If you're looking to get your sushi fix in San Diego, there are plenty of options throughout the county. But with a food as elegant, simple, and easy to mess up as sushi, it helps to know where to go.
Here are some top picks for good sushi in North San Diego County. There's a mix of places here, from traditional sushi bars to more unique venues. All of them, however, make great sushi.
9. Sushi Lounge Poway
Address: 12622 Poway Rd, Poway, CA 92064
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday - Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Sushi Lounge is a typical sushi bar with a location in Encinitas and a location in Poway. For the purposes of this piece, we'll focus on the Poway establishment -- but you can expect a similar quality of sushi from both of their restaurants.
As with most sushi places, there's a variety of delicious rolls, sashimi, and specialty sushi on the menu. You'll also find unique vegetarian options that you might not get at another sushi location, including the Lounge Lizard and the Double Crunch Roll. Low-carb guests can also opt for the Protein Roll, which skips the rice.
8. RB Sushi
Address: 16405 Bernardo Center Dr, San Diego, CA 92128
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. every day
RB Sushi in Rancho Bernardo was once famous for offering all-you-can-eat sushi (yes, really). Unfortunately, that is no longer the case, but RB Sushi still serves up delicious rolls and other Japanese cuisine. They also have multiple locations throughout San Diego County, including two closer to the city proper.
For the food, however, you can't go wrong. There are a variety of unique rolls, including several that focus on spicier fish and ingredients. Try the Lemon Roll, Volcano Roll, or Scallop Roll -- all three are definite winners. Of course, you can't go wrong with any roll you choose.
7. Hooked on Sushi
Address: 272 N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday - Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, closed Sunday
Hooked on Sushi has two locations in the coastal North County area: one in Encinitas and one in Carlsbad. No matter which one you choose, however, you'll get some solid sushi options alongside a variety of other Japanese food options.
Unique options include the Oceanside Roll, which features Ebi Shrimp and a squeeze of lemon on top of a traditional California roll. You can also order sushi in "combos," which feature miso soup, garden salad, and white rice alongside your choices of sushi rolls, chicken, and appetizers.
6. Sushi on the Edge
Address: 1611 S Melrose Dr Suite.P, Vista, CA 92081
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday, closed Monday
Sushi on the Edge is a contemporary Japanese restaurant that serves a variety of Japanese cuisine in Vista. The interior may not scream authenticity, but it's quirky and adds a bit of artsiness to the experience.
You'll find the typical menu of specialty rolls here, as well as some unique options like the "Sushi on the Edge" roll that features Seared Cajun Tuna and the RBV Roll that's filled with imitation crab, avocado, jalapeno, and cream cheese. All in all, it's an excellent spot to get your sushi fix in North County.
5. Sushi Nori
Address: 500 N Escondido Blvd #2628, Escondido, CA 92025
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday - Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
A small sushi bar tucked into the Major Market shopping center in Escondido, Sushi Nori has consistently delicious and fresh seafood options and other Japanese staples like teriyaki and tempura. For locals, it's one of the best sushi options in the city.
You'll find a vast menu of Japanese eats, including a variety of specialty sushi rolls, sashimi, and appetizers like baked green mussels and seared tuna salad. Of course, you can also order noodle-based dishes or bento boxes if you aren't feeling like seafood. They also have a fun surprise for birthday guests, so be sure to mention if it is your birthday when you go.
4. Umami Japanese
Address: 251 N City Dr Suite 122, San Marcos, CA 92078
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday, closed Monday
Umami Japanese is a relatively new addition to the San Marcos area, and it's located in an up-and-coming location near Cal State. Despite the collegiate surroundings, Umami Japenese is worth a drive -- even if you're not attending the local college.
You'll find all the usual sushi options here, but Umami Japanese has unique offerings like a Mini Sushi Cone or a Sushi Muffin. In addition to delicious rolls and edamame, you should definitely try the Bao Buns, which are steamed buns with various fillings that are absolutely delicious.
3. Mikko Sushi
Address (Carlsbad): 1025 Carlsbad Village Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday - Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Mikko Sushi is a local Japanese restaurant chain with locations throughout North County San Diego. No matter which location you choose, you can rest assured that you'll get some top-quality sushi at an affordable price point.
You'll find a variety of rolls and other sushi options here, as well as traditional Japanese fare. Try the Baja roll, which features spicy shrimp, cucumber and avocado and is topped with even more shrimp and avocado. The lunch specials at Mikko Sushi are also top-notch, and you can grab a sake or beer while you're there.
2. Wrench And The Rodent
Address: 1815 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
Hours: 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday - Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday
Thus far, this list of sushi bars has focused on your rank-and-file, Japanese-style restaurants. You can find those anywhere in the U.S. If you're looking for something a bit off-kilter but delicious, then Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub in Oceanside might be the place for you.
This is not a traditional sushi restaurant, but the specialty "Wrench Rolls" are delicious. Try the Chronic, Del Mar 2.0, or Holiday in Cambodia. For vegetarians, the "Rodent Rolls" are all plant-based and are still excellent. This place is also attached to The Whet Noodle, for similarly unique Japanese cuisine and ramen.
1. Kaito Sushi
Address: 130-A N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
Hours: 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday
Sushi restaurants are a dime a dozen in the U.S., but if you're looking for something truly special and authentic, look no further than Kaito Sushi in Encinitas. This restaurant follows Tokyo's sushi styles and traditions and was founded by a star sushi chef from the legendary city.
You'll find delicious and super fresh sushi, though the options differ based on the availability of ingredients. Just come with an open mind and don't expect your traditional American sushi bar fare. This is something that's certainly a bit different.
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