Given all of our amazing food options in San Francisco, late-night dining isn’t necessarily our strong suit.
And late-night sushi is even more of a unicorn in that regard.
But after making the rounds throughout the seven-by-seven to try and nail down some consistent spots to feed the late-night craving, we’ve gathered this handful of neighborhood establishments to do the trick. Kampai!
Nara (Lower Haight)
The minute you walk into this Haight Street spot, you’re greeted by a staff that’s genuinely happy to be working there. This seems like a rarity at Japanese restaurants, which tend to be strictly business, but every single person working at Nara makes it a pleasure to be there.
Some notable menu items include “It’s Like Butter Baby,” a miso butter black cod (gindara), and “Shrek,” a can’t-miss avocado ball stuffed with spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, and snow crab with cilantro ponzu aioli.
It tastes as good as it sounds.
The restaurant, which is almost two years old, is open seven days a week from 5-11:30pm.
Ryoko’s (Lower Nob Hill)
Ryoko’s (619 Taylor St., at Post) is the gold standard for late-night sushi options in the city. Open until 2am, the sushi joint is a popular one, and lines can get long during peak hours.
Walking down the stairs to get to this underground restaurant is akin to a late night Tokyo basement dive, and there’s always a DJ playing chill out and groovy hip-hop tunes. There’s a wide selection of fresh and special nigiri, but the simplest rolls here are remarkable. Try the Hot Tail (Marinated yellowtail in light spicy sauce, shiso and cucumber) and the Futomaki (spinach, egg, shiitake mushroom, kanpyo.)
Located in one of our country’s finest “nihonmachi” (a term used to describe a modern-day Japanese community like the one in San Francisco), Japantown’s Sanppo is located right on Peace Plaza (1702 Post St. at Buchanan), and you just feel the Japantown vibes when you’re there.
Its menu has everything from sushi, to ramen to a most excellent soba. Midnight on a weekday? Yes please.
V16 Sushi Lounge (the Mission)
What’s essentially The Mission’s only late night sushi option, the aptly named V16 sits on the bustling corner of 16th and Valencia St. It’s a massive space that you can pretty much always get a table at, and the food comes out lightning fast.
The small bar top is also a cool spot to take down an above-average late-night spicy salmon roll or an Ankimo appetizer (monkfish liver with seaweed and ginger dashi), or a bowl of sesame ramen. For longevity's sake, here’s hoping they establish a late-night Happy Hour menu, as this place could become a very popular Mission stop if so.
Sakesan (Inner Richmond)
All late-night spots need to learn from the after-hours happy hour masters at Sakesan.
Spicy Tuna Tacos for $2? Check. Dynamite Mussels for $5? Check. Spicy Salmon or Spicy Tuna Roll with Cucumber for $5? Check.
Pints of Sapporo or Asahi for $3 and pitchers for $11?! Check squared.
Need we say more?
Did we miss your favorite late-night sushi spot in the city? Let us know in the comments below!
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