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 visitors 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.
2806 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106
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.
1304 Rosecrans St, San Diego, CA 92106
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 go with your wasabi.
4902 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107
Sushi Tadokoro (4.7 miles away)
It would be a mistake to overlook this easy-to-miss Old Town “secret spot.” Michelin-rated Tadokoro specializes in very traditional edomae 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. But do make the reservation. Locals swear by the specials, which often include uncommon offerings like toro, ankimo, shirako and Chilean sea bass.
2244 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110
Hane Sushi (5.5 miles away)
Many sushi restaurants take special care to preserve the time-tested traditions of authentic preparations, ingredients, and recipes. Balboa Park-adjacent Hane takes a slightly different approach. Their modern twist on Sushi brings this timeless art into a contemporary space, with inventive varieties like the Double Double, Kitchen Sink, and Threesome maki. If you’re feeling particularly irreverent, go for the Pizza or Fish and Chips rolls. Everything on the menu is distinctly San Diego, and that’s a good thing.
2760 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
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. It’s a Japanese/Peruvian fusion dish that helped put NOBU on the map in several cities.
207 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
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.
4529 Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
Soichi (8.8 miles away)
Few take the preparation and presentation of sushi quite as seriously as Chef Soichi Kadoya, the driving force behind this long-running family-run San Diego staple. In addition to serving only the freshest ingredients, the philosophy of omotenashi (deep hospitality) permeates every aspect of dining here. In fact, the tip-to-tail experience at Soichi is so exemplary, it’s one of only a handful of Michelin-starred sushi restaurants in the city. When you go, prepare to be amazed. Your expectations will still be exceeded.
2121 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
Himitsu (13 miles away)
The approach at Himitsu is all about tradition. You’ll notice it first thanks to the extremely limited seating (reminiscent of the lunch counters that are ubiquitous in space-conscious Japan). But the theme continues once your order arrives. The delicate and delectable sushi here finds its most creative expression on the omakase (chef’s choice) presentations, but there’s not a single item on Chef Mitsu Aihana’s menu that isn’t noticeably authentic. When available, be sure not to pass up the toro (fatty tuna belly).
1030 Torrey Pines Rd G, La Jolla, CA 92037
Need a place to stay for your savory San Diego sushi sojourn? Best Western Island Palms offers exceptional service, exquisite accommodations, and a gorgeous central location that’s just minutes from every stop above. Take a look at our Special Offers page, and select the San Diego travel deal of your dreams at our Shelter Island escape.