The Best Sushi in San Diego
For seafood aficionados, there’s nothing quite like a succulent spread of sushi. This simple, traditional Japanese style of “edible art” seafood preparation spans a truly endless array of styles and types — but the end result is always colorful, flavorful, healthy, and absolutely delicious. So we thought we’d take a look at some nearby spots where locals and guests alike can find some of the best sushi in San Diego.
Umi Sushi (0.9 miles away)
“Umi” means “ocean” in Japanese, which is a good reflection of how seriously they take their seafood craftsmanship here. A long-time favorite of Point Loma and Shelter Island locals, Umi Sushi serves up fresh-caught goodness in some inventive ways. The house specialty is the Crazy Boy maki, a bright and tasty twist on the classic California roll that consists of crab stick, fresh avocado, eel sauce, and spicy mayo. The sports-bar ambience is thanks to part-owner Byung-hyun Kim, the former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher-turned-restaurateur who helped open Umi in 1986.
Sushi Lounge (1.2 miles away)
The warm and welcoming Sushi Lounge in nearby Point Loma is a great place for beginners to discover what they’ll come to love about Japan’s yummiest export, as the menu is full of very approachable options. The laid-back atmosphere and inviting menu offer plenty for experienced sushi enthusiasts to love, as well — with a wide range of maki, hand rolls, sashimi, nigiri and inspired appetizers. You’ll also find noodle bowls, bento boxes for lunch, salads, and even a kids’ menu.
The Joint (3.6 miles away)
Hip, lively, and near the beach, The Joint serves their seafood with a side of unbeatable ambience. Located in the waterfront community of Ocean Beach, The Joint’s menu is chock-full of crowd-pleasing favorites like spicy hamachi, soft shell crab rolls, and even an eel maki with macadamia nuts that you’ll simply have to try. The Joint’s menu also includes some Spanish-style tapas, too — just in case you’re looking for a little variety to do with your wasabi.
Sushi Tadokoro (4.7 miles away)
It would be a mistake to overlook this easy-to-miss Old Town “secret spot.” Tadokoro specializes in very traditional “edo-mae” style sushi, which emphasizes extreme freshness, and time-tested preparation techniques. As such, getting a seat here is no easy task. Reservations are most definitely recommended if you’d like one of the limited number of tables here. But do make the reservation. Locals swear by the specials, which often include uncommon offerings like toro, ankimo, shirako and Chilean bass.
NOBU Sushi (6.3 miles away)
Located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, NOBU San Diego is the local outlet of famed celebrity chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa — who has been one of the major driving forces behind popularizing Japanese food in America. Expect extremely fresh, expertly-prepared dishes in a dizzying array of styles, all bursting with freshness and flavor. When you go, don’t pass up the signature black cod with miso — a Japanese/Peruvian fusion dish that helped put NOBU on the map in several cities.
Sushi Ota (7.7 miles away)
When he heard we’d be taking a look at San Diego’s must-visit sushi spots, Best Western Plus Island Palms’ Director of Sales Steve Schell wanted to make sure we included his favorite spot: Sushi Ota in Pacific Beach. Ota has been making the most of local seafood since 1990, when founder Chef Ota first tried San Diego’s sea urchin, and declared it the best he’d ever had. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s a video of Steve talking about his ideal day in San Diego — which includes a stop at Ota for some superior seafood.