San Diego, CA

Top 3 Sushi Spots in San Diego Worth Trying

Dinh Lee

Sushi is kind of a tough subject when it comes to narrowing down three of the best options, especially within San Diego which is filled with options pretty much on every major street. I definitely can not say that I have been to every single sushi spot in San Diego, in fact, I do not think I have even been to half of the spots near me. I have, however, been many of the top recommended spots, the most popular ones that people usually rave about. Sushi is pretty subjective, everyone kind of looks for different things in sushi so it is difficult to make a definitive list. However, for this list, I have compiled both my personal ratings and feelings with a plethora of reviews from other websites and just the general sentiment surrounding these spots.

As a note, I will be focusing on the sushi focused restaurants and will not be including any non-sushi-focused restaurants that might also have amazing sushi, this is just for the sushi restaurants that serve mainly sushi and some side dishes. I will also not be taking novelty or specialty sushi restaurants into consideration, so that means there will be no all you can eat sushi, no revolving sushi, no omakase focused spots, etc. This is just for your classic, traditional sushi restaurant, although you could argue that omakase is the most traditional form of sushi, but for the sake of this list, we will not be including that, but perhaps that will be for another list coming to you in the future. Also, this list will focus on more of the traditional spots as opposed to the more creative, experimental spots.

1. Sushi Ota

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Have you even had sushi in San Diego if you have never tried Sushi Ota? Sushi Ota is hands down the number one spot I would recommend to anyone asking for good, solid sushi in San Diego. They are honestly quite low key, they do not have social media, and do not do any promotions, yet they are still one of the most well known sushi spots in all of San Diego, so I feel like that speaks for itself honestly.

Their fish is extremely fresh and their sashimi is thick cut and satisfying. They are also quite reasonably priced for their quality of fish. For a very reasonable price, you get some melt in your mouth type of fish (you definitely have to get their toro, or tuna belly, if you go here, it is a must) that can be super overpriced at other places. They are very honest with their pricing and the quality of their sushi and fish. This is absolutely an amazing spot for a date or a special event or if you just want to treat yourself. I can not say enough great things about this spot, if you are looking for some great, classic sushi, this is the spot!

I want to mention that Sushi Ota shines the most with the fish does all the talking for them, so that would be your nigiri and sashimi. That is where their best quality really gets to take the front and center role. If you are not into raw fish, perhaps they have other options that might suit you better, but their high quality raw fish is where they excel the most.

2. Himitsu

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After Sushi Ota, there are many sushi restaurants that can take this second place spot, but I personally think that Himitsu is the most deserving of this spot. Himitsu offers some great dishes and combos in addition to their great, high quality sushi. Their fish is high quality and has a great texture and they have some great crafted items to show off their high quality fish and ingredients. They are slightly more experimental and innovative compared to the super traditional Sushi Ota but at the very core of it, their sushi and nigiri are very classic and traditional.

This would be a better spot to head to if you are looking for more creative dishes and rolls when it comes to sushi. This is also more ideal if you are not into the straight raw fish situation. I do personally think that raw fish is what sushi is all about, but everyone has their own tastes and preferences and if you are not a fan of sashimi and nigiri, this might be a better spot for you.

3. Azuki Sushi Lounge

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Azuki is definitely an underdog here as many people probably have never even heard of them before. But I am a continuous fan of Azuki, since the very first time I tried them. They are kind of tucked away in a weird street downtown, but it is a super cute spot with a lovely upstairs area and a really nice vibe. I have been here several times and I have never been disappointed by the quality of the sushi. They have a good variety of classics and more unique dishes. If you are a fan of uni (sea urchin), I would recommend you try it out at any of the spots on this list, but especially Sushi Ota and Azuki.

This is, once again, another great spot for rolls and other dishes for those that do not like doing the straight raw fish or raw fish and rice. However, they, of course, do also have a great selection of sashimi and nigiri. I personally really love their king salmon sashimi here, definitely recommend that, but honestly, salmon will be amazing at any of the spots listed here.

As a sushi lover, I am always open to trying out new sushi spots and would love to hear if you have any San Dieog sushi spot recommendations for me to try. What is your favorite sushi spot in San Diego?

Follow me on Instagram @sanfoodiego for more food related content and recommendations!

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San Diego, CA
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