Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
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Published on January 29, 2020
4 top options for inexpensive Japanese food in San FranciscoKissako Tea | Photo: John K./Yelp

Looking for a delicious Japanese meal near you?

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the best affordable Japanese restaurants around San Francisco, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to venture when cravings strike.

1. Yo Yo's

photo: andrew l./yelp

Topping the list is Yo Yo's. Located at 318 Pacific Ave. (between Battery and Sansome streets) in the Financial District, this weekday lunch spot is the highest-rated cheap Japanese restaurant in San Francisco, boasting 4.5 stars out of 536 reviews on Yelp.

In business for over 30 years, Yo Yo's offers takeout sushi rolls, teriyaki plates, noodle dishes and more, all for under $10. (Note: this spot is cash-only.)

Yelper Yalda R., who reviewed Yo Yo's on Dec. 19, wrote, "Such a lovely place to buy lunch from. The nicest staff I've ever encountered. The fresh, handmade sushi, chicken teriyaki and soba are all winners."

2. Volcano

Photo: Jenny L./Yelp

Next up is the Inner Richmond's Volcano, situated at 5454 Geary Blvd. (near the corner of Geary and 19th Avenue). This counter-service spot specializes in Japanese curry, offering up a dozen varieties, including vegetarian options. With four stars out of 1,136 reviews on Yelp, it has proven to be a local favorite for those looking for a low-priced option.

Yelper Uchihara T., who reviewed Volcano on Jan. 14, wrote, "Portions are good, prices are reasonable and the menu is simple.

Sabrina V. noted, "Won't break your bank eating here, and the Japanese curry is solid."

3. Onigilly

Photo: Ian T./Yelp

The Chinatown outpost of local chain Onigilly is another cheap go-to, with four stars out of 528 Yelp reviews. Onigilly, which has three other locations in San Francisco and one in Palo Alto, specializes in handheld rice balls filled with meat, veggies or fish, which it offers in combo platters with sides of miso soup, edamame, seaweed salad and more. Head over to 343 Kearny St. (between Bush and Pine streets) to see for yourself.

If you're looking for more, we found these details about Onigilly.

"Onigilly was founded in 2007 with the goal to bring healthy, handy and delicious onigiri, or Japanese rice balls, to the U.S.," per the history section of the business's Yelp profile. "This traditional comfort food is a favorite in Japan, akin to the sandwich in America, and is more commonplace and healthier than sushi. With support from La Cocina's incubation program, Onigilly began operations as a street-food cart in 2010 and opened its first brick-and-mortar in 2012."

4. Kissako Tea

Photo: Allison O./Yelp

Last but not least, over in Japantown's Japan Center, check out Kissako Tea, which has earned four stars out of 294 reviews on Yelp. In addition to savory dishes like bento boxes and noodles, this kiosk offers a full selection of teas, shaved ice, smoothies and sweets. Dig in by heading over to 1581 Webster St.

Yelper Christopher L., who reviewed Kissako Tea on Nov. 10 wrote, "I got three matcha mochis for under $3 and they were so good. If you're looking for cheap, delicious treats, this is the place!"

This story was created automatically using local business data, then reviewed and augmented by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.