True San Diego sushi lovers have great expectations for specialty rolls at their favorite joints. Forget simple Cali and Philly combos; we can’t even look at that child’s play finger food after tasting the inventive creations hand crafted daily at San Diego’s top sushi restaurants.
Just close your eyes and imagine: spicy tuna, scallops, cucumber, avocado, topped with fresh salmon slices; halibut, spicy crab, avocado, cucumber and pineapple-jalapeno emulsion; tuna, salmon, yellowtail, spicy tuna mix, lettuce, asparagus and cucumber, served skewered with garlic ponzu; and oh-so-much more. Hungry yet? Get out the soy sauce and prepare for a taste of the good life.
Discover ten of our favorite San Diego sushi rolls.
Rollz Royce at Harney Sushi
When you’re feeling Harney, don’t hold back. Order the Rollz Royce – lobster tempura and cucumber inside, topped with ahi sashimi, jalapeno and money sauce, hand seared and covered with garlic ponzu and eel sauce. The stylish funk shui environment and ever-changing menu of inventive rolls and Japanese fusion cuisine makes the flagship Harney Sushi our favorite “fish out of water” in the traditionally tequila-fueled Old Town.
Crazy Czech Roll at Hive Sushi Lounge
Sweet and spicy, we can’t get enough of the Crazy Czech Roll – spicy tuna, scallops, cucumber, avocado, topped with fresh salmon slices and bonito shavings then drizzled with siracha aioli. Located on the corner of 14th and C in downtown San Diego, the unpretentious Hive is encased in luminous, orange walls, offering a dim and inviting sushi bar that will never judge your third, or fourth, cocktail of the evening.
The Dragon Roll at The Dragon’s Den
A classic sushi staple hand crafted to perfection, we’re loving The Dragon Roll, made with shrimp tempura, kanikama, cucumber, avocado and high quality eel. Don’t fill up on the addictive dumplings; this new East Village restaurant also boasts a fresh sushi menu that is best enjoyed in the outdoor fire pit lounge.
Hirame Pineapple Roll at Roppongi Restaurant + Sushi Bar
To treat your sweet tooth to an exotic sushi escape, we recommend the Hirame Pineapple – Japanese halibut, spicy crab, avocado, cucumber and pineapple-jalapeno emulsion. This go-to La Jolla restaurant and sushi bar will also satiate your craving for high style. The indoor fireplace lounges are perfect for date night. (pictured)
Triple Fantasy Roll at Ono Sushi
It’s never been easier to make all your dreams come true, no matter how naughty or nice. Simply order the Triple Fantasy Roll, made with spicy tuna outside, tempura shrimp and crab inside. San Diegans swear by this casual-cool Hillcrest sushi restaurant, and now we understand why.
RA’llipop at RA Sushi
Getting tired of chopsticks? Throw ‘em over your shoulder and mix things up with the unique RA’llipop – tuna, salmon, yellowtail, spicy tuna mix, lettuce, asparagus and cucumber, wrapped in lobok, served skewered with a garlic ponzu sauce. This unique menu and high-energy atmosphere always keep downtown sushi fans on the edge of our seat.
Sushi Deli Burrito at Sushi Deli
If the sushi lollipop just won’t cut it, go big with Sushi Deli’s signature Sushi Burrito, with shrimp tempura, avocado, gobo carrot, cucumber, crab, lettuce, cream cheese and spicy mayo inside, wrapped with soy paper and sesame seeds, and served with ponzu sauce. Only in San Diego would locals obsess over a sushi burrito. Is it bad to ask for a side of guacamole?
Special Battera at Taka Sushi
The crème de la crème of San Diego sushi rolls, treat yourself to a Special Battera, a classic Kansai-style sushi that is removed from the box and cut into sections when served. Like a decadent sushi cake! Taka’s signature Special Battera is made with fresh tuna, shrimp, crab, seaweed, rice and orange caviar pressed into a box and topped with black caviar and green onion.
White Widow Roll at Zensei Sushi
Fresh taste with a deadly bite, the White Widow Roll is made with tempura soft shell crab, crab mix, cucumber, gobo and red tobiko, topped with garlic ponzu sauce. Join the hip, young sushi-supporters that flock to this North Park Japanese joint, which features an extensive menu that’s not all rolls and sashimi.
Mission Bay Roll at Mizu Sushi
My personal favorite roll, the Mission Bay is simple, crisp and tangy – spicy tuna topped with salmon and fresh lemon slices. Mizu is easily one of the best kept sushi secrets in all of San Diego, located right across from Belmont Park with direct views into the sparkling Mission Bay.