Japanese Elixir: The Top 5 Sake Joints in San Diego

Warm sake is one of the greatest pleasures in life, especially when paired with an amazing spicy tuna roll and a group of friends.  Here are the Top 5 sake joints in San Diego to make this fantasy a reality on a Friday night…or Wednesday night…or Sunday night…


How are you going to top NOBU for anything related to Japanese cuisine? Located in the Hard Rock downtown, NOBU is the place for all things sake, sushi, and delicious. Check them out at happy hour for the warm Hokusetsu Junmai Bamboo sake, or order up some of the elixir with your dinner of the best sushi around. If you’re looking for the best, this is where you go. Chef Nobu isn’t famous wordlwide for nothing!


Hosting red meat in sushi, something kind of rare in the sushi world, in their Kobe roll (made, yes, with Kobe Beef), Roppingi is the unique and fantastic sushi restaurant in La Jolla that is a little bit famous for it’s sake. With sakes from the Murai family, they bring these delicious bottles brewed for over 200 years by this prestigious family. The food is great, but the sake is really surprising. With sweet selections and richer textures, this isn’t your average sake bomber alcohol. Sake experts would appreciate the history, label, and presentation of this sake joint.

Taka Sushi

Winner of The Best of Gaslamp Lamplighter Award and revered as the best sushi in the Gaslamp, it’s no big surprise that the sake at Taka Sushi is also some of the best around. Offering Ozeki hot sake, and nine different options for cold sake, Taka takes the food and the beverage seriously here in this restaurant. With such a great location, Taka Sushi offers you the opportunity to sip your saki, enjoy your salmon roll, and watch all the nightlife pass you in the Gaslamp.


Want sake from all over Japan? Hit up Tajima, located in downtown San Diego. With a sake list including hot sake, Kurosawa, Otokoyama, and a host of other options, Tajima gives you a taste of all corners of Japan, not just one area. The drink menu doesn’t end with great sake here, where you can order delicious Japanese cocktails and wine to also accompany your amazing sashimi and sushi. A definite stop for enjoying a glass of Japanese brew while eating traditional Japanese dishes, along with a few creative takes all their own.

Harney Sushi

Harney isn’t new to the Haute honors, they are widely acknowledged as a top sushi restaurant in San Diego, so it only follows suit that their sake be top of the list as well. With two locations, one in Oceanside and one downtown, Harney is the place to know for anything relating to great Japanese cuisine. Their sake menu guides you through their menu choice, showing which sake to enjoy with your lighter dishes, and which ones to jump into for a larger meal. With the smooth Hakushika Ginjo warm sake choice to accompany anything on the menu, you know you’re in good hands at Harney as they spin their tunes and stuff you full of the truly unbeatable seared tuna. Harney, you’re always on this list.