It’s hard to think sushi, our beloved Japanese delicacy, was once considered a cheap street food, and furthermore, didn’t originate from Japan at all. It began as a method of fermenting fish in rice from Southeast Asia in various locations near the Mekong River basin. The 2023 readers’ choice Best of the County winner is Sushi Ran (pictured above). For the rest of the Marin Magazine‘s Best of Marin County Sushi picks see below.
Our 2023 Dining category sponsor is Rodney Strong.
Because there are so many great ones, we’ve broken it down by region: Southern, Central and Northern Marin.
Sample innovative small plates just big enough to share before enjoying some of the best sushi the Bay Area has to offer; the prices don’t deter the herd of enthusiasts who line up nightly to partake. Just stopping by? The wine, cocktail and sake lists keep even the pickiest barfly satisfied. Reservations are a must in the main room.
107 Caledonia St, Sausalito, 415.332.3620
Robata translates as “by the fireside”; fittingly, many dishes here are cooked on an open fire and served in appetizer-size portions to pass around the table. Try the grilled rice balls and beef kushi to get a sense of the smoky flavors. Or simply order your own sushi or entree from the menu to enjoy on the patio or in the traditional dining room.
591 Redwood Hwy, Mill Valley, 415.381.8400
Samurai Sushi incorporates new cooking styles into traditional Japanese fundamentals to develop creative and innovative sushi dishes for Mill Valley.
425 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, 415.381.3680
Chef Yobi Abe’s traditional style brings out the best flavors of the fresh, high-quality fish used in his delicious sushi creations.
250 Magnolia Ave SteB, Larkspur, 415.891.8395
Chef Scott Whitman’s izakaya is a Japanese-style community pub with a 2021 Bib Gourmand designation from Michelin and a place on the Top 25 Restaurants list from the San Francisco Chronicle. In the compact interior space and at the seven outdoor tables, you’ll find sushi and skewers, salads and small plates, plus sake and craft beer. The daily waitlist opens online at 5 p.m.
19 Bolinas Rd, Fairfax, 415.521.5790
Sushi 69 has been a favorite for locals looking to get their fill of no-frills sushi since 2007. The owner hails from Japan and has created an extensive menu featuring traditional tempura and the popular Hiro’s roll (spicy tuna with avocado, salmon and ponzu sauce wrapped in sushi rice).
69 Center Blvd, San Anselmo, 415.459.6969
The wait is well worth it at this popular Fourth Street spot. Patience is rewarded with fresh sashimi and unique sushi rolls. Look for bento box specials at lunch and udon soup and a few types of ramen in addition to teriyaki and donburi.
816 4th St, San Rafael, 415.721.0392
For a traditional dining experience with high-quality fish, masterly crafted sushi dishes, and more, reserve your spot for Masa’s Omakase style (chef’s choice) twelve-course prix fixe menu.
813 Grant Ave, Novato, 415.892.0081