Below is a list of the top and leading Japanese Restaurants in San Diego. To help you find the best Japanese Restaurants located near you in San Diego, we put together our own list based on this rating points list.
San Diego’s Best Japanese Restaurants:
The top rated Japanese Restaurants in San Diego are:
- Kokoro Restaurant – Japanese cuisines in a fine dining atmosphere
- Yokohama Yakitori Koubou – omotenashi hospitality to yakitori lovers
- BESHOCK Ramen East Village – ramen packed with robust flavors
- Tajima Ramen Mercury – selected ingredients make up their famous ramen
- Sushi Ota – sushi rolls reflecting culinary influences of Kobe, Osaka, and Tokyo
Kokoro Restaurant proves that distance is not a hindrance to providing outstanding meals. They source their ingredients from nearby areas and mostly directly from Japan. This commitment is maintained and overseen by their head chef “Taisho” Akio Ishito. Chef Ishito worked his way to the top and started as a dishwasher. He studied endlessly and gained enough experience with his stints as a chef in numerous restaurants. His receipt of the 2011 Silver Fork Award from the San Diego Home/Garden Magazine triggered his inner dream of establishing his own food establishment. He founded Kokoro and has since focused on providing high-class meals inspired by his mother country Japan.
Sushi, Kokoro Signature Dishes, Tempura, Sashimi, Udon, Soba, Sake, Beer, Wine
“High quality, authentic Japanese food in a tastefully decorated intimate setting. Enjoyed the seasonal lotus root special, ginger oysters, variety of sushi, and smooth sake. Our new neighborhood favorite!” –Tim Peachey
Yokohama Yakitori Koubou
Yokohama Yakitori Koubou has long been committed to detail-oriented Japanese cooking. They carefully consider not just the taste and flavor but also how the dish would be presented. It is somehow related to a belief that diners eat with their eyes. The restaurant uses selected ingredients like their Jidori chicken. This type of bird contains an intense zest due to its carefree nature. They are also known as free-range chickens and this is responsible for their glorious dish contribution. The restaurant channels hospitality through its omotenashi style of welcoming customers. Diners are gifted with a relaxing dining atmosphere and sumptuous yakitori feast.
Drinks, Appetizers, Fresh Salads, Kushiyaki, Deep Fried Dish, Rice & Noodles, Dessert, Sake & Soju
“Great cozy place for a late-night snack. We came mainly for the yakitori and it was delicious and on par. Their chicken meatball soup was also excellent for a cold night. The staff is friendly and attentive. Definitely check this place out if you’re near the convoy area.” –Tom B.
BESHOCK Ramen East Village
BESHOCK Ramen East Village is located at the downtown San Diego East Village. It was founded in 2016 with a concept centered on ramen. Their name means the beauty of food and gastronomy. The ramen restaurant targets busy San Diegans in search for a perfect meal. They thoughtfully responded to this need with their ramen delivering a perfect indulgence. The ramen is a wonder with its flavors, broth, and spices that are not too overwhelming. Its broth was helmed by the founders. Ayaka Ito, Kumi Ito, and Masaki Yamauchi. It is the result of the trio’s intensive ramen research in Japan and the USA.
Sake, Ramen, Salad, Classic & Special Roll, Salad, Bowl, Desserts
“I come to this place every week it really is one of my guilty pleasures. The food is amazing (especially the black ramen it’s a MUST TRY) the staff are very friendly and tentative. Drink are so-so for my tastes but I’m sure a lot of people enjoy them.” –Maryah Marie
Tajima Ramen Mercury
Tajima Ramen Mercury was established in 2001 as an answer to the growing demand for original Japanese cuisines. They have eventually satisfied the San Diegans hunger for unique and flavorful ramen. It is owned by Sam Morikizono and operated together with a group of talented staff. They are all focused on serving the healthiest and majestic tasting ramen. The restaurant honors the unaltered and irresistible flavors of Japanese dishes. At Tajima, all components of the ramen are prepared fresh daily. From the noodles which are handmade to the broth simmered with special vegetables to attain the desired umami level.
Sushi, Appetizers, Ramen, Rice Bowls
“Absolutely delicious. Excellent flavors and a good variety of broth choices. We make it a point to visit whenever we’re in San Diego.” –Tracy Rurak-Salierno
Sushi Ota carries with them the sincerity and passion to deliver the best sushi sourced locally. They have committed to share the native Japanese experience to its diners. To fulfill this commitment they serve with the utmost consideration for customers. They are aware of the perfect time to present the dish and take account of the special preferences of the customers. The restaurant is owned and managed by a sushi chef named Ota. Chef Ota was born in Kumamoto Kyushu Japan and relocated to San Diego in 1990. He credited the incredible taste of local sea urchins for his main reason for relocation. By the year 1990, Sushi Ota was founded and continued to serve amazing meals inspired by Chef Ota’s culinary experiences in Kobe, Tokyo, and Osaka.
Sushi, Sashimi, Appetizer, Entree, Sake
“Absolutely delicious and astounding fresh. The service is always prompt and professional and we aim to visit here every special occasion. I suggest making a reservation because this smaller location can really fill up fast! Truly worth the effort for this little-known gem.” –Savaj Truth
Amy Burford is a reporter for Kev’s Best. After graduating from UCLA, Amy got an internship at a local radio station and worked as a beat reporter and producer. Amy has also worked as a columnist for The Brookings Register. Amy covers economy and community events for Kev’s Best.