Sushi in the Bay Area is not hard to come by—even world-class sushi prepared with the world’s highest quality fish. There are countless restaurants in San Francisco, Sonoma County, Silicon Valley, Oakland and every other Bay Area community serving up tasting menus, lunch menus, happy hour menus and sake menus all worth a taste. Even we have too many favorites for one sushi guide.
So, instead of rounding up the best and arguing about it, we rounded up the award winners. And these award winners have received honors from the MICHELIN Guide, a now globally famous restaurant guide that started as a simple, red guidebook in 1889.
To learn about some of the best sushi menus from Downtown Napa to San Mateo, keep reading!
Driven by ingredients, the meals at Hashiri tell the story of Japan’s bountiful culinary history through the beautiful blending of Kyo-Kaiseki and Edomae-style omakase. Alongside some of the city’s best fine wines, rare sake and aged Japanese whiskeys, you can enjoy monthly tasting menus crafted from hyper-seasonal ingredients and premium fish selections sourced directly from the team’s private purveyor inside Tokyo’s Toyosu fish market. To view the different menu options, click here.
Despite the 12-seat capacity, Executive Chef Geoffrey Lee and Sous Chef Patrick Luong have created a passionate, approachable and relaxed experience at Jū-Ni—which means “twelve” in Japanese. When you make your reservation and finally get your seat at the sushi bar, every four guests have their own personal chef to meticulously craft and guide each course. That fixed menu starts with 18 courses with the opportunity to add extra. For more information on the menu, click here.
The Kenzo story begins with Kenzo Estate, a pristine, 3,800-acre wild preserve where nature and winegrowing meet. The restaurant—located in Downtown Napa—offers a transformative experience showcasing Kaiseki delicacies created with ingredients flown in daily from Japan, the home country of Owners Kenzo and Natsuko Tsujimoto. And each course of the tasting menu is designed to pair with a selection of wines and sakes from around the world, including, of course, Kenzo Estate’s full wine collection. For details on the menu, click here.
This sleek, intimate Russian Hill sushi bar is designed to replicate the experience of neighborhood dining experiences in Japan. It offers a setting for rich food and enrichment between friends, neighbors and family. Their ingredients include seasonal, local and global selections, the finest Japanese short grain rice, a house blend of aged soy infused with kelp and premium grade akazu—otherwise known as the soul of sushi.
If you want a meal from the same team and an easier reservation, check out Ijji, another fantastic sushi spot in the city.
Led by Chef Jackson Yu who was born and raised in Beijing, Omakase is backed by a lifetime of culinary experience and a passion for Japanese cuisine—and it shows. The 14-seat restaurant offers two tasting menus prepared using the finest ingredients and the freshest, highest quality fish imported three times per week directly from the world-renowned Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. And the authentic and distinct experience goes beyond the food, too. The pottery and plateware have been hand selected by Yu and his team, and the world’s finest sakes are served in handmade Japanese pewter cups and pitchers from Seikado, the only pewter art craft specialty shop in Japan.
Okay, we know Sushi Ran holds the Bib Gourmand and not the Michelin star, but as one of the most beloved sushi spots in the Bay Area, we couldn’t leave it off the list. Its Bib Gourmand distinction makes Sushi Ran a Michelin inspectors’ favorite for a good value, and we can definitely agree with that. A Bay Area institution for more than three decades, the Sausalito restaurant blends Japanese sushi and Pacific cuisine to create lunch and dinner menus you’ll want to come back for again and again. That’s in large part because this team receives fresh fish daily from both local fishers and from the Tsukiji market in Tokyo. To see the menu, click here.
Driven by Chef Akira Yoshizumi, this kitchen uses ingredients sourced both domestically and internationally to craft tasting menus rooted in the traditions of Edomae sushi, but these are meals you won’t find anywhere else because Chef Yoshizumi uses his own style of Edomae sushi, learned from his sushi master from Tokyo. Though the restaurant boasts a casual atmosphere, the food is anything but, and it changes daily based on seasonality, availability and the bounties of local fishermen.
This neighborhood spot in the Inner Richmond is a treat for every sense, from the meticulously crafted sushi to the rustic, wooden interior. The two tasting menus are available at the 10-seat bar and at a handful of tables available, but the bar seats are the best in the house as these guests get to watch as chefs prepare what is often called the best sushi in San Francisco.
San Mateo | Reservations available by phone at (650)286-0410
The team at Wakuriya works tirelessly to honor authentic Japanese culture and tradition while breathing new life into these classic dishes. This work has earned them one Michelin star and made them a favorite for Bay Area sushi fans. Created by Chef Katsuhiro, the daily tasting menu presents nine courses, often including fresh seafood, poultry, meat and seasonal vegetables.
Make your own Michelin Guide
If you have a favorite sushi restaurant in the Bay Area (and you don’t want to keep it a secret), tell us about it in the comments below!