The San Jose area has more to offer than just Silicon Valley CEOs and tech start-ups. They have incredible sushi, located just a hop, skip, and a jump away from San Francisco and the Bay Area. This city has unique sushi fusion restaurants that are well worth a visit. San Jose is known for its inventive residents and sushi chefs; there is no exception.
As a sushi lover, I’d heard the hype around San Jose sushi and I had to taste it for myself. While there is a concentration of excellent sushi restaurants in Japantown located on Jackson Street downtown, I ventured all over San Jose to get the full picture of their sushi scene. So here are my thoughts on 11 of the sushi restaurants in San Jose that I patronized.
Sushi Restaurants in San Jose
- Mizu Sushi Bar & Grill
- Cha Cha Sushi
- Kazoo Japanese Restaurant
- Yuki Sushi
- Sushi Kan Japanese Restaurant
- Minato Japanese Restaurant
- Tomi Sushi Restaurant
- Kenji Sushi
- Sushi Confidential
Mizu Sushi Bar & Grill
1035 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128
Mizu is an open concept sushi restaurant with a beautiful, long bar located in Silicon Valley. Something quite noticeable was the plethora of sushi chefs they had behind the counter. Five of them were there at once! And although they were friendly, my server was lacking in the service department a bit.
I was delighted by their Rainbow Roll and Dragon Roll that were beautifully presented. The avocado and fish were fresh, and I finished every bite of the two rolls. Typically I am a big fan of wasabi and ginger, but these rolls have a lot of flavors all on their own.
Cha Cha Sushi
547 W Capitol Expy, San Jose, CA 95136
Cha Cha Sushi is located just off the capitol expressway on a quiet block between a fitness studio and a pre-school, perfect for those looking for a quiet dining experience as opposed to downtown San Jose. The neighborhood of Cupertino is relaxed, and Cha Cha Sushi matches its vibe. Chef/Owner Hanson Cha prides himself on delivering an upscale but comfortable experience for those that love Japanese food.
I ordered their Alaskan Crispy Roll and their Cherry Blossom Roll. Both came out incredibly quickly and were super fresh. You can tell the rolls were made with attention and care from top-quality ingredients. I would certainly recommend this to others as a wonderful option for authentic Japanese sushi.
Kazoo Japanese Sushi Boat Restaurant
250 Jackson St, San Jose, CA 95112
A quaint restaurant with adorable hanging lanterns at the entrance and a sushi display case right out front! This is a more casual experience, so I wouldn’t choose this spot for fancy date nights. It is located in San Jose’s Japantown and is one of the best and well-priced sushi spots in the area.
So this time, I ordered their Rainbow Roll and their Caterpillar Roll, two classic sushi rolls that I know well. Kazoo’s were an excellent presentation of fresh fish and colorful vegetables that had my mouth-watering when they set them down. However, despite the fantastic flavors, I was left feeling a bit hungry still as each roll only consisted of about 4-6 pieces of sushi.
1140 Lincoln Ave #8, San Jose, CA 95125
Yuki Sushi is conveniently located on Lincoln Ave and is a lovely little sushi restaurant and sake bar. Located in the neighborhood of Willow Glen, a quiet and serene area with lots of great food spots to try, Yuki is a great stop on a fun night out. The area includes some cool nightlife places, like an icehouse and a cigar club, plus many places to shop.
I had the Flower Power Roll, which consisted of fresh salmon, maguro, hamachi, and tobiko, a colorful explosion of flavor in my mouth. I wish every sushi place had this roll! And my second roll was their Hawaiin, a roll with maguro, albacore, mango, macadamia nuts & spicy sauce. Macadamia nuts? On sushi? Yes, it was mind-blowing and so inventive.
1335 N 1st St, San Jose, CA 95112
This is a traditional Japanese restaurant run by the sweetest people. Izakaya is a small restaurant with lots of charming chachkis placed all around you. The tables are small, but the flavor is big. This connects to a few other Asian restaurants. All four spots are super, but Izakaya provides the authentic Japanese experience many are looking for.
I was in a simple mood, so I ordered my two sushi go-to’s: Unagi Roll and Alaska Roll. Both of these appeared so quick after I ordered, I was almost sure they couldn’t be mine. But they were, and they were perfectly prepared and portioned. I ended up ordering a second Unagi because it was simply too good not to and sipped on their refreshing house sake.
Sushi Kan Japanese Restaurant
1305 N 1st St, San Jose, CA 95112
Sushi Kan is located on the same block as Izakaya but is fancier and perfect for a romantic date night or evening out. Sushi Kan delivers innovative dishes that combine traditional Japanese dishes with other cultures. This is a great spot for some late-night food or a few drinks at their bar!
I ordered their Sex and the City Special Roll and their Island Breeze Special Roll. Both these rolls were enormous and stuffed with toppings and extras. Sex and the City had shrimp tempura, crab meat, avocado, cucumber, and outside tuna, spicy mayo, tobiko, and scallion, all the sushi flavors you could ever want in one roll. It was by far my favorite roll in San Jose thus far.
Minato Japanese Restaurant
617 N 6th St, San Jose, CA 95112
Now, this is an upscale sushi place. Take your bougie friends here so you can act like you are in-the-San-Jose-know. An open space with dim lighting that can be romantic or a fun night with friends, Minato is a staple in its San Jose neighborhood. This restaurant is nestled in an area brimming with Asian restaurants, but they still manage to stand out.
I got their Minato Roll which is spicy tuna with a secret sauce. I also ordered their gyoza because I wanted something warm, and they were rather disappointing. They were rather hard, like they had been under a heat lamp too long. But aside from that, it was a very enjoyable meal.
925 Blossom Hill Rd, San Jose, CA 95123
Sanraku is a chic, wooden building that entices anyone that walks by. This place is always busy, so prepare to wait a few minutes to be seated, but their servers are excellent and seem to be on top of everything. Their website boasts their sushi chefs that hail from Japan and treat their job as an artistic craft.
I started with the miso soup because it was a crisp 60 degrees in San Jose. It was super satisfying, came out piping hot, and was loaded with sprouts and tofu. It was one of my favorite misos I’ve ever had, and I scarfed it down in two minutes. After, I tried their Rainbow Roll, which was fresh and plentiful and hit the spot.
Tomi Sushi Restaurant
4336 Moorpark Ave, San Jose, CA 95129
The restaurant itself is nothing fancy, but it is clean and presents a friendly atmosphere. The wooden bar is inviting, and the staff is friendly and attentive, if short-handed. They did seem a bit overwhelmed at times, but I still left completely satisfied with the food and service.
Tomi’s always has specials, and they rotate every day. I went during lunch and was pretty hungry, so I ordered the Sushi Lunch bento Box, and, wow, did they deliver. A heaping plate of sushi arrived that I was embarrassed to not finish despite how amazing it was. It comes with nigiri, sushi, sashimi, and California roll, which were all impeccable.
385 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128
Kenji has an extensive sushi menu and plenty of grill options from the kitchen for those that shy away from the raw food. This is a large restaurant in West San Jose that can fit larger parties. However, it attracts a young crowd for late-night bites and drinks.
I got their spicy garlic edamame and their Lion King Roll, which was a bit out of my comfort zone, but my server recommended it. It had salmon, dried tomatoes, and unagi sauce and knocked me off my chair with flavor. However, the highlight of my meal though was their refreshing and fruity mai tai that was the perfect balance of alcohol and sweetness.
26 N San Pedro St, San Jose, CA 95113
A cool place to hang out at night, but not the most attentive servers. They certainly were not rude, just not attentive. Sushi Confidential has a laid-back vibe where people come in and drink and walkabout. An excellent place for a relaxed hangout or work get-together.
They have a fantastic cocktail menu that is worth the trip alone, but their sushi is not lacking in quality either. I got their Shady Shrimp Roll and Agent Aaron Roll. The names enticed me as well as the ingredients. Both were huge rolls and left me fuller than I’d like to admit. The fresh fish and vegetables pair perfectly with their cocktails to foster a wonderful nightlife hub.
So the hype was all true, the sushi was fantastic in San Jose. I don’t know if it is the immense Japanese culture in the area or the proximity to the ocean, but this town knows how to deliver some incredible sushi. The city has become a hub of Japanese and Vietnamese food that draws people to the area, and now I am one of those people.
If you’re not in the mood for sushi, check out some of these amazing steakhouses around town!
Did I leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
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