We rounded up the usual suspects as well as some of the more exotic sushi options—from all-you-can-eat specials to culinary adventures curated omakase style by executive chefs over 50 years—all in an effort to prove a point that may not have beared repeating: Silicon Valley takes its sushi seriously. Duh, right? The goal isn’t to pick favorites, but instead celebrate 39 joints to satiate any sake and raw fish craving.

Amami Shima Sushi
19068 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino
Skyrocketing to local fame for their $33 omakase, Amami deserves the long waits it garnered within the first year of opening. On social media, this place is known for faux marble plates as much as for the quality of sashimi and rolls. Don’t pass up a chance to sit at the bar—the chefs have a well-coordinated routine, thanks to the high volume of omakase orders.

Ariake Sushi
Multiple locations
The baked Lion King ($7.95) is a classic California roll topped with baked salmon, tobiko, onion and spicy sauce. Celebrate a birthday and the staff will beat drums alongside 50 Cent’s “Go Shorty, It’s your Birthday” in celebration of the special guest with complimentary sake shots to end the meal.

Azuma Japanese Cuisine
Multiple locations
Like a slice of Tokyo, Azuma provides all the Japanese trimmings. Their locally inspired San Jose Roll is deep fried with hamachi, spicy salmon, white tuna, gobo and avocado. Veggie rolls are also a strong option here. The choice Asparagus Tempura roll has avocado, cucumber and gobo.

754 The Alameda, San Jose
Regularly importing unique fish from Japan is a plus for sushi connoisseurs. Consider hand rolls like the Albacore Dynamite ($16), which comes stuffed with spicy salmon and cucumber while being topped with tuna and avocado. Bluefin also offers omakase style ($80/person). Order sushi for the office and Bluefin will cater.

Blush Raw Bar Lounge
100 N Almaden Ave, San Jose
Chefs at Blush use cheeses, oils, vegetables, fruits and other unusual sauces to complement the first-rate raw fish. For those uninterested in rolls and small plates, consider the signature slush cocktails or the Sake-Burst ($9.25), which comes blended with rock nigori sake, cucumbers and strawberry vodka.

Cha Cha Sushi
547 W Capitol Expy, San Jose
Cha Cha’s diminutive size and top-notch sushi almost always guarantees a wait—but a worthwhile one. Known for the massive rolls, reasonable prices and fresh fish, Cha Cha is the sushi spot for South Siders. The humongous Brandon’s Roll is almost a meal in itself, and the ultra-thick-cut sashimi puts people in fish comas.

Fuji Sushi
56 W Santa Clara St, San Jose
One of the most affordable spots on this list, with bento boxes ranging from $9.95 for two items to $11.95 with three items. Enjoy a conversation with the chefs at the bar or sit at a private booth and enjoy a bowl of udon with some company.

Fuki Sushi
4119 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
When Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg needed his wedding catered, whom did he call? Fuki Sushi, of course. Fear not, though—this joint isn’t reserved for CEO budgets. For those looking for a unique experience, rent a private tatami room and have authentic dishes served by kimono-clad waitresses.

Hachi Ju Hachi
14480 Big Basin Way, Saratoga
Chefs like Jin Suzuki are few and far between. He and his team craft delicate claypot dishes that cater to couples. Start with a lightly flavored appetizer of tuna and okura with grated mountain yam. Then move on to main courses of stewed seasonal greens and mackerel boxed sushi. All this goes down well with the homestyle sake.

Hanabi Sushi
1040 N Rengstorff Ave, Mountain View
Loyal regulars rave about Hanabi’s elegant decor and diverse menu. One notable roll: the Red Dragon with shrimp tempura, crab and cucumber on the inside and tuna, avocado and unagi sauce on the outside. Hanabi Special Bento Boxes are served with salad and miso soup and offer the choice of salmon, chicken or beef. It includes either an eight-piece California roll, grilled veggies, three-piece nigiri roll, tempura or four-piece sashimi. All for $20.

Hanami Sushi
1295 E Dunne Ave, Morgan Hill
Hanami offers sushi at a true value, serving up a daily lunch special (11:30am to 2pm) that comes in at less than $11. Try a two-piece Unagi Maki with fresh water eel and avocado or a hand-rolled Spicy Josh, which features shrimp tempura and crab.

Izaka-ya Sushi
1335 N First St, San Jose
A gastropub feel that provides an excellent place to enjoy a meal after work, this hole-in-the-wall  has a huge menu that ranges from classic sushi rolls, donburi and bento boxes to a vast selection of noodle plates. The decor, lights, small tables and open window frames give off a truly authentic vibe.

Kaizen Sushi
330 E Hamilton Ave, Campbell
A large sushi bar surrounded with tables and dim lighting sets the ambience, but it’s the menu that keeps pescatarians and vegetarians coming back. Order a veggie udon bowl for lunch ($8.95) or try the vegetable tempura ($8) as an appetizer.

Katana Sushi & Sake
411 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
Many of the special sushi rolls come with a sake bomb side (large beer and Koshu Masamune sake), while the 27-item appetizer menu keeps guests from simply staring at the sweet display of katana swords.


Kazoo Restaurant has had an affair with San Jose sushi lovers for nearly 30 years. Photo by John Dyke

Kazoo Restaurant has had an affair with San Jose sushi lovers for nearly 30 years. Photo by John Dyke

Kazoo Restaurant
250 Jackson St, San Jose
A Japantown classic that’s been slinging raw fish for nearly 30 years, Kazoo does sushi boats as well as sit-down. Their $55 Love Boat special is enough for two to four people and offers up a huge sampling of their most popular dishes.

Kenji Sushi
385 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose
A perfect place for a date or family night, Kenji has a big interior and modern design. Exotic rolls include the Pop Corn Lobster ($14.95), which comes stuffed with crab meat, avocado, shrimp tempura—all topped with deep-fried baby lobster, sweet and spicy sauce and tobiko. Also consider the shooters and oysters on the cold plates menu. Kenji lounge owns not only Kenji Sushi but Kenzo Sushi, Kenji Ramen and Kenji Ramen Express.

Kenzo Sushi
5465 Snell Ave, San Jose
Kenzo offers a “normal” sushi meal, but that kind of defeats the point. Known for their All-You-Can-Eat (AYCE) lunches and dinners, Kenzo is the place for Godzilla-size appetites. The Mango Crunch Roll and Monkey Brains appetizers should be on everyone’s sushi checklist.

Kula Revolving Sushi Bar
19600 Vallco Pkwy, Cupertino
Kula has a fresh take on the sushi boat experience with their revolving cloche-covered sushi plates, which are automatically disposed of when they’ve been on the conveyor just a little too long. Their sleek and efficient tablet ordering system zips orders straight to the table on a secondary conveyor belt. They also have a fun arcade-style experience—after dropping each used plate into a cleaning slot, an animated action short will play on the table’s LCD screen. Groups that finish 15 plates get a special prize.

Mizu Sushi Bar & Grill
Multiple locations
Benefitting from its location across from Santana Row, Mizu has long since been a dinner hotspot. The bar-like ambiance and loud music make it a great fit for friends—just be ready for a wait. Mizu’s Yellowtail and Tuna tartars are a can’t miss.

Ninja Sushi
715 First St, Gilroy
Ninja Sushi has dished out value rolls since the turn of the century, and no dish shines brighter than their Super Star, which comes with creamy crab, avocado and cucumber—topped with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, deep-fried scallops, green onions and spicy sauce.

180 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto
For fancy fare, the Bay Area’s first installment of this worldwide chain offers elegant takes on classic dishes, as well as Japanese-Peruvian fusion tapas. It’s hard to miss their sidewalk seating on the bottom floor of the Epiphany Hotel. Try any of the sushi and sashimi dishes, but don’t skip Nobu’s signature miso black cod.

565 N Sixth St, San Jose
Cranking out hits since 1967, Okayama’s sushi menu rotates based on the chef’s preference. The sushi deluxe ($45) comes with 10 pieces of sushi selected by Okayama’s executive chef and a personal choice of one roll. Enjoy a glass of sauvignon blanc with a spicy tuna hand roll ($4.75).

Omee.J Fusion Sushi Bar
4477 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara
A steady stream of patrons walk in and out here no matter the day or time. Thankfully, there’s not much of a wait. Each plate is as artfully presented and as delicious as it looks on the menu, which doubles as a photo album. Orange Ball, Cherry Blossom and the 49ers rolls are some of the most popular plates.

Sushirrito launched a culinary trend with its massive burrito-style sushi rolls. Photo by John Dyke

Sushirrito launched a culinary trend with its massive burrito-style sushi rolls. Photo by John Dyke


Satsuma Sushi
705 E El Camino Real, Mountain View
Locals love Satsuma for the friendly service and large portions. Specialty rolls range from five to eight pieces with a plethora of toppings. The Hard Rock ($13.95) comes with barbecued fresh-water eel and avocado topped with spicy tuna, flying fish roe and spicy eel sauce. Sunday evenings (5-9pm) are perfect for empty stomachs, as the restaurant goes all-you-can-eat for $19.95.

Sawa Sushi
1042 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
Listed as a Top 100 Restaurant by Forbes in 2012, Sawa Sushi doesn’t have a typical menu—everything is omakase style. Courses range from six to 25 plates, and the chef, Steve Sawa, makes sure to cater to all of his customers’ seafood cravings.

Sen Dai Sushi
224 N Abel St, Milpitas
This family-owned sushi spot made its mark in Milpitas a dozen years ago. Order a 16-piece sashimi combo ($31) or consider the extra large rolls and curry specials.

Seven Seas Sushi
130 E Santa Clara St, San Jose
Sashimi lovers are more than welcome here. The diner offers boat-size 50-piece rolls of mixed fish. Specials like the Under the Sea are jampacked with top salmon, hamachi seaweed and spicy powder. Also try the Yummy Yummy roll of top salmon, maxed out with seaweed salad, white tuna, ikura, lemon jalapeno and tobiko.

Sushi Boat Kazoo
10 E Hamilton Ave, Ste 100, Campbell
While many sushi purists might pooh-pooh the idea of a strictly sushi boat restaurant, the rest of us can enjoy watching roll after roll pass by on little wooden yachts. Of course, one could just order from the chef a few feet away, but where’s the fun in that?

Sushi Confidential
Multiple locations
While the words “happy hour” and “sushi” might not be synonymous, at Sushi Confidential they go together like soy sauce and wasabi. SC’s happy hour (every day 3-6pm and 10pm-close) features cheap drinks and inexpensive eats, like $3 sake bombs and $5 rolls. Their signature deep-fried RSM Roll is the go-to item here.

Sushi Ichiban
116 Cochrane Plz, Morgan Hill
A family business with a tireless commitment to quality, Ichiban’s VIP service caters to candlelit dinners for two, birthday parties and even family banquets. Check out the Nigiri and Hosomaki combos like amaebi, which has sweet shrimp, tekka, kappa and shiro maguro.

Sushi Infinity
975 The Alameda, Suite 80, San Jose
As the name suggests, this is another all-you-can-eat joint that ensures patrons get their money’s worth. We recommend going for lunch. There’s a slight upcharge, but guests get a “premium” experience that includes an extra side of the menu.

Sushi Jae
4710 Meridian Ave, San Jose 
A hidden gem in Cambrian Park, Sushi Jae is a relative newcomer to the scene. Dishes are beautifully presented, and customers can’t go wrong with the fun, locally named signature rolls, such as the Branham Lane and South San Jose rolls.

Sushi E
1458 Pollard Rd, Los Gatos
Tiny but elegant, this family-owned restaurant sits in a nondescript strip mall. The friendly service, combined with excellent fish served in large portions, makes this a unique find in Los Gatos.

Multiple locations
Not your typical sushi joint, as the name suggests, customers can order giant burrito-size rolls to get their sushi fix in one compact handful. They have nine possible rolls to choose from, including one veg-head friendly option. The Lava Nachos (brown rice chips topped with tuna picante, melted pepperjack, ginger, guac, green onions and nori strips) are also worth a shot.

Takai Sushi and Sake Bar
170 S Market St, San Jose
For a real one-on-one experience, consider this tiny sushi bar inside the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel. While the name literally means “expensive” in Japanese, the dishes here are quite reasonable. A small, curated menu includes sashimi and a few rolls. The Symphony meal features eight pieces of chef’s choice sashimi and a six-piece California Roll for $35.

Tgi’s Sushi
100 W Hamilton Ave, Campbell
With a capacity of roughly 35, the atmosphere here is always intimate. The parking lot may present an issue, but the food is worth the hassle. From hand rolls to bento boxes, let the chef select the food omakase style ($59.95 for two).

Tomi Sushi
Multiple locations
It doesn’t get more legit than a sushi restaurant inside a Japanese shopping plaza. While sashimi combos have always been solid, the bento boxes really showcase their creativity. For an affordable $11.90, the daily lunch special contains a variety of dishes based on yesterday’s leftovers. They really know how to reinvent here, turning leftover salmon collars into a brothy fish soup. The mix of commercially popular sashimi and rolls with the waste-not mentality of a home cook has earned Tomi loyal fans—enough to open a second location in Mountain View.

Uotomo Sushi
217 W Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas
Pick a few favorite sushi rolls at this classic restaurant, where specialty rolls check in at a very reasonable $7.95-$9.95.

Yuki Sushi
Multiple locations
This longtime South Bay staple—the Santa Clara location has been open 30 years—specializes in San Jose Sharks-themed rolls, fresh fish and complimentary soba noodles. They’re probably the most veg-head friendly spot on this list, which makes them suitable for all tastes.