving St

Three words: Spoonful of Happiness. The spoonful of uni, quail egg, delicious sauce comes with a shot of sake and you would be highly remiss not to order one for everyone at the table. Besides that little delight, the fish is all pretty great, and we usually get the ‘Best Roll’ and Godzilla tofu and see where the night takes us.


Nara Sushi

1515 Polk St

Uni nigiri – order it. Besides that, the dragon ball (avocado wrapped around crab and tuna) and the spicy lambada rolls are excellent. And no one has ever complained about $1 nigiri pieces at happy hour (only until 6). This spot is 1000% worth your time.



2809 24th St

Kazan is deep, deep Mission, but it’s the best sushi in the area. The sashimi and the kazan roll are the moves here.


Kama Sushi

294 9th St

SOMA isn’t exactly a sushi (or food) paradise, and Kama is an oasis in this desert. The light wood walls and ceilings are pretty unique for a sushi restaurant, and we dig it. The kama sushi and grilled toro roll are great, and if you’re feeling fancy, the lobster avocado roll is where it’s at. Don’t sleep on the happy hour deal here.

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