There’s no shortage of great poke spots in San Francisco - you could close your eyes and throw a dart at a map of the city and it’d land on one. So whether you’re looking for a build-your-own-bowl situation, or more traditional Hawaiian-style poke, it might be hard to know where to start. That’s where we come in. Here are 11 great poke spots in SF that you should try.
The seafood spot in the Mission serves everything from sushi and oysters to sandwiches and rice bowls. It’s also home to the best poke in San Francisco. Get the spicy salmon poke - for $7, you get a tray of perfect, buttery-fresh salmon, bathed in a creamy spicy mayo sauce and topped with tobiko and red and green onions. This is the poke of your dreams.
The first thing you’ll notice when you walk up to this lunch-only spot in NoPa are the corgis. There are pictures of them on practically every flat surface - on Polaroids, wall signs, and even painted on the outside of the building. But on top of having such delightful, canine-themed decor, Amitis Cafe also makes a fantastic poke bowl. You build your own here and choose between proteins like salmon, tuna, and hamachi. All of the toppings - which range from seaweed salad to masago - are excellent (plus, you get unlimited). Be sure to order their unagi sauce and a drizzle of spicy mayo.
Liholiho Yacht Club is one of the best restaurants in SF - and we’ve always been fans of their incredible ahi tuna poke. Right now, they’re serving the super-soft fish over furikake rice with cucumber, avocado, and spicy aioli. The bowl also comes with two crispy nori crackers on the side. If you can resist ordering Liholiho’s entire menu (we’re pretty sure this place can do no wrong), the poke bowl is a perfect quick lunch.
The poke at Pacific Catch is more Hawaiian-style than some of the other DIY bowls on this list - the fish is pre-marinated and served without extra toppings. They’ve got three different options: ahi with a sweet sesame-soy marinade, ahi with sriracha aioli, and yellowtail with white soy and ponzu, all of which come with thin, crispy wonton chips. You can also get the guaca-poke - the original ahi poke with guacamole and tortilla chips - or order your poke over rice. Their Marina location is also open for takeout.
Pa'ina Lounge & Restaurant
The Hawaiian-inspired restaurant in Japantown serves ahi tuna tossed in shoyu, sesame oil, sweet onions, and scallions (they also have a vegan option with beets). The poke bowls come with plenty of toppings, including wasabi aioli and kimchi, but we like to order the fish on its own - that way, you can really taste its quality. Also, Pa’ina gives you the option to order poke by the pound, and we’ve never responded “yes” to something so enthusiastically.
Previously known as Pinche Poke, Sancha Sushi is a new spot in North Beach serving the same menu of rolls, chirashi bowls, sushi burritos, and poke. Theirs is different from the other poke bowls you see around the city - it’s more produce-heavy, leaning more towards a salad. We like the Karai poke, a mix of assorted fish, spinach, mint, apples and oranges, garlic, and red chili paste. The portions here are big (the tray comes with a small side of sushi rice) and can definitely serve at least two.
The build-your-own poke bowls at this quick-service spot in the Lower Haight come with your choice of six different proteins, and a bunch of colorful toppings like pickled ginger, seaweed salad, masago, and crunchy garbanzo beans. For the chronically indecisive, they also have a few signature bowls - we like the Makai bowl with ahi tuna, salmon, shoyu, and spicy aioli, or the Wasabi Salmon bowl.
Hook Fish Co. is known for their fresh fish burritos and tacos, but they make great poke, too. You can get it as an appetizer with a side of chips, or by the pound. Either way, you won’t be disappointed by the albacore tuna with tamari, sambal, scallions, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Get it to go and take it across the street to dog watch at Ocean Beach.
It should be pretty clear by now that we can’t resist a great poke spot. And we have even less self-control when it comes to a great poke spot with 18 different types of proteins. Poke Origin has your typical salmon or spicy tuna, but they also have octopus, scallop, lobster tail, and spam. The fish is nice and fresh, and we’re big fans of their spicy aioli.
One sure way to win us over: unlimited toppings. At this walk-up window in Hayes Valley, you can get everything from imitation crab and pickled ginger to wasabi peas - but whatever you do, be sure to get it with the seaweed salad. It’s well-balanced, crunchy, and one of our favorites on this list.
There are a few I’a Poke locations around the city, but right now only their Duboce Triangle and Western Addition spots are open. They have eight different types of proteins (including ahi tuna, shrimp, yellowtail, and octopus) that you can top with everything from masago to jalapeño to mango. If you’re extra hungry or want a snack for later, they also make great spam musubi to order.